Our ABC has announced that it will delay the release of its new five-year plan, and a job cuts announcement, until after the COVID-19 crisis has passed.
The Channel Nine Newspapers (SMH & The Age) are reporting the long-term plan had been due to be released at the end of March.
It’s expected the 200 employees will be made redundant due to the government’s $84m cut to the ABC annual budget.
The report says:
In an email to staff, managing director David Anderson said, “I think you will agree with me when I say that the current situation with COVID-19 means our focus must be on the welfare of all of you and our role as a public broadcaster in providing the community with timely and credible information in this challenging time for our country.
“For this reason, I’m sure you will understand my decision to postpone the announcement until we are through this period … your patience and professionalism are, as always, greatly appreciated.”
Anderson told employees he would reveal his plan “as soon as we have returned to normal levels of activity”.
Several senior ABC sources have told The Age and Herald that Anderson and chair Ita Buttrose are lobbying the federal government to reverse its three-year funding indexation freeze.
The story is behind a paywall on the Channel Nine newspaper sites, but you can READ IT HERE on the Brisbane Times site (also owned by Nine).
Meanwhile, the ABC has also released a statement about its own corporate reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The statement says:
The ABC has implemented several measures to protect vital services and ensure the wellbeing of our employees and guests. Contingency planning is well advanced to ensure the continuation of services despite future developments regarding COVID-19.
You can read the full statement HERE.