Broadcast station employees revolt

When a group unanimously passes a motion of “no confidence” in the senior management, then it should be a clear

When a group unanimously passes a motion of “no confidence” in the senior management, then it should be a clear sign that there is trouble.  ABC staff have done just that for Radio National as the staff believe there is an “erosion of the editorial and managerial responsibilities of executive producers”.

In a copy of the motion from staff they laid out the major areas of concern which include:

  • “The continuing erosion of specialist programming in music, features and religion is a serious breach of the ABC Charter and a disservice to the Australian audiences that the ABC is funded to serve.”
  • “A systemic failure on the part of the senior radio management to genuinely engage or listen to the professional advice of Radio National staff about major change including the recently announced cuts to ABC jobs and programs.”
  • “The unnecessary introduction of inefficient and additional layers of senior radio management in program areas – we need staff who actually make programs not more managers.”
  • “The erosion of the editorial and managerial responsibilities of executive producers and content directors.”

This action comes close on the heels of the announcement that Radio National would be axing more jobs and almost bringing the music programming to an end.  The reason for all the changes, according to Radio National manager Deborah Leavitt, in an email to the staff was she wants “new audiences who are not currently experiencing RN content to discover it, and for us to build a stronger platform for the network in an environment of greater media choice and fragmentation”.  She added, “Changes to production models and ways of working means there will be potential redundancies. This is a particularly difficult decision on many levels, especially when it impacts talented and cherished colleagues.”

It has been tough going for the national broadcaster after the Government announced a reduction in funding for them.  It has seen staff numbers go down as well as the closure of most ABC stores.  With more action coming as the belt continues to tighten there are calls for staff to strike.  If they do, it’ll be the first time in ten years.

What do you think of the problem?  Should the government give ABC more funding to help with this problem or is it just business?

  1. Russell Grenning  

    Would anybody actually notice if ABC Radio National went off the air because of a staff strike?

    I bet that Ms Leavitt, the manager of RN, is not one of the staff targeted for dismissal or redundancy. Her memo to staff was another classic example of “management speak”. I mean what is a “stronger platform” for a radio station?

    • Jude Power  

      Well, I’d notice and so would thousands of other Australians who appreciate in depth documentaries and commentary from all sides of the political spectrum, plus a wide variety of excellent music programs. RN has been a constant background to my daily life for decades, as I’m sure it is for many many others who appreciate intelligent, challenging and thought provoking programming aimed at thinking adults. I say this in spite of the many budget cuts over recent years which have led to far too many repeats and the dumbing down of some weekday morning programs.

      Axeing “First Dog on the Moon”: is rubbing salt into the wound and it’s clear that this has to be a political system, given that the segment is only a few minutes long once a week. Ah well, at least the Western Bulldogs won’t be stupid enough to get rid of him as the teams official cartoonist!

    • Pscript  

      Typical comment from someone who has never listened to RN.
      I would suggest you listen before commenting, but you would have to think before you commented.

  2. Guy Flavell  

    No Russell, ABC Radio National shouldn’t be down-sized and definitely not axed.
    For generations it’s contributed to the lives of rural Australian communities
    with balanced local reporting. If the ABC are to cut any of their programming then
    they should be looking at removing the blatant left-wing biases appearing constantly
    on programs like Q&A, Lateline, Insiders, 7.30 Report. etc.

    • Wiso  

      I agree Guy. Cut some of those blatently biased programs that you have mentioned and restore the overnight music programs that you have already cut from Radio National.

      I lived in the Northern Territory for 36 years and Radio National was our lifeline to the outside world for many of those years and I still listen to it.

      • Jude Power  

        You do realise that when you buy products or use services advertised on commercial radio you are almost invariably supporting right wing commentators? So why object if your taxes balance that by some intelligent non right- wing bias on the ABC?

    • Ben  

      Totally agree with Guy Flavell. I used to be an avid listener and viewer of ABC programs but over the years, the producers and hosts, and their broadcast content has become so anti-Coalition and pro-ALP/Greens. Unless this bias is stopped, I am ambivalent to what happens to the ABC.

  3. I have no problem with the ABC music, however their blatant bias on racial and natural climate is palpable. Cut their funding or keep to their charter of providing balanced reporting.

    • Pscript  

      It’s so easy to spout bias, but before you crap on about cutting funding, you could at least present a case for the cuts.
      Since RN present researched articles sourced from experts and you are saying that the experts are biased.
      What is this idea of balanced reporting, like if you mention gravity someone else must mention antigravity. Certain subjects don’t have a balance as the fact only lead in one direction, only a fool would think that all subjects can have balanced reporting. Balance reporting in your terms is you don’t want to believe the facts presented, so what you want is antifacts so you want have to change your beliefs and or think.
      The ignorance is so wonderful!

      • Guy Flavell  

        No Pscript, wrong again. Balanced reporting is just that … ie: reporting BOTH sides of the argument on matters to enable
        the listeners/watchers the opportunity to make their own minds up … without being bludgeoned with biases, one way or the other.
        Ooh, “The ignorance is so wonderful !”

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