ABC Radio National staff “sick to their stomachs”

Staff Writer

Details of ABC Radio National's 'Production Sustainability Project' (PSP) are set to be released today.

This project is said to include job losses and program cuts to RN as they try to make $1m worth of savings.

An article in 'Crikey' has revealed that 'voluntary redundancies are expected and around five programs are set to go. The drama unit — which produces Airplay, a weekly hour-long program of radio plays — is expected to be among the hardest hit.'

Sinddy Ealy, who is public broadcasting lead organiser with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), says…

“Staff are really worried about what’s coming down the line. People in RN are sick to their stomachs about the threat of job cuts and program cuts. The word on the ground is that the proposal is going to be nasty and we are not likely to be happy.

We do not want to see redundancies or job losses in the RN network. The real concern among staff is they’re positioning to make RN less content rich and more like a local radio station."

Ealy also says they would consider taking the ABC to Fair Work Australia over claims it has not properly consulted staff prior to making significant changes.

This comes after the CPSU recently discovered that 5 Classic FM staff were going to be made redundant.

See more at Crikey here


The ABC will axe its radio plays, an 80-year tradition, in a major overhaul of Radio National which will also see 11 staff and 7 programs axed in order to save $1 million.

Radio National Manager Michael Mason told staff they would be cancelling radio drama program 'Airplay' and other programs 'MovieTime', 'The Book Reading' and 'Sunday Story'.

In an email to staff, Mason said…

"Radio National will no longer include radio plays or book readings on its schedule in 2013. We understand that this is a break with a very long-standing tradition, and will directly affect a number of staff."

"In the context of the broader RN offer, maintaining an innovative and creative output for our audience, and considering financial constraints, we believe that the time has come to move away from this output. Radio plays and book readings have, for many years, faced declining audience numbers, while remaining an expensive activity for the network."

"We continue to believe very strongly that ratings are not the only measure for RN, but the decline in listenership does indicate a lack of engagement in radio plays amongst our audience."

See more in The Australian here

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