Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Massive Cuts at Radio Australia

I don't usually do broadcasting, but the latest round of catastrophic budget cuts threatens to reduce or even eventually eliminate a real fixture on the US West Coast short wave dial. That's Radio Australia. 

The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) international division is facing a >50% funding cutback. According to one source being quoted around the Internet, that will eliminate the English language section.  While no immediate cuts to short wave hours have been announced, it is most likely only a matter of time.

From an Australian media site:

A Radio Australia staff member told Crikey 25 editorial jobs will go, while seven people in operations will also be sacked. Staff have been told that this will include the entire English-language division of Radio Australia, which the CPSU has confirmed. All casuals and contract staff will be dropped. Asked if this number of redundancies would have a large impact on Radio Australia, a staff member told Crikey they amounted to “gutting” the network. It’s understood just 30 staff will be retained in the division, with cuts in content expected. Flagship program The World will be reduced to a half-hour program.

In ABC International, another 46 jobs are going. Staff have been told the Australia Network may stop broadcasting earlier than September.