ABC Radio programming announced, MEAA unhappy

Some of the changes Mason outlined involved dropping some Radio National programs.

Michael Mason

Michael Mason, ABC director radio, yesterday announced a raft of new programming for the ABC Radio networks.

Mason said: “We want to deliver radio that is relevant, respected and valued by the Australian population. In a media environment that continues to undergo rapid change, our goal is to reach at least one in two Australians across all platforms and services.

“We want to tune up our broadcast networks, and we want to attract larger-scale digital audiences. The changes we’re outlining today will deliver an improved platform offering for audiences.”

What Keeps Me Awake?, a seasonal offer hosted by Kim Williams, will focus on high-profile Australians discussing what they believe are the issues, ideas and concerns that are mostly submerged in the daily overflow of episodic news and current affairs.

Nightlife will move to a seven-day format, hosted by Phillip Clark (Mon-Thu) and Sarah Macdonald (Fri-Sun).

In ABC Radio’s capital city lineups, 702 ABC Sydney welcomes television and news broadcaster Chris Bath to its NSW/ACT statewide evenings show. Current statewide evenings host Christine Anu will move to present a new national Evenings show on Friday and Saturday.

Some of the changes Mason outlined involved dropping some Radio National programs. Subsequently the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) is calling on ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie to outline her strategy for the broadcaster following announced budget cuts, job losses and programming changes.

The union said the proposal appears at odds with recent assurances given by Guthrie to federal senators that no programming changes at Radio National were being considered.

“MEAA members at the ABC are deeply concerned at the latest cuts and are particularly disappointed that such a major management decision was released via press release, without any real consultation with the staff or audience members,” it wrote in a release.

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