ABC To Axe Its ‘Comedy’ Channel As Part Of Massive $84M Budget Cuts That’ll Slash 250 Jobs

The ABC has today announced it will axe up to 250 jobs and pull programs to deal with a budget shortfall of $84 million.

In an article on the ABC, the national broadcaster quoted managing director, David Anderson, who said the redundancies would affect every division across the ABC.

He said funding would be reallocated to make sure the ABC is more relevant to a wider range of Australians and better reflect the diversity within the community.

As part of the cuts, the ABC’s key 7.45am radio news bulletin will be axed and ABC News channel programs will be reviewed.

Lifestyle website, ABC Life, will rebrand as ABC Local and focus on more suburban and regional news coverage. Editor Bhakthi Puvanenthiran tweeted the website will be losing up to half of its team.

“It’s devastating news and the details are unclear right now,” she said, “but what I know for sure is I’m really proud of what we’ve built, telling diverse stories the ABC has never told before.”

“I hope we can keep doing that under a new banner but right now I am thinking of this incredible team of winners,” Puvanenthiran continued in a separate tweet. “A team of the most thoughtful, caring, creative people.”

The ABC Comedy channel will also be repurposed to feature more broader content, including arts, science, education, and religion.

The changes were announced as part of the ABC’s new five-year plan, which includes shifting attention towards on-demand and digital services.