The ABC‘s slate of current affairs programs could be in line for a pretty dang big shake-up, with network bosses reportedly considering a change that would see flagship program ‘7:30‘ shifted into a timeslot that’s not… y’know… 7:30pm.
One of the options said to be being considered by network higher-ups, reported this afternoon by Fairfax Media, is pushing ‘7:30‘ back to 9:30pm. Necessitating a change in show title in the process, you’d assume. Airing a show called ‘7:30‘ at 9:30? That’d be a bit bloody weird, wouldn’t it.
The shake-up speculation is seemingly also bad news for ‘Lateline,’ which looks to be on the way out of the ABC entirely after narrowly avoiding cancellation in 2015.
The mulled programming changes are the result of the lingering effects of the $250 million funding cut the then-Abbott Government handed down to the broadcaster in 2014. As a result, more than 20% of management staff and as much as 70 behind-the-scenes technical jobs have already been axed.
The localised state-version of ‘7:30‘ – known largely as ‘Stateline‘ – has already felt the cold kiss of the cancellation steel, and ‘Lateline‘ appears headed for almost certain doom.
Fairfax reports that the nightly program could be gone by as soon as the end of the year, with staff and resources from the show absorbed into other productions.
As far as ‘7:30‘ is concerned, it’s being mooted to take over the timeslot currently occupied by ‘Lateline‘ in one scenario. An option that involves keeping ‘7:30‘ at 7:30pm is also reportedly being considered, which would see the program run first on ABC24 in its current timeslot, before a repeat is shown later on the main channel.
As always, ratings are behind the push for this latest shuffle.
How this affects ‘7:30‘ as a whole, or even if – or how – the almighty Leigh Sales‘ role will change remains to be seen at this stage.
But for better or worse (worse), this is the reality of trying to run the ABC under Conservative Government rule.
Troubled times at Aunty, folks.