The ABC versus the private sector

Tonight’s budget included a modest cut to the ABC budget, from  $1.132 billion in 2017-18 to $1.122bn in 2018-19, and $83.2 million over three years. That’s hardly the end of the world for the ABC, and far less than the cut that would have applied to the ABC in a Lucius budget (which would have been to abolish the ABC and SBS entirely).

Anyhow according to the Australian, the CEO, Michelle Guthrie, has ‘slammed’ the decision

ABC managing Director Michelle Guthrie slammed the cuts in an email to staff, vowing to fight the decision and said it would impact audiences and had come at a critical time for the organisation.

“Let me be frank with you: I am very disappointed and concerned that after the measures we have introduced in recent years to deliver better and more efficient services, the government has now seen fit to deliver what amounts to a further substantial budget cut,” Ms Guthrie said.

“This decision will make it very difficult for the ABC to meet its charter requirements and audience expectations.”

Ms Guthrie also indicated via an ABC statement her feelings that the ABC ‘is more important than ever’ to Australian audiences.

“The ABC is now more important than ever given the impact of overseas players in the local media industry and the critical role the ABC plays as Australia’s most trusted source of news, analysis and investigative journalism,” Ms Guthrie said.

“Our talented and dedicated content makers consistently deliver award-winning public interest journalism, regional services and critically acclaimed original Australian programs and content.

“Stable, adequate funding is essential if we are to continue to deliver for Australian audiences.”

Now think of a not-for-profit organisation relying on donations / philanthropy. Or a company relying on customers. Would they, in the face of declining revenue, (ie: less donations / fewer sales) ‘slam’ their donors / customers?

I think not. They would reflect on the causes of the declining revenue and put in place strategies to win back the confidence of donors and / or customers. They certainly wouldn’t go around insulting the source of their revenue. Or they would accept the decline as reality and adjust their operations to keep viable.

Even government departments and agencies that have seen their budgets cut don’t go around publicly criticising the government for a cut.

But not the ABC. Instead it thinks the taxpayer funding is ‘deserved’ and won’t brook any dissent. It has no problems in criticising the government for not forking over the money it wants.

The Government should react to Guthrie’s intemperate remarks and for it not being eternally grateful for the vast sums entrusted to it from the taxpayer by doubling the cuts. And the Minister, Mitch Fifield, should announce that each time the ABC criticises the Government’s decision on ABC funding will see another $10 million shaved off its budget. Fifield should also obtain and publish the salaries paid to the ABC ‘stars’. For it needs no stars, it should be a collection of anonymous, quality but modestly paid servants of the public. Any employee who starts getting full of himself/herself should be sacked – the last thing the ABC needs is a collection of prima donnas / primo uomas. Yet sadly it consists almost entirely of the same.

About Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

I'm a retired general who occasionally gets called back to save the republic before returning to my plough.
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47 Responses to The ABC versus the private sector

  1. Pete of Perth

    Let us see if the abc could live on $40 a day. I wish.

  2. NB

    Lol. The ABC declares itself ‘more important than ever’. I guess that means more self-important than ever. For the ABC, the electorate’s money does not belong to the electorate. The electorate’s money belongs to the ABC. These are the people we entrust to do political and economic analysis. Well, you know, not entrust exactly, but at least they do offer a window into what the left is thinking. Well, not thinking exactly, but feeling.
    And right now, I feel good about the ABC.

  3. None

    I heartily support your plan.

  4. H B Bear

    I’m not sure Emma Albersreechi is my most trusted source of anything. There’s a 300 or 400k saving right off the bat Googles G.

  5. RobK

    The ABC ‘s quite safe whilst we have an electorate in denial of a government spending problem. It’s not clear to me that the public broadcasting service has any usecul service other than isolated area radio coverage which can be better achieved by other means. Slowly paring back the charter seems the way to go but there’s bound to be resistance, so hiring the right board and management would be the start.

  6. a happy little debunker

    ROBK- the reasons that the electorate is in denial of government spending problems are 3 fold

    1. The ABC and leftist media have been continually arguing that government has no problem spending, rather it is their revenue (a pearl of Gillard’s wisdom)
    2. Since September 2015 the Government has retreated from all ‘debt and deficit’ commentary
    3. The latest budget is all about resurrecting political fortunes.

  7. Exit Stage Right

    “This decision will make it very difficult for the ABC to meet its charter requirements and audience expectations”.
    There you go. A not so veiled threat from Ms Guthrie that the piddling reduction in funds is going to have a big effect on meeting their charter requirements. Licence to slam the Turnbullites even more. As if their ABC currently get anywhere near meeting charter requirements, or even pretend that they are meeting those requirements. You can bet that any cutbacks will involve kids shows, Australian content programs and the like for maximum public outrage.
    Not sure why Lucy approved this cut.

  8. Gerard

    The ABC is not meeting its charter requirements – to be fair and balanced – because of funding????

  9. NuThink

    “This decision will make it very difficult for the ABC to meet its charter requirements and audience expectations.”

    And silly me thought they were already not meeting their charter expectations. Balance means political balance and does not mean bank balance.
    If the staff are so dedicated they would be very happy to do a public service and offer their services at a reduced cost. Try working in your own business where money in is dependent upon a service given (unless in a crony government service). It is a measure of how well one serves the customer, and the customer is NOT happy Jan – …err Michelle.

    “The ABC is now more important than ever given the impact of overseas players in the local media industry and the critical role the ABC plays as Australia’s most trusted source of news, analysis and investigative journalism,” Ms Guthrie said.

    So do they no longer use any overseas feeds or produce one sided opinion programs masquerading as news, analysis and investigative journalism. When the spit hood was shown on ABC TV a while back on a prisoner in the NT I already knew what they were from watching overseas players, and knew they were a mesh that could be easily seen through, just like the old wedding dresses or some religious garb. The result was a knee jerk reaction to get a commission up and running.
    When Tom Bollard interviewed Jordan Petersen the introduction was designed to show Jordan in a very poor light, this is common method to disparage someone before the viewer gets to see the person themselves so as to portray the person in a very poor light and let you, the viewer, see the person in a negative frame of mind. For example, if someone is introduced as a friend of Mother Theresa or as a friend of Al Capone you would see the whole interview in a very different light.
    So the logic at the ABC is – throw some more money at them and they will find it easier to abide by their charter.
    PS How many people on minimum wage or even on average wage does it take to pay the wages of just one star at the ABC, or the managing director? To pay $1,000,000 takes 100 taxpayers paying $10,000 in tax (there is still the inefficiency of the collection system I have not included).
    The stars at the ABC are not meant to preside over the sittings of a “Star Chamber”.

  10. NuThink

    The stars at the ABC are not meant to preside over the sittings of a “Star Chamber”.

    The Star Chamber (Latin: Camera stellata) was an English court of law which sat at the royal Palace of Westminster, from the late 15th century to the mid-17th century (c. 1641), and was composed of Privy Councillors and common-law judges, to supplement the judicial activities of the common-law and equity courts in civil and criminal matters. The Star Chamber was originally established to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against socially and politically prominent people so powerful that ordinary courts would probably hesitate to convict them of their crimes. However, it became synonymous with social and political oppression through the arbitrary use and abuse of the power it wielded.

    Note the intention of the star chamber was honourable, but changed. Similar to the charter of the ABC.

  11. Anonandon

    I closed my eyes and imagined a world where the ABC did not exist. It was fine. Go ahead minister.

  12. Motelier

    Nothing to worry for the ABC to or its stars.

    Just let those on say, $300 000 or more take a pay cut of 10% narrowing the pay gap between themselves andvthe tea lady.

    Just a thought to see how socialism would work.

  13. Yet to see the Peppa Pig defence raised, it will come.

  14. Tel

    Note the intention of the star chamber was honourable, but changed. Similar to the charter of the ABC.

    Power corrupts.

  15. EvilElvis

    How many people on minimum wage or even on average wage does it take to pay the wages of just one star at the ABC, or the managing director?

    Ram this home to the press gallery and plebs. Then trot out some sick kids and tell the media if the ABC was reduced more we could save these cute little guys. Get in the gutter, get personal, marginalise. It’s beyond time.

  16. struth

    Ram this home to the press gallery and plebs. Then trot out some sick kids and tell the media if the ABC was reduced more we could save these cute little guys. Get in the gutter, get personal, marginalise. It’s beyond time.

    We also need to throw there own bullshit straight back at them.

    We need to get the white people out of the ABC!

  17. EvilElvis

    And seriously, ffs! CEO? Of a subsidised “business” that produces nothing and gains no income.

    This shit needs to be reigned in massively as well. Public service is not a business and we are not fucking clients. Purely resume fattening bullshit, a fluffed up title for people who don’t earn a cent and produce even less of anything of benefit to the community.

  18. jjf

    The minute the Board refused Fifields request to release the salaries of those earning above $200K should have been the time to cut a huge amount from their budget.

    At the very least merge SBS and ABC and limit the channels to 1 news, 1 sport, 1 drama with no more editorialising, unless that is on a separate channel which is subscription only for the inner city luvvies!

    Could someone let Emma know that ABC funding comes from taxes paid on profits!!

  19. manalive

    There you go. A not so veiled threat from Ms Guthrie that the piddling reduction in funds is going to have a big effect on meeting their charter requirements. Licence to slam …

    That’s it, if you think the joint is out of control now you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

  20. Motelier

    Could someone let Emma know that ABC funding comes from taxes paid on profits!!

    WOT? She doesn’t know this? Don’t tell me she believes the story of the magic money tree in the backyard.

  21. struth

    ABC managing Director Michelle Guthrie slammed the cuts in an email to staff,

    Love the wording.
    Lefties do a lot of slamming……yawn.

    This decision will make it very difficult for the ABC to meet its charter requirements and audience expectations.”

    Translation..
    You do this and we can’t possible expect to be able to produce, level, non partisan programming.

    Hmmm.
    If you can’t meet your charter requirements producing one program a year, with three people employed, you need to be put in jail.
    Your charter can be adhered to no matter the funding or the size of the ABC.

    Ms Guthrie also indicated via an ABC statement her feelings that the ABC ‘is more important than ever’ to Australian audiences.

    This is a lie.
    With the internet and more and more Australians turning off the ABC because of it’s radical leftism, this is a pure and provable , lie.

    The ABC is now more important than ever given the impact of overseas players in the local media industry and the critical role the ABC plays as Australia’s most trusted source of news, analysis and investigative journalism,” Ms Guthrie said.

    Translation
    There are organisations we need to kill off because they are free press, require no taxes and are in no way Anti Trump enough.

    “Our talented and dedicated content makers consistently deliver award-winning public interest journalism, regional services and critically acclaimed original Australian programs and content.

    This is pure bullshit.
    Self congratulatory bullshit not backed up by the loss of Audience, and the growing calls for the ABC to be terminated for it’s sickening burden on the taxpayers, and it’s bias.
    The standards at the ABC can easily be shown to have fallen into a quagmire of Marxist insanity.
    And so on.

  22. Snoopy

    This decision will make it very difficult for the ABC to meet its charter requirements and audience expectations”.

    Fair and balanced doesn’t come cheap, comrade.

  23. H B Bear

    Let’s have a quick recap of who’s managed to clamber aboard the ALPBC staff co-op recently – Andwew Pwobyn (already fallen foul of ACMA), Australia’s most politically astute pumpkin masher (ret) La Tingle and former Greens staffer and candidate Osman Faruqi (Faruqu?).

    How’s that for balance?

  24. Mother Lode

    The ABC is not meeting its charter requirements – to be fair and balanced – because of funding????

    They would be completely impartial if all funding was removed and the whole rotten thing was closed down.

    You could hardly say the ABC was taking sides if there was no ABC.

  25. Crossie

    If Facebook can rise to global dominance without a cent of taxpayers’ money the brilliant people at Their ABC can do the same.

  26. Percy Porcelain

    imagined a world where the ABC did not exist

    Ah yes – the mythical normal parallel universe.

    I actually watched some ALPBC last night and it was even more excruciating than expected – the last time I watched it was the night of the Waffleroach’s 2016 election triumph. The cross to Pwobyn and Tingles (after the usual “technical difficulties”, i.e. trying and failing to cross to a talking head “expert” in another studio) who were blathering mindlessly, standing in a passageway in parliament house while a parade of hideous drooling heffalumps waddled past in the background truly was unintentional comedy gold.

    I’d be surprised if the clueless entitled parasites weren’t bleating like stuck pigs after this latest monstrous removal of their just entitlements. Bad Morristeen! Bad Fifield!

  27. Mother Lode

    How many people on minimum wage or even on average wage does it take to pay the wages of just one star at the ABC, or the managing director?

    Probably none.

    They too are net beneficiaries of the tax system.

    If you want them on side tell them how many more allowances and threshholds could be funded if money was freed up from keeping the ABC wired to the life-support machinery that keeps it alive (since we know that without this support it would stumble and die).

  28. duncanm

    “This decision will make it very difficult for the ABC to meet its charter requirements and audience expectations.”

    I propose a solution to this.

    The government ring-fence 10% of the ABC budget, allocated specifically to an independent arm of the ABC which ensures they meet their charter.

    A Quality Management function, if you will.

  29. duncanm

    What I find quite surprising, is that I find a more comprehensive and less biased news coverage on SBS than I do ABC.

  30. Dr Fred Lenin

    You could hardly expect an alp government like turnbull to cut funding of the gangrene communist propaganda arm ,they might lose preferences ,treasurer swan has been instructed to cut them a little to make it look as is turnbull traitors aren’t alp stooges . Did I say treasurer swan ? Sorry I was in a state of déjà vu,they are like rabbits ,all look the same . Just wondering ,when shortass takes over will there be an opposition ? Or will we be like the other socialist one party states ?
    The union mafia/gangrene /u.n. Communist coalition is so good you don’t need an opposition ,oppositions get in the way of the Narxist Utopia we will create /(for ourselves).

  31. struth

    ABC stars…..the one percenters!

  32. struth

    Diversity for the ABC.
    The whites must go.
    I will not be happy until I see the ABC run by brown lgbalphabet people, and the whites not giving up their jobs in the ABC are showing their true white privilege in not stepping down for a minority………………….

  33. egg_

    It’s gratifying to hear the Animal Farm pigs squealing after a token Budget cut.
    Suck it up, Princesses!

    How about we Auction off their broadcast frequency spectrum to the highest bidders?

  34. egg_

    What I find quite surprising, is that I find a more comprehensive and less biased news coverage on SBS than I do ABC.

    Wider demographic and duplication of services.
    We could dispense with TheirABC TV entirely and it would hardly be missed.

  35. manalive

    The ABC hurls abusive language at its audience on a regular basis but taxpayers’ must use approved ‘tone and language’ when making a complaint for it to be considered.

  36. Louis

    ‘more efficient services’

    If they got more efficient then why do they need the same amount of money?

    Their CEO should be fired. It is not the role of the ABC to declare itself in open opposition to the government, which in effect is it declaring it is in opposition to the majority of the voting public.

  37. Dr Fred Lenin

    My p]old plan looks more possible , float alpbc/sbs on th ASX as private company , pay out staff entitlements ,super and pensions in company shares , lease premises and equipment to company at market rates ,then cut the taxpayers strings and let the elitists go for it . The harder you work comrade the more your shares are worth , super and pension shares can be sold for cash.( If you can find a buyer ). That’s how the rest of us live comrades suck it up! With all those knowledgeable experts it should be a winner. Be interesting to see the salaries they would vote themselves ,ha ha ha hilarious to watch that . You could hear the bitching on the moon .

  38. Baldrick

    As if Lucy the Trump Troll would ever be interested in smaller government.

    Get the fuck outta here!

  39. EvilElvis

    If you want them on side tell them how many more allowances and threshholds could be funded if money was freed up from keeping the ABC wired to the life-support machinery that keeps it alive (since we know that without this support it would stumble and die).

    Nope. Give them options. 1, your dole gets cut or 2, the ABC gets cut. That will sharpen people’s focus.

  40. John Constantine

    Their shorten looting cartel will boost ABC funding to bash Tories as soon as they get their hands on the credit card.

    Is it corrupt for their ABC to campaign for the side that promises them a bribe if they win?.

    Comrade maaaaates?.

  41. H B Bear

    Dr Fred, Wesfarmers is about the only co-op that hasn’t exploded once listed on the ASX.

    I like the idea though, pass legislation to allow advertising, a 20% budget reduction over 5 years and then throw Googles G the keys.

  42. Just give the ABC to the staff and let them deal with it. A kind of demutualisation. Saving $1.0 billion/annum of the budget bottom line allows me to accept the surrender of assets as a taxpayer.

    As a bonus, those who are not direct employees but provide ABC content via feeder companies would not be eligible.

  43. Habib

    The stars at the ABC are not meant to preside over the sittings of a “Star Chamber”.

    I’ll not quibble about “star” if intended in a literal sense, as in a ball of noxious gas, immolating from its own density and self-sourced gravity, and destined to collapse upon itself when its flatulent fuel expends. As to the “star chamber”, certainly unsuited for the bench of same, but absolutely ideal for being a subjected to its rigour and retribution.

  44. Squirrel

    At the very least (as others have noted) we could cope with one public broadcaster.

    Why we need the ABC with four TV channels – running a lot of overseas content which is available online, on DVD/Blu-Ray etc. I do not know. I also have great trouble seeing why we need to spend public money on “news” broadcasts which are increasingly just run-of-the-mill police rounds, sports/celebrity gossip etc. of the sort which is covered much better (for those who are interested) on free-to-air commercial TV.

  45. Robbo

    This is actually the best, most heartily enjoyable article I’ve read all year.
    It warms my heart to think at least a few others share my view on the ABC.

    #privatisetheABC

  46. John Constantine

    Compulsory daily drug and alcohol tests for their abc and their abc maaates content providers.

    If it is good enough for the miners that pay the taxes their abc feed off, then the tax gobblers have to be as sober as the taxpayers they leech off.

  47. NB

    Squirrel says:
    ‘Why we need the ABC with four TV channels – running a lot of overseas content which is available online, on DVD/Blu-Ray etc. I do not know….’

    Yes. The ABC no longer provides anything not available elsewhere. Gramsci’s march through the institutions (see Kozak, And Not A Shot Is Fired, Robert Welch University Press, Intro by Thomas R. Eddlem) has disintegrated. The old institutions are no longer monopolies. The last year and a half has been especially amusing as the left has vigorously shown its hand in the MSM, at universities, and in state institutions. People have turned away, disgusted.

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