Mark Scott reckons the ABC is going through quite a painful journey, just like Qantas
Thursday, 27 February 2014
Last year the ABC won an extra $190M in free money courtesy of a grateful Gillard Government.
Over the past few years the ABC was gifted money to create The Drum, the Fact-Checking Unit, more news journalists, more capex, more drama, more TV stations, much increased web presence and more fun stuff. And that all came with enough money to pay mega-salaries for ABC funsters to do what they want.
Qantas, on the other hand, has to sell stuff. If customers don't buy, Qantas gets no money. Qantas has just sacked 5,000 very unhappy people Mark. Sacking people creates a different feeling from asking more funsters to come and do really innovative stuff on Twitter for money.
That's the bit where your argument falls down Mark. You get your money by lobbying a Stephen Conroy, Julia Gillard or like person.
It's much harder when you have to sell stuff.
This from The Australian today.
Mark Scott says the ABC has undergone a ‘painful journey’
ABC managing director Mark Scott has raised comparisons with Qantas as the national broadcaster moves from being an iconic Australian brand to a modern, competitive company.
Mr Scott was speaking as Qantas announced a restructuring of the national carrier, including the loss of 5000 jobs.
He told the Higher Education Conference 2014 in Canberra that the government-owned broadcaster has also experienced “quite a painful journey of transition” over recent years.
“I have sometimes thought of the ABC as being in a parallel set with other great once-government owned and run institutions, we clearly still are,” he said.
“I think what we are going through and what they are going through is still holding onto the great traditions of the brand, but you do need to fundamentally reinvent the way that you work for a new era.
“If you are too tied down by the old, by old work practices and by old expectations, then that can hold you back and we’ve had some quite robust moments around that,” he said.
Mr Scott told the conference that 20 years ago the national broadcaster effectively had 2000 extra staff and an additional $200 million in real terms to produce a fraction of the content the ABC is producing today.
“We’ve had really quite a painful journey of transition there,” he said, citing the example of the most recent decision to close down the ABC’s television production studios in Tasmania.
“There is this tension that exists between holding closely onto the old, rather than being willing to let go of the things you need to let go of, to transfer to the new,” he said.
“I think the kinds of things we are going through are very similar to the kinds of things that Telstra has gone through, that Qantas goes through, how you hold onto the grand traditions of the brand but you find and reinvent new ways of delivering that service taking advantage of new technologies.”