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27 November 2014

Australian music to suffer as a result of ABC cuts

Australian music to suffer as a result of ABC cuts

How will cuts to the ABC's funding and approximately 400 job losses at the national broadcaster affect Australian music content on ABC networks? This is what we have learned so far:

• ABC Classic FM's Australian Music Unit will lose staff and continue its all-important work relying on one employee only.
• Live and recorded broadcasts of concerts on ABC Classic FM will diminish by approximately 50%.
• ABC Classic FM's New Music Up Late program will cease to exist - some kind of online existence for Australian music content is being planned but details are as yet unclear.
• Many of ABC Radio National's programs that have included Australian new music in its various forms are being decommissioned. For Australian music, of particular concern is the disappearance of Into the Music, The Weekend Planet, The Quiet Space, Sound Quality and Poetica, but also other programs such as 360documentaries, Hindsight, and Encounter will cease to exist. Some of this content will be covered in a new time slot for shorter documentary programs on ABC RN.
• ABC RN's The Music Show will be divided in two and broadcast as two separate 1-hour programs on Saturday and Sunday.
• ABC Classic FM's Jazztrack program will be moved to ABC Radio National.

Many people who have worked tirelessly for the good of Australian music will be directly affected. The flow-on effect to the Australian new music community at large will be significant, with fewer opportunities for Australian artists' work to be heard and recorded, and fewer ways for the audience around Australia to access performances on the radio.

Read also: Open letter to ABC management by the AMC CEO John Davis

Further links

'Open letter to ABC management' by John Davis (Resonate 28 November 2011)
'ABC cuts: Managing director Mark Scott announces more than 400 jobs to go' - (abc.net.au 25 November)
'Major cuts to ABC Classic FM programming confirmed' - Maxim Boon's article on Limelight (24 November)
A petition on Change.org to keep New Music Up Late program on ABC Classic FM

> For other links, statements and expressions of concern by members of the Australian new music community, please check the AMC's Twitter feed @ausmusiccentre

Anni Heino is a Finnish-born journalist and musicologist, and Editor (Communications & Resonate) at the Australian Music Centre.


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