Music Australia News

The Industry Responds to Cuts to ABC Classic FM

Graham Strahle
| December 11, 2014

Budget cuts to ABC Classic FM will extend to more than the widely publicised proposed reduction in the station’s number of live concert broadcasts. Michael Mason, the incoming Director of ABC Radio, has confirmed that the station “will be required to find $1.5m in cuts, and the proposal currently under negotiation would result in the loss of around 14 positions”. He says that while the brunt of saving measures will affect live concert broadcasts, there will also be “a reduction in the number of management positions and changes to music programming.”

Meanwhile the Lewis report, an efficiency study into Australia’s two public broadcasters, has identified Classic FM’s high costs per listener compared with Triple J as the station’s chief cause for concern. The comparison is “damning”, observes The Australian’s Michael Bodey. Some observers are saying it needs to embrace fundamental change in order to capture younger listeners. In particular it needs to respond to new consumer demands and new technology, argue both Peter Tregear and Richard Letts.

An open letter by John Davis, CEO of the Australian Music Centre, urges ABC Managing Director Mark Scott, Michael Mason, Director of Radio (Acting) and Richard Buckham, Manager Classic FM, to “reconsider your decisions relating to Australian art music on Classic FM and RN, which will have such a devastating effect on our artform!” Read the full text here.

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