Australian public broadcaster to cut 250 jobs

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is the nation’s most trusted outlet according to a recent public opinion survey. (AFP)
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Updated 24 June 2020

Australian public broadcaster to cut 250 jobs

  • Redundancies inevitable after the broadcaster’s budget was effectively slashed by $58 million over three years

SYDNEY: Australia’s public broadcaster announced Wednesday it will cut 250 staff, the latest in a slew of redundancies as the country’s conservative government seeks to slash taxpayer funding.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation — which is routinely maligned by ruling conservative politicians and Rupert Murdoch’s competing mastheads — will seek tens of millions of US dollars in savings as its government funding continues to be cut.
“We anticipate we will farewell as many as 250 people through this process,” ABC Managing Director David Anderson said outlining a five-year restructuring plan.
Anderson said the redundancies were inevitable after the broadcaster’s budget was effectively slashed by $58 million over three years.
According to the ABC, its annual revenue from the government was around Aus$879 million this financial year.
ABC operates across the Australian continent, with reporters based in rural and remote areas, and is the nation’s most trusted outlet according to a recent public opinion survey.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the restructuring was needed to adapt to a changing media landscape. He welcomed a plan to move 75 percent of staff out of the broadcaster’s Sydney headquarters.
“The ABC needs to reflect all of Australia, and Sydney is not Australia,” Fletcher told reporters.
The cutbacks follow a long list of redundancies and closures at Australian media outlets, with the crisis in the news business made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
The national newswire AAP announced earlier this month it would cut half its staff after narrowly avoiding closure, and prior to that, News Corp. had said it would stop printing more than 100 regional and local newspapers.
The media union said government funding cuts were vindictive and ideological, designed to undermine the independence of the broadcaster.
“The Coalition Government’s war against the ABC ... amounts to nothing less than vandalism of one of Australia’s most trusted and valued public institutions,” Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance chief executive Paul Murphy said.


MBC Group to bring Rotana Media’s channels and content to Shahid VIP

Updated 24 November 2020

MBC Group to bring Rotana Media’s channels and content to Shahid VIP

  • Rotana’s TV content will also be made available on-demand so that subscribers can watch it anytime

DUBAI: MBC Group and Rotana Media Group, the largest media companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, are joining forces to bring Rotana’s TV channels to Shahid VIP, MBC Group’s premium subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform.

Commenting on the partnership, MBC chairman, Waleed Al-Ibrahim said: “One year ago we signed our first partnership with Rotana Media Group, which contributed immensely to the Shahid VIP success story in 2020. Taking our collaboration to the next level was a natural step as we continue to enhance the Shahid VIP value proposition.”

Rotana’s TV content will also be made available on-demand so that subscribers can watch it anytime, anywhere, in the region. The long-term partnership will allow Shahid VIP to expand its Arabic content offering as it continues to deliver on its mission to entertain MENA audiences through a best-in-class streaming service.

Rotana’s award-winning TV channels – including Rotana Cinema, Rotana Khalijia, Rotana+, Rotana Classic, Rotana Kids, Rotana Drama and Rotana Music) – went live in high definition on Shahid VIP from Nov. 22 across the MENA region. Additionally, Rotana’s content will be available on-demand from December.

Walid Arab Hashem, CEO of Rotana Studios & TV

Walid Arab Hashem, CEO of Rotana Studios and TV, said: “We are delighted to conclude this groundbreaking deal with MBC Group and offer Rotana channels and content on its very successful platform Shahid VIP. We are true believers in the value of Arabic entertainment and its local, regional and international appeal, and we look forward to having a long-term relationship with MBC as a means to serve our audiences.”