ABC technology team to shed jobs

37 positions affected by move to reshape tech team

The ABC has revealed plans to cut up to 37 positions from its technology team.

The job losses are part of broader changes to the ABC’s technology team, with the public broadcaster creating a Product and Content Technology team that it says will “bring together employees from across the ABC with expertise in product, design and development”.

The ABC said it would double its investment in digital platforms.

The new team will help the ABC “to prioritise digital products, content management and core technology capabilities,” in line with the Investing in Audiences strategy outlined by managing director Michelle Guthrie in March last year.

Guthrie said at the time that the ABC would shift from 14 key divisions to eight: Four content divisions — Television, Radio, News and Regional — and four support divisions, Technology, Finance, Engagement and Audiences.

The changes to the Technology division announced today will help boost the ABC’s digital growth, the broadcaster claimed.

“These are hard decisions, but the right ones to guarantee the ABC remains properly equipped, now and into the future, with so many rapid changes in technology,” ABC chief digital and information officer Helen Clifton said.

“This proposal will ensure we are a future-focused media organisation able to meet changing audience expectations and will strengthen our commitment to delivering outstanding content and media experiences to Australian audiences.”

Clifton joined the ABC in May 2017.

The federal government has frozen indexation of the broadcaster’s operational funding, which critics say is the equivalent of an $83.7 million cut to the ABC budget.

“The Government’s decision to freeze the ABC’s indexation from July 2019 will cost the broadcaster $84 million over three years,” the ABC said in a statement released after the federal budget was handed down last month.

“This decision comes at a critical time for the ABC as it commences triennial funding negotiations with the Government and comes on top of a cumulative $254 million in cuts imposed since 2014.”

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