ABC operations

Discussion of ABC operations, appointments and funding

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ABC TV announces that Adrian Swift, Head of Content and Creative Development, will depart his role at the ABC.

Richard Finlayson, Director of Television, said: “We will be sad to see Adrian go. He’s made a significant impact in his relatively short time at ABC TV, with results that will be seen throughout our strong 2016 slate. We wish Adrian all the best for his future.”

Adrian Swift said: “It has been a privilege working at the ABC and I would like to thank Richard Finlayson and Mark Scott for the opportunity. I have had the genuine pleasure to lead an immensely talented team and work with some brilliant producers during my time here. 2016 will be a great year on ABC TV.”

Adrian will depart the ABC at the end of January.

It’s believed he is off to Nine.

Didn’t he just leave nine in 2014/2015? I’m sure he was involved with The Voice…

yeah less than 2 years ago - Nine has now confirmed he’s coming back.

Didn’t think I was going crazy! wow

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Interesting video about the ABC logo.

Bert finds the ABC Worm.

Have your ever wondered where the ABC Worm figure comes from?

Bert, from ABC Technical Services in Darwin, takes on the challenge to make the Worm and show us.

Extas and out-takes video


I’ve never heard it described as a worm. It’s always been a wave to me.

Same here. Don’t know where worm came from.

ABC TV appoints new Head of Arts

ABC Director of Television Richard Finlayson announced the appointment of Mandy Chang to the role of Head of Arts, ABC TV today. She will commence her new role this week.

Mandy is an award-winning producer who joined the ABC after a hugely successful stint producing and directing documentaries for major UK broadcasters. In her three years at ABC TV, she has overseen the creation of significant arts programs including Autopsy on a Dream - the Story of the Sydney Opera House, Hannah Gadsby’s Oz, The Art of Australia, Art and Soul II, Getting Frank Gehry, Comic Book Heroes, The Cambodian Space Project, Cast from the Storm, The Divorce and Matilda and Me.

Prior to her role at the ABC, Mandy built a standing as a multi-award-winning producer/director and writer with work, covering a wide range of factual genres including music, arts, history, observational documentary and biography, for international broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, PBS and Sky Atlantic. Her feature length documentary The Mona Lisa Curse for the UK’s Channel 4 won the Rose d’Or, Banff World Media Festival Grand Jury Prize, Grierson and Emmy Awards.

Most recently Mandy has worked with the Arts team on the creation of the ABC iview Arts channel and development of a new prime-time series David Stratton’s Story of Australian Cinema, due to premiere in 2016.

Richard Finlayson said: “The ABC has a steadfast ambition to become the home of Arts in Australia. Mandy’s appointment to this role is a clear signal that we intend to commission and produce world-class content across all our platforms and bring the best of the arts to a wide Australian audience.

“Our Arts team has produced some of ABC TV’s best work over the past few years and we are fortunate to have great depth throughout the group. I’d particularly like to thank Kath Earle for her outstanding leadership during the past year, particularly her work bringing our innovative iview Arts channel to life.”

Mandy Chang said: “Having done what I feel is a rigorous three-year apprenticeship, I’m both excited and honoured to be taking on the Head of Arts role.

“We have accomplished much within ABC Arts over the past few years, delivering innovative, high-quality Arts content for audiences, across all of our platforms. I look forward to leading the Arts team as we continue to find ambitious and exciting ways to celebrate and share the artistic achievements and dynamic cultural life of this country.”

###ABC Factual Format Initiative

ABC Factual Format Initiative launched, winner to be announced at AIDC 2016

ABC Factual, in conjunction with The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), today announces a new development initiative aimed at helping Australian producers create original factual formats.

The ABC Factual Format Initiative will see one Australian production company awarded a $15,000 development agreement with the aim of producing a prime time factual format for broadcast on the ABC.

Submissions are open until 19 February, with shortlisted applicants invited to pitch their project to ABC Factual during AIDC 2016 (28 Feb – 2 Mar, ACMI Melbourne) at The FACTory – a structured pitching event for short and long-form documentary to be held at Federation Square’s Deakin Edge on 2 March. A winner will be selected and announced at the conclusion of The FACTory pitching day.

ABC Factual has launched this initiative to encourage independent Australian production companies to develop factual multi-part series with distinctive and innovative format beats with the potential to apply to foreign territories. Proposals to the ABC Factual Format Initiative must have the potential to be long running and returnable and to play in an 8.30pm time slot on the ABC. The preference is for one-hour proposals, but 30-minute proposals will also be considered.

Steve Bibb, ABC TV Head of Factual, says: “At the ABC, we’re serious about game-changing factual television. We want to help Australian producers create innovative and compelling factual formats that sell to the rest of the world. The ABC aims to be a catalyst for creative and financial success for Australian producers in factual storytelling.”

All proposals must appeal to a broad audience, reflect contemporary Australia and be brave, genuine and ambitious in their proposition. Importantly, they must have something at stake and a compelling reason for viewers to care.

Applicants should consider editorial approach and the use of technology to make their proposal distinctive. Importantly, the format must be that – a format. ABC Factual would like to see formatted series that spark national conversations while always having genuine documentary and public service sensibilities at their core.

Submission procedures for the ABC Factual Format Initiative are available from the ABC website. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to be part of The FACTory’s one-day “honing your pitch” session on 28 February and are eligible for 2 x AIDC Day Passes to attend The FACTory on 2 March (travel and accommodation not included), or an AIDC All Access Pass at the early bird discount rate.

To apply, contact Nicky Ruscoe, Development Producer, ABC TV Factual - - or download the Information for Applicants pack.

Please note, ABC Factual is not looking for observational documentaries as part of the ABC Factual Format Initiative. The ABC is committing $15,000 to a successful applicant. There is no guarantee the successful applicant’s series will move into production, as that decision rests with ABC TV. If there is no successful applicant, no funds will be committed.

A good idea. The ABC need to have local and regional TV stations in remote and central Australia

The ABC may soon have to air regional TV news if regional operators keep cutting services or doing crap like WIN’s doing and moving its Victorian news operations to Wollongong.

Of course, I completely agree that the ABC should be producing/airing regional TV news.

But first, the ABC really needs the infrastructure that would allow the ability to broadcast regional TV news for different areas. At the moment, it’s to my understanding that there’s only separate feeds of the main channel for each capital city (mainly for the purposes of promoting your local ABC radio station occasionally) and statewide feeds regionally.

Always thought it was odd they didn’t broadcast local regional news broadcasts. That and regulated local news of at least 30 minutes (inc ads) 5 days a week for regional commercial broadcasters and I’m fine with removing 75% rule.

Upgraded transmitters and satellite spectrum is something a little more money from the Government can fix.

I doubt Turnbull will say no to Truss’ proposal. The Nationals have been unhappy with Abbott’s ditching and Turnbull is eager to shore up support in the Coalition.

As for Truss’ assertion that the ABC is capital-city centric, what a load. Comparing ABC News with Seven, Nine and Ten’s coverage (or SBS, for that matter), and the ABC is easily the least city-centric broadcaster.

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If the ABC had to step in, I’m sure there are plenty of people from the commercial sector given the arse that would be able to assist them setup such a system where they could adequately cover regional news. The commercials, especially SCA, have that ability, but don’t want to do so.

I’d agree with dropping the 75% reach rule if the rules were toughened up. And I mean, REALLY PUMPED UP. Like Essendon and Cronulla peptide pumped it. Not wussy rules like the ACMA and ACCC are responsible for “enforcing” now.

Make metro networks equally responsible for regional content and ensuring that there is enough being produced, and adequately resourced. If they don’t do it, reverse the license fee cuts, pump that funding to the ABC and have them do regional news as part of their charter. They refuse, put it to public review and hearings, or even better, rip up the licenses, close them down, and sell the frequencies to the telcos for mobile broadband.

Sorry, but the commercial stations have had it too good for too long. Time to put the pressure on - either pick up their game, or they can give more money to the ABC, save the taxpayers some dough, and if worse comes to worse, more revenue raising for the government - order their closure, and sell the spectrum. That’s what the commercial media in regional areas are meant to be doing - providing a truly local service, not just pumping in whatever crap we folk in Sydney tolerate and consider that as “local”.

If Turnbull has his head screwed on, he’ll listen to everything the Nationals want and get it done. It’s one of the few things they’ve got right.

Exactly. ABC News is a decent, state focused service, despite the cuts they’ve had to impose. Truss has his head shoved that far up his fundements it’s not funny. The minute Sydney traffic snarls are important to the people of Scone, Tamworth, Bathurst, Young, etc…then Truss would be right. But until then, Truss needs to get his fact straight.


The problem with ABC providing regional news is they do not have separate transmission streams for each regional area. The ABC station at Thursday Island gets the same program stream as Toowoomba and there is no system in place to provide a different program to the different areas.

However, if that could be overcome, I have always thought that properly funded ABC regional news would be a great service for the national broadcaster to provide.


I too think ABC should do local/regional news.

I think a good set up would be to retain the state based news at 7 (otherwise there would be outcry) and introduce local/region news at 7.20 for 10 minutes

6.30 The Drum
7.00 ABC News Queensland
7.20 ABC News Toowoomba
7.30 7.30

7pm would be state, national, international news and sport.
7.20pm would be local news sport and weather

Say for Queesland you would have local news for

Gold Coast
Sunshine Coast
Mt Isa / Western QLD

Local news sport and weather. It could all be done by one host and from a simple small set or plasma set up with local imagery in the backdrop.

It would be produced in conjunction with local radio and digital newsrooms.

Local news inserts could also go in news breakfast for 2 minutes at 6am, 7am and 8am.

Ambitious yes and not without some significant cost. But considering the private sector is not providing this service well at all it’s well within ABCs charter

Fantastic idea and well within ABC’s charter… but where’s the money coming from? Just the cost of splitting up the statewide satellite feed into regional feeds would be more than prohibitive?