ABC Radio National

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2016 on RN

The new In 2016 ABC RN broadcast year commences on Monday 25 January.

Changes to the current line-up are outlined below, and you can download the new schedule here.

Business is booming on RN with two new business-focused programs, presented by Richard Aedy, coming to the airwaves in 2016.

We’ll bring you some ‘sense’ around the dollars with The Money, a weekly program of analysis and commentary on economic trends and developments from a national and international perspective—and why it matters to you. (Thursday 5.30—6.00 pm; repeated Friday 5.30—6.00 am)

For first-hand stories and the latest ideas and practices in corporate leadership, management, innovation and workplace culture from around the globe, RN brings you a leadership/workplace program. (Saturday 5.00—5.30 am; repeated Sunday 12.30—1.00 pm)

Natasha Mitchell, host of Life Matters, passes the baton to Ellen Fanning and Cassie McCullagh as the new presenters of this popular weekday program—but she will be back. Ellen would be known to RN audiences as she has done a number of stints in the RN Breakfast chair filling in for Fran, and Cassie is presenter of The List.

Natasha says, 'It’s been a great privilege to host Life Matters for the last four years, but it’s time for me to scratch a few creative itches. I’m fulfilling the Life Matters brief by initiating a great life change and I look forward to bringing listeners adventurous RN podcasts, programs and projects next year. It’s a terrific time to be making radio.

‘Not to mention you have a crack team taking over the Life Matters presenting role. I am looking forward to passing the baton on to these two fabulous journalists and broadcasters… and to listening to them each day!’

The List, RN’s weekly lifestyle program presented by Cassie McCullagh, will be updated to focus on television, and will be known as TV Club; offering a fresh, sharp, contemporary look at this dynamic medium. (Wednesday 11.30 am—12 noon; repeated Saturday 3.30—4.00 pm)

Award-winning Perth-based journalist and documentary maker Kirsti Melville will be taking on the role of presenter of RN’s documentary and features program Earshot.

Following Earshot on Mondays will be PocketDocs—the best in new short audio documentaries and storytelling from writers and radio makers in Australia and around the world, presented by Natalie Kestecher (Monday 11.30 am—12 noon; repeated Sunday 1.30 pm—2.00 pm)

The Media Report and [Sunday Profile](Sunday Profile, presented by Richard Aedy, will not continue in 2016. Media analysis and discussion will continue to receive coverage across the network, particularly on Download This Show with Marc Fennell, which will bring you the latest in media as well as technology and culture. Download This Show will now be heard Friday 5.30 pm.

The style of Sunday Profile’s long-form interviews will be continued across a variety of programs, in particular, Conversations with Richard Fidler, and Late Night Live, with Phillip Adams.

ABC RN releases the ABC’s flagship election podcast

From Thursday 14 April 2016

It’s already got people talking in the halls of power. And to kick it off, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has come to the party with “Episode 0”.

Introducing the ABC’s flagship 2016 election podcast: The Party Room with Kelly & Karvelas.

Every Thursday from 14 April 2016 until polling day, join RN Breakfast’s Fran Kelly and RN Drive’s Patricia Karvelas as they take you through every twist and turn of this Federal Election: the winners and losers; the key issues for voters; and all the gossip straight from the corridors of Parliament House.

Kelly & Karvelas will be joined by special guests throughout the series including some of the ABC’s expert pundits and analysts such as Waleed Aly, Marius Benson, Barrie Cassidy, Antony Green and Amanda Vanstone, along with well known figures from the wider world of politics. Each episode will be complemented with a list of additional reading material as well as links to relevant ABC content.

The Party Room with Kelly & Karvelas will cover:
• the big stories of the week;
• a deep dive into one of the issues dominating the week’s political news; and
• ‘Trading Preferences’ where the hosts recommend stories, people or interesting occurrences listeners should pay attention to.

Join the party: Subscribe now via the ABC Radio App, on iTunes, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts, so you’re set for the release of the first episode next week.

Four new podcast offerings from ABC RN

What keeps you awake at night: money, work, relationships? Or is it something else…?

What Keeps Me Awake, a new 12-part series featuring an eclectic range of Australians who test issues close to their heart with guests of their personal choice, is one of four new ABC RN podcast releases. If you prefer the gossip and insider talk from the corridors of Parliament House, RN announces the second series of the highly successful The Party Room, hosted by RN Breakfast’s Fran Kelly and RN Drive’s Patricia Karvelas. Also on offer are The Real Thing and This is About, two new podcast-only offers from the ABC’s home of specialist content and creative storytelling.

What Keeps Me Awake
The declining standard of education in Australia keeps Kim Williams awake at night, for Susan Ryan it’s housing and aged homelessness. For Steven Schwartz, it’s antibiotic drug resistance; and for Clare Wright, the joy of women’s footy. “The program aims to court a level of provocation over a ‘sleeper’ issue, or an issue that is not being discussed as thoroughly as it could be in the public conversation,” said Executive Producer Joe Gelonesi.
Subscribe now, particularly if you lie awake at night

The Party Room
A political cocktail mix: Hosts Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas will tell you what’s really going on in the corridors of power in Canberra. How is the Turnbull government managing with its one-seat majority and a potentially unruly senate? Guests from across the ABC and beyond will join them, including Chris Uhlmann and Laura Tingle. And yes, Fran will continue to sing an 80s tune at the end of each episode.

Launching with a RN Facebook Live conversation at 10.30am Thursday, 29 September

Fran and PK will answer any burning questions about Australian politics, some of which they’ll incorporate into their first episode of Season 2. Tune into new episodes every Thursday morning, until parliament breaks for summer.
Subscribe now and come to the party

The Real Thing
A podcast in search of the real Australia. Each of the 10 episodes venture into the corners to discover the characters, scenes and stories that make this country unique. Radio documentary makers and best mates Timothy Nicastri and Mike Williams are at the wheel and there’s plenty of room in the back.
Subscribe now and discover The Real Thing for yourself

This is About
Sometimes funny, sometimes dark, always curious — stories about why we do the things we do. A series that digs deep into issues that matter through the beautiful, awkward and dismal stuff that actually happens to people. Presented by funny woman Jordan Raskopoulos.
Find out what it’s all about. Subscribe from Wednesday 12 October 2016.

With over 50 programs on offer and each one of them podcast, across its five core genres of Arts and Culture; Business and Current Affairs; Health, Science and technology; Indigenous; and Religion & Ethics, ABC RN has a podcasts for everyone. Visit to scan the full podcast offering.
All podcasts are podcasts available via iTunes and other podcast platforms and the ABC Radio app.

From The Guardian (scroll down a bit)

In more bad news for ABC staff, Radio National’s flagship programs Breakfast with Fran Kelly and Drive with Patricia Karvelas are being carved off the ideas network and will be housed in the news department from January next year. The top secret project is called JACA for “joint audio current affairs”, Weekly Beast is told, and the idea is to get all the radio current affairs shows in one department.

ABC Radio director Michael Mason has come up with a morale boosting exercise called the “Rawards: radio plus rewards”. With changes to Radio National to be unveiled on 21 November the Rawards will hopefully give the staff something positive to focus on.

Hmm… oddly familiar

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I was thinking the same. Didn’t the commercial radio awards now known as the ACRAs used to be called the RAWARDS?

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Yes they were

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Yes, that’s what he means. Silly CRA have let the trademark expire like many of their members have let past station names go.


The mistake in that story is that Sunday Nights with John Cleary is on ABC Local Radio.

Radio National likely to cease to exist as on-air station by 2020

Radio National staff have been left heartbroken as the worst has been confirmed at a meeting held at the ABC’s Ultimo Centre in Sydney on Tuesday – that Radio National will likely cease to exist as an on-air
transmission by the year 2020.
Instead management are moving towards a digital model, which could still include a linear form of Radio National broadcast similar to Double J but will consist mostly of podcasts, ABC sources confirmed.
All of ABC Radio has a goal to reach 50 per cent of Australian audiences across broadcast and digital platforms by 2020, with a large part of the digital-only drive appearing to fall on Radio National’s
The move to podcast led-programs continued to be reiterated during the meeting, with the idea being that shows will now be created as a podcast first and delivered on social media and digital platforms before being put to air.
The move is also designed to cut spending on music licensing and agreements, since music cannot be included on podcasts under the current agreement, and making RN an ‘all talk’ station in preparation for its digital move.

I would imagine any proposal to close down an ABC Radio broadcast network would need government/ministerial approval as they fund the ABC. But I can’t see the ABC wanting to close a network, and I doubt that the government would allow it anyway.

The ABC in that story denies any such proposal anyway.


Funny you say that, because the link is now dead and redirects to a 404 Error. Maybe they spoke too soon?

ABC has responded:


A protest at ABC Ultimo yesterday against the cuts to music programs on Radio National.

I won’t miss the music programs, I always look elsewhere when I stumble on music, especially that one in the afternoon, I think it has Robbie Buck host, Inside Sleeve?

This is simply a job creation project to give Buck something to do now he’s too old for JJJ and doesn’t want to do talk.

Apparently Radio National is having issues in Melbourne

[quote]On the 4th April, the ABC adjusted some settings for Digital Radio in Melbourne.
Not sure what these changes are, but it explains why I couldn’t pick up ABC News on Radio this morning - all good after a rescan though.

What Keeps Me Awake returns to ABC RN

Friday at 1:30pm and Sunday at 1:30pm.

ABC RN presents Kim Williams in his thought-provoking series, What Keeps Me Awake. Returning for a second season after first launching in 2016, the program allows guests to test their concerns in lively and thoughtful conversation - what keeps them awake at night? Does Kim agree, and should we too be restless? Hear from a range of Australian and international guests including film maker Rachel Perkins, writer Anna Funder, journalist Laura Tingle and theatre director Kip Williams.

Each week delivers engaging and stimulating conversations with Kim and his guests that cover a range of topics including education and merit, leadership and democracy, bioethics and personal choice, gender and race, inequality and prosperity, environment and climate and more.

Other guests appearing on What Keeps Me Awake include social campaigner Tanya Hosch, former US politician Eric Cantor, COO of Instagram Marne Levine, conductor Richard Gill, creative director Neil Armfield, winemaker Brian Croser and CEO of The New York Times Company Mark Thompson.

Deborah Leavitt, Manager RN said, “We are delighted with this new season of What Keeps Me Awake. This series cements RN’s identity as the Ideas Network - a place the audience come to in order to engage deeply with a broad range of ideas that matter most to Australians.”

Kim Williams said, “In What Keeps Me Awake, I aim to discover positive responses to those issues which matter so much to my guests that they metaphorically or actually, can’t sleep. I hope you will join me regularly whether by broadcast or podcast for a program of friendly discourse built on reflection and engagement – worthy of staying awake!”

Kim Williams (AM) is an Australian media executive and composer. He first appeared as a guest presenter on What Keeps Me Awake in 2016. He has had a long involvement in the arts, entertainment and media industries here and overseas and has held various executive leadership positions since the late 1970s including as Chief Executive at each of News Corp Australia, FOXTEL, Fox Studios Australia, the Australian Film Commission, Southern Star Entertainment and Music Viva Australia and also as a senior executive at the ABC.

What Keeps Me Awake airs on ABC RN on Friday at 1:30pm and Sunday at 1:30pm.