There’s only three ways to sort out the ABC.
Last things first.
The last thing that should be done and even then it shouldn’t even be in the mix as an option, is to sell the ABC.
Why do you say that, Jim?
Because you never know whose going to buy it, either initially or further down the track after a few years. It’s that simple.
It could be a left wing woke billionaire like a Michael Cannon-Brookes for example. The purchase of the Washington Post by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is a case in point. It could even be Bezos himself. If we can lease Darwin Port to the CCP what’s to stop a sale of the ABC to Bezos?
It could even be an outfit with links back to to the CCP.
The point is that you could be jumping from the frying pan into the fire and lose total control.
The two workable options are 1..Make the ABC partially or fully a subscription service only, (stakeholders as the left likes to call them) and expose the ABC to the fire hose blast of market forces or
2..Leave the structure in place but force the ABC to operate within it’s charter.
To this end the government should sack the entire board and the managing Director and appoint an ABC Czar to thoroughly clean the place out. I’ve never quite understood what the ABC board actually does. They forever tell us as in the story at the link, that the board can’t interfere. So what exactly does the board do?
One comment at the link is that the:
“..The ABC has to be frank and fearless in what it does in holding those in power to account and has to do so consistently within its charter..”
But who or what, forces them to do that if the board can’t or won’t?
The appointed ABC Czar, could be someone like Maurice Newman who has massive, big end of town business experience as chairman of the Australian stock exchange and in his capacity as a former chairman of the ABC board, knows how the place operates.
The Czars charter would be to hose out the Augean stables, streamline the operations, shut down niche departments and programs and draft a new set of guidelines and a new charter.
The latest Monday to Friday radio ratings have some programs like mornings (9-midday) on RN on a 1.1% share of available audience. Afternoons are approaching asterisk territory on 0.6%. Drive and evenings are on 1.8%. Their highest ratings are breakfast on 2.5%.
No timeline should be placed on the Czars tenure either or the recalcitrants, activists and operatives will simply wait him out and then resume business as usual.
*****For the record, there has only ever been one inquiry into the ABC since 1932 and that was the Dix inquiry over 40 years ago under the Fraser government.