ABC Resources

ABC Resources

ABC Media Release: Creation of ABC Resources

ABC Managing Director Mark Scott today announced the creation of ABC Resources, a new ABC Division drawing together Production Resources and Resource Hire to improve the ABC’s ability to respond to the changing demands of the digital media environment.

Mr Scott said ABC Resources would provide the ABC with a more flexible, multi-skilled production workforce, able to provide facilities and skilled staff for both internal and external production.

“The ABC is committed in the future to being a broadcaster and a producer of its own material - as it is today,” Mr Scott said.

“That means sourcing the best quality material at the best price from both our own producers and the independent production sector.

“The creation of ABC Resources moves our production staff onto a sustainable model, better suited to our current and future needs in the digital media world in which we now operate.

“ABC Resources will formally start operation from 1 July. It will have a guaranteed level of internal production for ABC Television, underpinned by a more transparent system of transfer pricing to improve efficiency. By incorporating the ABC’s existing Resource Hire business, ABC Resources will also be well placed to market spare capacity, both labour and facilities, to external clients, improving efficiency and generating returns to the ABC.”

Mr Scott said the creation of ABC Resources followed a detailed review of the ABC’s Television production methodology and practice.

“One of the great challenges for the ABC is to keep faith with our traditional audiences on radio and TV, while keeping pace with audience trends in the rapidly emerging digital media space, notably the delivery of content via broadband.

“To meet this challenge we need to harness the potential of new technology and have a more flexible workforce.

“The television production review highlighted these requirements, and the ABC will be progressively implementing a number of its recommendations this year as we pursue more efficient and sustainable production methods that allow us to keep pace with audience expectations.

“The creation of ABC Resources is a key part of this transition, aimed at improving efficiency and managing the shift to new technology.

“Detailed consultation will be held with staff in both Production Resources and Resource Hire and unions around the workforce required for ABC Resources.”

Mr Scott said a number of other recommendations from the TV production review had been accepted or were under consideration, but stressed that the ABC would retain a mix of internal and external production, and continue with TV production in the states.

“One of our major projects this year will be the replacement of TV News studio technology, which is reaching the end of its life cycle,” Mr Scott said.

“In considering replacement technology it is clear that major efficiency gains are possible through a higher level of studio automation, a technology we have successfully trialled in both Sydney and Melbourne with no impact on on-air quality.

“This new technology gives us the opportunity to reduce capital and production costs and we plan to introduce automated studio systems in our television news studios around the country. It will involve greater multiskilling and fewer studio staff, and there will be full consultation with News staff, studio crews and unions. We will be seeking to minimise
redundancies through redeployment and retraining where possible.

“A further project is to improve the efficiency of graphics production for ABC TV News programs, by making better use of the existing capacity of our graphic designers and equipment in Sydney and Melbourne.

“The savings generated through these measures will allow the ABC to produce more content, including more news content, for our audiences. We also plan to set aside some of the savings to fund additional television production from outside Sydney and Melbourne.

“We have a responsibility to our audiences – the taxpayers of Australia – to be as efficient as we can be in order to continue delivering the programs that they know and love.”

Mr Scott said the ABC was also trialling desktop editing systems for use by TV journalists and examining greater use of file based syndication systems in order to further harness the efficiency possible through new technology. These would be the subject of further internal work before final decisions were made.