Oz pubcaster braces for layoffs

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The Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s work force is bracing for a round of pink slips after the pubcaster's managing director, Mark Scott, confirmed Thursday that there will be redundancies under a restructuring of its television production capabilities.

Scott didn't specify the number of staff that would be made redundant or the cost savings involved, but he said that the creation of a new ABC Resources division will "provide the ABC with a more flexible, multiskilled production work force able to provide facilities and skilled staff to both internal and external production."

Part of the plan includes replacing TV News studio technology with automated systems. It follows the announcement this month that the ABC would build a continuous news center that will deliver news 24 hours a day to the ABC's TV channels, along with ABC Online, Australia Network, radio, IPTV, PDAs and mobile phones (HR 3/14).

ABC staff and their unions argue that the moves will lead to all production at the national broadcaster eventually being outsourced to the independent sector.

Scott said the broadcaster is committed to "sourcing the best-quality material at the best price from both our own producers and the independent production sector."
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