ABC cancels panel show The Drum over poor ratings | Australian Broadcasting Corporation #ABC #cancels #panel #show #Drum #poor #ratings #Australian #Broadcasting #Corporation

The ABC’s primetime panel show The Drum has been axed after more than a decade on air due to dwindling ratings.

Justin Stevens, the ABC’s news director, said the move was “no reflection on the achievements of the team over the years”, adding that the program had been a successful platform for “unearthing new talent from around Australia”.

“Stopping things does not diminish their previous value or contribution,” Stevens said.

“Many talented people have worked on this program over the years, on camera and behind the scenes. I thank everyone who has been involved in this program.”

The show will end after this week, with the program’s three main hosts – Julia Baird, Ellen Fanning and Dan Bourchier – will all stay on in various roles. The ABC said “fewer than five” positions would be made redundant.

In a statement, the ABC said “the difficult decision not to recommission The Drum was informed by long-term audience trends”.

The Drum’s 6pm timeslot is the lead-in to the 7pm news, and therefore “crucial for determining the main channel audience across the evening”.

The change will mean the news channel focuses on its “core roles of continuous news, breaking news and news video production”. There will be a stronger focus on digital audiences and an expansion of the Asia Pacific Newsroom.

The national program began in 2010 as part of ABC News 24 and was based on the ABC’s The Drum opinion website.

Baird’s new position will combine writing, podcasting and video for ABC News; Fanning will be on Brisbane radio and presenting from the Queensland newsroom, and Bourchier will join ABC News Channel as a presenter.

Stevens said in an email to staff that management would discuss transfer opportunities with staff. “Everyone directly impacted has been contacted and we’re holding more briefings with impacted individuals and teams about the changes,” he said.

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Stevens said the broadcaster was “constantly grappling with budget pressures and rising costs”.

“This is an ongoing challenge for the entire ABC and means weighing extremely difficult options. The changes announced today are not just about finding savings, they’re also about positioning us for success,” he said.

In June, the ABC kicked off a major restructure, which included culling 120 jobs. The most high-profile of those was political editor Andrew Probyn, who said he was “pretty flabbergasted”. He was told the money would be reinvested into social media and digital roles.

Since then, Probyn has started work with the Nine Network.

#ABC #cancels #panel #show #Drum #poor #ratings #Australian #Broadcasting #Corporation

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