SBS facing budget cuts

October 11, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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SBS TV and Radio are facing significant budget cuts by the Federal government…causing concern for the future of community radio and in particular both the Hebrew and Jewish broadcasts.

sbsA spokesperson for SBS told J-Wire: “No decisions have been made to reduce the number of language programs SBS broadcasts. SBS continues to work with the government regarding its funding in the context of the efficiency review. As that process is still ongoing, SBS is not in a position to start speculating about any outcomes. Our focus continues to be on delivering services for Australia’s diverse society and reflected by our Charter.”

J-Wire asked Minister for Communication Malcolm Turnbull’s office as to how budget cuts may impact on programming. Their advisers responded: “In early 2014, the Minister for Communications established an efficiency study to assist the broadcasters to manage their businesses better by examining the “back of house” costs of operations and identifying savings through increased efficiencies and reduced expenses. Programming expenditure was not included in the terms of reference for the study nor in the recommendations it made.

The Government undertook this project to assist the ABC and SBS Boards meet one of their key legislative duties to ensure that the functions of the Corporation are performed efficiently and with the maximum benefit to the people of Australia.

The Government is determined to repair the Budget so that we can build a stronger economy and all government bodies must play a part in achieving that goal. The Government’s position was not that the national broadcasters should be immune to savings, but that those savings they should be effected in an informed manner.

A working draft of the Efficiency Study has been handed to both national broadcasters to assist them in managing their businesses more efficiently and the government is currently working with them to achieve this goal.

The Government knows that the easiest way for the ABC and SBS to cut costs is to cut programming rather than tackle outdated business and administrative practices.

The Efficiency Study was designed to encourage the public broadcasters to make the tougher, but more worthwhile, decisions to save costs by cutting waste and inefficiencies which will enable them to significantly reduce their cost base over the long term. Internal programming decisions are a matter for the SBS Board and management.

As ABC and SBS management know very well following the completion of the Efficiency Study in which their finance executives assisted, there is more than ample capacity for the national broadcasters to achieve substantial savings without impacting on programming. Suggestions that popular programmes or services are at risk because of Budget savings are not credible.”

A spokesperson for the Jewish community told J-Wire: “The night before the election Tony Abbott said on SBS in an interview with Anton Enus that he wouldnt cut SBS’s budget.”




One Response to “SBS facing budget cuts”
  1. Robert Bontschek says:

    If all the Jewish announcer at SBS have concerns that they may longer have a voice or show, they can be heard Australia wide on J-Air via the internet and in Melbourne on 87.8 FM
    Just go to our website… email an application for your program and we will reply.
    Robert Bontschek.
    Station Manager. VP

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