ABC: Guthrie’s glass ceiling is crystal chandelier
Guffs, Gaffs and Guthrie—Good Gord!
Swinging aimlessly in the corporate crystal chandelier sipping champers is the beleaguered ABC boss Michelle Guthrie wondering how things could go so badly. She could not have known that her predecessor Mark Scott had already created many time bombs in the form of his extreme Leftwing governance. It’s standard practice for lousy administrators to do a runner leaving their mess for the next sucker to cop the blame—Guthrie fitted the fall guy perfectly. The ABC needs total reorganisation. Program repeats are often three times in 24-hours with rotating commentators. Purchased segments about global warming pervade the airwaves with frequent propaganda from novice theorists. Foreign language news programs should be abolished leaving those that want to access all kinds on their phones and computers. The waste is formidable!
The ABC paid out more than $2.6 million in bonuses, including nine of more than $50,000, to its highest-paid staff last year.
Days after the public broadcaster’s news director warned that there was “no more fat to cut”, the Herald Sun reports that 189 employees on executive pay grades were rewarded with more than $2.2m in bonuses, while 190 non-executive employees received a total of $384,989, in the 2016-17 financial year.
ABC paid $2.6m in bonuses to staff
Two people were given $69,725 on top of their average $350,000 salaries, according to the ABC’s remuneration disclosure information.
While the ABC has refused to disclose publicly how much its individual employees are paid — despite demands from the Turnbull government — its annual report details how taxpayer money is being spent on staff.
Most of the ABC’s roughly 4700 staff are entitled to a bonus of 2 per cent of their base salary following a favourable performance review.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield announced in last week’s budget that the ABC’s annual funding indexation would be frozen for three years from July next year. The move is expected to cost the organisation $84 million.
In a speech to the Melbourne Press Club last week, ABC news director Gaven Morris warned the national broadcaster was as lean as it could be. “Back in 1987, your ABC famously cost each Australian 8c a day; in 1987-dollar terms we now cost each Australian just 4c a day,” Morris said. “In other words, since the 1980s, our per-capita funding has halved in real terms … Make no mistake, there is no more fat to cut in ABC News. From this point on, we’re cutting into muscle.”
According to its annual report, the ABC spent more than $10m on market research and promotion, and $1.54m on consultants in 2016-17.
Consultancy firm Trevor-Roberts Associates was paid $64,950 to give career advice on redundancies, while McGees Property was paid $217,118 for property valuation and advice. A number of others were paid up to $178,750 for “strategic advice”.
An ABC spokesman told the Herald Sun all remuneration rates were disclosed and bonuses were linked to performance.
“Remuneration rates for the ABC leadership team are benchmarked using an external, independent provider against market rates,” the spokesman said.
Senator Fifield told the ABC last week the decision to freeze the organisation’s funding was about “ensuring that the ABC continues to be a good steward of taxpayers’ dollars”. “I’ve yet to find a commonwealth government organisation that has reached a state of perfection,” he said. “I don’t think the ABC has achieved that.”