#ABC

ABC MD issues an apology with a feather duster

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Good to see it took the ABC three days to come up with this response to the diabolically toxic Q&A program which hosted an expletive-laden show with a bunch of feminists. Pathetic. The producer will be hit over the knuckles with a feather duster.

Monday night’s episode of Q&A was presented in conjunction with The Wheeler Centre’s feminist ideas festival, ‘Broadside’. The intention of the program was to present challenging ideas from high-profile feminists whose expertise ranges across ageism, disability, Indigenous and domestic violence issues.

The ABC acknowledges that the program was provocative in regard to the language used and some of the views presented.

Q&A has always sought to tackle difficult issues and present challenging and thought-provoking content. However, I can understand why some viewers found elements of this episode confronting or offensive.

We have received audience complaints about the program, are assessing the concerns raised and will investigate whether the program met the ABC’s editorial standards.

Huh? Investigate whether it met editorial standards? Just read the transcript,

Some choice moments that have so much balance that even Mary Whitehouse would have accepted the content, are presented here,

MONA ELTAHAWY

“Well, you’re asking the person here who travels the world to say fuck the patriarchy, so I think that what we have to do is start seriously talking about dismantling patriarchy. And when I talk about patriarchy, I’m talking about a white-supremacist, capitalist, imperialist patriarchy…

I go online exactly to tell people to fuck off when they attack me, and I’m very well-known for it...

FRAN KELLY

And at this point, I will utter a language warning on the program, and remind our guests.

MONA ELTAHAWY

No, honestly, it’s… You know, this idea of respectability, this idea of civility, this idea of unity, all of these words, decorum, who invented those words? Those words were invented by white men for the benefit of other white men in systems and institutions that were always designed to be for white men. And they weren’t designed for women like you and me and so many others. Like you said, people of colour and gender-diverse people. They never imagined us in those spaces, and then we show up and we just ruin it for them….

And so those who abide by the system – and Barack Obama was part of the system and remains part of the system… I also disagree with his wife when she says, “When they go low, we go high.” No I fucking don’t. If you go low I’m going to come for you. So, no, I do not have the luxury or the privilege to sit there and be civil with people who do not acknowledge my full humanity. I refuse. Number one…

…So, for those who say, “Be civil,” for those who say, “Be polite,” I have an entire chapter on the political importance of profanity, and I remind them of a Ugandan feminist called Dr Stella Nyanzi who is currently in prison in Uganda because she wrote a poem on Facebook wishing that the mother of the dictator of her country had poisoned him, that her birth canal had poisoned him during birth. And when she was taken to court and doing her sentencing, she was video-taped in, because she’s known for her profanity, she stood there in the video, she took off her top, she jiggled her breasts and she said, “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!” In court!“…

…Nothing. For me, as a feminist the most important thing is to destroy patriarchy. And all of this talk about how, if you talk about violence, you’re just becoming like the men. So, your question is a really important one but I’m going to answer it with another question. How long must we wait for men and boys to stop murdering us, to stop beating us and to stop raping us? How many rapists must we kill? Not the state, because I disagree with the death penalty and I want to get rid of incarceration and I’m with you on the police. So I want women themselves… As a woman I’m asking, how many rapists must we kill until men stop raping us?

We all know what will happen. Assurances by the ABC it will never happen again until the next time which won’t be that far away. We were promised that when Q&A got in trouble over giving a platform to a man who pleaded guilty to threatening to kill ASIO and DFAT officers, Zaky Mallah who went on a rant against then conservative MP Steve Ciobo. Who could forget the “@AbbottLovesAnal” hashtag the show gladly allowed during the former PM’s term? A mistake, honest. Just like Triple J’s guide to blowjobs.

The ABC should be defunded and forced into the TVNZ business model of having to provide content customers are willing to look at and advertisers willing to support. If the organization is so confident it has an audience for its content, it should put its confidence where its mouth is.

If you want to look at why the ABC doesn’t need more money, look at the staff costs to income ratio. Despite plateauing between 2008 & 2011 it quickly exploded. It now sits at 46% of the government handout generated. That is $524mn on staff costs per year and rising. 4,939 staff grace the ABC. Funding per employee is $232,000. A decade ago it was $232,700. Is that what the management target for hiring? Give the ABC $2bn and presumably, it will have employment costs of $1bn.

Channel 9 must fight hard for every advertising penny but still manages a 29.1% staff cost to revenue ratio. $380m in staff costs on $1.3bn revenue. 3,310 employees convert to $392,750 in revenue per staff member.

Sevenwest Media raked in $1.62bn in revenue on staff costs of $395mn or 24%. The same cutthroat world of earning a living instead of feeling entitled to one. Seven West has 4,528 staff meaning it generates $357,800 in revenue per employee.

Maybe ABC should be forced to channel the New Zealand state broadcaster, TVNZ. After all ABC fawns over NZ PM Jacinda Ardern, all the time and she hasn’t demanded the state take TVNZ back to a taxpayer-funded model. It gets $310m of its $318m purse from advertising. It’s staff costs excluding capitalizing into programs is $72m which converts to 23% staff cost/revenues. They do with 642 FT employees. Revenue/employee is $495,000. It paid a dividend back to the government of $3.7m. i.e. it is a revenue-generating asset.

In 2007, TVNZ had $339m in revenue. It employed 1,023 people. Therefore revenue per employee was $331,380. So in a decade, TVNZ efficiency improved almost 50%. A 6% cut to revenue on 63% of the staff.

Instead of the long term ratings slide at the ABC across metro and regional Australia, TVNZ’s figures keep improving. Last year, TVNZ had a 43.2% all day audience up 1.3%.

Comparing 2017/18 and 2015/16 at the ABC we see that TV audience reach for metro fell from 55.2% to 49.7% and regional slumped from 60.3% to 54.0%. If we go back to 2007/8 the figures were 60.1% and 62.4% respectively. For the 2017/18 period, the ABC targets 50% reach. Hardly a stretch.

ABC clearly has no place receiving funding with content like this. As it stands, the ABC isn’t out of control. It is in full command of its content. The Minister for Communications has lost control and continues to let the broadcaster do as it pleases – even allow shows with Aboriginal actresses pretending to defecate on white people or kids programs that take a stab at white privilege. The ABC is so left-leaning it would make Stalin’s Pravda blush for being too conservative.

The ultimate irony is that things are so bad at the ABC that the latest Annual Report revealed a survey that showed staff engagement at 46%, 6 points lower than the previous survey which placed the organization in the bottom quartile of ALL Australian & NZ businesses. It is so bad that many staff complained that poor performers are not dealt with but tolerated.

72% might believe climate change is affecting them personally but…

…only 19% willing to spend more than $500 per year on climate abatement. That’s the result from the online survey conducted by the Australia Talks National Survey (sponsored by the ABC, Vox Pop Labs and University of Melbourne).

The Climate Council was quick to upload a post of Ita Buttrose, who spoke of politicians who were blinkered to climate change, were ignoring the will of the majority of the Australian people. Bill Shorten wasn’t blinkered. Look what happened to him. He was beaten by a coal hugging knuckle dragger from ‘The Shire.’

Although, the question of “climate change” being the number one issue (72%) is misleading statistically given that it was the only area one could “enter” any answer for the most pressing problem whereas the questionnaire on every other issue bar year of birth and postcode was predetermined by multiple choice. So that would leave a lot of wiggle room for the survey collectors to select answers that supported “climate change.” One has to honestly wonder how climate change is affecting a majority of Aussies personally?

The question was worded as “please enter a [presumably single] response“. So if we add up these single answers published afterwards, we get answers totaling 380%. 72%/380% =19%. The same number as were willing to spend $500pa+ to save the planet.

Other interesting insights showed that people who took the survey in NT, QLD or WA, where there are higher numbers of Aborigines, voted overwhelmingly in favour of Australia Day staying as it is.

Apparently CM is 78% more right wing than others Aussies. Is that accurate?

Would love to see the raw data, including the age of respondents across the spectrum.

Don’t be surprised to see the media bang the drum that almost 3/4s of Aussies are afraid of climate change on a personal basis. Despite that, 78% people are positive about their own futures. Go figure?

Perhaps the most glaring issue with this survey is the ability for individuals to take the survey as many times as he/she/ZE likes which undermines the credibility of the data.

ABC lowers the bar (again)

Good to see our tax dollars get allocated so wisely at the public broadcaster. ABC’s JJJ music wing thought an article on oral sex titled, “A beginner’s guide to blowies” was just what the audience required. It will probably get put down as an oversight with assurances it won’t happen again until it does.

Your ABC – shocking inefficiency created by demotivated staff

While it might seem like another beat up on the ABC, we need to take a long hard look at how it operates. How is it TVNZ can operate as a self funded government entity which collects a currency adjusted 1/4 the ABC’s revenue on 1/8th staff? How many people actually understand their ABC?

Salary increases and budget increases have a 90.34% R-squared correlation meaning that budget increases tend to lead to paying higher salaries.

While some may talk about “good” content, sadly ABC’s ratings have slid considerably for over a decade in regional and metro areas. TVNZ’s have risen. So hard core left has the ABC shifted that it has created a narrower audience. The MD openly stated that if Australians wanted to protect the ABC they shouldn’t vote LNP. So much for respecting its charter which bans political bias.

TVNZ must cater to the free market for advertising dollars therefore content must meet the audience needs. It’s simple. ABC should follow suit.

Throwing more money at the ABC has not solved ratings problems. One guesses that diverting more tax dollars at kids programs that disparage white privilege, comedy shows that openly call conservative politicians “c*nts” during by-elections and producers that allows indigenous comedians to defecate on a white woman probably has a very narrow audience. Content IS the problem.

Look at The Guardian as case in point of journalism that fails to address market needs. It is free and in recent years gone cap in hand for donations because its user base aren’t prepared to stump up cash to support it. Do we need a public broadcaster to subsidize views of the left? The Guardian is simply competing in the “same” area as the ABC. ABC starves The Guardian of oxygen because we as taxpayers fully fund it. The ABC crowds out left leaning media.

Look no further than CNN. It has doubled, even trebled down on its unhinged bias. The ratings have plummeted. Fox on the other hand has risen. Whether one likes the content of Fox is irrelevant. Advertisers go there because the reach is self evident.

Moan all you want about Murdoch. His users pay and the ratings are up. Don’t shoot him if his product sells. Try self reflection. The Sydney Morning Herald tried to tell users its product was worth subscribing to. Unfortunately it ignored slumping readership and ended up being acquired by Nine Network. If you don’t cater to your audience, they won’t support you.

Staff levels at the ABC have never been higher. Ratings never been lower. Lifting the budget hasn’t caused any change. Cutting dollars will cause much needed restructuring. It is like feeding a dying patient with more morphine hoping to numb the pain. Unfortunately the body grows resistance to that. ABC staff feel this.

In the 2018 annual report, the ABC staff survey revealed engagement is at 46%, 6% below the previous survey. This puts in the bottom quartile of all ANZ businesses. #Reform desperately needed.

ABC staff complained that management doesn’t do enough to get rid of under-performers. Another clear signal that state-sponsored mediocrity is tolerated.

The culture of the organization won’t be turned around by management unless it is given a reality check of being rapidly withdrawn from the taxpayer teat. That way the c.70% of staff dedicated to content can finally listen to what the broader public want to consume rather than the echo chamber they live in. By the way, those who love the ABC needn’t worry. The limited number of good programs will stay if the audiences demand them. The unhinged radical left programming can be cut with little loss to anyone with a modicum of intelligence.

Your ABC vs Jacinda’s TVNZ

If you want to look at why the ABC doesn’t need more money, look at the staff costs to income ratio. Despite plateauing between 2008 & 2011 it quickly exploded. It now sits at 46% of income generated. That is $524mn on staff costs per year and rising. 4,939 staff grace the ABC. Revenue per employee is $232,000. A decade ago it was $232,700. Is that what the management target for hiring? Give the ABC $2bn and presumably it will have employment costs of $1bn.

Channel 9 must fight hard for every advertising penny but still manages a 29.1% staff cost to revenue ratio. $380m in staff costs on $1.3bn revenue. 3,310 employees converts to $392,750 revenue per staff member.

Sevenwest Media raked in $1.62bn in revenue on staff costs of $395mn or 24%. Same cutthroat world of earning a living instead of expecting one. Seven West has 4,528 staff meaning it generates $357,800 in revenue per employee.

Maybe ABC should channel the New Zealand state broadcaster, TVNZ. It gets $310m of its $318m purse from advertising. It’s staff costs excluding capitalizing into programs is $72m which converts to 23% staff cost/revenues. They do with 642 FT employees. Revenue/employee is $495,000. It paid a dividend back to the government of $3.7m. i.e. it is a revenue generating asset.

In 2007, TVNZ had $339m in revenue. It employed 1,023 people. Therefore revenue per employee was $331,380. So in a decade, TVNZ efficiency improved almost 50%. A 6% cut to revenue on 63% of the staff.

Instead of the long term ratings slide at the ABC across metro and regional Australia, TVNZ’s figures keep improving. Last year, TVNZ had a 43.2% all day audience up 1.3%.

Comparing 2017/18 and 2015/16 at the ABC we see that TV audience reach for metro fell from 55.2% to 49.7% and regional slumped from 60.3% to 54.0%. If we go back to 2007/8 the figures were 60.1% and 62.4% respectively. For the 2017/18 period, the ABC targets 50% reach. Hardly a stretch.

Maybe ScoMo should consider that the ABC compete and become self funding? The New Zealanders aren’t just better than us in rugby union but also in media.

Legitimate question or ABC soul searching?

This must be the most bitter pill for ABC Melbourne to swallow. In what seems to be a legitimate question to the audience, the reality is it smacks more of the taxpayer-funded corporation’s self-reflection that cuts are on the way. The ABC must be in a funereal mood. When its own MD speaks about not voting for the Coalition if taxpayers want to save the ABC, it is clear where the bias lies.

We don’t need to look very far for evidence. Whether the use of ABC Kids to talk of white privilege or calling conservative politicians c*nts. The ABC even found enough petty cash to hire Clementine Ford who proudly deals in profanity. The programming promotes all of the left’s key agendas – global warming, identity politics, class warfare and no diversity of thought. Hard left journalist Fran Kelly even sang a song bagging out the Liberal Party when Turnbull’s seat flipped to Kerryn Phelps.

PM Scott Morrison should move to hammer the ABC due to its unquestionable bias. Its inefficiency is beyond comprehension.

Since 2008, the average salary and benefits of ABC’s staff have risen 23% from $86,908 to $106,284. Total staff numbers have risen from 4,499 to 4,939 in 2018. Therefore salaries as a percentage of the ABC revenues have risen from 37.9% of the budget to over 50%. How can this be? Why should taxpayers be forking out more cash when it is not allocated wisely? Morrison’s government is right to cut $84mn from the budget.

The multicultural SBS has seen its budget grow from A$259mn in 2008 to A$398mn in 2018. SBS staff numbers have grown from 844 to 1,453 over the same period with average salaries rising from A$82,689 to A$94,010 or +13.7%. Which begs the question why is the SBS able to operate at 34.3% of the budget in salaries while the ABC is at 50%? Surely the ABC’s economies of scale should work in its favour? Clearly not.

On a global basis, the BBC generates GBP 4.954bn and employs 21,000 staff. 22.7% of those revenues are spent on salaries. Average salaries have grown 17% since 2007/8. The average income per employee at the BBC is now GBP236,852 (A$428,000) thanks to the generous mandatory licensing fees. Average salaries at the Beeb are now GBP 55,651 ($A100,728).

The ABC conducted its second Corporation-wide employee engagement survey in late 2017. The previous survey was conducted in November 2015, with outcomes reported in the 2016 Annual Report.

The overall employee engagement score from the 2017 survey was 46%, down six points from the 2015 results. 6% down!!!!

This moved the ABC from the median to the bottom quartile when benchmarked with other Australian and New Zealand organisations. Bottom quartile!!! 

Employees expressed the need for improvement in several areas, including:

• that the ABC Leadership Team needs to be more visible, accessible and communicate more openly.

 that the ABC needs to do a better job of managing poor performance. Even the staff want to move duds on. A commercial spirit among the staff?

• that employees want to know what action is being taken to address feedback received in the survey.

The ABC management (no longer with us) conducted sessions on the back of the survey.

Three key priorities were identified from these sessions:

1. The way in which the ABC recruits, contracts, inducts, develops and manages its people needs a huge amount of work. Inefficiency!!!

2. More communication is needed between teams – employees want to know what other teams are doing, and want less top-down, hierarchical communication. Bureaucracy!!!

3. Many of the ABC’s processes, tools and technology don’t work effectively for its people. Obsolescence!!!

So instead of giving the ABC more money, perhaps an efficiency drive driven by a change manager could achieve the same outcomes desired by the market for far less cost. This reads like an organization that has too much fat.

To that effect, the annual report also noted:

Bureaucracy Stop was launched in March 2018 with the aim of creating a working environment with less bureaucracy and red tape. The program wrapped three months later with 147 ideas on simplification of processes, 55 of which were resolved by the end of the financial year.Where a simplification solution wasn’t available in response to an idea, an explanation was provided as to why that process needed to remain.

What were the dollar savings for these 55 improvements?

Of course the ABC can’t tell us!

Despite the ABC not having one journalist who took the side of a potential Coalition win, they may well ask how their bias couldn’t drag Labor across the line? Maybe it’s the product. Time for Morrison to appoint proper crisis managers inside the group to make it efficient.

Cut the crap

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Labor Party MP Richard Marles posted this picture to his Facebook page pointing to the threat of the 2014 budget ahead of the 2013 election. It is all on the public record to see that this is blatant rubbish. Of course, the hope is that the “stupid” voters will not bother to fact check these claims 2 days ahead of an election. CM was fascinated to see how these numbers stack up against the actual budget papers. Complete fiction.

Entire health spending in 2013-14 was $64.6bn. In the 2014-15 projection, it was $68.1bn. Up $3.5bn. How does Labor get to -$57bn? In 2018-19, health spending was $78.8bn. The budget paper notes, “The increase in expenses of 6.8 per cent in real terms from 2013-14 to 2014-15 reflects the Commonwealth’s commitment to provide additional hospital funding from 2014-15 under current agreements with the States.

Education spending was $29.75bn in 2013-14 and projected $30.39bn the following year. (+$640mn). Technically if $30bn was cut from schools there would be no budget at all. In 2018-19, education spending was $34.7bn.

Government school spending in 2013-14 was $2.8bn which leapt to $5.1bn in the 2014-15 budget. In 2018-19 it was $7.7bn.

Indigenous Affairs welfare fell by $104m in the 2014-15 budget. In 2018-19, this budget was DOUBLE the 2014-15 number at $2.1bn.

ABC spending (split into TV & Radio – refer page 6-39) went up $18mn not -$35.5mn. In 2018-19 the budget was $1.03bn. As CM has written before, the ABC is a shoddily run organisation. Staff engagement at the ABC is 46%, down 6% from the previous survey. It isn’t a money problem. It is a management problem.

On page 6-11, income support for seniors went  UP from $39.5bn to $42.1bn). In 2018-19 it was $46.8bn. Total assistance to the aged went UP from $54.98bn to $57.97bn in 2014-15. In 2018-19 that sum was $66.77bn.

Welcome to pre-election political accounting 101.