Category Archives: International Broadcasting

The ABC “was at war with itself” before Michelle Guthrie was fired

(Source: The Age via Richard Langley and John Figliozzi)

Michelle Guthrie wanted to make one thing clear. “I love my job,” she said when we met one winter morning at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s inner-Sydney head office. Granted, being managing director and editor-in-chief of the ABC at one of the most turbulent times in its history was a big responsibility. But the perks! “Had a conversation the other night with Laura Tingle,” she said, referring to the chief political correspondent for the ABC TV current affairs program, 7.30. “I mean, who gets to do that?” Guthrie laughed, and I looked at her closely, wondering for a moment whether she was sending herself up.

I had asked her how she was coping with the stress. Even then, long before she was sacked by ABC board chairman Justin Milne, who then made his own dramatic exit, it seemed a reasonable question. In the more than two years Guthrie had been running the ABC, the national broadcaster had reeled from crisis to crisis – its budget slashed, its journalism slammed, its value to the Australian people questioned. But she dismissed any suggestion that she allowed this stuff to get to her, insisting that despite the ride’s bumpiness, she was having fun. She gave another example of an exhilarating encounter: a couple of days earlier, she had been leaving the office to catch a plane to Canberra when she spotted Dylan Alcott, champion wheelchair athlete and ABC Radio Triple J presenter. She introduced herself and chatted to Alcott for a few minutes before climbing into her cab. “I get energy from amazing people like Dylan,” she said, adding that she had a spring in her step for the rest of her journey. “I sort of skipped through the airport. It was fantastic.”

Guthrie’s words now seem almost poignant. At the time, her exuberance just struck me as odd. It was as if the small and personable woman beaming across the ABC’s boardroom table was speaking to me from some other plane – one that was slightly out of kilter with reality. In May, the federal Liberal-National Coalition government had announced a three-year indexation freeze on ABC funding – in effect an $84 million cut to the broadcaster’s budget. This followed a $254 million funding cut imposed in 2014 under the then Coalition prime minister, Tony Abbott. More than 1000 ABC jobs had been scrapped over four years, along with many fine programs.

I knew the mood of the remaining 4000 employees was considerably less upbeat than Guthrie’s.

[…]Guthrie, 52, had been appointed to the $900,000-a-year ABC post in 2015, after a stint as a Singapore-based Google executive. A lawyer by training, she had spent 14 years in Rupert Murdoch’s global pay-TV empire – working for BSkyB in London and for Foxtel in her home town of Sydney before taking over from Rupert’s younger son, James, as the Hong Kong-based chief executive of Asian network, Star TV. Heading the ABC made her a public figure for the first time in her career. People recognised her everywhere, she told me. “I get a lot of, ‘Thank you for doing your job. You’re doing a great service for Australia.’”

She had fans within the ABC, too. “There are pockets within the organisation who think she is fantastic,” said Sinddy Ealy, secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union’s ABC section. But Ealy was aware of widespread disaffection: “There is just this really strong feeling that the leadership is not very good.” Her regretful tone was echoed by Norman Swan, presenter of Radio National’s Health Report and a recipient of Australian journalism’s highest honour, the Gold Walkley. “I like Michelle,” Swan said. “She’s a nice person.” But as managing director? “To be blunt, I just don’t think she is up to the job.”

The ABC board was moving towards the same conclusion. As its members held meetings behind closed doors, past and present ABC staffers talked frankly to me about Guthrie and the corporate culture over which she presided. Few of those interviewed held the managing director solely responsible for the malaise afflicting the national broadcaster, but most agreed on one thing: in the lead-up to her removal, the ABC was an organisation on the verge of a nervous breakdown.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Age.

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Alex’s updated frequency charts

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Alex, who notes that he’s updated his frequency charts once again. Alex writes:

I have updated my short wave charts for the summer season. There was a lot on this summer, so sadly the charts are rather late in the season, but at least there is still a month to go.

Nice to report an increase in what you can hear clearly in English in the UK. Radio Kuwait seems to have a new transmitter and are pumping in a good signal in the mornings on 15.53 from 05-08 GMT to add to Romania plus music from Radio Austria and Greece. Short Wave lives on!

Indeed it does, Alex!  Thank you for once again updating and sharing your excellent charts!

Click here to download Alex’s updated shortwave charts.

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Michelle Guthrie sacked as board seeks “fresh leadership” and focus on “long-term interests” of ABC engagement

(Source: The Interpreter via Michael Taniwha)

Restoring Australia’s Pacific media presence

by Kevin McQuillan

The departure of ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie just two-and-a-half years into her five-year term reflects the board’s decision to seek “fresh leadership”, according to Chairman Justin Milne. Announcing Guthrie’s sacking today, Milne said “the board’s foremost consideration was the long-term interests of our own people and the millions of Australians who engage with ABC content every week”.

What Milne didn’t talk about was the millions of listeners, viewers and online visitors to the ABC who have been lost since the federal government and the ABC itself made cuts to its international output. The appointment of a new Managing Director opens up the opportunity for Guthrie’s replacement to re-engage the ABC with its international audience, particularly in the Pacific.

As respected former international broadcasting executives Ian MacIntosh and Bruce Dover pointed out last month on The Interpreter: “Australia’s international voice, once strong, influential and broadcast across much of the Asia Pacific, has become little more than a croak into the ether.”

The demise of a strong Australian media voice throughout the Pacific has seen Radio NZ Pacific (formerly Radio NZ International) become the dominant international media outlet in the south-west Pacific, Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia. Lurking in the background is Radio China International, which has taken many of the ABC’s shortwave frequencies, and is reportedly spending billions in foreign language programming to boost its presence.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Interpreter.

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All India Radio kicks off 80th anniversary today

"India (orthographic projection)" by Ssolbergj (talk) - Own work,This vector image was created with Inkscape.Aquarius.geomar.deThe map has been created with the Generic Mapping Tools: http://gmt.soest.hawaii.edu/ using one or more of these public domain datasets for the relief:ETOPO2 (topography/bathymetry): http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/global/global.htmlGLOBE (topography): http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/topo/gltiles.htmlSRTM (topography): http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/English | italiano | ?????????? | ??? | +/?Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:India_(orthographic_projection).svg#mediaviewer/File:India_(orthographic_projection).svg

(Source: India.com)

New Delhi, Sep 30 (PTI) On October 1, 1939, the All India Radio made its first broadcast for foreign listeners — a Pashto service started by the then British rulers to counter the Nazi Germany propaganda during World War II.

The national radio broadcaster has decided that the 80th anniversary of the historic event will be marked by year-long celebrations beginning this week right up till October 1 next year.

The external services of the All India Radio (AIR), though began with the aim of serving the propaganda of the British colonialists, have now transformed into the “voice of India” at the world stage, officials said.

“Last year, the decision was taken that October 1 will be observed as External Broadcasting Day and Monday will be the first such occasion. All Indian missions abroad will observe the External Broadcasting Day,” Amlanjyoti Mazumdar, Head External Services Division, AIR, told PTI.

“The missions are going to circulate the material that we have sent them to sensitise the listeners in their respective countries about AIR’s external services,” he said.[…]

Click here to read the full article at India.com.

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Update: Photos of WBCQ station construction

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Lee Reynolds, who shares these images and notes after a recent visit to WBCQ in Monticello, Maine:

Looks as if the basic antenna construction is all done up there now.


Thank you, Lee. Wow–that is an amazing antenna! I can only image what the foundation of that tower would entail!  Thank you for the updates!

Click here to see Lee’s previous photos.

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