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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A reprieve for specialist religious broadcasting at RN?

Readers of Desert will recall a series of posts regarding new programming at the ABC's Radio National in 2009 which would result in the axing of the Religion Report. Please see posts here, here and here.

This afternoon Crikey has published the following article:

Glenn Dyer writes:

Is the head of ABC Radio, Sue Howard, about to leave the national broadcaster?

Talk around the ABC is that the Corporation's Managing director, Mark Scott, has decided to find a new head of radio and Ms Howard doesn't fit his view of what's need for the gig.

Michael Mason, the current head of ABC Local radio, Kate Dundas, who has served in various positions in ABC radio is another contender, but a late bloomer is Linda Bracken, who heads up the Triple J Network.

There's talk Ms Howard's future at the ABC would have been clarified late last week, but there was a Radio National function on Friday and then in the Australian's Media section on Monday, Mark Scott was named media person of the year, so an announcement about Ms Howard's future might have been a bit off.

Mr Scott is understood to have been less than impressed with the way the restructuring of some of Radio National's programming next year was handled by the network's management and the management of the division.

Discontent with Howard apparently dates to the bungled decision to reshape Radio National programming, including the rescheduling and abolition of several specialist programs. Management's intentions only came to light after an unauthorised early morning editorial from the Religion Report's Stephen Crittenden in October. The changes might have been the sort of thing of which Mark Scott might approve, but the implementation was a PR disaster for Radio National. 

Calls to ABC Corporate were not returned by deadline.


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