Oz pubcaster to make cuts

Hoped-for gov't funds were not forthcoming

SYDNEY — The Australian Broadcasting Corp. has made good its threat to cut services after failing to persuade the government to provide extra funds.

On Monday the pubcaster’s board approved an annual reduction of $A26 million ($17 million) in spending on programming and overhead to bring it within its $460 million per year budget.

Managing director Russell Balding said 20-25 jobs will be trimmed through redeployment and by not filling vacancies.

The measures include the previously announced closure of the ABC’s two digital TV channels as well as cuts in the advertising budget, factual and educational programming and live sporting events.

In news and current affairs, savings are being made in international operations and by reformatting the series “Foreign Correspondent.” Cuts also affect radio networks, new media and audience research.

“This has been a difficult process, and the losses of program content and staff is deeply regrettable,” Balding said. “However, the ABC must operate within the funds provided by government.”