Picture: STRINGER Image/Shutterstock.com

Picture: STRINGER Image/Shutterstock.com

Regional focus boost, ABC Life to become ABC Local as part of major restructure

Regional focus boost, ABC Life to become ABC Local as part of major restructure

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ABC aiming to have 75 per cent of content makers based outside Sydney by 2025.

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Regional bureaus are expected to be largely spared as the ABC axes up to 250 jobs while increasing local content as part of a major restructure.

Presenting a five-year plan to staff on Wednesday, ABC managing director David Anderson confirmed that content would be reduced and ABC Life rebranded "ABC Local" as part of the restructure.

Spending on digital streaming service iView will be increased, but the 7.45am radio news bulletin will be dumped.

Redundancies and savings are expected to affect every division of the national broadcaster.

"This is a difficult time for us, as it is for the broader economy and community as we all struggle with the events of this year," Mr Anderson said.

It's understood the re-badged ABC Local will focus on suburban and regional news coverage.

The national broadcaster had long flagged cuts after the federal government announced a three-year indexation pause, leading to a budget shortfall of $84 million.

Mr Anderson said the ABC was aiming to have 75 per cent of its content makers based outside its Sydney headquarters by 2025, as it sought to become more relevant to more people.

Friends of the ABC spokeswoman Margaret Reynolds said now was the "worst time for the federal government to be continuing its ideological assault on the ABC by imposing financial austerity on an essential national service".

"We have all witnessed just how important the ABC in times of national crisis ... summer bushfires and national pandemic emergency," she said.

"Now as Australia faces recession and unemployment, we all need the ABC more than ever."

With Australian Associated Press

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