SBS-ABC merger cuts $43.5m

SBS will have its annual funding cut by $2m each year for the next four years while the ABC will face cuts in the order of $9m per year. Both broadcasters will merge their "back office" operations and eight people at the ABC will lose their jobs as a result. The Budget papers show no reduction in SBS staffing levels.

The cuts to be shared by SBS and the ABC total $43.5m over four years which is equal to a one per cent reduction in base government funding of the ABC

Click here to read the full story . . .

Free speech law will affect SBS

Last month the Attorney General, Senator George Brandis, QC, said, “People do have a right to be bigots you know. In a free country people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted.” He was defending the Abbott Government’s proposed repeal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in the Freedom of Speech Bill 2014.

Section 18C currently makes it “unlawful for a person to . . . offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people . . .

Click here to read the full story . . .

haha LOL very funny

As part of its drive to increase Australian content, SBS is offering funding of $20,000 to would-be writers and producers of comedy to make their scripts a reality. The SBS Comedy Runway is a national comedy initiative to find the next generation of comedic talent. SBS has committed to fund and present a new online pilot once a month, every month.

Applicants must fill out a SBS Comedy Runway Coversheet, provide a short breakdown of the proposed concept (no more than one page), attach a pilot script for a five-minute episode, with a brief

Click here to read the full story . . .

New Codes defy SBS community

When SBS released their new Codes of Practice at the end of February, they ignored 90 percent of viewers by refusing to include SBS’s definition of a natural break, the insertion of commercial breaks into TV programs.

The Codes are supposed to outline the practices and principles the broadcaster follows in consideration of community concerns and the SBS Charter. Should the Codes be breached, a viewer may take a complaint to the regulator, the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA). But ACMA has no power to review any guidelines that are

Click here to read the full story . . .

Skrzynski could have done more

The first two Directors ever appointed based on merit to the SBS Board of Directors were SBS’s Chairman, Joseph Skrzynski AO, and Director, Elleni Bereded-Samuel. Their term on the SBS Board is due to expire next month.

The Skrzynski story

In the lead-up to his five year anniversary, Save Our SBS concludes our series on the historic first ever merit-based appointments to the SBS Board. 

Last month we profiled Bereded-Samuel. Now Joseph Skrzynski

Skrzynski entered the world of broadcasting five years ago with experience as a viewer, listener and financier.

To

Click here to read the full story . . .

Efficiency study of SBS

The Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has announced an enquiry into the national broadcasters. The ABC and SBS Efficiency Study will not review the broadcasters’ charters, or its editorial and programming decisions.

The study, to be conducted by the Department of Communications, will conclude in April and the findings given to the Minister. The SBS Chairman will also receive a copy.

The last departmental review of SBS was the ABC SBS Review which allowed direct input from the public.

The current study will include a review of advertising on SBS and operational, governance, structural, financial and

Click here to read the full story . . .

Bereded-Samuel ‘Living Legend’ asset to SBS Board

The first two Directors ever appointed based on merit to the SBS Board of Directors were SBS’s Chairman, Joseph Skrzynski, and Director, Elleni Bereded-Samuel. Their term on the SBS Board is due to expire on 14 March. 

Who is Skrzynski and Bereded-Samuel?

In the lead-up to their five year anniversary of these historic first ever merit-based appointments, Save Our SBS takes a close look at each, their work at SBS and background, commencing with Ms Bereded-Samuel.

Still to come Save Our SBS profiles SBS Chair, Joseph Skrzynski

Bereded-Samuel is one

Click here to read the full story . . .

SBS merit appointments may be tested

Five years ago, when Joseph Skrzynski and Elleni Bereded-Samuel were appointed to the SBS Board by the previous government and subsequent legislation introduced that determined an appointments process, it was said to remove the politics from Board appointments in favour of a merit-based system in selecting and appointing Directors to the SBS and ABC Boards. Before that, Directors were hired and fired as the Minister saw fit.

Under Labor’s merit system, which Tony Abbott’s government inherited, interested persons are to be interviewed by a panel that is said to be at ‘arms length from the

Click here to read the full story . . .

Local content to increase

SBS are planning a one-third increase in their local on-screen content this year.

The decision to increase the content came about following a Senate Estimates hearing last year where Greens communication spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam, asked SBS’s Managing Director Michael Ebeid, why the broadcaster had only invested 37 per cent of television advertising dollars on local programs, when, upon the introduction of in-program advertising, an SBS media release had promised that 100 percent of advertising revenue would be used to make Australian programs.

“SBS has directed all advertising revenue to program making and the commissioning

Click here to read the full story . . .

Précis of a study of 2044 viewers of SBS television on advertising, Charter, relevance and other matters

Earlier this year, Save Our SBS undertook a study of 2044 viewers of SBS television. Those studied came from every State and Territory. More than a third were not born in Australia. The findings of the study form part of a detailed submission to the SBS Community Advisory Committee & the SBS Board. The full submission may be read in HTML or PDF format. Five recommendations are made.

The study found that SBS had not been inclusive of a significant portion of its television (SBS ONE & TWO) audiences, giving preference to advertisers over audiences.

Click here to read the full story . . .

New law deregulates ads

Although the government withdrew its controversial media reform bills package, the legislation that related to SBS passed both Houses.  

The new law guarantees an Indigenous Director to the SBS Board which Save Our SBS welcomes and incorporates most of the SBS Charter to digital services (online).

In applying the Charter to online, the package did not require SBS online services be "diverse" nor use "innovative forms of expression". These unique Charter obligations will remain on SBS free-to-air but need not apply to SBS online programs and internet only streamed radio or TV services. SBS has four digital

Click here to read the full story . . .