Lawrence Mooney says the ABC is ‘trying to be too many things for too many people’ one year after slamming the public broadcaster’s ‘tone-deaf’ response to budget cuts
Former ABC radio host Lawrence Mooney has said the public broadcaster is ‘trying to be too many things for too many people’ rather than focusing on its strengths.
The 56-year-old comedian told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday the ABC ‘doesn’t have its own direction’ and has ‘tried to please too many masters’ in the past.
‘I thought the ABC started to run scared for a while,’ he said, adding that despite external pressures the quality of its programming has improved over the past year.
‘I thought it didn’t have its own direction,’ added Lawrence, who last year slammed the broadcaster for being ‘elitist’ and ‘tone deaf’ in its response to budget cuts.
‘But having said that the one show I watch every night is the 7.30 Report. It’s the only thing I would watch on a daily basis.’
Lawrence also discussed ABC’s diversity and inclusion commissioning guidelines for on-screen content.
‘You should use as much gender and age mix as possible, but as long as it serves the script and the show,’ he said.
The ABC last year was allocated $1.062billion from taxpayers, a slight increase from the $1.046billion set aside in the 2018-19 financial year – but still many staffers thought it wasn’t enough.
At the time, Lawrence pointed out how ABC presenters hadn’t been forced to take pay cuts, despite falls in government revenue due to the coronavirus recession.
Journalists at commercial news outlets, however, had to take pay cuts as advertising revenue plunged, with some newsrooms even closing down.
‘Thousands of businesses are struggling to survive and government debt is spiralling out of control,’ Lawrence told his Triple M listeners.
‘[We have] had to take drastic measures to survive. Here at Triple M, we’ve all taken a pay cut.
‘Yes it sucks but it is what it is but there’s a group of people doing plenty of bellyaching, and it’s the ones who have been least affected by this global crisis, the ABC.
‘Oh, dear old Aunty. ABC, you can’t pretend to be the victims here. ABC, you can’t.
‘At a time of crisis with so many people out of work, whining about budget cuts seems pretty tasteless in itself but what makes it worse is it’s not even true.’