You’re in an ABC waiting room.

You’re waiting to make a presentation to save Australia’s state-funded broadcaster from its own mismanagement, its own demise.

“ABC” is a corporate short story about the inevitability of change.

Can you afford to wait any longer?

Rated PG / 1,000 words / 4 minutes of contemporaneous reading pleasure

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‘A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.’ Edward R. Murrow



Copyright 2024 Stefano Boscutti
All Rights Reserved

You’re in the ABC waiting room with the tatty, uncomfortable chairs.

With the frayed carpet that’s seen one budget cut after another. With the soiled coffee table. With the dusty reception desk. With the broken television monitor. 

You’re standing, waiting because ABC management is always running late and the senior executive you’re supposed to meet is probably entangled in the latest human resources mess.

Running late would be excusable if the ABC as Australia’s state-funded public broadcaster was doing great things. Or making great shows. Or creating great futures.

But they’re not. Any hits of late have been entirely by accident rather than design. And always by outside production companies that retain all copyrights including distribution, streaming and sequel rights. All the ABC gets is a little ballyhoo. All the value is mediated and retained by the creators.

You check your watch. Hell, you don’t even want to be here. You’re doing this meeting as a favour to one of the board members who wants to save the ABC. Yet again. It’s always a crisis at the ABC. Especially now that so much talent is either being pushed out or leaving because of management’s constant meddling.

What passes for management these days is largely low-echelon personnel who know how to navigate hidebound bureaucracies to their own advantage but couldn’t hold onto a job anywhere else. They’re not the A Team or the B Team. Or even the C Team.

They’re the F Team. Facile and so blind to their own failings, they don’t even realise they’re why the ABC is such a disaster, why audiences are fleeing in droves.

They’ve been doing the same thing over and over and over for a decade expecting different results. It’s beyond bizarre.

They’ve been paying themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars a year while cost-cutting everyone else out of existence. All the while undermining creatives to curry favour with the political class.  

In nineteen eighty-six, the ABC employed more than six thousand people. Today with an explosion of media it has less than four thousand workers, many of them on low-paid, short-term contracts.

In recent years, fearless reporting has given way to a culture of timidity and kowtowing to - of all places - News Corp. This from a media organisation that when first launched scared the bejesus out of Rupert Murdoch’s father. So much so that he fought tooth and nail to diminish its power. His son and grandson continue that tradition. And rather than fight the good fight and fight back, the ABC continues to genuflect at every turn.

In their pathetic stupidity, management has been chasing ratings by attempting to become more commercially savvy. Which sounds good on paper or in Senate estimates committees but is exactly the opposite of what the ABC should be doing.

Management keeps talking about developing a meaningful response to the constantly changing media environment and bringing all of its stakeholders along. But the ABC doesn’t need to respond. It needs to lead.

You’ve got your laptop under your arm loaded with a simple, straightforward presentation. Seven slides that show how the ABC can not only regain its past glory, but mediate a brighter future. But time is ticking away.

You check your watch. It’s been another three minutes.

You can’t wait any longer.

It’s time to leave.

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Copyright 2024 Stefano Boscutti

All Rights Reserved

The moral rights of the author are asserted.

No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, digital, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or copying and pasting, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing.

Stefano Boscutti acknowledges the trademark owners of various products referenced in this work. The publication or use of these trademarks is not authorised or sponsored by the trademark owner.

This is a work of fiction. While many of the characters portrayed here have counterparts in the life and times of ABC management and others, the characterisations and incidents presented are totally the products of the author’s creative imagination. This work is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. It should not be resold or given away. Thank you for your support. (Couldn’t do it without you.)

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