ABC accused of sick 'Hunger Games' staff elimination
ABC management has been accused of running a sick "Hunger Games' style of staff elimination by pitting employees against each other based on their salary and skill sets.
BuzzFeed News says it has obtained documents showing the publicbroadcaster has put reporters into competitive pools and asked them to prove their merit to the organisation.
"The morale right now? Zero," one ABC News Sydney reporter told BuzzFeed.
"People knew cuts were coming but we had no idea how bad it would be or that managers would be this sociopathic."
ABC managing director Mark Scott told staff on Monday that 400 jobs would have to go across the organisation.
Five regional newsrooms will be shut, including in Gladstone, along with Adelaide's TV production facilities.
ABC staff have been told 100 news jobs will go as part of the restructuring.
Already there has been criticism from some LNP Ministers and MPs, who have accused the ABC of deliberately targeting regional centres to ensure maximum political fallout for the government over its broken election promise not to cut funding to the ABC or SBS.
The cuts total more than $250 million over five years.
Some have called on the ABC to cut more from its management ranks, and address its Sydney-centric staffing.
According to its annual report, some 72% of its 4600 plus staff are based in NSW, the Australian reported.
ABC sources have told BuzzFeed News that shortly after Mr Scott's speech to staff on Monday morning, emails began arriving in reporters' inboxes telling them they had been placed in "pools" based on salary and expertise.
Each pool then had its own meeting and were told that members would be assessed against each other in a four week personal "skills audit".
They would then be given, as one manager referred it: "a score on a ladder".
ABC management rejected criticism of the process, saying it is designed to keep those who have skills the organisation most needs.
"No process of this kind can ever be pleasant," said a spokeswoman for ABC News and Current Affairs.