From 22 January The World Today, hosted by Eleanor Hall, will end at 12.30pm instead of 1pm to make way for a new “entertaining” national program on ABC Local Radio hosted by the former Triple J presenter Myf Warhurst.
Warhurst’s show, which is designed to attract 30- to 40-year-olds with a “lighter” offering, will run until 2pm.
Staff were told the rationale behind the changes was research showing there were significant increases in audiences consuming on-demand audio and digital content and a drop in the numbers listening to linear broadcasts on the ABC. The under-55 audience was not coming to the ABC as it once did, and something had to be done to reverse the trend.
Staff were told the shortened 30-minute PM and The World Today “would leave the audience wanting more”.
The head of spoken content, Judith Whelan, told staff the new local radio schedule would be unveiled on Wednesday and most of the time slots were changing.
From next year PM will air at 6.30pm on local radio so Drive can be extended from 6pm to 6.30pm in each state. Afternoons will run from 2pm to 4pm and Drive will run from 4pm to 6.30pm.
PM and The World Today will both be cut from hour-long programs to 30 minutes, ABC staff have been told.
(Source: The Guardian)
PM, hosted by Mark Colvin from 1997 until his death in 2017, is the sister program to AM, which turned 50 this year. First heard on 7 July 1969, PM is broadcast across the ABC’s local radio network after the 6pm news until 7pm. Business PM is a 10-minute dedicated business slot from 6.50pm to 7pm hosted by Elysse Morgan. A shorter version of PM is also broadcast on Radio National after the news at 5pm.