Nov 26, 2021 • 1HR 1M

Media Unmade podcast - Chapter five: Throuple trouble on Team Australia

In which Mark Scott's ABC takes a lead in the digital sphere, Labor media reforms go unlegislated and Tony Abbott breaks a promise not to cut funding

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Tim Burrowes
Insights into the media and marketing industry from an Australian perspective, from the founder of Mumbrella and the author of the best selling book Media Unmade, Tim Burrowes
Episode details

Welcome to the latest edition of the the Unmade podcast. Today’s edition features another extract from the audio edition of my book, Media Unmade, which is published by Hardie Grant and available online and in book stores.

In today’s chapter, we look back at the last time the ABC was riding high, as managing director Mark Scott and director of innovation Ian Carroll led the charge into the digital future.

Scott led the ABC into its digital future | Pic: Getty Images

The chapter explores how the ABC took a lead over its commercial competitors, and the strategic approach that allowed the double act of Scott and chairman Maurice Newman to roam the corridors of Canberra to win extra funding for the organisation.

The developments included the launch of News 24, the creation of iView, and the move to online news - opening a new front in the organisation’s decades-long battle with News Corp which was in the process of introducing paywalls.

The chapter also investigates the regulatory environment, as then communications minister Stephen Conroy sought to challenge the moguls. This included through Glen Boreham’s Convergence Review and Ray Finkelstein’s Independent Media Inquiry. Eventually Conroy’s attempts to give bite to a successor to the toothless tiger of the Australian Communications and Media Authority was thwarted.

And then came confrontation with the new Coalition government with communications minister Malcolm Turnbull and prime minister Tony Abbott kicking off what were to be years of Liberal hostility to the organisation.

Today’s chapter is free to all subscribers. Some future chapters will only be available to paying subscribers to Unmade. For the next 20 days, I’m offering a major discount on a year’s subscription, which is available via the button below. That price will not be repeated.

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Audio production on Media Unmade comes courtesy of Abe’s Audio, the people to talk to about voiceovers, corporate videos and commercials.

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Enjoy the weekend.


Tim Burrowes

Proprietor - Unmade