ABC Radio National plans to drop the weekday editions of its arts program The Deep End . I'm very sorry to learn this as over the last year or so I've moved from being an occasional to a regular listener.
Each day the program presents several arts-related items. For example, today it discussed
# an award for new video and media art,
# an open air sculpture exhibition in a small SA coastal town,
# cult film and television classics (the first of a new, and presumably brief, series) and,
# a hand-wound free play radio (part of the regular Monday to Friday "Deep End Five" countdown of the "best of" something, this week's topic being "objects and systems that promote sustainable lifestyles").
The Deep End is well produced and Amanda Smith, the presenter, consistently engages listeners with her
The ABC has issued an
I’m not thrilled about it, and a little bit of it is to do with resources, but most of it is to do with, what will serve the arts best...Arts is a difficult area to cover. It’s difficult on radio because so much of what you’re talking about is either visual or local, and for a national radio network it’s a tricky area to bring to life. And it also has within it stuff like arts funding policy, which is incredibly important, but again can be difficult radio.
We were beginning to feel that, on a daily basis, in-depth, analytic conversations about where the arts are heading in Australia and around the world (was too hard) without a really high level of resourcing and specialist staff that we probably had in the 80s and 90s, but are unable to sustain in 2006.
Radio National is a very expensive network to maintain, because of the level of depth we want to bring to everything we touch, and over time priorities about what we want to bring that depth to change.
This is full of weasel words.