The ABC is overhauling its current affairs output, cutting the long-running show Lateline and Stan Grant's The Link to make way for two new programs.
The ABC made the announcement on Thursday under a series of proposed changes to the public broadcaster for next year, including the establishment of investigative and specialist journalism units to work across all platforms.
Lateline will go down as one of the great programs in the history of ABC current affairs and Australian journalism.— Leigh Sales (@leighsales) October 5, 2017
Even though #Lateline hasn't been what it once was (due to $ cuts), it's still superior to anything commercial tv can provide. Says it all.— Peter Cassidy (@ozpacman) October 4, 2017
Under the proposed changes, Lateline, which has been running since 1990, will make way for a prime-time news discussion show presented by Grant at 9pm on the ABC News channel and a half-hour late edition national news bulletin at 10.30pm on the ABC TV main channel.
Some of the ABC's top journalists including Kerry O' Brien, Leigh Sales and Tony Jones have hosted Lateline, Emma Alberici is the current host.
"When it launched in 1990 Lateline was a ground-breaking program, and for almost three decades it has made an enormous contribution to Australian public life," ABC director, news Gaven Morris said.
"Many great ABC journalists and production teams have worked with Lateline and the current team has produced an innovative brand of late-evening current affairs. The Link was a bold experiment that has done wonderful, creative work.
"This proposal is no reflection on the excellent work of the program teams. But with audience habits changing, we can deploy these resources more effectively in other ways."
This is shocking news. Lateline is high quality journalism often the 1st to bring breaking stories. Shameful it is being axed ABC. https://t.co/NrXOKz3okj— Kerry Baker (@KerryB1954) October 4, 2017
Sad news about Lateline being cut. Terrific reporting & bloody great interviews. Many mates got a start there. All the best for the journos.— Here Lies A Berlage (@verbaliza) October 4, 2017
The ABC will establish an investigations unit of 10 investigative reporters, led by editor Jo Puccini, a former executive producer of 7.30 and a specialist reporting team under former Lateline executive producer Lisa Whitby, to work across all platforms.
In the shake up, Alberici will become the ABC's chief economics correspondent while Grant will also take up the position of chief Asia correspondent.
The ABC recently hired John Lyons from The Australian as the head of investigative journalism, to lead the teams across current affairs shows including Lateline.
"Alongside teams such as Four Corners, 7.30 and Background Briefing, the establishment of the largest investigative daily news team in the Australian media reflects the ABC's growing commitment to journalism for television, radio and digital audiences," Lyons said.
Very sad news about ABC axing Lateline. Ridiculous decision.— Shannon Molloy (@sleemol) October 4, 2017
Earlier this year, ABC's managing director Michelle Guthrie announced up to 200 job cuts in middle management with an aim to pump the savings into the expansion of ABC's regional coverage.
The ABC have yet to reveal if this overhaul will result in any job cuts.
"These proposals represent a big investment by the ABC in investigative, specialist and in-depth journalism at a time when many other media outlets are retreating from these areas," Morris said.
"Public interest journalism on behalf of all Australians is more important to the role of ABC News than ever."