The ABC is going dark tonight in Australia, replacing a nightly news program with a brand new program that will not feature the current host of the program, John Campbell.
The new program, which will be called The Last Word, will air on Sunday nights at 11pm.
The program will feature guests that include ABC News’ business correspondent, Kate McKenzie, as well as political commentator and political commentator Andrew Bolt, former federal minister John Williams, former prime minister Tony Abbott and former Labor minister and former head of the ABC’s political coverage, Tim Pallas.
The Last Word is set to air on ABC News on Sundays at 11:30pm and ABC News 24 at 12:30am, with a new host each night.
The ABC did not disclose how many people will be watching the new program.
It is expected to air live on its website at midnight tonight.
The move follows a number of ABC programs being pulled from the air in recent weeks.ABC News has said it is also investigating how many more ABC shows it may pull from air in the future.
The broadcaster had been trying to make a deal with the ABC, the ABC and Foxtel to air the new shows on a live and exclusive basis.
It said it was not sure if the ABC would be able to make such a deal but did not comment on the negotiations.
Earlier this week, the Government announced it would scrap the ABC licence, but ABC News said it would still air the program on an exclusive basis, and the ABC said the agreement would not be scrapped.ABC national news director David Eustice said the move to pull the ABC from the news program lineup was “an act of great public service” and was “the result of a long-term plan by ABC to improve its coverage”.
He said it made sense to focus on the ABCs primary mission, which was the ABC News digital coverage of the Australian economy.
“There are a lot of people who work at the ABC who do the job with great distinction,” Mr Eustices said.
“And I think that the ABC will continue to be an important part of that.”ABC political reporter Kate McKenzie tweeted on Friday night that she was “proud to be joining the ABC as a guest host of The Last WORD”.
“I am honoured to be a part of ABC News and proud to be Australian,” she tweeted.
“It’s a great honour to be asked to join the ABC.”
Ms McKenzie said the program was “a new chapter in the ABC history and I’m honoured to have been asked to work on it”.
“It will continue the work that has been done by Kate McKenzie and many others, and will be a great addition to the ABC news coverage of Australia,” ABC News CEO Bill Faulkner said in a statement.ABC chief executive Mark Scott said the decision to close the ABC was not about politics or ideology.
“This is a change of vision for the ABC,” Mr Scott said.
He said the ABC had a long history of news programming and had been working on the program since it was first launched in 1990.
“We’re thrilled to have a partner like ABC News who will work with us to deliver news for our audience,” he said.