David Speers

Striving to recover from its unpopular announcement that the ABC no longer needed a national political editor, the ABC has described as a "separate initiative" the appointment of Insiders host, David Speers, as ABC News National Political Lead.

We can report that we were swamped with negative reaction from ABC Friends members and supporters to the announcement that the ABC’s restructure involved making former political editor, Andrew Probyn, redundant and the end of locally produced Sunday night bulletins.

These concerns were passed on very strongly when Acting President Michael Henry met with Managing Director, David Anderson. 

Announcing David Speers' new role, ABC Director of News, Justin Stevens, said the position was designed to increase the ABC’s capacity to serve digital and broadcast audiences. 

"David Speers is a hugely respected political journalist and with his Insiders responsibilities now based in Canberra full-time we have the opportunity to better utilise his vast experience during the rest of the week," he said.  

"The ABC plays a vital role in scrutinising our federal policy and politicians and we plan to bring that coverage to more Australians across all ABC News services."

Stevens said Speers would have a bigger presence across all platforms alongside 7.30 Chief Political Correspondent Laura Tingle and a larger role within the ABC’s Canberra Parliament House bureau.

ABC Friends SA/NT President Daryl Regan tells us that the SA Premier, Peter Malinauskas, who wrote to ABC Chair, Ita Buttrose, calling for the axing of local Sunday news services to be reversed, will continue to campaign for the restoration of full state news coverage on the ABC.

And the arts community will continue to campaign for full arts coverage on the ABC (see separate article here).

ABC Friends will continue to canvas ABC Friends members’ views and we will take up David Anderson’s invitation to communicate our concerns directly to him.