There has been speculation all year, after low ratings and personnel exits, that Q+A would not be renewed for 2024.
And while ABC News titles were curiously absent from yesterday’s 2024 content showcase, ABC sources have confirmed the show will return in 2024.
That’s despite the show’s timeslot shifts -from Monday to Thursday and back to Monday- host changes, executive producer departure and pointed criticisms from former host Stan Grant.
Q+A is drawing around 220,000 metro viewers, rising to about 325,000 in Total TV. It is still posing important questions to its panel, giving “town hall” access to some decision makers with a range of other voices in the mix.
But it has dispensed with its X (Twitter) feed, of which it was a pioneer in the TV landscape, frequently finding itself the target of abuse, if often by people who haven’t actually watched the show.
In the past week host Patricia Karvelas was also subjected to online abuse following an interview around her personal life and LGBT partner. ABC News Director issued a statement of support, but it isn’t yet clear if she will return to the hosting chair for 2024.
Like it or not Q+A has found itself with a perception problem. After 17 years it really is time to consider if there are other ways for the public broadcaster to engage in debate with its audience and canvas the same important topics from a clean slate.