Q+A will trim from 40 episodes a year to 24 episodes according to internal notes sent to staff, the Australian Financial Review reports.
There will be one run from February 19 to March 25, a second from April 29 to June 3, a third from August 12 to September 16, and a final run from October 21 to November 25.
ABC recently told TV Tonight it would still run weekly, but there would be times during the year when it’s off air.
Patricia Karvelas was this week confirmed as 2024 host, but there is believed to be room for guest hosts.
The show has struggled to perform in the ratings, both in its Thursday slot, and in returning to Mondays, but ABC culled The Drum last week whilst Q+A escaped the axe.
Former Drum panelist Jenna White, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald suggests ABC News programs director Annie White was told her whole Drum unit would be disbanded while she was on leave.
Audience reaction to The Drum axing has been fierce on the broadcaster. An ABC local radio text line was inundated with sad viewers. The ABC switchboard received 2104 contacts, one of the largest reactions ever. Petitions started. But notes sent to the ABC generated generic replies.
Expect repeats of Australian Story or One Plus One, also decommissioned, to replace The Drum in the short term. New factual content is expected from mid year.
Eliza Harvey, The Drum’s executive producer, has since been approached to be the new executive producer of Q+A.
ABC has been contacted for comment.