Jewish programs to remain on SBS

Jewish programs to remain on SBS

SBS's Nitza Lowenstein.
SBS's Nitza Lowenstein.

YIDDISH and Hebrew programs on SBS radio will continue despite the government’s budget cuts.

The federal government has announced $53.7 million will be slashed over five years from SBS, however the broadcaster will be allowed to increase prime-time advertising to recoup up to $30 million of that amount.

As a result, SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid announced last week that there would be no program changes because of the funding cuts.

“As part of our ongoing program identifying efficiencies, we were already and are, implementing back-of-house measures which will largely help to absorb this funding cut, net of additional revenues,” Ebeid said.

“Some of these measures include transmission and distribution efficiencies, work flow and operational initiatives, a freeze on executive salaries and a number of other smaller efficiency initiatives we will be exploring through our internal planning processes.”

Nitza Lowenstein, the executive producer of the Hebrew program on SBS radio, was excited to learn her show would be saved.

“We are alive and kicking, offering unique content to the Jewish community in Australia every Sunday at 11am,” Lowenstein said.

“The Hebrew program on SBS Radio is not affected by the budget cuts announced by the government.”

She said the program will continue to be broadcast for two hours every week in Hebrew, Yiddish and English on radio and online.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry executive director Peter Wertheim and NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff, who have both been speaking to SBS management to try to make sure broadcasts for the Jewish community weren’t axed, issued a joint statement welcoming the decision.

“The Jewish community warmly welcomes the assurance that Jewish programming won’t be cut,” the statement said.

“These programs are a highly valued source of cultural enrichment and community for many members of the community, and we greatly appreciate SBS’s support in this regard.”


“Alive and kicking”: SBS Radio’s Hebrew program executive producer Nitza Lowenstein.

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