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ABC could outsource Catalyst after review

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016 Danielle McGrane

The ABC is reportedly set to fire the staff behind weekly science show Catalyst, including controversial presenter Maryanne Demasi, and will outsource the show's production.

The broadcaster confirmed the show's original format was under review following 15 years of its current production model.

Catalyst made headlines after the broadcast in February of an episode about wireless devices, Wi-Fried, which was found to have breached the ABC's accuracy and impartiality standards.

Demasi was suspended following the show's broadcast which came after another controversial episode presented by her in October 2013 questioned the benefit of cholesterol-reducing medication, and was also widely criticised.

"After more than fifteen years ABC Television is reviewing Catalyst's format and production model," the ABC said in a statement on Monday following an end-of-year review.

The state broadcaster confirmed the show would be part of the ABC schedule in 2017 however, the Guardian Australia reports the ABC is planning to replace the weekly half-hour show with 17 one-hour specials, created predominantly by the independent production sector.

Quoting senior ABC program makers, the Guardian reported 11 Catalyst staff would be made redundant including Demasi, presenter Graham Phillips and Jonica Newby who has twice won the Australian Museum Eureka prize for science journalism.

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