At the ABC, F is for Friday flexibility

Thursday was a pretty tough day at the ABC. A sweeping overhaul of current affairs saw CBD's late night news fix, Lateline, axed - we won't be able to watch stock footage of an airplane shooting flares out of its sides now without getting wistful.

Host Emma Alberici is to head to other duties. Gone too is Stan Grant's The Link. Just how many jobs are going as a result of all of this is a closely guarded secret.

ABC director of news Gaven Morris insisted the rationalisation will see new shows launched that will leave audiences in a position of net news benefit.

Michelle Guthrie no doubt had a busy Thursday as the news filtered out into the organisation and beyond. She has shown propensity to make some tough calls. This year she announced a 20 per cent reduction in management and some 80 people have left Auntie's embrace through redundancy this year.

If things go to their usual routine then Guthrie should be spared any awkward water cooler moments on Friday as the moves sink in.

You see CBD hears that Guthrie quite likes to spend Fridays away from the office preferring to work from home.

And why not? Especially when one has a choice of homes from which to work. The former Google executive, who is on something like $900,000 a year, apparently owns a very nice apartment in Pyrmont and another property at Palm Beach to Sydney's north.

The ABC was approached for comment but may have had its hands full.

David Jones

GPT Group chief executive Bob Johnston and the newly appointed David Jones chief David Thomas appeared unprepared for one major challenge when they spoke at the opening of the new David Jones store at Wollongong Central yesterday morning. How to be heard over scores of teenage girls.

Our CBD St George and Illawarra correspondent could not hear a word of what Johnston and Thomas had to say in their speeches through the shrieks and chattering ahead of the ribbon cutting.

Even the very talkative David Jones Food ambassador Neil Perry struggled to share his culinary insights with the congregation. We are sure they all had something very interesting to say. David Jones chairman and Woolies South Africa boss Ian Moir, meanwhile, watched sagely from the crowd.

David Jones at least had the foresight to have a few good-looking male and female models flanking the speakers.

The recently re-elected Lord Mayor of Wollongong and Uniting Church minister Gordon Bradbery seemed to have a better understanding of his audience, given he shouted his speech ahead of the David Jones opening. Fortunately, the cosmetics retailer Mecca Maxima didn't bother with formalities. It just went for a 10-second countdown when its Wollongong Central store opened to the throng of mainly young females, some of whom had been waiting since 2am.

Beer and bitcoin

Drinkers who enjoy the odd bet have another option when they're at the pub, aside the horses or the pokies.

Now, they can put their hard-earned money it into the crypto-currency Bitcoin while they're having a quiet schooner.

A handful of crypto-currency ATMs are starting to appear more frequently, but CBD couldn't help but notice where payment company BitPOS decided to put its first Bitcoin ATM : a watering hole in Sydney, the Metropolitan Hotel.

The machine will allow patrons, with the help of an app, to buy the crypto-currency, which many believe is well into bubble territory after ballooning to more than US$4200 for a single Bitcoin.

As far as we're aware, it's the first drinking hole to offer the service.

One of the founders, Jason Williams, says putting the machine in the pub is an attempt to bring cryptocurrencies out of the tech world, and into the mainstream (the pub also accepts payments in Bitcoin).

With the benefit of hindsight, putting some money into Bitcoin a few years would certainly have been a better move than playing the pokies.

The story At the ABC, F is for Friday flexibility first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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