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The man who created ABC online has died

ABC Brisbane headquarters in South Bank. Photo: Wikipedia Commons.

Brian Johns, a former former managing director of both the ABC and SBS, has died aged 79 after a battle with cancer.

The journalist is credited with starting ABC Online, the national edition of current affairs program 730 and the iconic Australian Story series.

“He is remembered by ABC staff as a leader who steered the broadcaster through challenging times and positioned it for the digital age,” the ABC said in a statement.

“He saw quite clearly that traditional broadcast platforms would converge and essentially future audiences would seek out and demand content when and where they needed it.”

He headed SBS from 1987 to 1992 and then the ABC from 1995 to 2000.

Johns was also former chair of the Copyright Agency, chair of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, a board member of the National Gallery of Australia (1992–98) and publishing director of Penguin Books Australia (1979-87).

As a journalist, he wrote for the Bulletin and was chief political correspondent for the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.

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