Michelle Guthrie Dumped As ABC Boss

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie sacked after several months of talks
ABC boss Michelle Guthrie ousted from role as managing director
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25 September, 2018

In an internal email to staff, the ABC said the board had given "long and detailed consideration to this serious matter".

"So in this case the board decided that it wasn't working out and decided that we should do a reset, and that is what we have made a decision to do".

"We are hopeless at telling our own story as an organisation and we have a managing director who has been deliberately and, she says, strategically silent", ABC Radio presenter Jon Faine argued.

Guthrie has been a divisive figure during her tenure as ABC boss.

Ousted ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has responded to her shock axing, saying she is "devastated" at the decision made by the national broadcaster's board of directors and is now considering her legal options.

David Anderson, a 30-year ABC veteran, will be acting managing director while a formal search for a replacement begins.

In a statement on Monday morning, the ABC announced Guthrie had left the position, effective immediately.

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Milne conceded Guthrie had done a "pretty good" job turning the ABC towards its digital future.

"As the first female managing director of the ABC, I felt a tremendous responsibility and unique privilege to lead Australia's most important cultural institution".

In a statement shared online by Australian Financial Review political editor Phillip Coorey, Guthrie said she was saddened by the call to end her five-year term as managing director halfway through "despite no claim of wrongdoing on my part".

The ABC managing director is appointed by the broadcaster's board, independent of government.

The Australian has been told flashpoints include two key initiatives of the chairman, the ABC Annual Public Meeting, held in February, and July's announcement of Project Jetstream, a multimillion-dollar idea created to provide a digital infrastructure base for the ABC decades into the future when broadcast television shuts down. She has copped criticism for her employment history with News Corp and a perception she did not defend the ABC enough from opponents of the public broadcaster; and also came under fire for repeated controversial on-air episodes which upset members of the conservative Coalition government.

"While my contract permits the board to terminate my appointment without cause and with immediate effect, I believe there is no justification for the board to trigger that termination clause". Her reign over the ABC was nearly relentlessly troubled.

Some fear it played a role in the Government's 2018 budget decision to freeze the ABC's indexation, costing the broadcaster $84m over three years.


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