Michelle Guthrie sacking: Senior ABC executives had threatened to quit, source says

25 September, 2018, 04:39 | Author: Norman Carr
  • ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie who replaced Mark Scott

"I recognise the challenges involved in transitions of this kind, but I am honoured to accept the board's invitation and look forward to working with our outstanding people to execute our strategy", he said.

"It was their decision and their deliberations, I'm not privy to the deliberations".

Was it just about tension between her and the corporation chair, Justin Milne, or was it about strategic direction for the national broadcaster?

The former Google Asia-Pacific, Foxtel, BSkyB and Star TV executive was half way through her five-year term.

"I think it's different to what happened with [Malcolm] Turnbull, in that there isn't a voting selection here that I'm aware of that is one person over an another", he said.

Guthrie, who had been with the broadcaster since 2015, will be replaced by the current director of entertainment and specialist, David Anderson, until a replacement can be found.

And she rejected Communications Minister Mitch Fifield's suggestion that the ABC could easily accommodate the latest 1 per cent efficiency divided required by the government.

Michelle Guthrie has been dumped as the ABC's managing director, after the board decided it "was not in the best of the interests" of the broadcaster for her to finish her term.


Appointed to the role in May 2016, Guthrie was the ABC's first female managing director.

'Excellent decision, ' Ms Neighbour wrote.

The last time the ABC board got rid of its boss was in 2001 when Jonathan Shier was quietly shown the door and handed $1 million to go through it.

"At no point have any issues been raised with me about the transformation being undertaken, the "Investing in Audiences" strategy and my effectiveness in delivering against this strategy".

Asked if he was among them, Mr Anderson said he was not.

She was also critical of the government's competitive neutrality inquiry into how the ABC and the SBS operate alongside their commercial counterparts.

"To me, it is the content produced by the ABC that is of primary importance to Australians, with the technology used to deliver that content a distant second. But we have a clear plan for the present and a vision for the future".

Faine, who hosts the morning program on ABC radio in Melbourne, said Ms Guthrie "wouldn't advocate for us, which is an astonishing fail".

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