Published: Mon, September 24, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

ABC sacks Michelle Guthrie as Managing Director

ABC sacks Michelle Guthrie as Managing Director

Guthrie was appointed to a five-year term as managing director in December 2015, the first woman to hold the role in the broadcaster's history. "It's an astonishing fail on her part", he said.

Ms Guthrie, at a Senate estimates hearing, rejects suggestions made in an opinion piece by former ABC presenter Johnathan Holmes that the public broadcaster is biased towards the left.

The host of the ABC's nightly news bulletin in Sydney, Juanita Phillips, also weighed in on the sacking.

"The government thanks Michelle Guthrie and acknowledges her service as managing director of the ABC for the past two and a half years in what is a challenging and rapidly changing media environment".

David Anderson wants to stay in the job of Managing Director permanently
David Anderson wants to stay in the job of Managing Director permanently

He accused Guthrie of being "obsessed" with platforms, structures and flowcharts while ignoring the "nuts and bolts" of public broadcasting and showing no interest in journalism.

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In a statement to staff the board said it had determined it was "not in the best interests of the ABC for Ms Guthrie to continue to lead the organisation".

"The dismissal of the Managing Director, seemingly without notice, requires a full and detailed explanation from the ABC Board", Abetz said. "I heard the report just before this media conference, I had a look at the statement from the board, I don't think that really clarifies matters".

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One ABC executive said the relationship between the pair was known to be "frosty".

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"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 that strategy".

- 'This seems like a great chance to bring in someone who will help the ABC become more fair and balanced. "I nominate @PMOnAir (Sky News presenter Paul Murray)".

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"(But) the government, I must say, has provided no pressure, no opinion, has not been involved in this decision.

"Whatever happens next, the ABC needs a strong advocate at the helm who will stand up to the relentless attacks from the coalition government and their anti-ABC cronies".

"When I joined ABC in 2016, I knew I had an enormous challenge in front of me to break down some of the internal barriers to progress as well as continuing to deliver quality programming for all Australians".

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