Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Rick Owen

Michelle Guthrie Fired From Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Michelle Guthrie Fired From Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has announced the departure of the organisation's managing director Michelle Guthrie.

Ms Guthrie said she was "devastated" by the decision and was considering her legal options.

"The board wishes to thank Michelle for her contribution to the ABC".

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

"We needed a different leadership style and that is the decision of the board", said Milne.

"It ignores the accumulation of efficiency cuts taken by Canberra over the past four years and the fact that these efficiencies rob the ABC of its ability to finance new content and innovation", she said.

"In an ideal world, I would like to see our relationship - I think the relationship between the ABC and Government is, on the one hand, hard because of course we need to be independent from government, but it is an important relationship because the government funds us".

"That's what they're responsible for, and I'll hold them to account for that".

David Anderson, the director of entertainment, will be acting managing director while the ABC conducts a search for a new chief.

What on earth is the government's explanation for Michelle Guthrie's apparent sacking as head of the ABC.

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

"I wanted to continue the transformation of the ABC and to support the great work of ABC's dedicated and passionate employees to ensure our continuing trust, quality and distinctiveness as the source of Australian culture, conversations and stories", she said.

"Her relationship with the board is not something the leadership team could actually see, nor will I criticise Michelle in any way for the last two-and-a-half years".

During her tenure she trumpeted higher investment in innovative content, investigative journalism and regional journalism, defending the ABC's independence and increasing efficiency across the ABC.

"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", Ms Guthrie said.

Ms Guthrie became the first female managing director in the ABC's history when she replaced Mark Scott in the role in 2016.

"We all know that we face challenges around budget constraints, increased competition and changing audience behaviours".

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