ABC boss Michelle Guthrie sacked as managing director

Irving Hamilton
September 24, 2018

The board of directors decided she had to go "in the best interests of the ABC".

"The ABC board has legislated independence in relation to management appointments and the Government respects the duty and role of the board in these matters". "We appreciate that a change in leadership creates uncertainty, however, we are firmly of the view that this decision is in the best interests of the organisation".

In the interim, the ABC's current head of specialist and factual programming David Anderson will serve as the Acting General Manager while the board searches for a permanent replacement for Guthrie.

He thanked Ms Guthrie for her hard work since taking the position in May 2016.

Guthrie has yet to comment on this morning's decision.

"I am meeting with the leadership team, some of whom are overseas, to explain today's news".

Australian-born Guthrie trained as a lawyer and worked at Foxtel and BSkyB, before taking pan-Asian roles at Star TV in Hong Kong and latterly at Google, in Singapore.

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News Corp has been unrelenting in its attacks on the ABC, accusing it of political bias and pushing back at the competition it presents to commercial operators. The Federal Budget this year froze the ABC's funding CPI indexation, resulting in a $83.7 million hole over the three years from July next year. She came under fire in March after it was rumoured she was cutting 200 journalists' jobs in a massive restructure of the company, with the mass redundancies confirmed in the months afterwards. "This decision will make it very hard for the ABC to meet its charter requirements and audience expectations".

Guthrie is the second managing director in recent years to have fallen out with the board.

ABC Managing Directors are appointed by the Board of Directors.

The ABC Board has sacked managing director Michelle Guthrie, declaring in a blunt statement that it was "not in the best interests" of the organisation for her to continue to lead it.

The statement said the decision followed several months of discussion.

The sensational sacking comes as the ABC looks to seek new leadership which it asserts will "benefit the organisation, its dedicated employees, and the ABC's audiences".

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