Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Sacked ABC boss Michelle Guthrie considers legal options

The ABC Just Sensationally Sacked Its Managing Director & This Is Fine ABC sacks Michelle Guthrie as Managing Director
Angelica Greene | 25 September, 2018, 04:42

In the wake of her firing, a two-word response by veteran ABC journalist and 4 Corners executive producer Sally Neighbour appeared to sum up the reaction of some senior staff at the ABC. She was smart and we were excited.

"By law, Managing Directors are selected by the ABC Board independently of the Government and Opposition of the day", the ABC noted in its statement.

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, now director, entertainment and specialist, will serve as acting MD until a new appointment is made in the coming months.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was told on Sunday night Ms Guthrie was going to be sacked, but said the ABC board made decisions independently.

Guthrie first joined the ABC in December 2015, having previously worked at Google where she was managing director of agencies. "That said, I think Michelle tried hard and was involved with government", he said.

Melbourne radio host Jon Faine, who's been at the broadcast for almost 30 years and three months ago attacked Guthrie saying he was "sick of getting it ripped apart because of the failure of our managers" and being "done over" by the government, this morning launched another attack on the departed MD saying her tenure had been an "astonishing fail".

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

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

Faine had been an outspoken critic of Ms Guthrie - who became managing director in May 2016 - during her tenure.

The board is appointed by the federal government, with Milne, who is also chairman of MYOB and a former NBNCo director, chosen for the role by his friend and former PM Malcolm Turnbull past year.

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

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

"Michelle challenged us in a lot of ways to be better, challenged us to free up more money for content and went about that over the last two-and-a-half years."

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