Australian broadcaster ABC's board sacks managing director

Michelle Guthrie has been a controversial figure at the ABC as she managed tighter budgets along with leading expansion

Australian broadcaster ABC's board sacks managing director

After a tumultuous 12 months for the ABC, the public broadcaster has announced that current managing director Michelle Guthrie will exit the business.

The ABC reports that chairman Justin Milne was reluctant to explain what led to the decision to sack Guthrie "out of respect for Michelle".

"This decision has been driven by our commitment to deliver the best possible outcomes for our loyal audiences and the best possible experience for our own people".

"We understand that transitions can be disruptive in the short term, however the ABC is fortunate to have an experienced and capable executive team that will provide continuity in the months ahead".

"I am hopeful that the new managing director will ensure that that the Ultimo-centric broadcaster is more in line with the aspirations of Australians including by delivering benefit to the taxpayer, stopping the left-wing bias and bringing an end to the frolics masquerading as news and "comedy" from some ABC employees", Abetz said.

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Morrison said it wasn't his place to comment on the efficacy of Guthrie as managing director, again pointing to the board as the folks in charge of that call. On her watch the ABC embarked on a transformation program that saw it invest in digital initiatives, often to increase output of "lifestyle" content, de-fund some "harder" traditional television and radio programs, and collaborated with commercial media organisations on major investigations. He added the directors felt the ABC "would do better under different leadership" but that she had "done a good job".

Milne said the decision had not been taken lightly but refused to detail what was wrong with Guthrie's leadership.

"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", Mr Milne's email said.

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

"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.

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