ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie sacked after several months of talks

Galtero Lara
Setiembre 24, 2018

Michelle Guthrie's stint as ABC managing director was marked by constant criticism about her priorities and lack of broadcasting and journalistic background.

ABC chairman Justin Milne informed staff of Ms Guthrie's sudden exit in a message to staff this morning.

David Anderson who is now ABC's head of specialist and factual will stand in as the interim managing director.

"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".

Michelle Guthrie, one of the highest profile women executives in global television, has been fired as managing director of public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

'This is driven by our commitment to deliver best possible outcomes for our loyal audience'.

"As the first female managing director of the ABC, I felt a tremendous responsibility and unique privilege to lead Australia's most important cultural institution", she says.

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"The board wishes to thank Michelle for her contribution to the ABC", Mr Milne said. "We are very grateful for all her hard work", he said.

Ms Guthrie was announced as the new managing director in December 2015, and she began in the role in May 2016.

He said Ms Guthrie had been "pretty good on the digital stuff", but the ABC needed to commit "wholeheartedly" to an expensive plan known was Project Jetstream, which would create a digital infrastructure for the ABC's long-term future. 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.

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

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has been sacked.

If it emerges that the board feels an emphasis on traditional ABC strengths - news, especially regional news - is required, it will represent a win for critics.

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