Michelle Guthrie forced out of ABC

ABC drama series Pine Gap ‘sold off’ in dud digital deal with Netflix

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

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.

Was it just about tension between her and the corporation chair, Justin Milne, or was it about strategic direction for the national broadcaster?

"I wanted the ABC to be as meaningful and relevant to my children and their children as it has been to me during my lifetime", she told the audience at ABC's first annual public meeting last February.

A brief statement from the ABC said "The decision follows discussions over several months that concluded when directors resolved that it was not in the best interests of the ABC for Ms Guthrie to continue to lead the organisation".

Guthrie was kicked out of the job on Monday half-way through her five-year term, and Milne said her relationship with the government was a factor.

The ABC managing director is appointed by the broadcaster's board, independent of government.

"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."

David Anderson wants to stay in the job of Managing Director permanently
David Anderson wants to stay in the job of Managing Director permanently

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

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

Guthrie gave her first interview since her appointment to the ABC's News 24 this morning.

She was given the benefit of the doubt, Faine said, and "most of us were excited ... that a woman clearly on top of new media" was taking the helm.

The ABC board has commenced a formal search, both internally and externally, for Ms Guthrie's replacement.

The host of the ABC's nightly news bulletin in Sydney, Juanita Phillips, also weighed in on the sacking.

Some fear it played a role in the Government's 2018 budget decision to freeze the ABC's indexation, costing the broadcaster $84m over three years. Philosophy. Art. Science. These are the historic practices of which we should be most proud, of which we are most proud even if we don't concede it, and if our institutions fail to honour them, or take a dump on them, then we lose our trust in these institutions. "This decision will make it very hard for the ABC to meet its charter requirements and audience expectations".

A devastated Michelle Guthrie says no one raised any issues with her handling of the ABC's transformation before she was sacked as managing director.

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