Michelle Guthrie sacked as Managing Director of ABC

Michelle Guthrie sacked as Managing Director of ABC

Michelle Guthrie sacked as Managing Director of ABC

The ABC Chairman has confirmed that the Australian national broadcaster's Managing Director Michelle Guthrie has left her position.

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.

However he said political leaders did not pressure the ABC or have any involvement in its decision to sack Ms Guthrie.

Ms Guthrie, a former Foxtel and Google executive and media lawyer, has been a controversial figure at the ABC as she managed tighter budgets along with leading expansion into new business areas. She was smart and we were excited.

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". "It's an astonishing fail on her part", he said.

But some ABC staff welcomed the move.

If handed the job ... her appointment will raise two key questions: will the ABC now separate the jobs of managing director and editor-in-chief as recommended by Malcolm Turnbull previous year?

Sally Neighbour, the executive producer of the ABC's flagship 4Corners program, also hit out at Ms Guthrie following her shock dismissal.

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"That is possibly an area that could have been better. That said, I think Michelle tried hard and was involved with government", he said.

- 'I've got to say, I'm perplexed. "This is entirely a board decision".

In a later interview on ABC News, Milne said the board had been "looking at the question of Michelle's ongoing employment for the last couple of months".

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

Guthrie, who had been with the broadcaster since 2015, will be replaced by the current director of entertainment and specialist, David Anderson, until a replacement can be found.

"I wanted to continue the transformation of the ABC and to support the great work of ABC's dedicated and passionate employees to ensure our continuing trust, quality and distinctiveness as the source of Australian culture, conversations and stories".

Guthrie had been at loggerheads with the government after slamming a vote by the Liberal Party's federal council calling for the privatisation of the ABC, except for its regional services.

He said it was an honour to lead the corporation.

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