ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie ejected - Strategy

EPA-EFE  REX  Shutterstock Michelle Guthrie Australian Broadcasting Corporation Managing Director Michelle Guthrie Melbourne Australia- 19 Jun 2018ABC (Austr


Michelle Guthrie has been dumped as the ABC's managing director, after the board decided it "was not in the best of the interests" of the broadcaster for her to finish her term.

The first woman to run the ABC and a former Google and News Corp executive, Ms Guthrie was appointed in May 2016 to drive digital transformation.

The challenges are nothing new - the ABC has always received pressure from the government of the day over its news coverage.

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

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

And she rejected Communications Minister Mitch Fifield's suggestion that the ABC could easily accommodate the latest 1 per cent efficiency divided required by the government.

'Excellent decision, ' Ms Neighbour wrote.

According to a statement released by the ABC, the decision was made when the directors resolved that it was not in the best interests of the ABC for Ms Guthrie to continue to lead the organisation.

'I believe there is no justification for the board to trigger that termination clause.

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

In her statement Guthrie said at no point were issues about the transformation she was leading were raised with her.

"To me, it is the content produced by the ABC that is of primary importance to Australians, with the technology used to deliver that content a distant second", she wrote.

In an email to staff at the time, she said: "I am very disappointed and concerned that after the measures we have introduced in recent years to deliver better and more efficient services, the government has now seen fit to deliver what amounts to a further substantial budget cut. But we have a clear plan for the present and a vision for the future".

"This includes refocusing daily journalism away from lifestyle content and "clickbait" and back towards news and current affairs", the union said.

"We appreciate that a change in leadership creates uncertainty, however, we are firmly of the view that this decisions is in the best interest of the organisation", he said.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said she was perplexed by the decision and the board's statements had not clarified it.

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