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Australian Broadcasting Corp managing director Michelle Guthrie has resigned suddenly and will leave the public broadcaster two and half years into her five-year term.
In an announcement Monday morning local time, ABC chairman Justin Milne said Guthrie’s continued leadership “was not in the best interests of the ABC,” following discussions that had lasted several months.
“In resolving to seek fresh leadership, the Board’s foremost consideration was the long-term interests of our own people and the millions of Australians who engage with ABC content every week,” Milne said.
“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,” he added.
“The board wishes to thank Michelle for her contribution to the ABC. We are very grateful for all her hard work,” Milne concluded.
ABC Head of Television David Anderson, a 20-year veteran of the broadcaster, will be acting managing director, while a search for a new managing director is undertaken.
Guthrie was a former executive at both Google and News Corp and had embarked on an ambitious digital transformation of the broadcaster. She was the organization’s first ever female managing director.
The ABC has been the subject of significant budget cuts with resulting staff cuts in the last five years, and in an interview on the ABC’s news channel Milne said that Guthrie’s relationship with the government “could have been better.”
More to come…
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