Michelle Guthrie dumped as ABC managing director

David Anderson will be the acting MD until a replacement for Guthrie is found.

The ABC managing director, Michelle Guthrie, has departed from the role. She joined the company in 2015.

The ABC managing director, Michelle Guthrie, has departed from the role. She joined the company in 2015 and was nearly half way into her five-year term.

ABC chairman Justin Milne announced the news this morning. The public broadcaster’s director for entertainment and specialist David Anderson will be the acting MD until the role is filled on a permanent basis in the coming months.

The shakeup at the top of the executive rank follows months of discussions that concluded when directors resolved that it was not in the best interest of the ABC for Guthrie to continue to lead the organisation.

The search for the new MD has commenced. By law, managing directors are selected by the ABC board independently of the Government and Opposition of the day.

“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.

“The board wishes to thank Michelle for her contribution to the ABC. We are very grateful for all her hard work.”

As the director for entertainment and specialist, Anderson is responsible for broadcast television networks and associated services, radio music networks, podcasts and specialist radio content. Speaking about his role as acting MD for the ABC, he said: “I recognise the challenges involved in transitions of this kind but I am honoured to accept the board’s invitation and look forward to working with our outstanding people to execute our strategy.”

In a statement, communications minister Mitch Fifield has thanked Guthrie for her services in a statement and has said he respects the ABC board’s independence and decision.

Within the first hour of this news breaking, the Australian trends on Twitter was dominated by topics related to Guthrie’s departure. At the time of writing this, “Michelle Guthrie” was the national top trend, followed by “ABC board”, “abc boss”, “Ms Guthrie”, and “Justin Milne”.

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