ABC, Michelle Guthrie strike secret deal in unfair dismissal case

ABC, Michelle Guthrie strike secret deal in unfair dismissal case

A settlement has been reached in the unfair dismissal case brought against the ABC by their former managing director Michelle Guthrie.

Ms Guthrie – the first woman to hold the top management post – was sacked in September halfway through her five-year tenure, with then-chair Justin Milne saying there were issues with her leadership style.

In a statement the ABC said details of the settlement would remain confidential.

“The ABC and its former Managing Director Michelle Guthrie are pleased to announce a resolution to their Federal Court litigation,” the statement said.

“No further public statement will be made regarding the resolution by the ABC or Ms Guthrie.”

Milne, a close associate of then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, resigned after emails emerged in which he urged Guthrie to sack journalists the government was not happy with, requests she rejected.

Under successive conservative governments, the ABC has seen hundreds of millions of dollars cut from its taxpayer-funded budget, leading to the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Applications for Guthrie’s replacement closed today, with acting managing director David Anderson among those in the running.

The settlement also comes a day after Ita Buttrose was named as the next chair of the ABC Board.

“We’ll have to look at the acting managing director’s credentials in line with all the other people that have applied. I’m assuming they have quite a few,” Ms Buttrose told reporters in Sydney yesterday.

The former editor of Cleo and Australian Women’s Weekly magazines and 2013 Australian of the Year has vowed to restore stability to the broadcaster’s management.

Her relationship with the new managing director will be key to that goal, she stressed.

“If there’s not a close relationship between the chair and the managing director, you cannot make an organisation work efficiently and well,” she said.

“It’s time to get the ABC functioning again with proper, stable management and good frank discussion between the chair and whoever is the managing director.”

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