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Michelle Guthrie Considering Legal Action After Shock Axing From Top ABC Job

Australia

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has been sacked effective immediately because it was "not in the best interests" of the broadcaster for her to stay in the job.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was up to the ABC board to decide how the broadcaster is run.

She was given the benefit of the doubt, Faine said, and "most of us were excited ... that a woman clearly on top of new media" was taking the helm.

The board is appointed by the federal government, with Milne, who is also chairman of MYOB and a former NBNCo director, chosen for the role by his friend and former PM Malcolm Turnbull past year. '[But] my sense is ... it is important on an overall basis, in budget-constrained times, to look at all options around monetisation.'Guthrie chose not to do that in her address to yesterday's "Creative Country" event, put on by The Australian.

Ousted ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has responded to her shock axing, saying she is "devastated" at the decision made by the national broadcaster's board of directors and is now considering her legal options.

David Anderson, the ABC's director of entertainment will act as interim MD while a replacement is found.

It was also claimed in May that the ABC spent $2 million promoting online stories on Google and Facebook, all part of Guthrie's digital-first approach.

Milne and Guthrie reportedly had a frosty relationship, clashing over how to deal with a hostile government in Canberra.

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie is out.

"The ABC board has legislated independence in relation to management appointments and the Government respects the duty and role of the board in these matters".

"We appreciate that a change in leadership creates uncertainty, however, we are firmly of the view that this decision is in the best interests of the organisation."

Guthrie gave her first interview since her appointment to the ABC's News 24 this morning. "We needed a different leadership style", Milne told the ABC on Monday.

Her mission as managing director, as she saw it, was to ensure the national broadcaster's longevity for future generations. She has copped criticism for her employment history with News Corp and a perception she did not defend the ABC enough from opponents of the public broadcaster; and also came under fire for repeated controversial on-air episodes which upset members of the conservative Coalition government.

The $50m Great Ideas Grant, announced by Ms Guthrie in 2017, became a new content fund to finance staff members' ideas outside the traditional process. Her reign over the ABC was nearly relentlessly troubled.