Sacked ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie "devastated" considering legal options

Australia

She was smart and we were excited.

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 previous year.

Appointed to the role in May 2016, Guthrie was the ABC's first female managing director.

Michelle Guthrie, ABC's managing director who was sacked by the board this morning, is considering her legal options, claiming the board had no grounds to terminate her employment.

February 2017: Both sides of politics criticise Ms Guthrie over a decision to switch off the ABC's shortwave radio service in the Northern Territory and parts of the Pacific. But she was only interested in a few parts of the organisation'.

Ms Guthrie, a former Foxtel and Google executive and media lawyer, has been a controversial figure at the ABC as she managed tighter budgets along with leading expansion into new business areas.

"I've got to say, I'm perplexed".

Ms Guthrie spent more than four years as a director of Auckland Airport.

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Sally Neighbour, executive producer of 4 Corners, tweeted: "excellent decision".

In a statement to staff the board said it had determined it was "not in the best interests of the ABC for Ms Guthrie to continue to lead the organisation".

Asked about ABC websites carrying online advertising, something sure to infuriate the ABC's competitors, Guthrie said it was too early to make pronouncements.

The host of the ABC's nightly news bulletin in Sydney, Juanita Phillips, also weighed in on the sacking.

The MD is selected by the board, independently of the government.

"This seems like a great chance to bring in someone who will help the ABC become more fair and balanced. So, in this case the board decided that it wasn't working out and decided that we should do a reset and that is what we have chose to do", he said.

"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", Justin Milne said. While my contract permits the board to terminate my appointment without cause and with immediate effect, I believe there is no justification for the board to trigger that termination clause.

She posted a statement two hours after the ABC announced she had been sacked and added that "at no point have any issues been raised with me" about her staffing changes.

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