This email was doing the rounds at ABC offices this morning:

—–Original Message—–
From: Russell Balding
Sent: Friday, 20 January 2006 10:07 AM
To: Russell Balding
Subject: Personal message to all ABC staff from the Managing Director

Dear Colleagues

Firstly, apologies for the delay in receiving this email which was due
to be sent at 9.35am this morning but not able to be sent until now due
to technical problems.

I am writing to let you know that I will be leaving the ABC towards the
end of March 2006, to take up the position of Chief Executive Officer
of Sydney Airport Corporation Limited. The formal announcement of this
appointment has just been made by the Sydney Airport Corporation this

This has been a difficult decision for me as I have found my time with
the ABC to be without doubt the most challenging, but most rewarding,
of my professional life. When I first joined the Corporation as the
Chief Financial Officer some ten years ago, I quickly realised that
working in Australia’s most significant cultural institution involved a
much broader range of responsibilities and commitments and also that
you were a quite unique and valuable group of people. It has therefore
been a privilege for me to have worked with you and specifically for
the last four and a bit years to have led the organisation.

I take immense pride in our many achievements together, particularly
over these recent years. I believe the ABC I am leaving is in good
shape, is in good spirits, and is well positioned for continuing
success. In the face of strong competition for the attention of
Australians the ABC remains a highly relevant part of our national
infrastructure, and a critical player in Australia’s media and cultural

On all our platforms our audiences both domestically and
internationally – as always a most significant measure of continuing
relevance – remain at all time high levels, and the strong connection
our audiences feel with the ABC continues to be demonstrated clearly
throughout our entire range of services. That is a great achievement in
the current rapidly changing media environment and a cause for
confidence about the ABC’s future.

Likewise, as we begin the new year I am confident that the programming
strategies we have put in place across all platforms will see the
Corporation continue to perform strongly.

In my remaining time with the Corporation I will be applying myself to
ensuring in particular that our contribution to the Funding Adequacy
and Efficiency Review remains focussed on ensuring the best outcomes
for the ABC, and that the related matter of our Triennial Funding
Submission to Government for the new triennium commencing 1 July 2006
is well positioned and strongly advocated to deliver a good result for
the ABC in the 2006 Federal Budget. In line with my initial view, I
remain confident of a successful outcome in respect of both matters.

I anticipate that an announcement will be made shortly about management
arrangements post my departure. In the meantime myself and the
Executive are continuing to attend to business as usual.

It remains for me to thank you all for your contribution to the work of
this great organisation and your support to me as Managing Director and
to wish you all, and the ABC, every success for the future.

With all personal best wishes.

Russell Balding
Managing Director
20 January 2006