Love is not the only thing in the air at the ABC under Managing Director Mark Scott, it seems. Today’s Sydney Morning Herald contains this item by Sue Javes (scroll to the bottom) speculating that the head of radio, Sue Howard, is on the way out. This follows similar hints in The Australian’s Media section last week.

My information is that rumours of Howard’s departure are simply wrong. Howard is going nowhere, and is likely to do well under Mark Scott’s new call for a leadership culture rather than a management culture at the ABC. The pair have a good working relationship and a close reading of Scott’s structural changes shows that if anything Howard’s responsibilities and influence have been increased.

Anyone who hangs around the ABC knows that Howard isn’t popular. She is what is euphemistically called a strong leader and over the years has made lots of enemies. There is probably a fair bit of hope amid the speculation, and it is a fair bet that Howard might have been encouraged to modulate her approach.

Clearly the snitchiness between the various ABC fiefdoms has a way to run yet, and as usual the ABC leaks like a sieve. But in this case, the speculation is dead wrong.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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