Scott’s combative morning. Peter Costello is “no friend of the ABC”, and so his spray against the broadcaster in yesterday’s News Corp tabloids was utterly predictable, wrote Mark Scott in a response op ed carried in today’s News Corp papers and across the ABC’s websites.

“As is the fate of some former political leaders, it is easy to lose touch with the current reality and the sentiment of the public,” wrote the outgoing managing director.

“The ABC is a digital public broadcaster because the law says it must be – it is in the ABC charter. And the ABC’s most important stakeholder and owner, the Australian public, have demanded it be digital to remain relevant to audiences today and in the future.

“If you want to be a contemporary media organisation, you have to have a digital strategy that allows you to deliver across multiple channels to different audiences on different devices.”

While he was at it, Scott also responded, in a way, to an editorial in today’s Australian slamming the ABC over the Michelle Guthrie appointment.

“Radio and television news and current affairs — covering local, national and international issues — is the ABC’s core business. For that reason, it almost defies belief that a background in news and journalism was listed as the least important of 15 selection criteria the corporation used in choosing its new managing director/editor-in-chief,” the paper stated, following on from a Michael Bodey story yesterday that said the ABC board hadn’t prioritised journalistic experience in its search for a new managing director.

To which Mark Scott tweeted an article about News Corp chief Peter Tonagh …


Tonagh has never worked as a journalist — he’s a former management consultant. To quote former News Corp chief John Hartigan at the Prime AGM this year:

Who would have thought that Peter Tonagh would be running the company. It shows the level of disruption when you’ve got someone of his background coming in to the CEO [role]. It wasn’t all that many decades ago that I recall Rupert Murdoch just never countenancing having a management consultant anywhere near the building because he had a view, that wasn’t dissimilar to mine, in that once you let them in they’re a bit like white ants, you can’t get them out.”

Ain’t that fun. Although, in News Corp’s defence, Tonagh isn’t editor-in-chief, a title it appears the ABC’s new managing director will still retain despite a lack of journalistic experience. — Myriam Robin

Video of the day. R Kelly storms out of an interview after a journalist starts asking about his history of sexually abusing minors. He says he’ll only answer positive questions …


Front page of the day. Not everyone is going home for Christmas …


Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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