The ABC supporters among Crikey readers’ ranks wasted no time in letting us know why they thought now-former ABC general manager Michelle Guthrie lost her post, and, more pertinently, why they think it was the right choice (responding to pieces by Bernard Keane, Charlie Lewis, and Bhakthi Puvanenthiran and Kishor Napier-Raman).
On Michelle Guthrie’s departure
Frank Ward, OAM writes: I believe that the managing director was sacked because of the campaign to promote the ABC as part of basic rights, with all the stars coming on to tell how the ABC was so important to our community, so future cutting of funds would be costly in the electorate. This, together with the political content of the comedy shows like Micallef made the Liberals act so that the ABC can be turned into another radio 2GB.
Andrew Jakubowicz writes: Kenny said the sacking was bad news as it would mean the digital jet-stream of chairman Milne would now fly higher. Guthrie, said Kenny, was at least prepared to stay with the radio and TV focus: ABC should never have had digital remit included in its charter because it threatened everyone employed by for-profit media companies. Kenny, however, is a fruit loop if he thinks radio and TV are not now digital. So it’s clear that the dump was not a pro-Murdoch move. But it will leave the ABC rudderless in the dying days of the Muppet government who will be out to deliver on their stakeholders’ demands — e.g. Murdoch’s desire to pulverise the ABC.
Lucille R: I would like to know the names of those who sat on the selection panel that appointed Guthrie. Her CV lacks the qualifications you need to enable someone to carry out the job. Her lack of media experience is evident. This was quickly exposed in the demolition of RN and continued throughout local radio morning shows. The loss of listeners has shown up in lower ratings. Staff have become demoralised by her leadership, or lack of it.
Now it is imperative that a new selection panel is set up, with none of the previous members, and a person is selected that knows media and values public broadcasting. I’m not saying the ABC is without faults, but without experienced, strong leadership and an adherence to its public broadcasting charter, it will continue to be vulnerable to attacks from commercial media and the government of the day.
Mariann writes: Poor process (Milne certainly didn’t do himself any credit by his poor showing this morning on ABC — coward) but for all ABC supporters who have had to watch while ABC trashed, the correct decision. Guthrie was simply not up to this position and never understood the cultural dynamic that surrounds the ABC. As the saying goes, the ABC is for all of us. Certainly iview was a terrific initiative but the dilution of really variable content and so much Anglo-centric content is very disappointing for our national broadcaster.
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