An ABC broadcaster has lashed out at his former boss just hours after she was sacked halfway through her five-year term.
Radio host Jon Faine launched an incredible on-air spray at Michelle Guthrie, whose position as the public broadcaster’s managing director was terminated on Monday.
Faine, who hosts the morning program on ABC radio in Melbourne, said Ms Guthrie ‘wouldn’t advocate for us, which is an astonishing fail’.
‘Staff morale has never been so low,’ Faine said.
ABC Melbourne radio host Jon Faine (pictured) has launched an incredible on-air spray at the public broadcaster’s former boss
Michelle Guthrie (pictured) was sacked as the ABC’s managing director on Monday, halfway through a five-year term
Faine said he had two conversations with Ms Guthrie ‘about why she would not be our champion’
‘(She was) given the benefit of the doubt because she was a woman. She was smart and we were excited. But she was only interested in a few parts of the organisation.’
He said Ms Guthrie had ‘been all but invisible’ and when she was approached, all she would respond with ‘was all jargon’.
Faine, who has been with the ABC since 1989, also said he had confronted Ms Guthrie about why should was not the staff’s champion.
‘I personally had two conversations with Michelle Guthrie about why she would not be our champion, why she would not engage, she said ‘it’s not my style’,’ he said.
Faine had been an outspoken critic of Ms Guthrie – who became managing director in May 2016 – during her tenure.
Earlier this year, he said Ms Guthrie ‘has been remarkably quiet and reluctant to engage in what she herself previously has described as megaphone campaigning’.
Four Corners executive producer Sally Neighbour tweeted ‘Excellent decision’ with a link to a news article about Ms Guthrie’s departure as the ABC’s managing director
ABC News Sydney host Juanita Phillips took to Twitter to weigh in on the sacking of Ms Guthrie
Sally Neighbour, the executive producer of the ABC’s flagship 4Corners program, also hit out at Ms Guthrie following her shock dismissal.
Ms Neighbour shared a link to an ABC article report on the decision to dump Ms Guthrie as the public broadcaster’s managing director on her Twitter page.
‘Excellent decision,’ Ms Neighbour wrote.
The host of the ABC’s nightly news bulletin in Sydney, Juanita Phillips, also weighed in on the sacking.
‘Whoever the next MD is, they need a deep understanding of the history, purpose and importance of an independent public broadcaster, and be ready to fight bare-knuckled to protect it,’ Ms Phillips wrote.
The national broadcaster’s chairman Justin Milne and seven other board members deposed the ABC’s $891,000-a-year managing director, following a clash over its direction and a series of controversial calls.
ABC chairman Justin Milne (left with Ms Guthrie, right) said ‘the board’s foremost consideration was the long-term interests of our own people’
REACTION TO MS GUTHRIE’S SACKING AS THE ABC BOSS
– ‘I want to see an ABC that’s strong and doing its job and the board does as well.’ – Prime Minister Scott Morrison
– ‘I’ve got to say, I’m perplexed. I heard the report just before this media conference, I had a look at the statement from the board, I don’t think that really clarifies matters.’ – Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek
– ‘What on earth is the government’s explanation for Michelle Guthrie’s apparent sacking as head of the ABC. The ABC’s future is owned by all Australians.’ – Former PM Kevin Rudd
– ‘This seems like a great chance to bring in someone who will help the ABC become more fair and balanced. I nominate @PMOnAir (Sky News presenter Paul Murray).’ – One Nation leader Pauline Hanson
– ‘I am devastated by the board’s decision to terminate my employment despite no claim of wrongdoing on my part.’ – Michelle Guthrie
– ‘Whatever happens next, the ABC needs a strong advocate at the helm who will stand up to the relentless attacks from the coalition government and their anti-ABC cronies.’ – Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young
– ‘I am hopeful that the new managing director will ensure that that the Ultimo-centric broadcaster is more in line with the aspirations of Australians including by delivering benefit to the taxpayer, stopping the left-wing bias and bringing an end to the frolics masquerading as news and ‘comedy’ from some ABC employees.’ – Liberal senator Eric Abetz
– ‘We feel it is time for a new vision and new direction for the ABC to emerge, allowing journalists and content makers to get on with the job of serving audiences with the content they trust.’ – Journalists’ union MEAA
– ‘Excellent decision.’ – Sally Neighbour, 4Corners executive producer
Source: Australian Associated Press
‘I am devastated by the board’s decision to terminate my employment despite no claim of wrongdoing on my part,’ Ms Guthrie said in a statement on Monday.
‘I believe there is no justification for the board to trigger that termination clause.
‘I am considering my legal options.’
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.
‘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 in ABC content every week,’ Mr Milne said.