Ita Buttrose Appointed ABC Chair
Media personality, journalist and 2013 Australian of the Year, Ita Buttrose, has been appointed the new chair of the ABC for a five-year term. The news follows recent management controversy at the national broadcaster, and the resignation of Justin Milne late last year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement earlier today, despite Buttrose reportedly not being included in a shortlist of candidates recommended by an independent panel to the government.
Mr Morrison acknowledged the panel’s recommendation did not include any female candidates.
Buttrose’s appointment comes after the Morrison cabinet signed off earlier this week.
Former ABC Chair, Justin Milne, offered his resignation in September last year, following mounting tensions with staff and the independent broadcaster’s board.
Milne’s resignation came just four days after the shock termination of ex-ABC Managing Director, Michele Guthrie, intensifying its leadership crisis. Guthrie has since pursued legal action over unfair dismissal.
It was alleged Milne also called for the termination of Emma Alberici and political editor Andrew Probyn, coupled with claims of political bias.
Despite contrary reports, Milne affirmed “nobody” from the Australian government ever “told him” what to do at the ABC.
His departure was a year and a half into term, with the expectation of retaining the role until 2022.
Buttrose is famously known for launching Cleo magazine with media tycoon Kerry Packer in 1972, and working as the Australian Women’s Weekly Editor-In-Chief until 1975.