ABC in turmoil: who said what on boss Michelle Guthrie's sacking

"This decision has been driven by our commitment to deliver the best possible outcomes for our loyal audiences and the best possible experience for our own people", he said.

"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.

"The board felt in the end that her leadership style was not the style that we needed going forward".

Mr Milne said the decision follows discussions with directors and Ms Guthrie, 53, over "several months".

According to a statement released by the ABC, the decision was made when the directors resolved that it was not in the best interests of the ABC for Ms Guthrie to continue to lead the organisation. And why did The Australian break the news, thus insinuating the ABC's employees weren't among the first o know?

Guthrie was kicked out of the job on Monday half-way through her five-year term, and Milne said her relationship with the government was a factor.

David Anderson, the ABC director of entertainment and specialist, will serve as acting managing director until a formal search process finds Ms Guthrie's successor. At all times I have promoted the ABC's importance to the community, including having to defend and protect the ABC's independence. My term concludes on 4 July 2021.

"While my contract permits the board to terminate my appointment without cause and with immediate effect, I believe there is no justification for the board to trigger that termination clause". I think that is fair to say.

"I want you to know that I am passionate about the ABC's goal, public broadcasting and providing valuable services to Australians every day", he wrote.

She also sought to position ABC content at the centre of how the organisation invested in its future.

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.

The sudden departure of ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has been welcomed by key staff at the national broadcaster.

If handed the job ... her appointment will raise two key questions: will the ABC now separate the jobs of managing director and editor-in-chief as recommended by Malcolm Turnbull past year?

"The board has given long and detailed consideration to this serious matter", said Milne, who came in as chair after Guthrie was appointed.

  • David Armstrong