"This decision has been driven by our commitment to deliver the best possible outcomes for our loyal audiences".
Michelle Guthrie has been a controversial figure at the ABC as she managed tighter budgets along with leading expansion into new business areas. She wasn't asked and didn't speak directly about her time at News Corp, but she did address questions about a partial commercialisation of the ABC, which we and others have speculated could be on the cards given her commercial experience.
A report in the Sydney Morning Herald, a Fairfax-owned paper, found ads on the ABC's various YouTube channels from brands such as Colgate, Cadbury, Dior, Suzuki, Subway, Subaru and more. "The ABC's future is owned by all Australians".
"(But) the government, I must say, has provided no pressure, no opinion, has not been involved in this decision.
Guthrie's CV includes senior roles at News International and Google, a combination of old and new media that was seen as positioning the ABC to continue its digital evolution.
ABC staff quickly reacted to news of her departure. My term concludes on 4 July 2021.
Guthrie escalated her rhetoric from there, acknowledging that her contract included a clause permitting the board to oust her "without cause and with immediate effect", but claimed there was no clear reason for them to do so.
"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.
Have you been following stories about the ABC recently? To me, it is the content produced by the ABC that is of primary importance to Australians, with the technology used to deliver that content a distant second.
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.
Asked about ABC websites carrying online advertising, something sure to infuriate the ABC's competitors, Guthrie said it was too early to make pronouncements.
The board is appointed by the federal government, with Milne, who is also chairman of MYOB and a former NBNCo director, chosen for the role by his friend and former PM Malcolm Turnbull a year ago.
In an internal email to staff, the ABC said the board had given "long and detailed consideration to this serious matter".