ABC rejects claim new boss was “Captain’s pick”

Michelle Guthrie

ABC Chairman James Spigelman has rejected claims made in an article that incoming ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie was a “captain’s pick” by PM Malcolm Turnbull.

In a letter to The Australian he wrote:

I refer to the article “Baptism of fire at Aunty” in which Michael Bodey again repeats some third-hand gossip in a statement attributed to “insiders”, that “Guthrie was, in essence, a captain’s pick by Malcolm Turnbull who made it known privately he was keen on a ‘woman from Google’”.

I state categorically that, before the Board’s decision, there was no communication with the Prime Minister about this appointment. When I informed him, he did not recognise her name, although he thought he had heard it. This is not surprising as she spent fifteen years abroad.

If he ever mentioned a “woman from Google”, it was not Michelle Guthrie.

I repeat, there was no political influence on the process of selecting the new Managing Director of the ABC.

Yours faithfully,

James Spigelman
Chair, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

No claim rejecting advertising to begin on Aunty though….!


  1. It is not unreasonable for a journo to make this allegation. The Coalition government has a long history of intervening and rejecting appointments in arts organisations and would have had no hesitation in rejecting an applicant recommended by the ABC Board if it didn’t meet its agenda. Both political parties have for years stacked boards with often poorly qualified Board members too who have no idea what management is up to. Let’s hope Michelle Guthrie can put some creative energy back into the ABC and make the case for more funding. As commercial free to air television audiences steadily decline and program funds decline we will need the ABC as a true and free national broadcaster which also properly serves regional Australia.

  2. bettestreep2008

    I thought she was appointed when Abbort was PM. Nevertheless she was definitely a ‘captains pick’. She is a good friend of one Rupert Murdoch.

    Just watch what happens immediately after she takes over. Although she is being paid over $1 million of OUR money, she will sack thousands of ABC employees to ‘save taxpayer money’.

    Here’s a helpful hint ;- take a pay cut. There is absolutely no reason for you to be paid over $1 million a year (excluding entitlements).

    Oh and we all know Tony Jones will be sacked and replaced by Andrew Bolt.

    • The Inspector

      And should we believe everything The Australian writes about the ABC?? They spend an awful lot of time focusing on the ABC and Fairfax. They cannot help themselves. Childish and pathetic.

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