“I will no longer be on TV … it is too painful to be in the public eye”


Former Lateline presenter Emma Alberici has settled with ABC, confirming her redundancy from the broadcaster after 18 years.

She confirmed declining an offer of a role with ABC News Channel and to work fulltime on Foreign Correspondent (she was most recently a contributing reporter).

Alberici has also been subjected to ongoing press coverage over her recent role as chief economics correspondent, around which ABC acknowledged “factual errors”, and an ensuing Fair Work Commission claim.

On social media she responded to the latest reports.

Earlier today The Australian published leaked correspondence from Alberici’s lawyer Chris McArdle, reportedly sent to ABC’s managing director David Anderson in July, in which ABC news director Gaven Morris is accused of telling Alberici that ex-PM Malcolm Turnbull was constantly calling him to make complaints.

“Mr Morris has complained to our client that she is the cause of the ‘prime minister ringing him’ with complaints,” the legal letter from McArdle Legal says.

“The allegation that former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull made a phone call to ABC director news Gaven Morris on any matter is incorrect,” an ABC spokesman said. “The ABC has no further comment to make.”

Turnbull has since weighed in on social media.

In 2018 reports also emerged that former ABC chairman Justin Milne told former managing director Michelle Guthrie Alberici should be sacked, because the government “hated her.” It was reported Turnbull had sent a list of 11 grievances to Gaven Morris.

Meanwhile, McArdle today told The Age he was “stumped” by the leak.

“I don’t know whose interest it was in to have that stuff [released to media] the day after we did a deal,” he said. “Emma is very distressed by what has been done to her but she has now settled her dispute and it’s over. She was unhappy with the past but she is happy with the present and she embraces the future.”

16 Comments:

  1. timmydownawell

    She was treated horribly by ABC management and will be a huge loss to the network. I will also miss Zoe Daniel. What a shame. Going to need a change of government to fix the ABC.

    • … it often amuses me how some people seem to think that a “change of government” is going to “fix the ABC” often from the same people who vocally object to governments meddling with the running of the ABC … you can’t have it both ways. The most famous spat between politicians and the ABC was when Bob Hawke was PM and led to the “8 cents a day” campaign, designed to upset him after he and Paul Keating had presided over the largest cuts to the ABC’s budget (25% according to ABC’s own published figures), so it doesn’t necessarily follow that another party will make the changes that the ABC is asking for. In 2010 Mark Scott wanted the government to fund his idea for a 24-hour news channel, but they refused resulting in millions of dollars being taken from every other department to pay for it instead. Then Abbott stupidly made cuts and exacerbated the existing problem …

      • timmydownawell

        News from July: Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese says the party will restore $84 million cut from ABC funding if it wins the next federal election.

        • er … I hate to be the one to bring facts into this story, but Albanese (as Shorten did before him) has said he will reinstate the ABC’s budget indexation if he is elected. Now, given that later estimates are way below the original $83.7mil figure provided by Treasury in 2018 and particularly as this year the economy is actually going backwards, the ABC would actually get no increase (just as pensioners will not get an increase in September for the same reason) and, strictly speaking, should pay some back if the indexation model is to be properly applied. So a typical politician’s promise (doesn’t matter which party) … fairly meaningless in the end.

  2. carolemorrissey

    It’s a bloody disgrace how she’s been treated. We need more journalists of her calibre at the moment. They are few & far between.

  3. Despite all the haggling over when and why things did or didn’t happen, I will miss Emma as I found her professional and a trusted reporter. All the best Emma A.

      • I personally thought she was in the wrong role as “chief economics correspondent”, however she is very good journalist and interviewer. Saying that she has been treated appalling and that the Prime Minister of the country is calling up ABC Board members to complain about her is a scandal/disgrace. She deserved better treatment than she has received, and I hope she ultimately finds her way back to public journalism

  4. Gotta love Malcom’s response to Emma’s claim of bullying which has been omitted from the story above. Pointing out factual errors is not bullying. So many people these days think that someone having a different view from there’s or telling them they are wrong is bullying. Spoiler alert, it’s not. I guess it’s just an easy word to through out when you have lost an argument. Calling people racists in most cases is the same.

    • As an accountant I was frankly disgusted with the former Prime Minister’s decorum. How typically elitist of him to insinuate that Alberici doesn’t understand basic accounting. Malcolm’s the one responsible for the bungled NBN, now that’s an accounting error.

      • Do you really think that someone with majors in Economics and Journalism wouldn’t know economics and accounting? Turnbull was pointing out that she was writing anti-capitalist op-eds misrepresenting facts and falsely claiming that companies deducting expenses and carrying losses forwards was a crime, the sort of thing she got away with for a decade attacking politicians and business spokesman on Lateline. The pieces were so bad that management stepped in before breakfast pulled them and forced them to be rewritten so that the didn’t violate the ABC’s incredibly lax editorial policy.

        Turnbulls pushing for the HFC connections in the NBN wasn’t an economic one, it was technological one fairly typical of his narcissism. The economic problems was Rudd and Conroys, paying $20b for Telstra’s ducting, insisting on cabling more marginal Labour electorates first and the scam of…

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