The ABC has apologized to Camp Gallipoli almost six months after Tom Ballard criticsed the charity foundation on his since-axed Tonightly program.
In April, Ballard claimed the former charity’s CEO Chris Fox failed to pay RSLs and other veteran organisations.
Now, the ABC has released an apology to Fox and backtracked on Ballard’s accusations.
Addressing Fox personally, the broadcaster said it apologises “for the embarrassment and distress caused to him by reason of the broadcast.”
“The ABC wishes to clarify that, although the objects of the Camp Gallipoli Foundation included ‘to use the surplus from the Camp Gallipoli commemorative events to support RSL branches and Legacy Clubs’, most of its other objects did not concern fundraising.”
“The ABC accepts that it did not have a proper basis to suggest that Fox acted improperly in his role as CEO of the Camp Gallipoli Foundation and regrets and unreservedly withdraws the statement made by Ballard that the Camp Gallipoli concept was a poorly conceived plan that ballooned into a costly and devastating failure thanks to the greed and hubris of those in command.”
Tonightly was axed mid-2018 with the final episode airing September 7.
During its final six months, th show was embroiled in controversy, with Ballard calling a conservative politican a “c*nt” on air and the hsot later accused of sexual misconduct.
At the time of cancellation, the ABC said in a statement: “We are proud of the program and its role in supporting some of Australia’s best emerging comedy talent.
It added, “Attracting younger audiences requires bold approaches and we continually experiment with new content and new formats particularly on digital platforms.
“We remain committed to exploring and developing projects that connect with different demographics.”
B&T has contacted ABC for further comment.