The ABC has agreed to pay ex-MD Michelle Guthrie almost half a million dollars to drop an unfair dismissal lawsuit, according to the Australian Financial Review.
The payout was agreed upon in the hopes it would resolve the dispute before the appoint of the new ABC chairman, Ita Buttrose.
However, last-minute legal issues delayed the deal until Friday after Buttrose was officially appointed as the new chair.
B&T reached out to the ABC for comment and was provided with the following statement by a spokesperson:
“The ABC can’t comment on the confidential resolution of the Federal Court proceedings”.
Sources told the AFR that negotiations between Guthrie and the ABC were at a stalemate until several weeks ago when an investment banker was brought in to help reach a settlement.
A former ABC director, Simon Mordant, allegedly helped negotiate a settlement of about $500K, in addition to the $800K Guthrie received when she was fired in September, sources said.
It is reported the settlement includes non-disparagement clauses that are binding on Guthrie and the ABC personnel involved in the case, including former chair Justin Milne.
According to sources close to the case, Guthrie insisted on the clauses in order to prevent further information about her firing and employment become talked about in the media.
A parliamentary inquiry is scheduled to question the ABC board on Tuesday about the circumstances of Guthrie’s exit.