Ita Buttrose is under serious consideration to take over as ABC Chair.
B&T believes Buttrose is the leading candidate, ending a tumultuous search for the ABC’s next leader following the bitter exit of Justine Milne and MD Michelle Guthrie almost six months ago.
A final decision may be announced as early as this week, with communications minister Mitch Fifield expected to take his recommendation to a cabinet meeting possibly today.
All shortlisted recommendations, made by global recruitment firm Korn Ferry, are believed to have been rejected.
Buttrose name is not believed to have been on that list.
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age revealed the final names provided by the panel for the prestigious position were all men: former Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood, former News Corp chief executive Kim Williams, Film Victoria president Ian Robertson, and Gilbert + Tobin managing partner Danny Gilbert.
If cabinet approves Buttrose, she would be only the second woman to take the top job at the public broadcaster after Dame Leonie Kramer in the early 1980s.
A government spokesperson said: “The government is undertaking a process to appoint a new ABC chair,” a government spokesman said.
“No decision has been made and an announcement will be made in due course”.
The appointment of a new ABC chair will end a tough stint for the public broadcaster, which began after the infamous sacking of Guthrie in September, which also resulted in the departure of Justin Milne over allegations the former chairman asked her to sack journalists the government did not like.
Appointing Guthrie’s replacement will be the new chair’s first responsibility.
Last year, Buttrose, whose media career spans more than 40 years with accolades including an Order of Australia, an OBE and the 2013 Australian of the Year Award, was the recipient of B&T‘s Women In Media Lifetime Achievement Award.