Scott Morrison has officially appointed ita buttrose as the new abc chair, while ABC’s former chairman Maurice Newman has lambasted the decision to ignore the recommendations of an independent panel in selecting the next chair.
Newman, who chaired the ABC board between 2007-2012, said the government’s choice of Buttrose, who wasn’t on the shortlist of candidates, “makes a mockery” of the process and is “unfair” to candidates.
He said it has “nothing to do” with Buttrose but rather it’s about “transparency”, “integrity”, and “fairness”.
Newman also said it was a “bad look” and that people who took part in the recruitment process were wasting their time.
Following a global search by recruitment firm Korn Ferry, the shortlist for the role consisted of former Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood, former News Corp chief executive Kim Williams, Holding Redlich national managing partner Ian Robertson, and Gilbert + Tobin managing partner Danny Gilbert.
The nomination panel process was first introduced by Labor in 2010 in an effort to de-politicise appointments at the ABC and SBS.
However, the government has no legal obligation to pick from the list provided by the panel.
Today, the ABC officially announced Buttrose as the new chair after it was speculated she was the government’s top pick.
In a statement from the ABC, Buttrose said: “The ABC is one of the most important cultural and information organisations in Australia and I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead it.
Acting ABC MD David Anderson said Buttrose would provide valuable strategic leadership at an important time for the national public broadcaster.
He said: “I join with all ABC employees in welcoming Ita Buttrose to this important role.
“Ms Buttrose is an eminent Australian with vast experience as an editor and media executive.
“In an era of globalised commercial media, a strong independent ABC is vital.
“We remain committed to outstanding news and current affairs, hosting conversations that inform the public, and delivering compelling content that is distinctive, high-quality and Australian”.