Prime Minister Scott Morrison Has Reportedly Been given a shortlist of three potential candidates for the coveted role of ABC chairman.
ABC has been without a chairman or managing director for over four months following Justin Milne’s resignation as chairman after claims he told former managing director Michelle Guthrie to sack journalists the government didn’t like.
Korn Ferry, a global recruitment firm, started the recruitment process for the new chairman and an independent nominations board assessed the top picks.
The nomination panel is chaired by former Treasury head and ex-Westpac board member Ted Evans.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported sources close to the recruitment process said the Prime Minister and the Communications Minister, Mitch Fifield, received the nomination panel’s recommendations several weeks ago.
However, the final pick for chairman is yet to be sent to cabinet for approval.
Opposition communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland has demanded the government work with Labor to appoint he next ABC chairman.
She told The Australian: “Labor expects to be genuinely consulted with reasonable notice on the appointment of the new ABC chair.
Rowland continued by saying protecting the independence of the ABC is vital.
The ABC had a disruptive 2018, which included the sensational sacking of former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie.
Guthrie claimed her dismissal was unfair, filing in the Federal Court, suing the ABC for damages on the ground the ABC had no “reason to trigger the termination clause” in her $900,000 a year contract, which still had two and a half years to run.
Guthrie is seeking orders she be reinstated to her managing director role and be paid penalties by the ABC and three board members named in the Federal Court action, plus compensation for losses and damages.
The ABC is fighting these claims.
The new chairman cannot be selected until a new managing director is appointed.
Ita Buttrose is speculated to be under consideration for the role, however, it is believed she was not on the shortlist handed to Mr Morrison.
Former Fairfax media chief executive Greg Hywood and managing director of Gilbert+Tobin, Danny Gilbert, along with former Allens chief executive Michael Rose have been considered as top picks for the chairman role.
However, neither Hywood, Gilbert or Rose have confirmed or denied being part of the recruitment process.
Current acting chair Kirstin Ferguson didn’t apply for the permanent role.