News National Michelle Guthrie to head ABC

Michelle Guthrie to head ABC

Michelle Guthrie will on Tuesday reveal her restructure plans.
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Michelle Guthrie has been appointed as the new head of Australia’s public broadcaster.

The ABC was left without a figurehead when managing director Mark Scott announced he would leave the position in mid-2016.

Speculation surrounded who would take on the role, with former News Corp Australia chief executive Kim Williams and SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said to have been considered.

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Ms Guthrie currently holds an executive role at tech giant Google, based in Singapore, but previously worked with Rupert Murdoch’s pay-TV outlets BSkyB (in the UK), Foxtel, and STAR Group in Hong Kong, where she secured her first CEO gig in 2003.

Mr Scott began in the ABC’s head position in 2006, and announced his intentions to step down in September.

“I have made no secret of the fact that I think 10 years is a long time to run an organisation, particularly in a sector as dynamic and fast-changing as media,” Mr Scott said at the time.

In the past decade, Mr Scott established the ABC News 24 service and encouraged growth in the broadcaster’s digital platforms.

He also weathered deep cuts to the ABC’s operating budget.

In her first interview since the appointment, Ms Guthrie she would examine “all options around monetisation”, when questioned on the possibility of paywalls and advertising on the ABC.

But she added it was “way too early for me to be talking about any of that”.

“I think the key thing for the ABC and the unique quality about it is telling those unique Australian stories and that’s what is going to keep it relevant to Australians of all ages,” she said.

“It’s important that we continue to tell those stories on both drama, news and current affairs, it’s extremely important.”

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