AUSTRALIAN journalist, businesswoman and former magazine editor Ita Buttrose has been named as the next chair of the ABC.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the appointment of the 77-year-old on Thursday on a five-year contract.
Buttrose will replace Justin Milne, who left the public broadcaster six months ago after clashing with former managing director Michelle Guthrie, despite her not being included on a shortlist of recommendations for the position given to the government.
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Mr Morrison said Buttrose was selected because of her passion, deep knowledge and empathy for Australians and her ability to put her audience first.
“That’s what the ABC needs to do too,” he said.
“Australians trust Ita, I trust Ita, and that’s why I’ve asked her to take on this role.”
The former editor of Cleo, Women’s Weekly and The Daily Telegraph said she’s honoured to have been given the role.
“I consider it one of the most important cultural and information organisations in this country,” Ms Buttrose said.
“It’s time to get the ABC functioning again with proper, stable management and good frank discussion between the chair and whoever is the managing director,” Ms Buttrose said.
“If there’s not a close relationship between the chair and the managing director, you cannot make an organisation work efficiently and well.”
She defended the broadcasters push into online news, saying it deserved to be there and also promised to not back down when it came to asking the government for more funding.
“I need to look at those things. I need to look at those figures and see what’s what,” Buttrose said.
“Let me assure you, if I think there is a need for more funding I won’t be afraid to ask for it.”