Ita Buttrose in front running for ABC chair, reports claim

Former magazine editor, Ita Buttrose, is the front-runner for the ABC chair position, media outlets are reporting.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, Buttrose is the leading candidate for the role, which became vacant after the resignation of chairman Justin Milne.

Buttrose has had an extensive career in the media industry

Both papers report an announcement could be made as early as this week.

However The Herald said Buttrose was not on the shortlist, which consisted of former Fairfax boss Greg Hywood, former News Corp CEO, Kim Williams, Film Victoria president, Ian Robertson, and Gilbert+Tobin managing partner, Danny Gilbert.

The ABC and Minister Fifield’s office would not comment on the speculation.

Buttrose has had an extensive career in the media industry, as founding editor of Cleo, as well as in her role with The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and the Australian Women’s Weekly.

Until April last year, Buttrose was also a co-host of Network Ten’s morning show, Studio 10.

Should she be appointed, it would mark an end to a five month search for a chairman, after Milne was forced to resign amid internal and external pressures. Milne’s tenure was supposed to continue until 2012, however he resigned after it emerged he had pressured recently sacked managing director Michelle Guthrie to “get rid” of prominent journalist Emma Alberici. At the time, questions were raised about political interference at the ABC and staff passed unanimous motions demanding he stand aside.

The ABC is still without a managing director, after it sacked Guthrie in September. Guthrie is currently suing the ABC, alleging it breached the Fair Work Act (2009). 


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.