ABC chairman Justin Milne quits following attempts to seek sacking reporters

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie

"My aim, has been to look after the interests of the corporation".

"There was absolutely no interference in the independence of the ABC by the Government", Milne said. He said he never used the term "babes", but did sometimes call people he liked "chicks" in order to relax them.

'I would never had funded these sort of programming choices if I was the minister.

Mr Milne also said he never demanded anyone be sacked because the government didn't like their reporting, but maintains he was entitled to intervene in editorial issues.

"When there is an issue of editorial independence and accuracy it's appropriate for the chair to be involved - it's the chair's job", he said.

After an emergency board meeting held without Milne, the ABC board thanked him for his "experienced leadership" and said it was "grateful for his willingness to put the ABC first in coming to his decision to resign".

Mr Milne had been under enormous pressure to stand down.

Speaking with reporters earlier, Morrison described the allegations against Milne as "very concerning", according to the AP.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has ordered his department secretary to run an inquiry and report back within days.

And it's clearly not a good thing for everyone to be trying to do their job with this kind of firestorm going on so I wanted to provide a release valve.

He is now under pressure from all corners of the political spectrum, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten interrupting his leave to declare the chairman's position was now "untenable", and Labor moving to establish a Senate inquiry into the alleged political interference. "In fact, I feel that the interests of the ABC have always been utmost in my mind and, just to get it on the record for you, there was absolutely no interference in the independence of the ABC by the government".

Overnight, Turnbull admitted he had been in contact with the ABC to discuss his concerns over the broadcaster's coverage, but denied he ever called for ABC staff to be fired. He said it was preferable for him to resign than simply step aside while an investigation took place.

Both Fifield and Morrison have declared their support for the ABC and suggested that Milne's reported interventions were unacceptable.

"The ABC is, and always has been, a fiercely independent news organization and it is of no concern to our program makers or journalists whether they are hated by any government", the motion passed by ABC Melbourne said.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

The former chairman denies this.

The communications minister's comments came after a similar denial from former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

He said neither he nor the former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had ever asked for a reporter to be sacked.

His denial, however, paled in comparison to a News Limited splash which claimed Mr Milne had phoned Ms Guthrie instructing her "to shoot" political editor Andrew Probyn.

Turnbull, who has been living in NY since being forced to resign as prime minister, said he had complained about the two journalists, but never asked for their dismissal, according to The Associated Press.

Recommended News

  • Bill Cosby SENTENCED: 'Sexually violent predator' Bill Cosby JAILED for sexual assault

    Bill Cosby SENTENCED: 'Sexually violent predator' Bill Cosby JAILED for sexual assault

    Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said the former TV star planned to remain silent when given the opportunity to address the court. The judge said he gave weight to the victim impact statements of Constand and her family, which he described as "powerful".
    Japanese space robots just landed on an asteroid (and took incredible photos)

    Japanese space robots just landed on an asteroid (and took incredible photos)

    If the mission is successful, the rovers will conduct the world's first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface. And sometime next year, another little hopper, MINERVA-II2, will touch down on Ryugu as well.
    Officer accused in shooting death of neighbor fired by Dallas Police Dept.

    Officer accused in shooting death of neighbor fired by Dallas Police Dept.

    She said when she put her key in the apartment door, which was unlocked and slightly ajar, it opened, according to the affidavit. Dallas police officer Amber Guyger , who killed Botham Shem Jean after entering his apartment, was sacked Monday.
  • Ford says she thinks Kavanaugh tried to rape her

    As for the hearing with Ford on Thursday, Hill wasn't too optimistic it would be an improvement from her own hearing in 1991. Senate Judiciary committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has said they will move ahead with the hearing Thursday.

    Oil jumps, then pares gains as Trump pressures Opec again

    At the same time, the demand worldwide is reaching 100 million barrels per day for the first time in history. And then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices.
    Texan who published 3-D guns plans jailed on sex assault charge

    Texan who published 3-D guns plans jailed on sex assault charge

    Last month a federal court banned Wilson from posting the designs for the 3D printed weapons online free of charge. The girl told authorities about their encounter last week but, police say, someone tipped Wilson off and he fled.
  • Fortnite Season 6 (v6.0) Map Updates - Floating Island, Corn Fields, and more

    Fortnite Season 6 (v6.0) Map Updates - Floating Island, Corn Fields, and more

    While not as extensive as previous map changes to the battle royale game, there are still a few highlights tucked away in here. And with Halloween approaching, it's only fitting that we now have a Haunted Castle overlooking Haunted Hills.
    Search continues for missing North Carolina boy with autism

    Search continues for missing North Carolina boy with autism

    Maddox was last seen wearing an orange T-shirt with the words "I am the man", along with black shorts and closed-toe sandals. A nearby jogger, who police have yet to identify, seemed to trigger young Maddox to start running fast, the father said.
    Classmates Who Endorsed Brett Kavanaugh Now Say Claims Warrant Investigation

    Classmates Who Endorsed Brett Kavanaugh Now Say Claims Warrant Investigation

    He also was a member of the all-male "Truth and Courage Society", better known among Yale students as the "Tit and Clit" group. It was "not an accident" that the judge's female clerks looked "like models", the professor privately told the group.
  • Versace on verge of sale to Michael Kors, reports say

    Versace on verge of sale to Michael Kors, reports say

    Versace had planned to float the company on the stock market but put the plans on hold owing to unfavourable conditions. Versace's net profit last year was just under $22.7 million, compared with a net loss of $12 million the previous year.
    Russia May Close Syria’s Airspace to Israel

    Russia May Close Syria’s Airspace to Israel

    Netanyahu says he is confident of the Israeli account and warns Putin against "transferring advanced weapons systems" to Syria . Israel said its warplanes were targeting a Syrian facility involved in arms shipments to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group.
    'Bumblebee': New Trailer for 'Transformers' Spinoff With John Cena Released

    'Bumblebee': New Trailer for 'Transformers' Spinoff With John Cena Released

    On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee the Autobot seeks refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town. Paramount Pictures has released a new worldwide trailer for the Transformers prequel movie Bumblebee .

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.