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ABC MD watch - latest:

Monday 27 May, 2002

AMT has received this statement from ABC Chairman Donald McDonald about the recruitment process for the Managing Director:

"It has been reported recently that political pressure is mounting regarding the appointment process of the new Managing Director of the ABC. I want assure the public, that the Board has not and will not succumb to such pressures, regardless of their source.

From the moment this process began, the Board has employed exacting standards to ensure that the most appropriate candidates are considered for this important public position. Strident criticism that the Board is taking too long to make the appointment fails to take account of established practice and experience among many large public and private sector organisations of similar size and complexity.

Let me make one thing very clear, it is the sole responsibility of the Board of the ABC to select the Managing Director. We will follow due process to the letter, and we will not be influenced by comments, suggestions and criticisms from people who care little for the efficient and productive operation of the ABC and who may have other commercial interests to serve.

The Board will continue to defend the ABC s independence, where its strength and relevance lies. To do otherwise would be an abrogation of its legislated duty to the public of Australia.

What has been absent from much of the discussion in the media is just how well the ABC is currently performing under its very talented and capable executive group. ABC audiences across radio, television and online have never been stronger."

The Australian today (Friday 24/5) reports that Russell Balding is now likely to be the recommended candidate and will be considered at the next Board meeting.

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