My Application For The ABC Boss’ Job, While The Seat Is Still Warm

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At New Matilda, with bugger all resources, we’ve managed to wreck a bit of sh*t over the years. But it’s no secret that I have long coveted a plum job at the ABC, where I could really stuff some things up for people… and governments.

And what plummer job than Managing Director, with the news this morning that Michelle Guthrie has been given the boot. Because apparently the federal government doesn’t like her. So said Chairman Justin Milne, apparently citing concerns about her “poor relationship with the federal government”.

Which is perplexing, because it means she must have been doing something right, when clearly she wasn’t.

Personally, I’m blaming the Guardian. They broke a story last week which revealed Guthrie was pushing crappy Google prizes onto ABC employees, having only recently left Google… apparently unaware of the ABC’s sensitivity to bleedingly obvious conflicts of interest.

HOUSE AD – WE’VE LAUNCHED A POZIBLE FUNDRAISER TO COVER CHRIS GRAHAM’S LATEST TRIP TO GAZA AND TO HOPEFULLY GET HIM BACK THERE SOON. YOU CAN SUPPORT IT HERE.

In any event, Guthrie is gone, and I’m looking for a job with an exorbitant salary that I can get done in less than 20 hours a week, so I have time to focus on New Matilda. Hence, here is my job application, written in the Buzzfeed listicle style, which is the editorial direction I would be taking the ABC once I wrest control.

The Top 10 Things I Would Do As ABC Boss

  1. Speaking of listicles, I’d sack the idiot who wrote this ridiculous piece of shit. Then I’d sack Tom Tilley.
  2. I wouldn’t sack Tony Jones. I’d move his desk outside my office and make him a ‘Special Envoy’ to get my lunch every day. Every morning would begin with an apology for ABC Lateline and the NT intervention.
  3. I’d launch an immediate investigation into Guthrie’s utterly perplexing statement this morning, which read, “While my contract permits the board to terminate my appointment without cause and with immediate effect, I believe there is no justification for the board to trigger that termination clause. I am considering my legal options.” Really Michelle? That shouldn’t take very long.
  4. Once that investigation is done, I’d order one into how the ABC got scooped for the story of her sacking by The Australian.
  5. I’d give Chelsea Bond and Angelina Hurley from Wild Black Women ABC 7:30’s time slot. I’d also bring back Chris Uhlmann. We were lovers once.
  6. I’d give all the staff of Q&A a crash course in what ‘left’ and ‘right’ means, politically speaking. In particular, I’d emphasize that ‘left’ does not mean Van Badham, and ‘right’ does not mean Cory Bernardi (which actually just means ‘right of Ghengis Khan’).
  7. I would give Sarah Ferguson the ‘Alt Right Round’ and make her sole job to interview all the right-wing crazies from around the world, one a day, five days a week, every working day of the year. I wouldn’t run any of the stories, obviously. I’d just keep her really, really busy.
  8. I’d task the editorial department with asking the Labor Party – repeatedly – what, exactly, they’ll do if they win office about restoring funding to the ABC. Shorten recently waxed liberal (pun intended) in June about ending the funding indexation pause introduced recently by the then Turnbull Government. Which is all very nice, except that an additional quarter of a billion dollars in cuts were implemented in 2014. Make a promise Bill. Grow a backbone. You’re gunna need the extra funds to pay my new salary.
  9. I’d bring back Fat Cat, with pants (Fat Cat was never on the ABC but should have been… albeit with pants). I’d bring back Mr Squiggle, but without pants (just to balance things out). I’d also give Chris Mitchell (ex-Australian editor) his own show, but I’d make him share it with Helen Razer (that would actually be pretty good television). And I’d poach Andrew Bolt from Sky, and then broadcast his show every evening from an air-tight, sound-proof glass box.
  10. I’d give everyone pay rises. Except Tony (I’m nothing if not a populist, albeit one who harbours great animus).

HOUSE AD – WE’VE LAUNCHED A POZIBLE FUNDRAISER TO COVER CHRIS GRAHAM’S LATEST TRIP TO GAZA AND TO HOPEFULLY GET HIM BACK THERE SOON. YOU CAN SUPPORT IT HERE.

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Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. Chris has won a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards for his reporting. He lives in Brisbane and splits his time between Stradbroke Island, where New Matilda is based, and the mainland.

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