Michelle Guthrie sacked as Managing Director of ABC

Michelle Guthrie has been a controversial figure at the ABC as she managed tighter budgets along with leading expansion

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie sacked after several months of talks

Guthrie replaced Mark Scott as managing director in May 2016, after he had previously remained in charge for a decade.

The daughter of a Chinese mother and an Australian father - and the first female managing director in the ABC's history - her appointment marked a departure from the long list of white males who preceded her.

- 'I've got to say, I'm perplexed.

And she rejected Communications Minister Mitch Fifield's suggestion that the ABC could easily accommodate the latest 1 per cent efficiency divided required by the government.

"I am devastated by the board's decision to terminate my employment despite no claim of wrongdoing on my part", the now former managing director of the ABC said in a written statement.

She was given the benefit of the doubt, Faine said, and "most of us were excited ... that a woman clearly on top of new media" was taking the helm.

The sacking of the ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has brought her often challenging, sometimes tumultuous, two-year tenure at the top of the national broadcaster to an end.

Guthrie gave her first interview since her appointment to the ABC's News 24 this morning.

Senior journalist Sally Neighbour, executive producer of 4 Corners, tweeted: "Excellent decision".

Mr Milne said her relationship with the government was a factor, but there had been no government pressure.

"I recognise the challenges involved in transitions of this kind but I am honoured to accept the board's invitation and look forward to working with our outstanding people to execute our strategy". "This is entirely a board decision".

She posted a statement two hours after the ABC announced she had been sacked and added that "at no point have any issues been raised with me" about her staffing changes.

David Anderson, now director, entertainment and specialist, will serve as acting MD until a new appointment is made in the coming months.

"To me, it is the content produced by the ABC that is of primary importance to Australians, with the technology used to deliver that content a distant second".

The ABC board has commenced a formal search, both internally and externally, for Ms Guthrie's replacement. We'll update this story when we know more.

"This includes refocusing daily journalism away from lifestyle content and "clickbait" and back towards news and current affairs", the union said.

"The board wishes to thank Michelle for her contribution to the ABC", Mr Milne said.

He said it was an honour to lead the corporation.

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