At a vulnerable time for the public broadcaster, Williams has made a promising start by saying management must take staff concerns seriously.
One of the national broadcaster’s most urgent challenges will be ensuing its journalists feel management has their backs.
However, the problem of combining the managing director and editor-in-chief roles remains, and these must be separated to preserve editorial independence.
A Senate inquiry report has found that while the broadcaster’s board was aware of the deteriorating relationship between the chair and managing director, it did not make any further inquiries.
With a long history in the media and public life, Ita Buttrose’s appointment is a decision the government may have gotten right.
The national broadcaster has had a tumultuous history, targeted by both major parties at various times. No matter who takes office after the 2019 election, the ABC can never rest easy.
After a dramatic week at the ABC that sees them without a permanent managing director nor a chair, there remain serious questions about government interference and the broadcaster’s independence.
Flaws in the ABC Act set up conflict and allow the government to pressure it.
A former senior manager with the ABC laments the poor choice of Michelle Guthrie as managing director, leaving her - and the organisation - in an invidious position.
One of the reasons the managing director failed was that she did not understand the journalism she was overseeing, and that weakness filtered down the ranks.
In a blunt statement, the ABC board has announced the end of Guthrie’s tenure as managing director, declaring it was “not in the best interests” of the organisation for her to continue leading it.