By Daniel Lang - Managing Director
Ding, dong, the witch is dead!
Ok, maybe that's a little harsh, but ask anyone around the ABC Ultimo base and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone upset at the departure of former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie.
Guthrie was spectacularly given the boot this week midway through her contract with the public broadcaster and leaves behind her almost complete unity amongst staff around the joint.
For all her better traits, Guthrie always felt an odd fit for the ABC and seemed at odds with those who've worked at the station for as long as many of us can remember, so it is unsurprising that few have come out in defence of the former media and technology lawyer from Sydney.
Jon Faine, one of the highest profile dissenters under the Guthrie reign labelled her tenure at the helm of the ABC an "astonishing fail."
The Melbourne morning radio presenter made the comments on Guthrie's time with the broadcaster just minutes after it was announced she would not see out her term in charge, wasting little time in continuing his withering assessment of the way she had steered the ABC during a time of significant upheaval and change.
"She came in here, to the ABC, and was given the benefit of the doubt," he said.
"Most of us were excited that a woman - a woman who had a history of media engagement in our region and a woman clearly on top of new media - was going to be at the helm.
"The first time I met her I thought she was charming. She was clearly very smart. But at the expiration of the first year it became clear she was only interested in a very small parts (sic) of what the organisation did.
"She would not take on her role as a champion for this organisation. It's an astonishing fail on her part."
Ultimately, however, Guthrie was never able to sell her vision for the grand old aunty of Australian television to either the employees and people in the building or those of us who still rely on it's quality local content.
That Guthrie sat by with not even a whimper as the conservative government repeatedly slashed at funding for the ABC will also sit as a stain on her leadership of the broadcaster.
As Faine hinted at, many who work at the ABC thought they were getting a champion willing to get her hands dirty and fight with Canberra for every cent of public funding required to drag the ABC into the digital age.
Yes, old Aunty has iView and podcasts and appears a little shinier and newer than it once did, but it needed significant infrastructure investment to not only be the best it could be, but continue to provide the sorely needed platform for the everyday Australian.
So many of us rely on the ABC day in, day out and while the content is still great in a number of spaces, the lack of investment and hint of further cuts mean we may not be getting the public broadcaster we deserve.