High profile magazine editor and media commentator Ita Buttrose is the frontrunner to take the chair position at the ABC, despite an all-male shortlist being presented by the by the global recruiter.
According to a number of reports this morning, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is expected to take Buttrose’s potential appointment to cabinet this week — which could lead to further discussion and does not mean her appointment is confirmed.
Buttrose certainly has the experience to take on the role, having held high-profile editing and executive positions across publishing and television.
She is arguably Australia’s best known magazine editor and was named 2013 Australian of the Year. She’s known as a media trailblazer and innovator, especially for her time editing Cleo and The Australian Women’s Weekly, during the 1970s. She was recently a Studio 10 panellist with Ten Network alone with Nine’s morning Extra program, and has had an ABC miniseries made about her career. She has also served as president of Chief Executive Women, and as a director at New Limited and Australian Consolidated Press.
She would be only the second woman to take the position, since Dame Leonie Kramer took on the role in the early 1980s.
Buttrose’s potential appointment follows a tumultuous period for the management of the broadcaster, following the departure of MD Michelle Guthrie and chair Justin Milne.
Four men are believed to be on the Korn Ferry shortlist that was rejected, including former Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood and former News Corp chief executive Kim Williams.