ABC chairman Justin Milne emailed former managing director Michelle Guthrie telling her to sack high-profile presenter Emma Alberici following alleged complaints about "bias" in her stories.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has long called out left-wing bias permeating the national broadcaster and party policy is for its budget to be slashed and its charter radically reformed.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports, in an extraordinary intervention that underlines the pressure on Ms Guthrie before she was axed on Monday, Mr Milne appeared to give in to government complaints about “bias” by calling for the chief economics correspondent to be fired because she was damaging the public broadcaster's standing.
Mr Milne’s email was sent to Ms Guthrie on May 8 and was later circulated to board members in the week before the former Google executive was fired. The chairman was replying to an email from Ms Guthrie that outlined a complaint from then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about Ms Alberici’s political coverage.
“They [the government] hate her,” Mr Milne said in the email, which was conveyed to Fairfax Media by a source close to the board.
“We are tarred with her brush. I think it’s simple. Get rid of her. We need to save the ABC - not Emma. There is no guarantee they [the Coalition] will lose the next election.”
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