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Stan Grant leaves ABC, Ita Buttrose to step down

Source: ABC/Q+A

The ABC has lost two key figures with chairperson Ita Buttrose confirming she will not seek a second term and journalist Stan Grant revealing he has quit the broadcaster.

Ms Buttrose will step down as chair of the ABC after five years in the role.

The veteran broadcaster and magazine editor told the federal government she will not seek a second stint as the head of the public broadcaster when her term comes to an end in March 2024.

The government will soon begin the search for Ms Buttrose’s replacement, with selection to be carried out by an independent panel.

Grant, who stepped away from host of the Q+A, program earlier this year, has left the ABC to become director of Monash University’s Constructive Institute Asia Pacific, which is based in Denmark.

Grant, a Wiradjuri man and three-time Walkley Award winner, confirmed the move Tuesday.

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for me. It aligns with my values and draws on my 40 years in journalism, as well as my commitment to doing public-interest journalism better in a way that serves the public at a time when the stakes couldn’t be higher for our country and for the world,” he said.

Monash University said Grant’s appointment appointment to lead the Constructive Institute Asia Pacific was part of the School of Media, Film and Journalism’s wider agenda to address one of the key social problems of the modern age – tackling misinformation and disinformation in a radically transformed media environment.

Right chair for the right time

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said Ms Buttrose had shown outstanding leadership at the broadcaster during her tenure.

“Ms Buttrose was the right chair for the right time. Ms Buttrose is a giant of Australia’s media industry and the government thanks her for her exemplary service,” the minister said.

“She has much to do in the remainder of her term and will leave the ABC stronger than when she was entrusted with the role in 2019.”

Ms Buttrose said she enjoyed her time at the ABC immensely and was honoured to have chaired such a great Australian institution in a statement Tuesday.

“There have been many memories, some challenges, and I have relished the opportunity to play a role in the ABC’s history,” she said.

buttrose abc chair

Ms Buttrose was a ‘captain’s pick’ appointment by Scott Morrison. Photo: AAP

Ms Buttrose said it would be “business as usual” between now and March.

The now-81-year-old former magazine editor and TV host was appointed to the ABC chair as a “captain’s pick” by former prime minister Scott Morrison.

It followed the resignation of previous chair Justin Milne, following a fallout from the sacking of former managing director Michelle Guthrie and allegations he interfered with the broadcaster’s editorial independence.

Racially targeted

Grant officially quit as host of the ABC’s Q+A in July, two months after citing vile racial abuse in his decision to take an indefinite break.

stan grant q+a

Grant officially quit as host of Q+A, in July after standing down earlier this year. Photo: AAP

Grant was be replaced at the helm of the broadcaster’s audience-driven show by Patricia Karvelas, at least for the rest of 2023.

In May, Grant’s said he was “walking away” from Q+A due to escalating racial abuse.

“On social media my family and I are regularly racially mocked or abused. This is not new. Barely a week goes by when I am not racially targeted. My wife is targeted with abuse for being married to a Wiradjuri man,” he wrote in a column announcing his decision.

A “dispirited” Grant also took aim at ABC management for failing to do enough to support him.

“Not one ABC executive has publicly refuted the lies written or spoken about me. I don’t hold any individual responsible; this is an institutional failure,” he said.

ABC staff walked off the job to support Grant, and his statement drew a formal apology from managing director David Anderson.

-with AAP

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