ABC’s head of radio Michael Mason resigns
Michael Mason has announced his resignation from the ABC.
In an email sent to staff on Wednesday, Mason revealed that he is stepping down from the director role he has held since 2014.
He will be replaced in the interim by Judith Whelan, who will serve as acting director until a full-time replacement is found.
“I am keenly aware that we have just experienced significant change at the highest levels within the ABC,” said Mason.
“After 34 years at the ABC I can honestly say I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to work alongside some of this country’s greatest broadcasting and media talent – both in front of and behind the mic.
“Now, I believe I’m just as privileged to be able to call time on my ABC career at a moment of my choosing. I want to tell you, though, that this decision is one of the hardest I have ever made.”
Mason was previously the longest-serving group program director for ABC Radio.
He also held roles including manager of radio and head of Local Radio, was the ABC’s State Director in South Australia, and served as the manager of 666 ABC Canberra.
“I’ve seen massive change in the ABC, as well as across the entire media industry – and never more so as in the past few years,” he continued.
“But almost in spite of the odds that seem overwhelmingly stacked against us at times, we have kept attracting the brightest talent and producing some of the finest content imaginable.
“Diversity remains a challenge for us, but I am proud that we have gone from just one female presenter having a voice in the primetime breakfast shift in our capital cities to five. We now have an Indigenous voice at breakfast in Canberra.”
Whelan confirmed the news via Twitter.
Huge news. @michaelmasonp is leaving the ABC after a stellar career in radio, most recently as Director of Regional and Local. I’ve been asked to step in as acting director from November 5. Very honoured!
— Judith Whelan (@whelan60) October 17, 2018
Mason’s resignation comes shortly after the ABC board sacked managing director Michelle Guthrie.
Her sacking led to ABC staff passing a unanimous motion for the ABC’s chairman Justin Milne to step down, with his resignation following soon after.
“This decision was made in early August, well before the departure of former Managing Director Michelle Guthrie and former Chairman, Justine Milne and is in no way linked to those events,” said Mason in his email.
Acting ABC managing director David Anderson said the position of director would be advertised internally and called Mason “a great colleague and leader.
“Michael has chosen to make his announcement at this time to give all of us the opportunity to transition smoothly to a new director and I thank him for this consideration,” said Anderson.
“The role of director of regional and local will be advertised internally as soon as possible with the aim of appointing a new director before Michael’s departure in mid-December.”