Former White House Chief of Staff to Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel once made the observation, ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’ or if you like, out of chaos comes opportunity. Churchill said something similar but in either case both these maxims apply to the ABC now more than ever.
So as to harness the chaos and instability and restore the faith and trust of all Australians, the government should be leveraging the chaos and taking this once in its 86 year opportunity, to sack the entire board, place the national broadcaster into a form of administration and start again.
Just as an administrator is appointed to wind up or assist companies trade out of difficulties — and the ABC is riddled with difficulties — the appointment of a credible, well known, administration czar would have unbridled authority to administer the ABC for a period of, say, two years, with a remit to take it back to its core business.
The remit would extend to matters of hire and fire and the shut down, merge or even sell off entire divisions, departments and under-performing networks that are being or could be duplicated in the private sector. The Triple J network for example. Part of the administrators remit would further extend to achieving fairness and balance in broadcast material and to achieve an overall attitude adjustment with respect to the deep vein of green/left bias that runs right throughout the organisation and to convey the message to the staff collective that the ride is over and that they are no longer in charge.