ABC bosses clashed over Kylie Minogue
KYLIE Minogue has been caught up in new revelations about tensions between former ABC chairman Justin Milne and former managing director Michelle Guthrie.
Fairfax Media reports the pair disagreed over whether to hire the pop star to sing in a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign for the public broadcaster.
Mr Milne has told the publication he thought it would be "cool" to hire the star for the campaign and reportedly asked for the ABC's financial team to cost the idea without Guthrie's knowledge.
A source told Fairfax Ms Guthrie "hit the roof" when she learnt of the plan.
Ms Guthrie and ABC management reportedly rejected the idea as Minogue's $750,000 fee was considered too expensive.
Mr Milne has denied he pushed the plan on ABC management, telling Fairfax: "It wasn't my idea."
The former chairman, who quit last week three days after his board sacked Ms Guthrie, also denied knowing the cost of hiring Minogue.
But he said: "An emotional campaign with Kylie singing a song ... I thought that could be cool."
Sources told the publication Mr Milne had backed the idea at meetings earlier this year when the advertising campaign was being discussed.
The campaign, ABC Yours, has recently been released and features Australian stars such as Sam Neill, Jimmy Barnes and Tim Minchin.
Mr Milne has denied asking the financial team to cost the plan to include Minogue but acknowledged to Fairfax he had not spoken to Ms Guthrie about it.
"I think Michelle was away at that time," he said.
The fresh revelation is one of a series of leaks to hit ABC senior management in the past two weeks following Ms Guthrie's sacking last Monday.
A process is now underway to select a new ABC chairman and managing director, while the remaining ABC board members are under pressure to quit over knowing for a week that Mr Milne had called for two journalists to be sacked and doing nothing.
The government is also under pressure to overhaul the selection process for board members.
Fairfax reports the ABC declined to comment, while Mushroom Records, which represents Minogue in Australia, did not return its calls.