Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, June 27, 2004
STAFF-ELECTED ABC BOARD MEMBER Ramona Koval's refusal to accept the obligations that go with board membership, notably confidentiality, was compounded by her instigaton of a public campaign against the decision of her board.

She did this by leaking material about a board decision to monitor its programming for bias to David Marr's My Pet Hates Watch program, which promptly made Ramona's leak a major issue.

Koval's silence when pressed for a direct answer to the question 'did you pass that material to David Marr?' was the most pregnant I have ever heard on radio. It showed Koval was not only disloyal but a sneak and coward.

TANYA NOLAN: Well just on Mr Newman's comments about you not signing that code of conduct. He accuses you of leaking confidential board documents about monitoring.

RAMONA KOVAL: Well, I have assured Mr Newman and the board, and anybody who's asked that I have always acted properly.

TANYA NOLAN: Who do you think leaked that letter on the ABC's independent monitoring to Media Watch?


I take that you, I take it that you can't discuss it, or you won't discuss it?

RAMONA KOVAL: Um, well I don't think it's right for me to accuse any of my fellow board directors. Um…

TANYA NOLAN: So do you know, do you know where it came from?

RAMONA KOVAL: (after silence) Well, why don't you ask Media Watch?

TANYA NOLAN: Well because you've been accused of leaking that letter.

RAMONA KOVAL: I've just explained to you that I have not done anything that is improper. I have always acted within my legal obligations.

TANYA NOLAN: But you haven't directly answered whether or not you were the one…

RAMONA KOVAL: That is my answer.

TANYA NOLAN: Maurice Newman says he's concerned that there might be board leaks in the future though, while you refuse to sign this code of conduct.

RAMONA KOVAL: Well, um, I'm not really sure about what Maurice's concerns will be in the future, um, presumably, um, he's not on the board as of the end of June, so his concerns about the future are I suppose, um, not relevant anymore.

TANYA NOLAN: What about your other fellow directors, can they have full confidence in you?

RAMONA KOVAL: Of course.

Who can blame respected business leader, Maurice Newman, for resigning from a board tainted by this woman? So Auntie loses one of her most able and influential friends.

This sad farce can only weaken Auntie, but the public sector unions, came out in support of the ABC union and the self-described 'Friends' of the ABC stayed silent rather than backing the ABC Board and management.