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Balding flies from ABC post

SYDNEY -- In a surprise announcement, Australian Broadcasting Corp. managing director Russell Balding announced his resignation Friday to a take up a new position as CEO of the Sydney Airports Corp. Balding, who will leave the pubcaster at the end of March, departs four years into his five-year contract, having brought a period of stability to the national broadcaster after the tumultuous Jonathan Shier management. Balding's departure comes ahead of the announcement of findings of an independent inquiry into the broadcaster's efficiency and funding requirements and a decision by government on whether it will increase the Corporation's AUS$750 million ($555 million) annual funding for the next three years. Balding famously said last year that the ABC would be forced to stop producing drama is its funding wasn't increased.

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