ABC presenter Tony Jones
ABC presenter Tony Jones

ABC orders probe after top salary details leaked

THE boss of the ABC, who costs taxpayers almost $800,000 a year, is furious that confidential salary details of the public broadcaster's top staff, have been leaked to News Corporation.

The Australian newspaper and News Corp have today published figures which show Lateline host Tony Jones is its highest paid presenter on $355,789 a year.

ABC  managing director Mark Scott told Melbourne's ABC radio station he was very concerned about the release of such private information.

"I think everyone would expect that payroll information should be confidential. It shouldn't leak," he said.

The ABC has launched an investigation into how the information got into News Corp's hands after it refused to divulge such details to a Senate estimates hearing.

The ABC and News Corp have long been at war with News arguing that pay details of its staff should be on the public record as they are publicly funded.

But already the story has resulted in some questioning whether News Corp will release the details of its most highly paid journalists and columnists.

Documents published by the Australian show 7.30 presenter Leigh Sales is earning $280,400 a year, while former political editor Chris Uhlmann earns $255,400.

Mr Scott said the release of the information hurt the ABC and its ability to attract and mantain talent.

WHAT do you think? Should News Corp have published the salary details? Do you think the ABC is good value for money?

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