Southern Cross Austereo has axed the Summer Hot 30 show after presenter Mel Greig and Michael Christian told their side of the tragic prank call story on two national news shows last night.
The pair appeared on Nine’s A Current Affair and Seven’s Today Tonight, both broadcast at 6.30pm, in their first public appearance since the death of nurse Jacintha Saladanha who put through their prank call to a colleague looking after the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge.
In a statement SCA said they were cancelling the show immediately, and has a company-wide suspension of prank calls, while advertising remains suspended on the Sydney station.
In the statement CEO Rhys Holleran said: “As a leading commercial radio broadcaster, we must ensure that our internal processes and protocols are robust. We don’t claim to be perfect and we always strive to do better. We have initiated a detailed and rigorous review of our policies and procedures to inform any improvements we can make.
“We are also providing support to our people who are deeply saddened by this tragic and unforseen event.”
In the tearful interviews the DJs told of their grief at what had happened, but Greig said they had “just made the phone call”, and left it in the hands of management, with Christian adding it was “put through every filter that everything is put through”, adding "we wanted to be hung up on".
Holleran yesterday said the station had tried to call the hospital several times before airing the call, but had received no response, while an internal review concluded “company protocols were adhered to”.
Both DJs described their grief at being told the nurse who had put through their “simple, harmless” call had taken her own life.
Yesterday shares in the group’s parent company Southern Cross Media plunged to $1.01, but recovered slightly by the end of trading to close at $1.04, more than five per cent down.