Now hospital which treated Kate DENIES hoax call radio station contacted managers or press officers (despite bosses saying they’d phoned them five times)
Chief executive officer of Austereo said team attempted to liaise with King Edward VII hospital before it was played on radio but could not get throughRhys Holleran believes staff carried out appropriate level of dutyBut hospital said no one has contacted its management or press officeA spokesman said the presenter were 'kids out of their depth' but the station management had responsibility
Company suspends advertising from 2Day FM and orders review
Hoax phone call where presenters pretended to be the Queen led to nurse revealing Kate's medical conditions while in hospital for morning sicknessNurse Jacintha Saldanha who put through the call committed suicide
DJs Christian and Greig are in 'emotional state' following death of nurse
13:25 GMT, 10 December 2012
The King Edward VII Hospital today said the radio station that broadcast the hoax call did not contact senior management or its press office in advance – despite its claims it called five times.
Sources also said they were 'extremely
surprised' at the statement from the station because it indicated the
broadcaster was well aware of its responsibility to inform the hospital
of what it had done, yet went on to broadcast the call regardless.
The hospital spokesman said: 'Following the hoax call they did not speak to senior management or the company that deals with our media enquiries.'
Rhys Holleran, CEO of Austereo, said his team had attempted to liaise with King Edward VII hospital before the bogus royal call was played on Australian radio station
A hospital source added: 'To be honest no-one here is really
apportioning blame at the presenters. They are clearly kids out of their
'But there are serious questions to be asked of station
management about why they thought it appropriate to prank call a
hospital where there are extremely sick people and to broadcast what
were private medical details about one of its patients.'
The Australian radio station 2Day FM has shut down the show which made the royal hoax call.
Rhys Holleran, chief executive officer of Austereo,
the owners of 2Day FM, said his team had attempted to liaise with King
Edward VII Hospital before the bogus royal call was played on Australian
He added he believed
his radio station staff had carried out the appropriate level of duty
while performing the hoax in which an update on the Duchess of
Cambridge's medical condition was played live on air.
But today it was reported that 2Day FM was being shut down after advertisements were pulled from the show.
The boss of the radio station which made the royal hoax call said that his staff had tried to call the hospital five times before the prank was put to air. Pictured is MC and Mel – the DJ's who pranked King Edward VII hospital
The two DJs who made the call 'will not return to the airwaves until further notice,' the statement from the network, Southern Cross Austereo, said.
The company also suspended all prank calls, pulled advertising and ordered a comprehensive review of relevant policies and processes, CNN reported.
The news comes as Holleran said he believed his staff had carried out the appropriate procedures while performing the hoax call.
Under broadcasting rules in Australia,
the permission of anyone ‘caught’ in a radio prank must be sought before
the call can be put to air.
Holleran told Melbourne radio station 3AW: ‘We rang them up to discuss what we had recorded – absolutely (before it went to air).
‘We attempted to contact them on five occasions because we wanted to speak to them about it,’ said Mr Holleran.
‘It is absolutely true to say that we did attempt to contact those people.'
Sydney radio station 2Day FM presenters Michael Christian, left, and Mel Greig were interviewed by Tracy Grimshaw today despite the fact Greig in particular had been struggling in the wake of the tragedy
He did not say why the recording still went to air when they had failed to contact anyone at the hospital to discuss the prank call.
‘This is a deeply tragic, unforeseen circumstance,’ he said.
‘We’re deeply saddened by the events. This is an incredible tragedy, there’s no getting away from that.
‘When anything’s done, it’s done in a collaborative sense. Our people are very well trained’.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has begun an investigation into the prank and the furore that has followed in the wake of the suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha.
In another interview today Holleran refused to say if the station followed
regulator's guidelines and contacted the two nurses involved to ask
their permission to air the segment.
Australia's Channel Ten show The Project Holleran was asked three times if either nurse had been spoken to about their involvement in the call made by Sydney's 2Day FM deejays Mel Greig and Michael Christian.
Holleran said: 'We have a process and procedure in place and we followed those procedures.'
Missed: Jacintha Saldanha who committed suicide pictured with her husband Ben Barboza
When pushed again to answer by co-host Charlie Pickering to state whether he followed the Australian Communications and Media Authority's guidelines to get consent, he said: 'Again I'm telling you we did the appropriate review on the issue.'
Pickering asked him again whether the nurses were aware of their involvement.
Holleran said: 'We went on the record this morning, we attempted to contact the hospital on five occasions.
'If you look at the prank as the prank, 24 hours before this tragedy it was a light hearted attempt by two young presenters to do something with a dodgy accent.
'We have ended up with a consequence that no one could have predicted that's the tragedy.
'They are people that are affected by this tragedy, too.
'That's the reality. I am deeply sorry. These guys are deeply sorry.'
Holleran was asked if anyone in authority above the DJs was at the station when the call was made last Tuesday.
Poignant: Jacintha Saldanha was described as 'profoundly caring'
Tragic: The grieving family of nurse Jacintha Saldanha who died in a suspected suicide told of their devastation at her death. She is pictured centre, with son Junal and daughter Lisha
He said: 'I think that is an important question to ask and I want to make it clear that these two individuals operated with the normal procedures that we have within our business. I think that it is important that these two individuals did not recklessly put something to air. It went through a process.'
The Project presenters said they interviewed Holleran instead of Christian and Greig because it was felt it wasn't right to speak to the two DJs who are in an 'emotional state'.
Holleran said the pair were 'holding up' in the face of the controversy:
He said: 'They are taking each day as it comes. There are genuine concerns for the family. This is just a tragic event, this is not something anyone could have reasonably foreseen. These guys, their primary motivation at the moment is the wellbeing of the family, it has been nothing short of a tragedy.'
Tragedy: Jacintha Saldanha transferred a prank call from two Australian DJs who found out intimate details about Prince William's wife Kate Middleton who was staying at the hospital suffering from morning sickness
Despite the fact Greig in particular had been struggling in the wake of the tragedy, the radio station put both presenters up to be interviewed which Holleran defended: 'We had a long discussion with Mel and MC and it was something which they felt they wanted to do.
'They feel great sadness about the tragic event. It was their decision. We also took into account the professional people we have helping these two young people and we took all of this into account.'
When asked by presenter Carrie Bickmore if he might regret allowing them to speak, Holleran said: 'I think these two individuals had been lined up and promoted as the architects of all this I felt strongly they wanted to say we are hurting and we are deeply concerned about the family.
'This is not something they take trivially or lightly. It's a prank that would happen all the time within the radio industry across the world. No one could have foreseen what happened, they thought it was important that they do this.'
When asked if Greig and Christian were in the right mindset to speak out, Holleran said: 'I think there are lots of views on that. We sought their consent and professionals' views on the issue. It was thought this was a good step to do.'
Holleran said the station had suspended all prank calls: 'We have taken all such calls off air until we can conduct a further review of what we will do in the future.'