Australian DJs Suspended, Radio Station Pulls Ads After Prank Leads to Suicide
Following the suicide of a receptionist who they tricked into giving information about Kate Middleton's pregnancy, the DJs are reportedly "shattered."
Mel Greig and Michael Christian, the Australian radio show DJs whose prank call to a King Edward VII Hospital nurse led to her suicide, have been suspended from their broadcast and are reportedly emotionally "shattered."
Rhys Holleran, the CEO of Southern Cross Austereo, the group that owns 2Day FM, said on Saturday that the company and the hosts "have mutually decided that the show will not return until further notice, out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy."
"I spoke to both presenters early this morning and it's fair to say they're completely shattered," he said. "These people aren't machines, they're human beings. We're all affected by this."
The DJs called King Edward VII hospital, pretending to be royals, and tricked a nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, into giving them information about Kate Middleton's pregnancy. Saldanha was found dead on Friday, having taken her own life.
Austereo also pulled all advertising on 2Day FM for the time being.
A spokeswoman for the company said that the ad suspension will last until at least Monday.
“They’re reassuring and speaking to advertisers but they’ve pulled them for the moment until they've cleared it all up with them," Sandy Kaye told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Because they've been so focused on the talent, they really haven’t had time to make business decisions and work ways forward, and the sales staff are not back at work and all of that, so I think they just said, hold off until Monday when business as usual takes over ... and start to look at business in a different light."
Still, the company says that they broke no laws, while an independent investigator in Australia said it would look into the matter.