Business News Media

Royal hoax DJ resigns

By | Published on Friday 6 December 2013

Mel Grieg

Mel Grieg, one of the Australian radio presenters involved in a hoax call to the hospital where the Duchess Of Cambridge was being treated for morning sickness last December, has resigned from the company where she was working at the time, Southern Cross Austereo.

Grieg and co-host Michael Christian phoned London’s King Edward VII’s Hospital, which was, at the time, caring for a then recently pregnant Kate Middleton, in a pre-recorded item for their show on the Southern Cross-owned 2Day FM station in Sydney. Pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles, they convinced one nurse to connect them to Middleton’s ward, and another into discussing her condition. The former nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, took her own life just days later.

The two DJs were put on leave shortly after the news broke and their show was eventually replaced in January. Christian returned with a new show on the also SCA-owned Fox FM in Melbourne in February, and was named Australia’s Next Top Jock by his employer in June. Grieg, meanwhile, remained off air, and in July took legal action against SCA for “failing to provide a safe workplace”.

But this dispute has now been resolved, SCA and Grieg said in a joint statement yesterday, with the presenter agreeing to resign from the company. Saying that they “have amicably resolved all aspects of their dispute arising from the royal hoax call”, SCA said that it takes full responsibility for the broadcast and “greatly regrets the unforeseeable tragic aftermath of the call”. Though the media firm maintains that the broadcast did not breach the law.

Yesterday’s statement added: “Mel Greig wishes to make it clear that as an announcer she was not responsible for the decision to broadcast the hoax call. Prior to the call being broadcast she made suggestions for changes to be made to the recording of the call. 2Day FM decided that the call should be broadcast without alteration”.

Grieg will officially leave SCA at the end of this month and will also provide a statement to the UK Coroner’s inquest into Saldanha’s death.