Royal hoax call DJ Mel Greig back in work as she calls for ‘new mindset’ for radio

mel greig mumbrella360One of the DJs at the centre of the royal hoax call, Mel Greig, has finally found work as she admitted it was “hard not to get bitter” at seeing other individuals involved in the prank remain in radio and in some cases handed promotions.

Greig revealed yesterday at the Mumbrella360 conference that she has accepted the job of content marketing manager at advertising agency Kingdom Advertising in Adelaide.

She said she will be “forever grateful” to Kingdom for giving her the opportunity to re-enter the workplace after being constantly rejected as she sought re-employment.

Greig partly blamed the stigma attached to her role in the prank, which led to the suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha who transferred the call, for her inability to land a job.

Grieg and fellow 2DayFM presenter Michael Christian pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles and spoke to Saldanha who put their call through to the ward where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for morning sickness.

Speaking at a session titled ‘winning is losing’ which explored how individuals and companies can learn from their mistakes, Greig explained how she “fought for her life” after sinking into depression following Saldanha’s death just a few days after the call, which made headlines around the world.

Responding to questions from Mumbrella on the sidelines of the conference, Greig said she had recently lost her ambition to work in radio, partly a result of the way other people involved in the hoax call have progressed in their career.

Asked what happened to other off-air members of the team Greig said: “I believe out of the team directly involved, they’ve all now been promoted either at Southern Cross Austereo or at another company.

“We all handle things differently and I was greatly affected. It is very hard not to get bitter but I can’t worry about everyone else, I just need to worry about what I can control and to keep moving forward.

“But for that reason, and a range of other things currently going on in the radio industry, it’s now not a place that I want to return to at the moment, and I hate feeling that way because I love radio.”

Greig was also asked what punishment she thought should be handed to 2DayFM by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

“Having just mentioned that half the team have moved on to new companies, I think it’s important to consider the individuals involved and asses if further training needs to be administered,” the former DJ said.

“I don’t think placing a huge punishment on 2DayFM as a whole will necessarily assure that the same mistakes aren’t repeated. I know as an individual I have learnt a lot and have spent a lot of time analysing what went wrong. And that’s what we need to do, learn from mistakes.

“This is bigger than slapping a station with a suspension, we need a change of mindset in the industry and we need to realise that we don’t need to be careless to create great content.”

The comments came after Greig spoke of her spiralling depression in the 18 months that followed Saldanha’s suicide in early December 2012.

“Our integrity failed, common sense failed, process failed and that call was aired,” she told delegates at the conference.

“It failed a family, it failed everyone,” she added, before describing how she sunk into a deep depression and “fought for my life for a year and a half”.

“It was very scary and I got help,” Greig said. “A lot of people said ‘what about your career’ but I didn’t give a rat’s arse about my career at that stage.”

Greig revealed that when she started applying for jobs again – initially in radio and media – she was essentially black-balled.

“I was told no over about 100 times and no is a word I never want to hear again,” she said. “But yesterday I had a yes from Kingdom advertising agency.

“I am so thrilled to be able to work again. I am going to be content marketing manager so all of the skills I have learned in radio over the past 15 years can go into driving online content for this agency and their clients.”

Steve Jones


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