Royal prank call DJ departs Southern Cross Austereo as royal prank call dispute ‘amicably resolved’

michael christian mel greigRadio announcer Mel Greig, who was one of the Royal prank call DJs, has resigned from Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) after resolving a legal action against her employer for failing to provide a safe workplace.

Greig and her co-host Michael “MC” Christian had impersonated the Queen and Prince Charles on a call to the London hospital where Kate Middleton was receiving treatment for morning sickness in December last year, ostensibly seeking information about her condition.

Nurse Jacintha Saldanha transferred the call and the recording was broadcast by 2DayFM and the wider national Today Network sparking a media furore in Britain. Three days later, the nurse took her own life.

Grieg has been off air since the prank, while Christian returned to the Sydney station in February and later received the station’s “next top jock” award.

In a statement released overnight SCA also took full responsibility for the call, saying: “Prior to the call being broadcast she made suggestions for changes to be made to the recording of the call. 2DayFM decided that the call should be broadcast without alteration.”

Greig filed legal action in July, and the Fair Work Commission called for both parties to attend a conciliation conference where they would seek to resolve their differences in confidence.

In its statement SCA said Greig has departed on amicable terms as they have “resolved all aspects of their dispute arising from the royal hoax call”, and will finish her employment on December 31.

The Sydney radio station is in danger of losing its licence to broadcast as an investigation into the incident by the Australian Communications and Media Authority suggest the station breached the conditions of its licence by broadcasting the hoax call.

2DayFM made an application to the Federal Court to stop the Australian Communications and Media Authority from continuing its investigation into the incident in June, claiming the ACMA report was prejudicial.

However in the appeal was dismissed when the Federal Court ruled in favour of the ACMA four weeks ago. 2DayFM made clear it intended to appeal the ruling and the appeal was reportedly filed on Friday.

The announcement:

Southern Cross Austereo and Mel Greig today announced that they have amicably resolved all aspects of their dispute arising from the royal hoax call which was broadcast by 2Day FM in December last year.

Southern Cross Austereo has at all times taken complete responsibility for the hoax call and the company maintains its view that the recording and broadcast of the call was not unlawful. Southern Cross Austereo greatly regrets the unforeseeable tragic aftermath of the call and the company and all of its people remain deeply saddened by the death of Jacintha Saldanha. Southern Cross Austereo has contributed a substantial amount to a trust which was recently established to assist Ms Saldanha’s family. Mel Greig also wishes to pass on her personal condolences and regrets to the Saldanha family.

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.

Mel Greig has resigned her employment with Southern Cross Austereo and will finish with the company on 31 December 2013. Neither Southern Cross Austereo nor Mel Greig will be making any further public comment about her employment with the company. Ms Greig intends to provide a statement to the UK Coroner’s Inquest and Southern Cross Austereo will continue to fully co-operate with the Inquest.


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