Southern Cross Austereo confirms journalist redundancies in the wake of ‘streamlining’

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Broadcaster Southern Cross Austereo has confirmed journalists in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have been made redundant in the wake of a “streamlining” of the company’s news services.

Among the most high profile of the departures is Hamish and Andy’s newsreader Geoff Field who yesterday confirmed his departure after 18 years.

Southern Cross Austereo (ASX: SCA) has refused to confirm the number of journalists departing but said in a statement: “Due to the streamlining of news services in the coming weeks, some of SCA’s best news journalists will regrettably be leaving the business in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.”

Field is well known to Sydney audiences, having previously been former breakfast hosts Kyle and Jackie O’s newsreader for many years.

In a Facebook post Field said: “I have left 2Day FM and I will be taking time out with Jason. Rest assured I’m OK, and once again thank you so much for your kindness over the years. I’m sorry I can’t reply, but I know you’ll understand…

“To the thousands of listeners, staff that I have respected and people that have supported me over the last 18 and a half years at 2Day FM, thank you. You have been so loyal and caring, and I will keep you posted as to my future now that I have left the station.”

He will be replaced by former weather presenter Emma Freedman, who does not have a journalism background.

Freedman this week won Seven’s Dancing with the Stars.

Head of Hit Network Dave Cameron said in a statement: “Emma’s profile and popularity is at an all-time high. She’s one of the brightest new stars in the radio industry, and we are excited to increase her on-air role across the Hit Network starting in a few weeks.”

Last year Field drew national headlines suggesting he might write a book about his time with Kyle and Jackie O, noting that the revelations would leave listeners “gobsmacked”.

Nic Christensen 


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