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Mel Grieg Suing Today FM

Mel Grieg

Mel Grieg who was one of the DJ’s who was behind the royal hospital hoax is now suing the radio station saying it did not provide a safe workplace.

The former The Amazing Race Australia contestant’s star was on the rise in the radio industry when she and fellow DJ Michael Christian rang the hospital where the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for severe morning sickness. Their call was put through to the ward and were given an update of her condition. The nurse who put the call through later committed suicide.

Michael Christian is back on the airwaves but it appears Mel is still recovering from the incident and is rebuffing offers of roles at the station.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting:

RELATIONS between radio station 2DayFM and Mel Greig began to break down months ago when the presenter involved in the royal hoax call declined offers to return to work.

Well-placed sources told Sydney Confidential yesterday that Southern Cross Austereo executives had sought a new job for the distressed DJ on the network for six months. Jobs were offered on and off air in February and in production in March.

Greig was repeatedly asked what she would like to do and whether she would like to work in Sydney or her home town of Adelaide. The sources said she declined attempts to get her back in the job in which she had been a star player worthy of a plumb role on Hot30 Countdown show.

Christian returned to work in February but Greig is said to have told bosses she was not ready to work as she was “depressed and fragile”. This week it was revealed Greig’s lawyers, Slater & Gordon, had filed a Fair Work complaint claiming her employer had failed to provide a safe workplace.



1 JStar { 07.12.13 at 10:35 am }

Austereo will do everything to settle this matter confidentially. Whilst there is a potential AFP investigation and a current ACMA stoush, the least Austereo needs is public scrutiny, in an open court, of its culture and work practices. And this is ontop of a coronial inquiry overseas that may be quite damning on the station as well as a future civil suit by the poor nurse’s family. Austereo would not want anything tendered publically to be revealed.

2 PollyB { 07.12.13 at 1:20 pm }

We are all 100% responsible for whatever occurs in our life. No-one else is to blame for the way an individual feels. It is a choice. A choice to partake in a prank, a choice to take your own life.

3 Gabby { 07.12.13 at 1:48 pm }

I think it is the powers that be at Austereo who are to blame for this tragedy. They were the last ones in the line that said ”play it”. They should be held responsible at the court case in Britain and the nurse’s family should be suing them. I hope they get taken to the cleaners. Someone at the top has lay very low throughout these whole proceedings.

4 Littlepetal { 07.12.13 at 2:10 pm }

I recall now that the station was getting the approval to play it from their legal department but didn’t get a reply and someone said go ahead. That person has gone very quiet.

5 Daisy { 07.12.13 at 2:24 pm }

I saw an interview with the bosses. They failed to get permission to air the conversation but aired it anyway. These are mature aged people rather than a couple of immature DJs trying to make it a world of media where the shock jocks are the ones who make all the money.

The DJs are responsible for the actions to a point but had the execs done what they knew full well they were supposed to do, it would not have gone to air. Simple as that. The execs were knowingly irresponsible. Whereas the DJs were irresponsible probably due to immaturity and lack of experience. And pressure to come up with shock radio.

6 brain dead dave { 07.12.13 at 4:20 pm }

It’s the royal baby’s fault.

7 Georgie { 07.12.13 at 4:29 pm }

Hear hear PollyB.

Lol bdd.

Another thought – from what I’ve seen of Mel lately she’s walking very close to the edge herself. Will all those baying for blood, be prepared to accept responsibility if she tops herself too?

8 brain dead dave { 07.12.13 at 4:39 pm }

I had a bout of morning sickness myself today… I saw Kochie on Sunrise.

Cheers, Georgie.

9 PollyB { 07.12.13 at 4:43 pm }

LOL bdd – #6 & #8

10 Helen { 07.12.13 at 7:43 pm }

The whole situation is a joke. Firstly how is anyone to know that if a prank or joke is played and they’re involved that they are going to go and commit suicide. I think this woman had serious problems before this happened, if she wasn’t prank called then something else would have tipped her – it’s weird no-one else has voiced this (unless I blinked and missed it, probably – the news is pretty boring atm). So I don’t think the radio station is to blame or the DJs although it’s good that it’s been brought to everyone’s attention that this could happen and journalists might think twice before pranking or commentating and “upsetting” someone.

11 Gabby { 07.12.13 at 8:09 pm }

Helen it has been said that the nurse was more than likely in a mentally unstable condition when the prank was played on her. As you mentioned, hopefully the only good to come from a tragedy like this is maybe journalists and the likes will think twice before they pull pranks on the unsuspecting, as they don’t know what kind of mentally fractious people they might end up dealing with when they are trying to get their laughs.

12 JStar { 07.12.13 at 9:27 pm }

Austereo is home to those Matt Tilly’s Gotcha calls. I remembered Matt once explaining years ago (after airing a prank where the recipient exploded into F-bombs) that he had to ensure he had the person’s permission to air the prank on the radio airwaves afterwards. The person consented and asked that his business be also given a free plug. I mention this because basically, ALL radio DJs know that they need to obtain permission from those on the receiving end of pranks before they are aired. Mel Greig and Michael Christian were not radio novices. They received the same training as Matt Tilly and Hamish & Andy did on “pranking” protocols. I do not buy their very teary, but PR stage-managed apologies, last year on Today Tonight and A Current Affair. Through tears, they said the same thing, almost word-for-word, on both programs about how they weren’t responsible and that after the recording of the pranks, it gets sent off to other departments to look at it. They don’t get to decide if it goes on air later.

Bollocks! If memory serves me right, they had been talking up about the prank call (before it was aired) that morning as some sort of scoop. They, and others, are jointly responsible for the airing of this prank and going against the protocols they were taught. But the producers, executives, and the legal department at Austereo share equal responsibility for this as well. Mel Greig and Michael Christian are just the public faces but the others in the background all failed to follow protocols. If you recall, Austereo came out shortly after the revelation that the nurse committed suicide, that they tried several times to contact the hospital to seek permission to air the prank. Bottom line is they couldn’t speak to anyone about the prank call but still chose to air it even though no permission was provided. They went against their own protocols.

Ofcourse, it is highly unlikely that anyone could foresee such tragic repercussions. A coronial inquiry will make a determination on what happened and who, if anyone, is responsible for the nurse’s death. It is fair to say that the nurse was most likely suffering some sort of mental illness at the time. One thing is clear. She, at least, held the DJs responsible for her actions, whether this is fair or not. Her suicide note, that was leaked, was very certain in that regard. It is hard to argue against the words of a dead woman.

In terms of the current police and legal situation here and overseas, Austereo will not want Mel Greig’s lawsuit to go to trial as her and other people’s evidence will shine an ugly light on the machinations of the radio station. The lawyers will decide whether an unsafe workplace contributed towards Mel’s mental injuries but I can’t see why Austereo would want to drag out a lawsuit where the exposure of its work practices could lead to even more criminal and regulatory investigations.

13 Eliza { 07.13.13 at 12:51 am }

I agree that this poor lady must have had other things going on and this was just the thing to tip her over the edge unfortunately.

This whole situation is just plain sad. I have no animosity towards Mel at all. As other radio announcers have said, pranks have been a large part of radio for so long and this was one time where it went terribly wrong. I’m not justifying pranks, some are funny and some are plain stupid, however the radio station needs to take accountability. I am definitely one for taking responsibility for actions, and I do believe that this is a situation where you wouldn’t reasonably be thinking that what ended up happening would happen. I think that it is torture enough that Mel has to live with the fact that actions she took led (in whatever part) to another person taking their own life. Can’t imagine what she must be thinking each day and having the weight of negative opinion on you. This is not to dismiss what the family would be going through.

14 Rob { 07.13.13 at 1:47 am }

Mel’s only fault was allowing herself to be gagged by her employer while they hung her out to dry.

15 Gabby { 07.13.13 at 10:04 am }

I agree with 12, 13, 14, well written all of you.
I remember the radio station saying we tried several times to ring to obtain permission but couldn’t get through. Well if they couldn’t get through, they don’t air the piece, simple as that.
Also what you said about Mel, JStar, she knows what they did was wrong and she was part of that, that is why she is still carrying this shocking guilt around with her to this very day.
I think the radio station should be made to pay for not obtaining that permission.

16 Simon { 07.13.13 at 10:07 am }

Can someone please explain what an unsafe workplace is? The half a dozen or so articles I have read of this story, the structure is the same : a paragraph about the prank phone call, a paragraph about the nurse and a line at the end “Lawyers Slater and Gordon are taking the claim to Fair Work Australia claiming AusStereo is an unsafe workplace”. Is there plaster falling off the ceiling? Maybe some exposed wiring? Or are the DJs given enough rope to inflict hurt upon theselves?

17 daisy { 07.13.13 at 10:17 am }

Without knowing Mel personally and therefore not knowing if she is a callous person, I am inclined to agree with Eliza. Jstar, you make some good points and seem to be well informed. But Eliza@13 you have stated clearly what I think.

Having said that, the current DJ culture is pretty crap. Sometimes I tune in and all I hear are a couple of idiots laughing, no guffawing at their own comments, which aren’t funny. I think the idea is “If I laugh I’ll convince listeners that what I said was funny.

18 daisy { 07.13.13 at 10:23 am }

Simon, your line “given enough rope” to harm themselves probably says it very well, even though I know you mean it differently. It’s a good line to illustrate the way the radio execs let the prank go to air.

19 Rob { 07.13.13 at 10:33 am }

If your boss specifically instructs you to do something that might cause harm to yourself or some else and you do it (probably for fear of losing your job)….that seems like an unsafe work environment to me.

20 daisy { 07.13.13 at 10:42 am }

No matter what level of responsibility we may think the DJs had, there was a system that was supposed to be in place that, if it had been implemented as it should, would have protected all parties. I won’t be surprised if she wins her case.

21 Littlepetal { 07.13.13 at 11:54 am }

Not surprise that they will settle out of court to prevent being grilled about in house policy.

22 Gabby { 07.14.13 at 6:26 pm }

I’m with you Littlepetal, I bet it gets settled out of court.

23 Socs { 07.15.13 at 9:45 pm }

Spot on JStar; my thoughts exactly. You’ve said it more eloquently than I could’ve!