The statement came amid the furious backlash following the suspected suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha who put the call from 2Day FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian, through to Kate’s ward. The Sydney station said that it attempted to contact the private London hospital 5 times prior to the broadcast of the prank.
“It is absolutely true to say that we did attempt to contact those people on multiple occasions. We rang them up to discuss what we had recorded. We attempted to contact them no less than five occasions.” said the Chief Executive of Southern Cross Austereo media entertainment company, Rhys Holleran.
He told Australian news talk station 3AW that he felt the “appropriate level of checking” had been done prior to the broadcast.
However, no permission was granted as the station was unable to get a response. “This is a deeply tragic, unforeseen circumstance. We’re deeply saddened by the events. This is an incredibly tragedy, there’s no getting away from that.” said Holleran.
Since Friday’s tragic event, Southern Cross Austereo has put a blanket ban of prank calls across all of its radio networks. “We have taken all such calls off air until we can conduct a further review of what we will do in the future.” Holleran told a reporters at a press conference in Melbourne.
Jacintha Saldanha’s husband, Ben Barboza has paid tribute to his wife via his Facebook page, stating “I am devastated with the tragic loss of my beloved wife Jacintha in tragic circumstances. She will be laid to rest in Shirva, India.”