George FM warns DJs - bag your mates (including Max Key) and face the sack
George FM sent an email to its staff warning them not to criticise their colleagues or face being taken off air just days after the station hired Max Key as its new night time host.
Days after the announcement that the Prime Minister's son would host George FM's new night show "Key'd In", a leaked email was posted on Twitter in which staff were warned to play nice.
No negativity towards the new roster would be tolerated and "anyone who cannot adhere to this requirement will be taken off air instantly", the email said.
Max Key (prime minister's son) gets a radio DJ slot. Radio station warns other DJs to keep quiet or lose their job pic.twitter.com/pcx6WSt49O— Dan de Sousa (@shootcutdrop) February 3, 2016
"As a direct requirement for anyone wishing to maintain a show at this station, ANY and ALL social media relating to the new George FM Night time residents and schedule must be positive," it said.
The email went on to say if employees see negative comments about the Night show from friends to ignore them because "we don't need you to go in and bat for the station".
Dan de Sousa, who posted the tweet, said he did not receive the email directly but screenshotted a post by an Auckland DJ.
To his understanding it was sent from the night time programming director.
"Definitely seemed like a heavy handed approach, and not one I can imagine them taking for any other DJ. Threat of instant dismissal? I work in the corporate Social Media world and I've never seen any policy so rigid," he said.
Mediaworks declined to comment on the email but a source said it was genuine, claimed it was not directly about Key alone, and employees often get emails "reminding" them about their social media behaviour as "bagging" George FM on social media reflects badly on the station.
A George FM employee, who declined to be named, said it was "just common sense to not put negative s... on social media."
The employee said fellow staff supported the decision. The employee said Key was a "sick DJ" so it was not hard to support the new addition.
"Like forget his dad and his Insta(gram) etc he's a good DJ," the employee said.
Host Aroha Harawira said in a blog post that people should give Max Key a break.
She said she found herself thinking "Jesus, this poor guy, he will always be hated, ridiculed and penalised for being John Key's son".
Although she admitted she had been judgmental in the past about him, she said she heard him on air and "he played a pretty sweet set".
"I value my friends' opinions and I'll give the guy a chance. I think you should too," she said.
Key was formerly part of the DJ duo "Troskey" with friend Josh Troskie, who played at many gigs - including Spring Break in Fiji.