Adverts pulled after death scandal

SAM MCKEITH
Last updated 20:28 08/12/2012
Fairfax Australia

The CEO of radio network Austereo says "nobody could have reasonably foreseen" that a prank their station pulled on a nurse at the Duchess Catherine's hospital, could have resulted in her suicide.

RADIO ROYA HOAXERS
STOOD DOWN: 2Day FM hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian.

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Austereo has temporarily pulled all ads from Sydney radio station 2Day FM in response to "panic" from advertisers over the royal prank call scandal.

A spokeswoman for Austereo, Sandy Kay, confirmed to AAP that there would be no advertising on 2Day FM over the weekend as the fallout from the prank call to London's King Edward VII Hospital continued.

Telstra and Coles today pulled advertising from the station in response to the scandal, while Optus is understood to be reviewing the situation.

"We have suspended advertising at least until Monday on that radio station in Sydney out of respect to advertisers until business issues can really be addressed," Kay said on this afternoon.

"Advertisers obviously have panicked, I'm sure it will all settle down."

She said the company would reassess the situation on Monday when it has had time to "regroup".

Sydney 2Day FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian have been taken off air after the suspected suicide of respected nurse and mother Jacintha Saldanha, 46, who took their hoax call to the London hospital on Tuesday (local time).

Kay said so far the primary focus of Austereo had been on the people involved in the incident, including "the nurse and her family and our own talent who are really struggling".

Austereo boss Rhys Holleran has said he's confident the 2Day FM presenters did not break any laws.

He told reporters the nurse's death could not have reasonably been foreseen.

In May, the broadcast watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), warned the station it could lose its broadcasting licence for any repeat of offensive on-air comments after morning show presenter Kyle Sandilands called a female journalist a "fat slag" and threatened to "hunt her down".

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