Last night's episode of Media Watch zoned in on Ray Hadley's criticism of his own radio network for running Clive Palmer's advertising across 2UE and 2GB.
The radio mogul said it was “embarrassing” that Palmer would run ads on the programs of “two of his most fervent critics", referencing himself and 2GB's Alan Jones.
“I’m insulted by the fact that the management of this radio station think it’s more important to grab a lot of money for two weeks than what impact it will have on our listeners. I’m insulted by it,” Hadley said.
The ads across Macquarie Media feature Palmer saying: “We can change parliament. Only the Australian people have the power to put Australia first. Make Australia great. So many politicians are deaf to our needs!”
Hadley said he warned management about audience backlash and threatened to "take leave" while the ads ran.
“I can’t present a radio program where I’m inundated with hundreds of emails blaming me for a decision that I have no control over," he said.
However, the threat of leave was empty and Hadley returned on air the next day with an apology to the station’s management.
“I apologise for involving them in this, because that was not right. That simply wasn’t right involving them in it,” Hadley said.
When asked by his superiors if he wanted the ads removed, Hadley told his listeners: “That decision’s taken by other people whose opinions and decisions I respect… and for two weeks you, I and everyone else is going to have to put up with it.”
Hadley's comments follow backlash surrounding Clive Palmer’s 'Make Australia Great' billboards, which were called out by 2GB radio show host Ben Fordham who criticised Palmer for funding the campaign while owing former employees millions of dollars in wages. These billboards have been repeatedly defaced.
Data from Ebiquity reveals that Palmer’s two-week radio campaign is costing the party, and earning the station, close to a quarter of a million dollars.
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