The radio and television host Kyle Sandilands was contemplating a bleak future last night. His 2Day FM radio show is in ‘‘recess’’ indefinitely and he has been sacked as a judge on Channel Ten’s Australian Idol.The controversial Sandilands has paid a high price for his defiance in the face of public fury over a stunt on his radio show in which a 14-year-old was questioned about her sexual history, during which she said she had been raped.
The decision could slice as much as $1 million from Sandilands’s income. He earns about $3.8 million a year from his TV and radio commitments – roughly $1 million from Australian Idol and $2 million from 2Day FM’s owner, Austereo, with a $100,000 bonus each time his radio show wins one of the eight annual surveys.Ten explained its decision to sack Sandilands, citing a growing disconnection between the sleaziness of 2Day FM’s Kyle & Jackie O Show and the ‘‘family friendly’’ Australian Idol, which begins its seventh season on Sunday.
‘‘It has become increasingly clear that as Idol has remained a family-focused show his radio persona has taken on a more controversial position,’’ Ten said.Another case of the radio show’s humiliation of listeners was highlighted on the ABC’s Media Watch last night.
A young Cambodian-Australian woman, whose family were refugees from Pol Pot’s regime, entered a competition to bring the aunt she had never met to Sydney from the US.
Only when the plane landed were they told the ‘‘twist’’: the aunt would be concealed behind one of three doors and unless the niece chose the right one, she would be flown back home immediately.The niece chose the wrong door. For eight minutes they cried and pleaded, even falling to their knees.After news and ad breaks the aunt was finally allowed to stay. The women told Media Watch they felt exploited.
Executives at Ten have spent the past five days consulting parties including Idol’s production company, Fremantle Media, and the owner of the format, the British company Nineteen.
Sources say Ten is concerned the more family-friendly image it inherited from the success of the ratings juggernaut MasterChef could be undone by letting Sandilands go unchecked.
Sandilands told Austereo on Sunday he was unable to perform his duties on-air, prompting the broadcaster to put his show into ‘‘recess until we have completed an across-the-networks review of the principles and protocols of our interaction with our audience’’. Austereo did not say how long the recess would last.
Sandilands said last night that he was disappointed with Ten’s decision. ‘‘I have truly loved being a part of the show and wish everyone involved all of the success for this coming season.”
Source; Sydney Morning Herald
Mate………..you better hope I never see you in the street.