Is 2GB host Chris Smith the first to fall after Alan Jones contract renewal?
After almost 90 ratings wins, 2GB broadcaster Chris Smith has fallen on the Macquarie Media chopping block.
A new report by the Daily Telegraph suggests Smith was hauled into a meeting with management on Monday to discuss his future at the top rating Sydney station.
After a contentious gathering, the daily newspaper says Smith “stormed out” of the Pyrmont-based headquarters. Luke Grant was immediately summoned to cover the afternoon shift, although Smith returned on Tuesday.
The top brass at 2GB were reportedly hoping Smith and evening host Steve Price would engage in a game of shift swap – Smith to evenings and Price, also a regular on Ten’s popular evening show The Project, to afternoons.
Suffice to say, it’s been a turbulent period for the talkback station with loudening controversy attached to both its breakfast host Alan Janes and mornings host Ray Hadley in recent months.
According to the Tele, Smith visited the building on the weekend to collect his personal belongings, and on Tuesday morning station management held “crisis talks” with Smith’s staff.
One radio insider has described the latest drama as “collateral damage”.
If negotiations between Jones and management failed, Hadley was tipped for breakfast and Price for mornings. But it wasn’t to be.
Jones inked a new two-year contract with the network last month for a reported $8 million after chairman Russell Tate stepped in to get the deal done. It followed a very public and prolonged negotiation that played out in the media.
Radio Today invited Macquarie Media and Smith to comment, but neither responded in time for publication.