Dramatic moment radio hosts are pulled off the air as entire station is shut down: ‘They have f***** us’
- Two hosts pulled live off air say they have been betrayed
- NZ’s Today FM shut down without warning on Thursday
- Angry workers were stunned and left without a job
Two radio stars have unleashed on their own station after they were pulled off the air without warning in what the co-hosts labelled a ‘betrayal’.
Today FM New Zealand co-hosts Duncan Garner and Tova O’Brien were broadcasting live on air on Thursday when they were informed the station was being shut down immediately for good.
As Ms O’Brien learnt of the news she said: ‘They have f***** us’.
‘And we’re all going to lose our jobs and the station is coming off air and I don’t know,’ Ms O’Brien said.
In response, an irate Mr Garner simply said: ‘This is betrayal’.
Radio co-hosts Duncan Garner (pictured) and Tova O’Brien could not hide their displeasure as they were told live on air their network was shutting down immediately
The Today FM hosts were furious after being pulled without warning with Ms O’Brien (pictured) saying, ‘They have f***** us’
Mr Garner went on to explain to listeners that the station’s staff were herded in together and told it was shutting down effective immediately.
‘There are people crying and really upset and shell shocked,’ Mr Garner said on air.
As Mr Garner continued to inform listeners of what had just happened he was interrupted by Ms O’Brien who said, ‘Duncan, we’ve been told we are coming off air, this is it guys’, as the co-hosts were told to cut the broadcast and go to a song.
TodayFM is part of MediaWorks, which owns and operates around half of New Zealand’s radio stations.
The station had only been running for around a year with the shutdown blamed on a lack of funding.
MediaWorks’ interim CEO Wendy Palmer said it was ‘an emotional day’ and a ‘difficult decision’ to end the Auckland-based network.
Ms Palmer said Today FM ‘needed time and significant ongoing investment in order to grow its listenership’.
TodayFM is part of MediaWorks, which owns and operates around half of New Zealand’s radio stations and blamed the shutdown on a lack of funding (pictured: Today FM hosts)
‘Unfortunately, given the current market conditions, the funding is not there to support this level of investment,’ she said.
A message from the head of Today FM’s digital team to Twitter said both the staff and listeners have been ‘robbed’.
‘As I type this, David, Duncan Garner’s producer, is crying in my arms as the harsh reality of cold corporate decisions set in,’ the post read.
‘Like David, many of our team feel like they have failed you. But, I can confidently say that they have done something like no one else has in the media space.
‘We were robbed. You were robbed.’
The post has since been removed with Today FM’s Twitter account locked and the network’s Facebook page deleted.
Another Today FM host, Wilhelmina Shrimpton, took to social media to say that ‘devastated is an understatement’.
‘Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d wake up this morning, and that Today FM would be gone by lunchtime,’ she wrote.
Marc Peard, who worked as part of the network’s sports team, said he is struggling to find strength and feels like he has let his family down as he is now out of a job.
‘Today as the news was delivered to the team I watched people I care about deeply burst into tears. People not knowing how they will make their next rent payments and how they will feed their kids,’ he said.
‘I feel embarrassed I cared so much… I feel bad as I’ve let my family down.’