Former 2HD breakfast announcer has finally spoken publicly about his dismissal in today’s Newcastle Herald. Grant maintains that the main reason for his dismissal was apparently for not playing some commercials, something the station has repeatedly denied. Here is the full story from The Herald:
DUMPED 2HD breakfast host Luke Grant says he wants his job back, and he is willing to go to court to get back on air.
Grant left the AM station suddenly last month.
Early rumours suggested that the conflict with management, a plunge in ratings and Grant’s refusal to play commercials on air were to blame.
After receiving letters and phone calls of support, Grant spoke exclusively to The Herald yesterday.
It followed Saturday’s announcement of Brent Bultitude as the new morning host.
Grant said his former breakfast show had been slowly starved of resources in recent years as new management tried to resurrect struggling sister station NEW-FM.
He said he was dumped because he continually complained about the lack of promotion and assistance for what was once the number one station in Newcastle.
Further, Grant described his former station as “stale” and he said he was worried about its future because it was slowly dropping Hunter based content.
“We have not kept our sound fresh,” he said.
“It was the same commercials, the same ID, the same secret sound competition. We have stopped being the local voice for the community.”
Grant, who had a year left on his contract, said he was unceremoniously terminated ostensibly for not playing two commercials and doing one on-air read in December, despite a computer system glitch.
“In 41/2 years I’ve played over 100,000 commercials and they allege I missed three and I wasn’t given an opportunity to prove otherwise, he said.
“After 20 years as a commercial broadcaster why I wouldn’t I play an ad?”
Grant said he had a strong caser for unfair dismissal and was scheduled to enter conciliation next month.
He described the weeks since he went off air as “tough” and said he wanted to return to the station.
“I think I have a good connection with a pretty substantial audience, I think there’s more far more to do in the market,” he said.
Grant, who said he was the highest paid at the station, said his sacking was not about the money.
He said that by the end, he was doing his own production work right down to writing the quiz questions.
The Herald was unable to contact 2HD station manager Guy Ashford for comment.