In a statement, Southern Cross Austereo, which owns 2Day FM, said a minimum contribution of A$500,000 (£325,000) would be made.
Note: This article is from the Guardian.
This article titled “Royal prank radio station donates advertising profits to nurse’s family” was written by Alison Rourke in Sydney and Caroline Davies, for The Guardian on Tuesday 11th December 2012 10.45 UTC
The Australian radio station behind the hoax call to the London hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge has pledged to donate all its advertising profits until the end of the year to a fund for the nurse who took the phone call and was later found dead.
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, a mother of two from Bristol who answered the call before transferring it to another nurse, died on Friday in a suspected suicide at her nurses’ accommodation near King Edward VII hospital in London two days after the radio prank was broadcast internationally.
In a statement, Southern Cross Austereo, which owns Sydney’s 2Day FM, expressed its “deep regret for what has taken place in these tragic and unforeseen circumstances”. It said a minimum contribution of A0,000 (£325,000) would be made. Advertising was suspended on the station on Saturday afternoon but will resume on Thursday.
“All profits from advertising on 2DayFM until the end of the year will be donated to an appropriate fund that will directly benefit the family of Jacintha Saldanha,” the owners said. The company has also cancelled its Christmas party.
A postmortem was carried out yesterday. An inquest into the nurse’s death is to be opened tomorrow. Scotland Yard would not comment on a report in the London Evening Standard that a suicide note had been found addressed to her family.
The private hospital, where Saldanha had worked for more than four years, has established a memorial fund to help her husband, Benedict Barboza, and two children, a daughter 14, and a son, 17.
Questions continued to be asked about who at 2Day FM had authorised the call to be broadcast without the consent of the nurses. The DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who made the call in the early hours of Tuesday last week, have said it was standard practice for them to record an item and then hand it over to be assessed by others.
Southern Cross Austereo’s chief executive, Rhys Holleran, said on Monday that the station had attempted to contact the hospital “no less than five times” before broadcasting the pre-recorded material.
A spokesman for King Edward VII said no one from either the hospital’s senior management, or the company that handled its media inquiries, had spoken to 2Day FM before the prank call was broadcast.
Lord Glenarthur, chairman of the hospital, welcomed the decision by the radio station’s owners to make a sizeable donation to the nurse’s family, saying: “I have today read that Southern Cross media group have pledged to make a minimum donation of A0,000 to an appropriate fund. We would certainly welcome such a donation to [our] Jacintha Saldanha Memorial Fund.”
He added that the fund had received many donations from around the world.
David Cameron, giving evidence to the House of Commons liaison committee, was asked by the Labour MP Keith Vaz, who has met Saldanha’s grieving family, if they should be given all the information possible about her death.
“Of course,” he replied. “It is a dreadful case and an absolute tragedy for the family. When you read of how hard she had worked across her life and all the things she had done and how much she cared about health and looking after people … as I said yesterday, I am sure there are lessons to learn. When any of these things happen, having the full facts of the case doesn’t bring anybody back, but it does, I help people come to terms with what has happened.”
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