Sydney broadcaster was being defensive of his granddaughter, Acma says, but comments were ‘not appropriate’
An investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that the Sydney radio host Ray Hadley was in breach of decency rules for on-air threats to physically assault a social media user last year.
The complaint to the Acma was in relation to comments made in 2019 on the radio station Triple M 105.1 Central West. It’s understood a user made threats towards Hadley’s granddaughter after the broadcaster posted photographs of his family online.
Hadley called the user a “flea” and a “low-life dog” as well as suggesting they would be “be drinking through a straw for a long, long time” if he or his family members found the user.
“The Acma recognises that Mr Hadley was being defensive of his granddaughter, however, it is not appropriate for him to use his position as a public broadcaster to direct threatening comments towards an individual,” said Nerida O’Loughlin, chair of the Acma.
The investigation found that the comments breached the generally accepted standards of decency under the commercial radio code of practice, but a spokesperson confirmed the Acma would not be handing down an infringement notice or pushing for any actions in the courts.
“In response to the findings, Triple M Central West referred the matter to Nine Radio given the program was produced by Nine Radio’s 2GB,” a spokesperson for the Acma said. “In response, 2GB have counselled Mr Hadley and both 2GB and Triple M 105.1 Central West will ensure its staff legal compliance training will reference the broadcast and breach findings.”
This the first time the Ray Hadley Morning Show has been found in breach of the decency provisions in the code.
The Acma also investigated Hadley for referring matters relating to violence at junior football leagues to the police and police commissioner but found he was not in breach of standards.
Representatives from the Nine Network and 2GB radio declined to comment on the ruling.