Station gives family of prank victim cash

THE Sydney radio station that aired a fateful prank call to a UK hospital will donate at least $500,000 to benefit the bereaved family of a nurse duped by the hoax.

All advertising on 2Day FM was suspended after the nurse who first took the call, and transferred it to a nurse treating the Duchess of Cambridge, reportedly took her own life on Friday.

Yesterday, station owner Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) announced it would resume advertising on the station tomorrow.

The company pledged to donate any profits made by the end of the year to a memorial fund that would benefit the family of the late nurse, 46-year-old mum of two Jacintha Saldanha.

‘‘We are very sorry for what has happened,’’ SCA chief executive Rhys Holleran said.

‘‘We hope that by contributing to a memorial fund we can help to provide the Saldanha family with the support they need at this very difficult time.’’

A minimum $500,000 would be donated, SCA said.

The company has already suspended all prank calls across its network and  cancelled its annual Christmas party, instead making a donation to the Lifeline and Beyond Blue charities.

Radio DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian,  whose 2Day FM show was axed, have been attacked by British media for breaking their silence on TV current affairs programs rather than at a full press conference.

Commentator Richard Littlejohn said: ‘‘Until they tried to present themselves as victims, I had a scintilla of sympathy for them.

‘‘But for Michael Christian and Mel Greig to invite the world to share their pain is unforgivable. 

‘‘I’m sure their remorse was sincere. Turning their public apology into a self-indulgent, self-justifying sobfest was, however, utterly nauseating.’’  AAP

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