Hinch has his say after sacking

Staff Writer

Hinch started his drive show this afternoon by addressing his sacking from 3AW.

As usual, Hinch didn't hold back……

Hear the audio, watch the video or read the full speech below….

Watch the video below…


Here is the full speech, as printed here on Derryn's website 'Human Headline'

Over….Not Out

Well. There’s a song called What a Difference a Day Makes. And, boy, is it  true in my case today.

I walked out of this studio after yesterday’s program and felt pretty good about things. And why not? We’d had a touch of nostalgia by playing some of my broadcast  from 43 years ago  when I reported from Cape Kennedy as Apollo 11 blasted off for the moon.

And then yesterday, I scored an exclusive interview with  Buzz Aldrin  who had walked on the moon with Neil Armstrong and we reminisced about that trail-blazing astronaut who died suddenly at the weekend.

As far as radio programs go it was pretty good. But.

I was then called into a meeting with the station’s General Manager, Shane Healy  and Program Director Clark Forbes and – I can’t be much of an investigative reporter – because they sacked me and I didn’t see it coming.

In their managerial parlance and before the real spin kicked in, they said they were not renewing my contract next year.

It was all very civil.  I asked why and was told ‘we’re taking the station in a different direction’. I pointed out that my Drive program was rating No.1 in Melbourne and so the only different direction they could take it was down.

I didn’t get a real explanation for why I was being terminated. And still haven’t. I thought that was owed to me and –even more importantly – to you, the listeners.

Healy was going on Mitchell’s program to explain but then declined. And, a short time ago, turned down an invitation to come on this program.

One senior executive did say that they planned to ‘push the boundaries’. Jeez. If you pushed the boundaries any further than I have on radio and television,  you’d fall off the edge. I have been to jail for causes. Been fined. Done community service. Done five months under house arrest for causes. And I think AW probably got tired of my causes. One exec did tell me when I came back here he hoped I wouldn’t ‘go on and on about the paedophile thing’. As if there’s a quota on stories when you are talking about protecting children.

In his press release, Shane Healy, said 3AW could not afford to stand still in the midst of the ‘immense challenges of the digital revolution’ and the station must  position itself to take advantage of the exciting possibilities opening up in the digital world and changing audience expectations.’

That’s funny. I’m probably the most accomplished person in social media of anybody at 3AW. Started the first internet site called Hinchwebradio twelve years ago.  Have more than 30,000 followers on Twitter. And my own HumanHeadline website. So that can’t be it. But I’m not going to plead my case. I don’t beg. I said during an earlier sacking on television. You can’t legislate against stupidity. And this is stupid. Your  twitter and email and on-air reaction has been amazing and I thank you. You have followed me through a lot of ups and downs –professional, personal and physical over the years. Especially the last year.

What intrigues me, in Mr. Healy’s absence, is the quote about ‘changing audience expectations’. I thought your expectations included a host who tried to tell the truth, championed your causes, challenged politicians and even challenged my bosses when I thought they were wrong.

[In fairness, I should point out that this dismissal has nothing to do with my comments last week about Steve Vizard. I’ve discovered this decision was made months ago.]

It’s funny you know. Radio and televisions stations have hired me for who I am and what I say. Then, they fire me for who I am and what I say.

But let’s put this into perspective. A lot of people have lost their jobs lately. My sackings just happen very publicly.

Last night having a subdued dinner with my wife Chanel, my visiting sister Barbara and brother-in-law, Les Swanson, and Shannon Reid my stalwart producer I told them to keep one thing in mind.

A year ago I didn’t think I’d even be alive 12 months down the track to even get fired.

At management’s request, this is my last day on air for a while. I’ll be back late next month to fulfil my contract. I’ll do it to the best of my ability. You wouldn’t expect anything less of me. I wouldn’t accept anything less.

So let’s use the corny signature  line… ‘That’s life’ and let’s get on with it.

FOOTNOTE:  I said I mustn’t be much of an investigative reporter because I didn’t see it coming. I was blindsided. Should not have been, in retrospect. Earlier this year, without even telling me, management cancelled our annual 3AW Variety Bikeathon. Guess that’s part of the ‘change of direction’. Even though we’ve given away 10,000 bikes to needy kids over the Christmases. I protested and it will be on next month on the Drive program, only.

That lack of respect should have told me something. Also I heard that my able fill-in, Tom Elliott, had been overheard telling someone at Channel Ten several months ago that ‘this is Hinch’s last year’  and he was replacing me.

I dismissed it as the wishful thinking of an ambitious young man. I was wrong. The decision to sack me was made in June.

Final point. A former director of 3AW’s owners [not former radio chief Graham Mott] told me today  that he had always believed 3AW could never be destroyed from the outside. Any destruction would come from within.

Maybe he was right. As I said: You can’t legislate against stupidity.

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