News Corp publications, The Daily Telegraph and Courier Mail, are reporting that Chris Smith is on the verge of being sacked from 2GB if he refuses to move into the evening timeslot in a straight swap with Steve Price.
Following a meeting with station management, Smith reportedly stormed out of Macquarie Media’s Pyrmont offices Monday, though he was back on-air Tuesday afternoon.
Luke Grant was called into the station to cover Monday’s shift.
Smith’s office is currently lined with packing boxes believed to hold his celebrity photographs and trophies, and his team were called in for crisis talks with management on Tuesday.
It has been a destabilising time at 2GB with the prolonged negotiation of Alan Jones contract forcing station management to come up with several different scenarios in the event they had to replace Jones.
Ray Hadley was reportedly offered the breakfast shift with Steve Price to move to mornings, but Jones re-signing for $8 million for the next two years left the pair where they are.
The difficulty for 2GB is that it seems Price is keen to move off evenings and afternoons is the only alternative open.
Chris Smith has told his audience, “I am in discussions with management about my future and I really do hope to have some good news soon. In the meantime it is business as usual”, though the Daily Telegraph is now reporting that Smith has asked lawyers to step in on his behalf to fight management plans that will see him moved from his top-rating afternoon slot to Steve Price’s night shift and that Macquarie Media has also launched an investigation into who leaked the story.
Moving Steve Price to afternoons would reportedly give 3AW the opportunity to replace Denis Walter with Price’s program in what is seen as a cost cutting measure.