Exclusive: Why I quit MacRadio - George Moore | radioinfo

Exclusive: Why I quit MacRadio - George Moore

Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Last Sunday, radioinfo broke the news that after 17 years, at 2GB and 2UE, George Moore had announced he was leaving the enormously popular George and Paul show on weekends.

In a brief statement at around 10:20am, he told listeners of 2GB, 4BC and network stations that he’d been offered a new contract to continue into 2020 and beyond but had turned it down. 

He said that while the money was good, the terms of the agreement were unacceptable and therefore, “with heavy heart,” he had no option but to resign. He had, however, agreed to stay until Christmas but would not return in 2020. 

MacRadio management did not respond to our request for clarification as to what was in the “terms” of the agreement that was such a deal-breaker that could not be ironed out between them.

However, George Moore did respond, explaining to radioinfo that the dispute centred around defamation insurance, the terms of which had changed from full cover to just the first $50,000. This would mean that had he had a judgement against him, as Alan Jones did in the Wagner Family/ Queensland floods case, which resulted in $3.7 million dollar payout to the Wagners, he'd be personally on the hook for $3.65 million - and that's before costs had been awarded. 

"Of course, they have the right to put that limit in, and I have the right to say. no thanks," Moore told radioinfo.

"I would have re-signed at the end of June, but the contract was changed, from full indemnity to a limit of $50K – which wouldn’t pay for a lawyer. 

"They said it was a small risk. And it is. But I could lose my home for simply doing my job.

 But every time you make a comment... you know they don’t have your back. And that’s what led to my decision," said Moore. 

 
 

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Anthony The Koala
22 October 2019 - 7:56pm
This is not a discussion of the Wagner case mentioned in the above article. It is about an unfair contractual term and which party bears the cost of litigation. As I said in another comment, nor will I speculate on the interactions between the presenter and management especially in light of recent management changes at 2GB.

As I mentioned in another post at https://radioinfo.com.au/news/george-moore-quits-macradio, when there is no meeting of the minds especially in regards agreement to the terms, there is no contract.

As this article revealed the disagreement was about the contractual term limiting the liability of defamation against the radio station to the first $50 thousand, no contract was formed because the parties did not agree to the terms.

No one was forced into an agreement, as one of the parties said in the article, "...of course, they have the right to put that limit in, and I have the right to say. no thanks...."

Even if there is no case (that is case dismissed) against the broadcaster and presenter or the litigant is vexatious or a liar, the litigation process may well cost over $50 thousand. Similarly the cost may well be over $50 thousand if the losing litigant cannot afford to bear the costs if the litigant cannot afford to pay the broadcaster's and presenter's costs. It has happened on several occasions.

I have never heard the departing employee say anything defamatory or vociferously attack anyone which could raise a cause of action. An over 40 year veteran in broadcasting would know what's defamatory and could only say what can be proven.

Even with a prudent broadcaster with over 40 years experience, HAD THE BROADCASTER SIGNED THE CONTRACT, there may well THE RISK of a litigant or vexatious litigant who may LIE and have NO CASE against the radio station and presenter still taking the radio station through the litigation process (mediation and trial). Even if the litigation process stops at mediation before going to trial, such costs could well be over $50 thousand.

Thus if there is a litigation process, it is UNFAIR that the presenter should bear the burden of the costs if there is no case OR the case is dismissed, especially if the litigant cannot afford to pay the costs. It has happened before where the litigant lost the case and had to pay costs but could not pay still leaving the broadcaster and radio station bearing the costs.

Thus one has to question the purpose of such a stringent contractual term limiting liability of the employer to the first $50 thousand. Such a term is totally unfair, especially for an experienced professional broadcaster of over 40 years who has never defamed anyone but may be subject to a lying or vexatious litigant and go through the litigation process and it does not reach beyond the mediation stage.

Regardless of employer whether broadcaster or newspaper or other kind of employer, no one would want to work for an employer limiting liability for a cause of action in defamation.

Regards
Anthony of exciting Belfield
Archibald
23 October 2019 - 7:10am
Anthony is spot on. It’s even more challenging given there are two presenters. One could say something that could be considered defamatory and both could be sued. It is a very dangerous precedent. It would be interesting to see if the directors and officers insurance has similar limitations.
Blue Trane
23 October 2019 - 11:38am
This is not surprising given all the litigation 2GB and Macquarie has the potential to have to fight. I bet their premiums have shot up in recent years for obvious reasons.

Given these presenters are on big money, I fail to understand why they can't pay for their own indemnity insurance.
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