herald

Sunday 22 January 2017

'I'm hugely disappointed' - shock as Anton walks away from Today FM job

Anton Savage in surprise exit
Anton Savage in surprise exit

Broadcaster Anton Savage will not be on air on Monday morning following a bitter parting of ways from Today FM.

The radio host stunned listeners when released a surprise statement confirming that he was leaving the station amid reports of what he said was a disagreement with management.

And he said that he would have loved to have been given the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to his listeners.

The Herald columnist said that his objectives for the show and those held by the new management "diverged greatly", prompting the decision to move.

He said that when he started the programme 22 months ago, working with a "brilliant bunch of people", they were told the objective was to create a great show and retain 65pc or more of the previous audience.

He described the task of doing that as "fun, challenging and collegiate" but it became apparent that his plans for the show and those held by management differed hugely.

"We disagreed on a move to set music quotas, we disagreed on significant changes to the playlist, we disagreed on topics for discussion on format, on choice of contributors and we disagreed on the choice of certain guests," he said. "It led to a situation where we have parted ways."

Disappointed

Savage added that he was "hugely disappointed" not to be continuing to work his team on the show and his fellow colleagues in Today FM who were "supportive and helpful".

"I am particularly disappointed not to be able to ­continue the relationship we had developed with the people who wrote to us each week, who told us their problems, their hopes, their funny stories who texted each day and who listened in homes, offices, cars and trucks around the country. I'd have loved to be allowed to tell them goodbye," he said.

Savage ended the statement by wishing his team and all the staff well in the future. He is now expected to concentrate fully on his company, The Communications Company, while also continuing his presenting work with TV3.

Today FM host Alison Curtis is expected to fill in next week.

Savage took over the 9-12pm slot almost two years ago, stepping in back in January 2015 after Ray D'Arcy left Today FM.

One of Ireland's best-known presenters, he regularly fills in for staff on TV3, as well as writing a column for the Herald.

The news of his decision to quit the station came as a bombshell to his listeners, who were left deeply disappointed.

Contract

Commenting on the announcement, Today FM said it had decided not to renew Savage's contract, given that it was due for renewal next month.

Station chief executive Keith McCormack said: "Following a detailed review of the schedule, the station is in the process of refreshing its line-up and focus.

"As part of this we have decided that we will not renew Anton's contract. I would like to thank Anton for his commitment and dedication to the station and I wish him the very best with his career."

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