Macquarie hit for $1.5m for Jones' comment
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PERTH, Nov 15 AAP
November 15 2012, 6:51PM
The Macquarie Radio Network says it incurred losses of up to $1.5 million after broadcaster Alan Jones said the Prime Minister's late father died of shame.
Chairman Russell Tate said 15 advertisers had declared they would never again advertise with Sydney radio station 2GB but that it was impossible to assess the full impact of the episode on advertising revenue.
"Some bookings were cancelled, some were deferred and some were moved to other time zones on the station," Mr Tate told the company's annual general meeting in Sydney on Thursday.
"We will never know the actual cost."
In a speech at a Liberal Party function Mr Jones said Julia Gillard's father "died of shame" over her "lies", a comment he later apologised for.
The Macquarie Radio Network suspended advertising on October 7 to protect the show's remaining advertisers, after more than 60 companies pulled their ads as social media campaigners urged sponsors to boycott Mr Jones's radio show.
Mr Tate said on Thursday that the network's best estimate of the profit impact was "somewhere between $1 million and $1.5 million" in the current half-year period.
"We are confident that in the second half of the year there will be minimal, if any, residual impact," he said.
Mr Tate also attacked the accountability of people behind the social media campaign against 2GB.
"The difference between 2GB and some catchy URL is that we operate our radio stations in a regulated media environment," he said.
"As far as I can see, social media is accountable to no one."
Macquarie said it has asked for more information from campaign organisers but received no response.
"We requested face-to-face meetings with organisers, but I've still not met one," Mr Tate said.