High-profile broadcasters Neil Mitchell and Derryn Hinch are at odds with the management of their radio station over 3AW's decision to appoint convicted insider trader Steve Vizard as a temporary host.
Vizard, who in 2005 was found guilty of abusing his position as a Telstra director for personal gain and was fined $390,000 and banned from being a company director for 10 years, will fill in for Denis Walter for two weeks from September 3 while the afternoon host takes annual leave.
Mitchell, 3AW's morning host, today slammed management's decision to appoint Vizard, saying it would hurt the station's integrity and reputation, and that listeners would not respond well to the breach of trust.
"I think that access to a microphone is a great privilege. I think in many ways, particularly for you, the audience, it is more important than being a director," Mitchell told his listeners.
"And if he's not a fit and proper person under the law to be a director, he's not a fit and proper person to have the privilege of using a 3AW microphone or the airwaves."
Mitchell said Vizard's name was "still in disgrace" in Melbourne, a view Hinch also made on air yesterday.
"Many commentators, me included, said he should have gone to jail," Hinch told his listeners.
"He knows he was lucky to strike the money deal that kept him out of clink.
"I believe that hiring him to appear on this station while still deemed a business pariah is an insult to our listeners. For starters, how the hell is he going to do the money advice segment?
"And if you think I am being harsh consider this: Vizard is not considered a fit and proper person to qualify to be a director of Fairfax, the company that owns this radio station. Yet he can go on air on 3AW.
"You can say he has been punished and has paid for his sins. Not true. He is still paying for them. There are still three years left on his ban as a company director. When that expires then it is time for his possible return."