Anton Savage reveals acrimony behind radio departure

Anton Savage’s departure from Today FM appears to have been acrimonious, with the presenter saying he would have loved to have been “allowed” to say goodbye to his listeners.

At around 4pm yesterday, just four hours after finishing what appears to have been his last show in the 9am to midday slot, Mr Savage posted a detailed message on Twitter through the @antonsavageshow handle. He set out how, a little under two years ago, he inherited the slot from Ray D’Arcy, who had joined RTÉ radio.

“We were told the objective was to create a great show and retain 65% or more of the previous audience,” he wrote. “The task of doing that was brilliant. Fun challenging and collegiate.”

He said it was through the hard work of the team on the show that it was awarded the coveted radio industry’s PPI award for Magazine Show of the Year in 2016. He said the broadcasts covered topics and guests “ranging from Hollywood stars to human interest, from news to daft stunts”.

However, behind the scenes, Mr Savage makes it clear that relations with the hierarchy in Today FM were not good, at least for the last 12 months.

“Over the last year it became clear that my objectives for the show and the new management’s objectives for the show diverged greatly,” Mr Savage wrote in the Twitter post. “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. It led to a situation where we have parted ways.” He then made it clear that his relationship with his production team and fellow presenters remained strong.

“I am hugely disappointed not to be continuing to work with the fabulous team on the show. I’m hugely disappointed not to be continuing to work with the other show teams who could not have been more supportive and helpful.”

However, he said he was particularly disappointed not to be able to continue the relationship with members of the public who tuned in, contacted the show with “their problems, their hopes, their funny stories”.

“I’d have loved to be allowed to tell them goodbye,” he concluded.

Today FM issued a brief statement in which it said it would not be renewing Mr Savage’s contract when it expires later this year.

Keith McCormack, the station’s chief executive 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.”

The station said full details of its new schedule would be announced early in 2017.


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