Em Rusciano's boss at 2DayFM has denied the breakfast host is leaving the radio station, calling recent media reports of her impending axing "utterly ridiculous".
"I don't know where that came from. I think it was fabricated by someone and everyone decided to jump on the bandwagon," said Gemma Fordham, Southern Cross Austereo's head of content.
"She's under contract with us; there are no plans for her to leave the show in the winter ratings break."
2DayFM's breakfast show was thrown into turmoil last month following Rusciano's appearance on Wil Anderson's Wilosophy podcast, in which she lamented the show's "frivolous" content and criticised the way co-hosts Ed Kavalee and Grant Denyer were brought into what was, until December, her own show.
"I think I'm probably hurtling towards some sort of implosion in the next six months. You heard it here first," Rusciano told Anderson about her prospects of remaining on breakfast radio.
A report from News Corp immediately followed that staff were abandoning the breakfast show due to Rusciano's difficult behaviour, and that she was to be replaced by stablemate Ash London.
Fordham said she was "flabbergasted" at how the controversy snowballed.
"At the end of the day, the media had a hell of a lot of fun with a comment… I thought it was utterly ridiculous."
She said Rusciano's comments on the podcast had been misunderstood.
"The thing is, last year, she went through a really hard slog, and the results didn't come through as much as she would've liked," Fordham said. "And so she's got this nature, Em, that she kind of expects the worst. In a weird way, she feels she protects herself by expecting the worst all the time, when in fact, that's not how we operate."
Fordham called the media focus "a bit of a beat-up".
"Look, [Em] probably didn't make some of the smartest comments she could have on the podcast, but the show goes on and it sounds fantastic and the chemistry's awesome, and theyve had another great result today."
The breakfast show, which had dwindled to an audience share of just 2.8 per cent last year – its lowest figure since January 2015 – has steadily grabbed new listeners since Kavalee and Denyer joined in January.
Today's survey result saw its share jump 0.5 points to a 4.9 per cent audience share, its third increase in a row.
Fordham denied the episode had been disruptive to the breakfast team, as they sought to claw their way back from last year's dismal ratings.
"If anything, it's made them push on even more, because they've united even more," she said.
"The network is standing behind Em because she's part of our breakfast show. There are absolutely zero plans for her to not be with the breakfast show.
"The reality is we've had a show that's had consecutive books now with incremental growth, and it's the largest audience since the beginning of the year – would you be changing the show? We are not the underdogs anymore; we are absolutely getting back amongst the pack."
Rob Moran is an Entertainment reporter for The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Brisbane Times.
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