News State Western Australia News Sattler may launch more legal action against 6PR

Sattler may launch more legal action against 6PR

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· Sattler sues for $500k

Sacked shock jock Howard Sattler is considering launching further legal action against his former employers having already taken them to court for unfair dismissal.

Sattler made international headlines in June last year after he asked former Prime Minister Julia Gillard during a no-holds-barred interview on 6PR if her partner Tim Mathieson was gay.

Fairfax radio management swiftly suspended Sattler, who had worked at the station for 28 years, then the following day announced on-air that he had been sacked.

6PR general manager Martin Boylen said Sattler’s conduct was disrespectful and entirely inappropriate.

Sattler said he was sorry he offended Ms Gillard – but had no regrets because he had told her it would be a “candid” interview.

He then launched legal action against Fairfax radio, seeking at least $500,000 in damages for unfair dismissal because he had six months left on his two-year contract.

At a recent directions hearing, the parties were ordered to go to mediation.

A date for that will be set next week and is expected to be in May, perhaps June, Sattler’s lawyer Bruce Havilah said.

Mr Havilah said his client was also considering taking separate action against Fairfax about “notifications 6PR chose to make publicly”.

He declined to comment specifically on whether it could be defamation action. But he said the matter centred on the impact on Sattler’s career of depictions of him as a disgraced media personality.

Mr Havilah said it was a “poor decision” for the radio station to announce Sattler’s sacking publicly before discussing it with the veteran announcer.

“It’s a shame, given there was an opportunity to deal with the end of the relationship more sensitively,” Mr Havilah told AAP.

“He took a very dignified approach.”

Mr Havilah said Sattler’s trademark edgy style was a ratings success and hadn’t offended his former employers when it helped them rake in revenue from advertising.

Fairfax radio was being sought for comment.

Separately, it has emerged that after decades in mainstream radio, Sattler has now accepted an unpaid role as a commentator with an independently owned, web-based amateur news group.

West Australasian Media Network founder and editor-in-chief Ivan Leung said Sattler would provide news commentaries once a week after the local news on a topic of his choice.

He’s now in his third week with the southern suburbs-based outfit, and his first two subjects were online bullying in light of the death of TV personality Charlotte Dawson and the Craig Thomson fraud court case.

“He wants to continue his voice in the media,” Leung said.

“He’s always maintaining his honest style.

“He’s a man who tells it the way it is and that’s why we love him.”

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