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Anton Savage leaves Today FM after rows with management

Drama as presenter blindsides station with angry statement – and station rushes to confirm his contract is at an end.

Image: Today FM

ANTON SAVAGE HAS announced he is leaving Today FM with immediate effect.

However, shortly after he released a strongly-worded statement on his former show’s Twitter account, Today FM hit back with a press release saying the presenter’s contract was not being renewed.

Savage said he made the decision following a number of disagreements with station management.

He took over the 9am-12pm weekday slot after Ray D’Arcy’s departure.

In his statement he said:

“22 months ago, I set out working with a brilliant bunch of people to create a magazine show we could be proud of between 9 and 12 on Today FM. We were told the objective was to create a great show and retain 65% or more of the previous audience.

“The task of doing that was brilliant. Fun, challenging, collegiate.

“The team on the Anton Savage Show could not have worked harder or been more creative or dedicated, and it was through their hard work that we were awarded our PPI award for magazine show of the year this year…

Over the last year it became clear that my objectives for the show and the new management’s objectives for the show diverged greatly. 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.

I am hugely disappointed not to be continuing to work with the fabulous team on the show, I am hugely disappointed not to be continuing to work with the other show teams who could not have been more supportive and helpful, and I am particularly disappointed not to be able to continue the relationship we had developed with the people who wrote to us each week, who told us their problems, their hopes, their funny stories, who texted each day and who listened in homes, offices, cars and trucks around the country. I’d have loved to be allowed to tell them goodbye.

“I wish my team and all the people in the station the best.”

Not renewing his contract

Today FM released a separate statement about 20 minutes after Savage’s tweet.

It reads: “Today FM has announced that it will not be renewing Anton Savage’s contract when it expires later this year. The Anton Savage Show first aired on Today FM in January 2015.

Commenting on the announcement, Keith McCormack, Chief Executive of Today FM, 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.

“Full details of Today FM’s new schedule will be announced early in 2017.”

A source said the decision was partly related to a drop in JNLR listenership figures – down from 215,000 when D’Arcy left in December 2014 to 174,000 in September this year.

It’s believed the station hopes to revamp the slot to attract younger listeners.

Read: Latest radio figures: Joe Duffy a big winner in a very nice three months indeed for RTÉ Radio One

Read: Anton Savage: There’s one message Enda and Joan are struggling to get across

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