Wickremasighe's Newstalk Career Comes To 'Abrupt' End

Newstalk host Dil Wickremasighe has been dropped from her weekly show after publicly criticising the station over its handling of George Hook and its female presenters.

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“I am shocked and deeply disappointed at this sudden news.”

In a statement released yesterday Wickremasighe described how Newstalk management told her that despite receiving positive ratings, her weekly Saturday night show Global Village, was being cancelled.

“Earlier today I met with Newstalk management who told me that despite positive ratings and performance, my Saturday night radio show Global Village has been cancelled. I am shocked and deeply disappointed at this sudden news.”

“10 years ago, I set out to create a unique radio show which served as a platform to highlight the voices of the most vulnerable in our society and the issues that affect their lives – issues that I personally care passionately about,” said the statement, which was published on Twitter.

Newstalk found itself embroiled in controversy after former presenter George Hook made remarks regarding a rape case in the UK (“Is there no blame to the person who puts themselves in danger?” he asked.)

Hook’s comments generated enormous criticism and eventually the station announced that the veteran announcer would step down from his daily afternoon show – until December, when is set to begin a new weekend show.

Wickremasighe, a self-described ‘social justice and mental health broadcaster’, refused to present her programme the week after Hook’s comments in protest at the station’s initial refusal to the censure the host.

She also expressed her dissatisfaction to the station’s management at a perceived lack of support for female presenters, as well as the lack of female representation during prime time.

“I am grateful to the Newstalk team as they believed in me and gave me an opportunity to highlight the issues that mattered to me. Over the years Global Village survived numerous scheduling changes and cut backs and on two occasions I personally sourced sponsors to ensure the future of the programme,” she continued.

Despite evident disappointment at the cancelling of her show, Wickremasighe’s statement focused on the positives of her time with the station, as well as her hopes for the future.

“My heartfelt thanks to all who have journeyed with me over the years and I look forward to connecting with you all again as I continue my work through different channels for change.”

© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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