Sean Plunket departs MediaWorks radio station Magic Talk

Controversial talkback host Sean Plunket has announced he will be leaving his Magic Talk radio show and MediaWorks.

New MediaWorks CEO Cam Wallace said today: “Sean has hosted Magic Talk afternoons over the past two years and I would like to thank him for his significant contribution to the station.

“During his time with Magic Talk, Sean has engaged his audience with many vibrant discussions and I wish him all the best for his future endeavours.”

An update on who would host the afternoon show on Magic Talk would be made in “due course”, Wallace said.

The news comes after the veteran broadcaster was missing from his show today for the second day running, with Stephen McIvor filling in for him.

The afternoon talk-show host has been off air this week after stand-in host John Banks last month endorsed the views of a caller who described Māori as “stone-age people with a stone-age culture”.

The racist dialogue caused an uproar. At least one major corporate suspended advertising with the station and New Zealand Cricket, that had only just signed a three-year broadcasting partnership deal, threatened to review its relationship with Magic Talk.

Banks was replaced andWallace announced the fill-in broadcaster would never get another job at the station while he was at the helm.

But as colleagues distanced themselves from the former Auckland mayor, Plunket posted a tweet appearing to sympathise with the outspoken broadcaster and former mayor.

The radio personality was asked not to return to Magic Talk and management were reported to be in crisis talks.

Plunket’s show Magic Afternoons with Sean Plunket ran weekdays from midday-4pm.

It had courted controversy in the past year, earning a stiff rebuke and a fine from the Broadcasting Standards Authority over allegations of racism.

In December, the BSA rebuked MediaWorks after a May 6 Plunket interview with Te Whānau ā Apanui spokesman Louis Rapihana on Covid-19 checkpoints.

The BSA said the interview amplified negative stereotypes about Māori and had the potential to cause widespread harm.

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