The CEO of the company that owns Sydney radio station 2Day FM has said that its DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian did nothing illegal by recording and broadcasting their hoax call to the hospital where Kate Middleton was undergoing treatment for morning sickness.
Speaking after the death of the nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who answered the call from the DJs, Rhys Holleran, the CEO of the Austereo network, said the death could not have been "reasonably foreseen".
"We are very confident that we haven't done anything illegal. We are satisfied that the procedures we have in place have been met. Our main concern at this point in time is that what has happened is deeply tragic and we are incredibly saddened and we are incredibly affected by that," said Holleran.
Police have been treating the death as unexplained and are not looking for anyone in relation to the incident.
Saldanha, 46, who was working as a nurse at the King Edward VII hospital, transferred the prank call to Middleton's nurse, who revealed details about her health. The DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.
Holleran's remarks appear to contradict comments made earlier by the hospital's chief executive, John Lofthouse, who said he had "received advice that what the Australian broadcasters did may well have broken the law".
The Sydney radio station had said the recorded conversation was examined by its lawyers before being aired.
Holleran added that the two presenters were "completely shattered" by the incident and have been offered counselling. "These people aren't machines, they're human beings. We're all affected by this."
All advertising on 2Day FM has been kept on hold to minimise the damage. "They want to keep their advertisers happy and they just pulled the advertising, only on 2DayFM 104.1 in Sydney, at least until Monday, just to keep advertisers happy right now," spokesperson Sandy Kay told Fairfax Media.
"They're reassuring and speaking to advertisers but they've pulled them for the moment until they've cleared it all up," Kay added.
Retailers and companies have already begun to withdraw their advertising from the station.