An Australian TV journalist is suffering what I can only assume is the biggest professional humiliation of his career after Sony retroactively pulled his exclusive interview with Adele because he had failed to listen to the singer’s album 30 before sitting down with her to talk about it.
Matt Doran, who is a host for Channel 7’s Weekend Sunrise morning news show, flew from Sydney all the way to London in early November for the special interview. This was a big deal because it was supposed to be not only Adele’s sole interview with an Australian outlet during this album cycle, but also supposedly part of a $1 million AUD ($725,000) package that included broadcast rights to Adele’s “One Night Only” special and interview with Oprah, the Australian Daily Telegraph reported.
But at some point during Doran’s interview with Adele, the singer reportedly asked him what he thought of 30, which is a great question to either solicit compliments or to filter out the unworthy. Instead of thinking quick on his feet — a simple “Oh, I loved it, it actually brought me to tears because I’ve been going through my own difficult emotional journey lately” would have invited no further questions because no one wants to hear about that — Doran reportedly responded, “I haven’t listened to it.” Oh naur…
The Telegraph reported that Adele, seemingly offended, then walked out of the interview, but Doran disputes that account. He told the Australian that the question came towards the end of the interview after they had chatted about the album, and that he apparently told her, “I’ve only had the privilege of hearing ‘Easy on Me’ but not the other tracks.” In his version of events, Adele “didn’t storm out,” but actually stuck around for another nine minutes past the original scheduled duration of 20 minutes.
According to Doran, he had missed an email containing an early preview link to the album, which was only released to the public on November 19. “When I sat down to interview Adele, I was totally unaware that I’d been emailed a preview of her unreleased album,” Doran told the Australian. “I have since discovered that it was sent to me as an ‘e-card’ link, which I somehow missed upon landing in London. It was an oversight but not a deliberate snub. This is the most important email I have ever missed.”
Sony, which owns the global rights to her music, exercised its veto rights over the interview, reportedly telling Channel 7 that it would not be allowing the footage to be aired.
Doran, who told the Australian that he is “mortified and unequivocally apologetic,” is catching some flack from fellow journalists and fans. A photo he posted to Instagram hinting at the “special” interview in London has been overrun by commenters asking if he has listened to Adele’s album yet. (Fellow Aussie journalist Matthew Doran, who unfortunately shares a name, nationality, and profession with the disgraced Matt Doran, is also attracting angry fans to his honeypot of a tweet “Go easy on me…”)
Here’s my two cents, which I am contractually obligated to provide: Reporters get a lot of email, and I could absolutely see a scenario in which a preview link shared via some Dropbox equivalent ends up in the “promotions” folder or spam or another easily overlooked corner of the inbox. But, on the other hand, it seems to me that if you have a rare interview with Adele lined up, you should probably be checking your email obsessively or directly asking whichever PR contact set it up if they sent the album preview yet.
There is clearly only one solution here: Adele, have your people call mine. I can guarantee on my life that I will listen to your album before sitting down with you in any interview.