Southern Cross Media's chairman has used the words "sh*t happens" to describe the tragic royal radio prank call as shareholders delivered a first strike against the company's executive pay.
Just over 30 per cent of shareholders voted against the company's remuneration policy at its annual general meeting on Tuesday.
This was more than 25 per cent threshold needed to trigger a first strike and spark a spill of board positions if it happens again next year.
But during the annual general meeting in Melbourne, chairman Max Moore-Wilton stirred controversy when he reportedly used salty language to describe the infamous prank phone call to a London hospital in December 2012 in which two presenters impersonated the Queen and Prince Charles inquiring after the health of a then pregnant Duchess of Cambridge.
"These incidents were unfortunate, no doubt about that," Moore-Wilton told shareholders.
"But in the immortal words of someone whose identity I cannot recall, sh*t happens."
The group's Sydney radio station 2Day FM aired the call made by presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian.
The episode ended in tragedy, with the suicide of duped nurse Jacintha Saldanha.
It occurred during the last financial year, which saw chief executive Rhys Holleran's total pay rise by more than $350,000 to $1.66 million.
The company's profit in that time rose slightly to $96 million, despite a 6.5 per cent fall in sales revenue during the year.
But the total amount paid to senior executives in 2012/13 was lower than the previous year.
Southern Cross owns the 2Day and Triple M radio networks, and a regional TV network.
Radio revenues and market share fell during the year, as 2DayFM presenter Kyle Sandilands was also embroiled in scandal.
TV revenues were down nearly 13 per cent, mostly due to the weak performance of Southern Cross' affiliate Ten Network.
Mr Holleran told Tuesday's meeting that radio revenues had improved in the three months to September, compared to a year ago, though television revenues remained flat.
The company is also hoping an increase in consumer sentiment will provide a boost to the retail sector, which should flow into higher advertising revenues.
"There presently seems to be more positivity surrounding consumer sentiment and when that will translate in to the broader retail economy," Mr Holleran said."Whilst forever hopeful, we are yet to see this positivity translate into our business activity."