ACE Radio without local brekkie shows after multiple redundancies
Regional network ACE Radio has made multiple staffers redundant, Radio Today can reveal.
The family-owned broadcaster is the latest to feel the pinch caused by a weak advertising market, due in part to the summer bushfires and the pandemic.
ACE Radio is owned by Rowly and Judy Paterson and includes 17 stations in Victoria and NSW.
Radio Today understands that affected staffers were told late last week their roles were no longer required, with some on-air talent redeployed to new timeslots.
The changes leave ACE without local breakfast shows as it extends The Morning Crew with Gabi & Dan across all FM stations and The Morning Rush with Sean & Kate on all AM stations.
Local breakfast show talent including Lachi ‘Rookie’ Rooke, Danielle Keilar, Kylie King, Kevin Poulton and Blake Escott have all been shifted to new timeslots or roles within the business.
“ACE Radio has experienced a downturn in ad revenue greater than anyone could have imagined due to COVID-19,” its CEO, Mark Taylor, told Radio Today on Monday.
“We’ve already reduced operating costs, but the sustained downturn in the advertising market is proving difficult to move forward.
“The board regrets any redundancies, but we’ve done our best to look after our people,” he said.
When asked if all ACE-owned stations are continuing to meet local content quotas, Taylor confirmed they were, and added that its newsrooms also remain unaffected.
One former employee, who spoke to Radio Today on the condition of anonymity, said management asked all staff to complete JobKeeper forms about three weeks ago.
“Last week ACE Radio did a round of redundancies,” said the source, “after we all signed JobKeeper and told that our jobs were safe.”
However, Taylor disputed the source’s claims, telling Radio Today that workers were only promised the independently operated media company would “do its best” to protect jobs.
Grant Broadcasters also cut some jobs and salaries in March, as the big four commercial networks implemented larger measures to survive the economic impact of the coronavirus.