Are Australian radio employees being paid enough?

Radio Today has been contacted anonymously by a radio employee arguing for increased pay in an open letter to the industry.

Dear radio network executives,

I’m one of your many passionate employees that have worked in the industry for a while, and if I’m being honest, I’m a little over you taking advantage of us all…

Your producers, announcers, sales reps, engineers, the promo team, all of us, we are the people who drive your revenue and ratings targets, and help contribute to that sizable bonus you love talking about at staff drinks… Yes, you talk very loud after a few beers.

Let’s start off with how I am… I’m simply exhausted. To quote ABC’s Virginia Trioli ‘After another COVID summer, it’s only January 29 and I’ve never felt so tired’.

With most career opportunities comes a move, which means a huge life reset. I’ve had to leave my family behind, navigate around new cities, establish new friendships, find new routines, and build trust and reputation in a new team multiple times.

My peers and I all talk, and the common theme is – ‘you don’t need a pay rise, think about all the perks and experiences you’ll gain from this opportunity’.

With total respect, we see through the bullshit and it’s time to start paying up.

It’s 2022 and everything is expensive.

Let’s look at the facts… this is a breakdown of essential living costs in Sydney.

Let’s assume I’m on a $60,000 salary earning $938 a week. After paying basic life essentials I would be left with $293 a week, but before I can put any money into my savings, I also must consider the following expenses:

  • Going to the doctor or seeing a psychologist,
  • Insurance, petrol, and registration for the car,
  • Clothes and cosmetics,
  • Home internet/Netflix
  • Socialising with my friends,
  • And a barista-made coffee.

How bad does that look? Sure, you could remark and suggest I stop buying clothes, but have you considered we wouldn’t have anything to wear to work because you don’t supply us with a uniform?

We want to look and feel great for all the Instagram stories you make us do.

While we’re on the topic of money, I’ve also expressed numerous times in staff engagement surveys that you need to stop shoving the ASX results down our throats.

If companies are in such a healthy financial position, then why is there no money in the budget for a salary increase? I think it’s time to shift your priorities away from the shareholders and invest in your people.

It’s counterintuitive having senior members of staff train and develop the next generation of leaders just for all of us to walk away with the skills we’ve acquired. It’s a waste of time and resources. We deserve to earn a living wage that will enable us to live with dignity and to participate as active members of society.

Thanks for your time.

So, are Australian radio employees being paid enough?

“Radio station staff have their salaries set by a variety of awards which apply to different occupations or by negotiated contracts with their employer,” says Joan Warner CEO Commercial Radio Australia.

“Every worker is entitled to make a case that they are working to a higher level of responsibility or skill and deserve to move up the pay scale.

“The radio industry is no different from other industries in being subject to competitive market forces when seeking to hire and retain the best employees.

“CRA doesn’t have visibility on pay rates and can’t comment on individual cases.”

Non-award employees, including management employees, are covered by the National Minimum Wage and National Employment Standards.

Employees must be paid at least award pay rates and entitlements.

The Federal Minimum Wage has been set at $772.60 per week for a full-time employee.

Information on the various awards is available from Fair Work.

The Big Bucks

Meantime, Radio Today wrote in 2018 about some of the industry’s brightest stars earning significant amounts of money.

And not much has changed in 2022.

The standouts are Kyle and Jackie O, who earn a reported $5 million each a year.

But what about our anonymous letter writer who represents the largest proportion of radio industry employees – ‘those not on the big bucks’.

How does the cost of living differ across cities and regions? Let’s compare Melbourne in Victoria to Launceston in Tasmania on a monthly basis.

Cost of living in Melbourne infographic

Source: Cost of Living in Melbourne, Australia

Cost of living in Launceston infographic

Source: Cost of Living in Launceston

Figures are based on a comparison of 64 cities.

In summary, the cost of living in Australia is $1942, which is 2.03 times more expensive than the world average. Australia ranked 11th out of 197 countries by the cost of living and the 2nd best country to live in.

The average salary after taxes in Australia is $3746, which is enough to cover living expenses for 1.9 months.

You can read here Australia’s cost of living over the last ten years.

How do they get ahead financially?

Let’s go back to the anonymous letter writer who has little opportunity to save. This means limited opportunity to improve lifestyle and, without a salary increase, this is likely to be the status quo moving forward.

Is it reasonable to expect ‘the perks and experiences you’ll gain from this opportunity’ are enough to compensate a higher wage?

I would argue no.


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9 Mar 2022 - 3:12 pm

Great to see evidence backed up with the letter. So many jocks, producers, ops people who have been absolutely smashed over the last 2 years, keeping companies afloat and seeing absolutely none of the benefits.

I’ve just had my parking at work raised to be almost 5,000 dollars per year. Just to come into work each day.

Then you have people working 7 days a week, some of which are unpaid, and they’re always the first to get cut.

It’s not just a regional problem either, it’s literally rampant everywhere.

If the radio industry doesn’t want to eat itself, something needs to be done to make it more attractive to potential employees.

9 Mar 2022 - 4:42 pm

This is just one of the reasons I got out of radio after almost 15 years. I moved from a provincial market to a metro market, worked even longer hours, and was getting paid less, just because I wanted to make (what could’ve been) my big break.

You work the hours until the job is done (whether that’s music scheduling, promo script writing, etc), you do promo for the station outside of normal hours (for little, or no extra pay), you work weekend shifts, fill in when others are away, drive the promo vehicle, etc. And the perks (as mentioned in the article) are few and far between, despite you pulling the survey results.

To then hear there are some people earning obscene amounts of money, just to pull a three hour shift, backed up by a production team and do everything for them, is just soul crushing.

9 Mar 2022 - 4:45 pm

I must have missed the memo. When is it the employer’s responsibility to “make ends meet” for their employees? There’s a tonne of jobs out there! And if you don’t want to leave radio what or who is stopping you from educating and teaching yourself about finances? You don’t need a six-figure salary to “be comfortable”, learn what you can do with what you make. It’s easier than you think.

9 Mar 2022 - 4:58 pm

Fantastic article. Hand this to any starry eyed radio student before taking their 22K and be a decent human.

Over It
9 Mar 2022 - 5:02 pm

What a fantastic article! It’s a taboo not spoken about publicly enough.

Our seniors – The GMs, the Sales Managers and greedy network owners have next to zero understanding of the reality on the ground.

We’re promised the “perks” and constantly fed the illusion that we’re actually going places when in fact, it’s the fat cats taking all of OUR perks for themselves.

The free lunches, the free drinks, the fuel cards and the free work trips are gobbled up while the rest of us are having baked beans on toast for dinner.


9 Mar 2022 - 5:23 pm

I had a job that had me on call 24/7, 365 days a year. I was disturbed numerous times outside of my contracted hours and when I flagged it with management, I was told to go work in the mines if I didn’t like it. It took a toll on my mental health and I couldn’t afford to go to my psych to get the support I needed. I ended up leaving.

9 Mar 2022 - 5:36 pm

Sadly, kids coming through radio school these days are greeted at the door with ‘welcome, you won’t be doing this job for the money’. And it’s necessary to manage their expectations.
What hasn’t been represented in this article is the number of young people getting their first gig in Woop woop who are under 21, and therefore don’t even have the luxury of even receiving adult minimum wage.
I know many an 18 year old – passionate and raring to go, who have to move across the country from every support network they have ever known just to get a start, and then have to survive on 600 odd bucks a week. Disgraceful.

Alan Partridge
9 Mar 2022 - 5:40 pm

I worked on a Metro breakfast show a little while ago. The on air jocks got a pay increase from $600k to $800k each for turning up at 530am and leaving at 9am.

For me, 15 hours was a ‘normal day’ plus most weekends.

I won ACRAS, NYF awards for my work on the show.
I asked the CD for something. Anything.
I was told no. But I could have an extra day off somewhere in the year.
When I asked for that day off later (out of ratings) I was told no.

I resigned. Best decision I’ve ever made

Former Promotions & Marketing Director
9 Mar 2022 - 5:42 pm

Absolutely not. Radio staff are not paid what they are worth.

I left the industry and realised that so many other industries paid far better and had fair and hefty bonus schemes. My next job out of radio was almost $75K more and has since risen at least $10K each year after fair salary review processes.

Some networks make their employees feel like they’re lucky to have a job. The yearly reviews in radio (with quarterly check-ins) are a waste of time as there is rarely any budget for even high-performing individuals to be given significant/worthwhile increases.

My budget to hire a skilled metro Promotions Manager was only $55K (including super!) and the network made employees absorb super increases. I don’t know how anyone can survive in Sydney on $55K per year.

These positions were essential to the success of key networked programs and breakfast. The individuals worked consistently long hours, early morning OB’s/events/stunts and should have been bench-marked much higher.

I would encourage anyone not being paid fairly in radio to look elsewhere… immediately.

union union union union
9 Mar 2022 - 5:58 pm

but seriously though, let’s form a union.

9 Mar 2022 - 6:16 pm

Please let use know where you work so that none of us have the displeasure of working for you.

You don’t think it’s the employers responsibility to ensure their staff can LIVE without being in poverty?

Radio is not just a nine to five, announcers are expected to be community ambassadors, social media experts, a member of the community (which means putting their hands in their own pockets to attend local events).

When a disaster hits, they’re also expected to pull the hard yards of emergency broadcasting, which is becoming more and more commonplace. The cost of living is rising and the people who are responsible for creating such a vital service to the community are being paid peanuts.
I hope this story causes a re-evaluation of how on air staff (and radio industry professionals across the board) are compensated for everything they do.

9 Mar 2022 - 6:33 pm

It’s hard to comment on this without knowing more about where the OP works and the position they hold. I’d argue that for an entry level role (say a co-ordinator) that 60k is a very reasonable starting wage.

For what it’s worth, I work in a metro market in a mid level management position (non-sales) and for the most part, wages I’ve seen or experienced in radio are okay. Personally I don’t know any staff paid 60k or below – even the entry level ones earn more than that, and this is not Sydney.

Again, I can’t talk outside my current network so it may be a wider issue, but from my experience it’s no more an issue in radio than most other industries.

9 Mar 2022 - 6:42 pm

The amount of money that is spent moving interstate sometimes multiple times in a year to chase a dream to work in an industry that you feel like you can be yourself and succeed is astronomical. Recovering that money in relocation costs is almost impossible, a lot of the time you’re out of pocket.

The commute to work every day with fuel at over $2 a litre right now adds up. Not including associated costs like car maintenance or even public transport for some.

Involving yourself in the community because it’s about being a ‘local’ costs time and money i.e join a club, start a hobby – registration, equipment and materials cost.

The stuff you buy for your show because you’re told “there’s no promotion budget” can’t all be claimed back in tax.

The hours you work and the time spent dedicating yourself to what you love which makes SO much money for upper management to just roll up to a station in their luxury car once every 6months (every 6 months if you’re lucky), while you’re trying to scrape everything together just to keep your car running – not even considering registration costs. And what do they do? Shake some hands, kiss some babies and tell you you’re doing a great job but there’s no budget to help you out anymore. Or at BEST, you spend hours putting together a proposal to justify a pay increase and they tell you the best they could do is a grand or so more per year.

I’ve been told straight to my face “you won’t see any more money until you move to another station and that’s if they’ll pay it”. And GUESS WHAT it was a straight transfer into a slightly bigger market with no option for renegotiation so, they didn’t up my wage because “it’s good for my resume”.

And let’s not forget 90% of us have moved away from our families so, how are we meant to fly and see them when the bills have to be paid and there’s nothing left in the account?

I’m in my late 20s and have been working in radio for years now and my family have said to me “I know you feel like you can’t do anything else but you won’t be buying a house ever unless you win the lotto or one of your parent die so you can get a decent inheritance”.

But why even consider buying a house? Well a $350 000 house is cheaper to pay a mortgage on then renting nowadays, even in regional areas.

But even if you do have that option then you can be given the ultimatum one day out of no where, “we’re making cut backs so there’s no job for you here anymore. Move where we have a job or you’re out.” More money again to either sell a house. And don’t even get me started on a break lease.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this industry. I live and breath it like many of you but when your struggling to make ends meet, not because you can’t manage your funds but because there simply not enough funds to start with. That’s when there’s a real problem.

As radio professionals we have a specific set of skills that take time, a lot of volunteering and in a lot of cases money for courses to acquire. Why should we be paid any less than an assistant manager at Woolies which nearly all of us could do with our eyes closed?

Great article, thank you letter writer.

9 Mar 2022 - 6:49 pm

… simple answer … if you want more money in the radio industry, go work for the ABC …

Outta there
9 Mar 2022 - 8:49 pm

I worked on a major market breakfast show where I was expected to work or at least he on-call effectively around the clock. I made $70k/year, the others made similar or LESS.

The hosts were on $750k-$1mil+ each, worked 5-9:30, got every day of the survey break off, and continually expected more of us.

I asked the PD for a payrise multiple times (unsurprisingly the answer was no), after spending hours in whole-company meetings extolling the record profits.

Worked excessive overtime every week for nothing other than the pride in good content whilst co-workers in other departments received time off for their overtime, days off for their birthdays and more.

Asked to supplement some time off in non-survey with a couple days working from home and was told no.

And I thought this was a great opportunity having come from a regional market making $45k working 12+ hours a day.

You get no payrises, you’re effectively getting a pay cut every year – don’t forget. The ‘perks’ are free cupcakes from PR companies and the ability to say ‘yeah I work at x station’ to people who go ‘what’s that…?’

And the award is hilarious. Apart from the fact that many people in programming are not properly covered by the award, the min pay rates are a joke and clearly designed around country stations only.

Glad I’m outta the toxic environment. Focusing entirely on the bottom line is what continues to destroy the industry from the inside out.

9 Mar 2022 - 9:57 pm

FANTASTIC article!

The topic of radio salaries is so taboo and I believe it’s time we all took a stand.

I have spent the last 20+ years in the commercial radio industry and I’m on under 55k a year in a senior role in a provincial market. In addition I’m required to provide services outside my job description for free.

I have to work another job to survive.

I love my job but it hurts me when we are forced to sit through meetings about how much profit the company has made. If things are so good, why aren’t staff being paid decent wages?

I could leave, but I love my job. The company knows this which is why they know they don’t have to pay me more.

Union Boy
9 Mar 2022 - 9:59 pm

You know why you don’t get paid enough? So you can’t afford the Union membership fees.

“Sorry, can’t give you a pay rise. Company can’t afford it.”

Nek minnit – a $5-10m useless rebranding, when the money could’ve been given to low paid staff and some relief from a 2 minute noodle diet.

9 Mar 2022 - 11:03 pm

I produced a number one breakfast show in a metro market for $38k, and when I asked for a pay rise I was told very bluntly to appreciate the opportunity and get over myself.

Summer survey break rolled around and the ‘talent’ were off on their 6 week break. The CD could’ve offered me bonus leave but nope, he made me clean glass windows and dust the office down because I was obligated to work my eight hour day.

I’ve never felt so liberated handing in a resignation.

A tired newsreader
10 Mar 2022 - 5:58 am

Let’s not get started on how newsreaders who have degrees are relied upon heavily for content and facts for the show from lazy announcers and producers who haven’t been around long because we churn through them too as they’re not paid enough! Some of these newsreaders have public profiles and are on 1/4 of what the announcers are who do half the hours!

10 Mar 2022 - 6:26 am

John and DL you’re maybe not exposed to living circumstances around the country when it comes to award wages in this industry (regional and provincial), and perhaps you haven’t worked in programming (where yes, you’ve gotta move away from all your support systems for a gig) and tried to survive on the poverty line – living week to week (yes under sixty – my last job in breakfast was 50 when I was in my 30s – but even 60k I wasn’t rolling in it after the high cost of living – it was better no doubt but still not much to show for working 6 days / sometimes 7 with no extra pay). It ain’t easy making ends meet when it comes to increasing rents, costs to keep car running/fuel and general food and day to day expenses / yes clothes – overall presentation (without even spending on luxuries). As a single person, I’m sorry but I’ve certainly struggled for my passion (even taken on secondary jobs to fuel it). I’ve worked round the clock like everyone else because like many, I have loved my job! But as time goes on, it doesn’t always seem affordable and I am not sure it’s always practical to struggle merely for the love of it, because that ain’t paying the bills, and ultimately keeping us afloat long term! The workload piles on, but the wage hasn’t always matched, and that’s why very talented people are walking away from what was always a fantastic medium, because the workers are highly dedicated, but not always sufficiently rewarded. The pool is getting smaller because you’re right, stable BWS jobs seem more attractive when it comes to security, which is a shame, because in order to live you gotta do what you gotta do, but perhaps sacrifice your dream role for decent coin and work/life balance.

10 Mar 2022 - 8:15 am

Seriously, we all sign contracts where we can’t even discuss it with our counterparts just to try isolate us all from the fact that we get a pittance.
Nothing more frustrating than those ASX reports where you can follow the money trail and they breakdown the bonuses for each exec.
But there’s only one opportunity a year supposedly to negotiate contracts and that keeps moving and you don’t get a pay rise of even the CPI.
Yeah I’m in this industry cause I love it but the pay is far lower and it’s scalability and increase each year are underwhelming or non existent. It’s far from where it needs to be as fair and equitable.

10 Mar 2022 - 8:29 am

Will any of our CEOs / Group CDs have the courage to acknowledge our concerns and advocate for change?

10 Mar 2022 - 8:55 am

I’ve just left the industry after 25 years.
I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said,… and I agree with all of it. Brutal hours, no work/life balance, unreasonable expectation, not enough money to live on.
Add to that being a single mum
,….add to that being female fullstop.

The day my breakfast cohost (male) revealed that he was getting substantially more money than me (female) and more holidays for doing exactly the same roll I knew that the industry was broken in all kinds of ways.
It starts with the guys running the show – who have been for decades. Power, money, ego, profits…. such a familiar story.

Working for peanuts
10 Mar 2022 - 9:10 am

I work for one of the big 3 networks and basically my team is responsible for putting the vast majority of the company’s revenue to air.

While overall I do love where I work, it irritates me when I see Sales people who have absolutely no idea about the product they’re selling (radio) getting all the praise, rewards, and most frustrating of all, better pay.

I see them arrive to work in the Audis and Mercs, while I struggle keeping my Opal Card topped up. Without our team, nothings gets to air revenue wise. Yet at nearly every staff presentation/meeting, our team doesn’t get a mention. It’s all about so and so getting a new client or ol’ mate achieving a $1 million day.

Really? When will we see some of that $1 million? Oh that’s right, free cupcakes in the tearoom that the Talent didn’t want can pay for my utilities instead.

So it’s a big fat NO, we’re not being paid enough. No where near enough.

Radio is my mistress
10 Mar 2022 - 10:43 am

Honestly have been reflecting on this over the last few days as my station is struggling to find great talent to fill a few positions that years ago would have been inundated with talent practically begging for the positions. My response is that radio doesn’t pay enough.

The Aussie job market is so hot right now that other industries are paying way over for similar positions. Why live on the bread line after studying or working on your craft for years to work for an industry that you love, but honestly often doesn’t love you back.

So many leave after years of blood sweat and tears and after making the agonising decision call friends still slaving away to tell them the other side is actually epic, funded and their quality of life has increased both with $$ and time and most importantly appreciation.

It actually breaks my heart because I also adore what I do but I sadly see so many amazing people leave because of bigger better offers. I’m sad when I see good hard workers taken advantage of with the promise of opportunity, and I can see the talent drain cracks beginning to appear as young talented people give radio the forks and start successful Insta pages, podcasts, and YouTube channels which give them the platform radio used to provide and they are the masters of their own financial destinies.

Then after building that profile, we dumbly try to coax them back to piggyback on their earned fame and then finally offer them the money they deserved in the first place. Foresight would have done both at the same time.

I’ve been in the industry for 2 decades and I have only survived and stayed because of my side hustles which often burn me out.. radio is such a toxic mistress and I would love to see this article make a change. I too am exhausted.

Jo Jo Kincaid
10 Mar 2022 - 11:33 am

Whats the average Aussie wage $85 ,000 a year ? Not in country radio it is , im not even close and have being do this for 30 years

10 Mar 2022 - 11:41 am

Shall we flashback to when one of the big networks fired most of their regional line-up during a pandemic without notice and offered them no support. Not one cent to reunite them with loved ones.

Thanks for moving interstate for $55k, now have a redundancy and good luck surviving. Bye.

This industry and its leaders need a huge reality check.

@union boy
10 Mar 2022 - 11:43 am

The Union ignore our existence. I’ve worked in many different facets of the entertainment industry and the Union are utterly useless for the most part. I’m also not sure they know what commercial radio is

10 Mar 2022 - 12:22 pm

This situation has been going on in radio for over 50 years. In the mid 70s a small group of people approached Actors Equity, which was the union at the time, to try and get a better award for announcers. I worked at a regional NSW station and received the princely sum of $31 net a week. And, back then a 6 day week was mandatory. Well, after a long battle with FARB, the precursor to CRA, we got an improved award. Higher pay, a 5 day week and other improvements. However, FARB fought us all the way. It was a hard slog. I happened to see the award for announcers a few years ago and do you know what? Apart from the pay rates obviously being higher than in the 1970s, there were a lot of things that hadn’t changed. If you want things to improve contact a union or find out which union covers what you do in the radio industry and tell them what is going on. I’d say there are more problems than just wages that need to be addressed. But be prepared for a fight. The companies won’t like this at all and will fight you all the way. It was done in the 1970s and can be done again, but you must stand together on it. Good luck.

10 Mar 2022 - 1:24 pm

How’s the irony. Almost all the talent on the big bucks in metro markets would be banking on their survey bonus after today.

And while they are slurping on champers saying how good they are, the minions are back at the coalface putting their shows together for peanuts.

Some might be lucky to join in survey drinks but they certainly won’t get a table at lunch with the big guns. Grrr!

10 Mar 2022 - 2:32 pm

Radio (and TV) are classic 80:20 businesses – 20% of staff get 80% of the $$$ on offer that are above award / minimum wage. While a couple of 20%’ers are rumoured to get $5M a year the bottom end 20%’ers just get a contract with $10k PA above award.

Any jobs like journo, accountant, technician that can translate across into other industries usually do within a short time of starting in radio. I am actually a tech but have given up on Radio and TV – the work I do is basically telecommunications trades work so why work for unskilled rates in Radio when other places are willing to pay you as a tradie?

I hear you...
10 Mar 2022 - 2:34 pm

100% agree. I love working in this industry but in terms of salaries its disheartening the way we are all paid. I work in a large media company and 2 years ago we were told there was no money in the budge because of covid. Ok well suppose I will just have to deal with that. Then last year we were given tiny pay raises because again there was ‘just no money in the budget.’ So the cost of living goes up every year and yet I am falling further and further behind. And because this is radio my salary was already so low when I started because ‘that’s just the way radio is’ I will never ever be able to catch up and get to the point where my salary is enough to support a standard cost of living in Australia. Do I give up my job and start from scratch in another industry or do I get a second job just so I can pay my bills?

When an on air announcer in your company makes more money in a week than you do in a year struggling desperately to get by what sort of message does that send to your employees?

You can change, the system won't.
10 Mar 2022 - 2:51 pm

The industry intentionally exploits people with a passion for radio.

It’s a phenomenon called ‘passion exploitation’ and there’s genuine research around it, that finds it frequently exists in creative industries.

Here’s an example of a research paper to search for:
Understanding contemporary forms of exploitation: Attributions of passion serve to legitimize the poor treatment of workers
Jae Yun Kim , Troy H Campbell , Steven Shepherd , Aaron C Kay

As a creative I suggest researching this, because it will empower you as an employee to understand your true worth and make it easier for you to let go of the ‘radio dream’ they sell you, and find someone who will pay you what you are worth. The things we love about the craft of radio, like connection and creativity can be found in other ways and other places.

The industry isn’t going to change. And I say this from my personal perspective of being a successful former metro radio announcer who left the industry after decades of these businesses making significant money off my creativity, ideas and skills while being paid far less than the value I contributed. And when I asked for my value to be reflected, was told no, and left. Not only did they have to make the accommodations I asked for, for the person who took over my role anyway, they also had to replace me with additional people to keep up with workload I was achieving and lost the relationships and trust I’d built with our listeners for their brand.

Listeners connect with the creatives who are making the programs, not the executives who are reaping the rewards. It COULD be a fair and collaborative arrangement. But why would they want to give up their paychecks of privilege when they can always ‘find someone else’ – a concept that isn’t actually grounded in reality (the great resignation is more than a linkedin buzzword), but in their need to hold onto their perceived power.

And to be fair, that’s a philosophy that has worked for them thus far. Because traditional media has held the keys to the kingdom and was our only way to do what we loved for a long time. But the game has changed. This is an interconnected world with a global audience. And audiences can, and do, find other ways to connect with content they like. Content that can be made, owned and monetised by you.

The reason employees have it in their contracts not to discuss their pay with colleagues is so that they can pit us against each other to fight for scraps while increasing their own profit margins. If Australia’s media industry had pay transparency it would lead to pay equality and close the gender pay gap for women, people of colour and other marginalized creators. There’s also plenty of research with measured evidence that proves pay transparency in businesses addresses systemic inequality and ultimately creates a better culture and improves employee retention. But why take genuine action towards equality when you can just post of photo of your female employees with #internationalwomensday and take performative action instead? They don’t actually want to change, but you can.

Don’t let their failure to evolve hold you to ransom.

You are worth more.

Ashleigh Mac
10 Mar 2022 - 6:02 pm

I have never felt any compassion for radio people who bleat about “not enough money” because most of them treasure the title more than the remuneration. Look at me everybody I’m a radio announcer. ….. Remember. You took the job. You knew the pay. All you have to do is walk away. ….. But it’s my passion you say. I say get passionate about not being broke.

@ashleigh Mac
10 Mar 2022 - 11:31 pm

Alright… give me some of your pay then if you’re comfortable with what you’ve got. $50 a month. Not asking for much.

Just Walk Away?
11 Mar 2022 - 5:54 am

Just read a comment that said “Just Walk Away” well wouldn’t it be grand!.

In your 20’s you have the world in front of you. I worked at 8 stations climbing my way to the big smoke. I made all the sacrifices, wasted all the time, never had children, never owned a home or a new car but it was fine there was plenty of time.

Well now I’m in my 50′ I work for a station that puts zero value in what I do. Managers who are more interested in their spreadsheets then lowly announcers or worse production staff. My partner tells me everyday… just do it..walkaway. People in their 50’s don’t get hired they can’t get past the 20 year olds in HR department. People in their 50’s in radio are trapped.

If your in your 20’s do it ..walkaway today!

Jo Jo Kincaid
11 Mar 2022 - 10:20 am

Looking forward to hearing Kyle and Jacki discussing this on their brekky show, you know supporting their fellow jocks and all

Agree with A Tired Newsreader
11 Mar 2022 - 11:34 pm

Newsroom staff work their butts off, usually pull longer hours than the talent they present for, do unpaid overtime during disaster and emergency situations (“we’ll give you an early mark sometime to make up for it”) and eat their lunch at their desk, if they get the time. Journalists now must provide content across multiple platforms and departments with fewer resources to work with thanks to budget cuts. No wonder so many talented journos leave the industry. I left after years of being told I couldn’t have a salary review because of wage freezes, which certainly didn’t apply to every department. Passion for the job can only be exploited for so long. When inflation pushes up prices and your salary is stagnant, it’s time to get out.

11 Mar 2022 - 11:44 pm

My last experience in radio sums up the mentality of management and owners pretty well…..It was a Thursday and I had agreed to do an after hours, non paid (because there was no overtime budget) station promotion in a town half an hour away.

I was also on annual leave at the time and because of my position in the station, felt obliged to do it because no one else was available. The following day, I received a phone to say my position had been made redundant by the board of directors.

The board meeting had taken place on the Wednesday, the day prior to them being happy for me to go and perform unpaid work during annual leave for the station. The directors didn’t care, I’m sure in their feeble minds they comfortably justified it.

To add salt to the wound, I was offered a journo gig 2 hours away….my words to the manager (who I got along with quite well) were along the lines of “so they want me to uproot my family out of school and work, try to sell my partially renovated house, all to help them out of the jam they’re in because no one wants their shitty gig….please do me a favour and tell each and every one of them that I said they can go f%^& themselves”

At that point, I realised how much of a mug’s game it is for most people in the industry and I never looked back, never once longed to jump in the chair for one last shift and many many years on, it feels like a bit of a blur, almost surreal.

I don’t live with regrets, but I’m glad I’m out earning a better income than I could ever earn in radio. The sad thing is, I was 110% devoted and committed to the industry and my employers during my 15 years and all it needed was some respect to be shown when they decided my time was up. But that is in short supply in the upper echelon of management and ownership.

ex radio star
23 Mar 2022 - 4:22 pm

It’s sad, it really is. I was forced to leave the industry I loved purely because I wanted a job that could support my family financially. I still miss it, radio is in my blood, but I can’t work for such low pay. I know so many really talented people who have left for the same reason. Like me, they still love radio and would prefer to work in it, but not for 100k less. And they are much better talent that 95% of people on air currently, that’s the tragedy. So much talent lost.

10 Apr 2022 - 5:50 pm

My advice to young people wanting to join the radio industry to make good money is don’t bother with commercial production. I always found it ironic that the people who make the ads which make the company money are so undervalued. But as I’ve been told many times, if I don’t like it, someone else will. Basically put up and shut up.

The Wolf
27 Apr 2022 - 3:06 pm

Don’t know what you are complaining about….have you seen the Print Industry ? DEAD DEAD DEAD !!

2 May 2022 - 10:42 am

Community radio is worse, we are purely volunteers, but the execs of certain community stations, act like the examples here of Commercials, they want you to do this that, go here go there, demand this demand, that, you will buy our station shirts or you wont go on air, they also demand you act robotic, stick to a policy that forbids you being yourself, and heaven forbid if you wanted a day off. This is how they treat PURE VOLUNTEERS who freely give their free time.

We had a duo breakfast team few years back that were onair for 5 years or so, one of them left ending their show, the stations paid president whos rorted his way through that title for 20 years acted like “how dare he” “who does he think he is leaving, we gave him this opportunity and he leaves us” on their last day on air, they had a cake and coffee goodbye when they came off-air, 20 mins later president said it was time they left the building. One of that shows replacements made comments about ending discrimiation and supporting SSM on air during the final days of that referendum, he dissapeared never to be heard of again when that show ended, doesnt take a genius to work out who fired him.

I was completely dumbfounded at all their treatment, was talking to someone there only 3 weeks ago who said, nothings changed, they still find it hard to find anouncers, and treat people like shit and can’t work out why nobody wants to give their free time.

The entire industry is flawed and needs the government to step in, unions are useless, they only care about getting their dues.

    2 May 2022 - 10:50 am

    This comment has been edited.


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