ARN says it has ‘significantly’ cut overheads to protect jobs
Australian Radio Network has announced a number of cost-saving measures in response to declining ad revenue as a result of COVID-19.
Since March, ARN says it has significantly reduced overheads in order to protect jobs. This included a review of discretionary spending, pausing all recruitment and encouraging its employees to take annual leave.
The measures outlined are not dissimilar to those taken by rival Southern Cross Austereo.
In a statement released Monday, ARN chief executive Ciaran Davis said that further action is now required following a rigorous financial risk assessment.
“Although ARN is in a strong position, like all media businesses our revenue has been significantly impacted by COVID-19,” he said.
“The priority of the Board and management team is the safety and wellbeing of all of our staff.”
All full-time staffers will reduce their full-time equivalent working week by one day.
Employees with enough accrued leave can access their annual leave entitlements to help offset the impact on take-home pay and all staff will be allowed some leave in advance of earning it.
On-air talent will continue to broadcast five days a week as planned but will be hit with a minimum 10% reduction in fees across various cost control measures.
The board, CEO and management team will take a 20% pay cut for an initial six month period. They will also forgo all incentive and bonus payments in 2020.
“These decisive measures have been put in place to protect jobs and ensure ARN remains in a strong position as a stable business – and employer – in the long term,” said Davis.
“Australia is facing a widespread fall in marketing and advertising activity and our response to this crisis is being reviewed on an on-going basis as we assess the revenue performance over the coming weeks and months.
“I’d like to thank all our team members for ensuring that our recent transition to working from home has been controlled and managed effectively.
“During times when the nation needs a sense of community, connection and some normality, the power of radio is undisputed and we remain dedicated to providing the best possible content for our audiences and delivering solutions to our clients across broadcast radio, on-demand audio, and digital.
“I am confident the measures we have implemented today will put ARN in the strongest position possible to endure and succeed in these uncertain times.”