Australian Radio Network to stand down multiple staffers

Managing Editor

The economic impact of Australia’s weak advertising market isn’t lost on radio.

This week Australian Radio Network is preparing to stand down multiple staffers for up to three months, affecting about 5% of employees across most divisions and offices.

Radio rival Southern Cross Austereo also stood down multiple staffers in April to reduce its payroll liability in a bid to survive the economic impact of the pandemic.

ARN’s decision comes after a company-wide review by the broadcaster to evaluate areas of the business that will bounce back fast after the post-pandemic recovery, Radio Today can reveal.

When contacted by Radio Today, a spokesperson confirmed the review and stand-downs.

“ARN is making some changes this week to both streamline and strengthens the business due to the effects of COVID-19,” the spokesperson said.

“As a result, we’re currently in consultation with a small percentage of impacted staff regarding a proposed JobKeeper stand down for the next few months.

“For privacy reasons and to minimise any difficulty from these changes on our teams, we won’t release further details until it is finalised later this week.”

ARN declined to confirm how many people would be affected, as conversations are ongoing.

Radio Today also understands that ARN management is confident there will be no further stand-downs in the coming months and that some heads will be redeployed within the business.

Ad revenue for the HT&E-owned ARN fell more than 40% in April this year as the broadcaster slashed overheads, reduced pay and working hours and applied for JobKeeper.

ARN’s first-quarter billings were down 7.2% between January and March, a stronger bill of health than the industry-wide figure of 12.4% reported by Commercial Radio Australia.

In recent months, the radio business has launched ARN Dynamic Audio to lure advertisers back, announced a commercial restructure and offloaded its media agency iNC Digital Media.

HT&E also revealed that it found operational savings of between $20 million and $23 million, as it looks to keep the balance sheet positive during uncertain times.

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Dave
2 Jul 2020 - 4:09 pm

I wonder if any of the people on millions will take a pay cut to help save some jobs?

Beginning of the end of radio
3 Jul 2020 - 12:01 pm

I bet $11m+ would be handy right about now. Too bad for those staff members that there was an attractive share offer right about two months ago…

Radio is doomed. Just wait for all the redundancies at the end of September. Cost cuts going forward. No payrises for non-talent…

Beginning of the end ?
3 Jul 2020 - 2:29 pm

Beginning of the end of radio – why sept?

TheT
3 Jul 2020 - 10:09 pm

Management haven’t actually communicated to staff who they have let go..the morale amongst remaining staff is completely ruined

Mick
6 Jul 2020 - 8:24 am

Dave
In answer to your question

I doubt it very much they will take a aye cut.

Its allways the little person that gets hit in the hip pocket

More T
6 Jul 2020 - 11:49 am

Sept – because they have most of their staff on Jobkeeper and that’s when it runs out. Ceo was careful to say ‘no more stand downs’ in his company address… not no more redundancies. It’s Monday and there’s still no acknowledgement from management on which staff who were stood down. Absolutely disgusting. These people deserve to say goodbye to their colleagues.

To the T's
6 Jul 2020 - 2:00 pm

Actually, each department head acknowledged who would no longer be there within their team. That happened on Friday.

Radio nerd
7 Jul 2020 - 8:38 pm

The CEO didn’t even acknowledge those who were stood down. It’s like they didn’t even deserve acknowledgement or recognition…… awful just awful. Some people had been there for years.

Another radio nerd
8 Jul 2020 - 6:22 pm

@Radio nerd.
See the comment above yours.

The other radio nerd
9 Jul 2020 - 6:43 pm

@another radio nerd… I work with people from pretty much every department and have the pleasure of assuming if someone isn’t replying to me any longer they must have been cut.
Further to that a fair chunk of staff that were cut had over 10 years service at ARN.. don’t they deserve some acknowledgement for their service to entire company??
It’s completely disrespectful that these people were ushered out the back door in a hush

cara125
9 Jul 2020 - 8:06 pm

Yet is advertising for 4 new roles this week *insert confused GIF here….*

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