Former SCA staffer talks life after redundancy in new podcast

Former Assistant Editor

The latest episode of Inside The Group Chat with Mandy Catalano and Jess Farchione covers a difficult subject, but one that many in the industry will likely face during their career.

Less than a week after being let go from her gig at Fox FM, Catalano decided that the topic of redundancy was important enough to cover in a candid chat with Hit Newcastle host Farchione.

Catalano had been something of a jack-of-all-trades at Southern Cross Austereo, working as a fill-in Breakfast host for stations including Hit103.1 Central Coast and Hit104.9 The Border.

The latest episode of Inside The Group Chat is a raw, honest and emotional look at the struggles she faced prior to receiving her marching orders.

“Now it’s come to a point where I don’t even have the weekend shifts… the weekend Breakfast producing shifts that I had,” said Catalano.

“I know so many other people going through this as well. So I do just want to tell my story… so that if anyone else is going through a similar thing where they have been working towards something for so long and then been let go, you’re not the only one going through it.”

Listen to the full episode below:

Comment Form

Your email address will not be published.

Recent comments (19)
Post new comment
Scott M
3 Apr 2020 - 1:38 pm

Unfortunately sounds like the common theme amongst some regional breakfast announcers across all networks. Not everyone has that attitude but there is some like that where the ego gets in the way and they become unhappy in their regional market.

Announcers think they do a good job for 12-24 months then feel entitled to move to a bigger market because they think they’ve ‘done all they can in the market’, become inpatient and resign because they think they’ll just ‘get a gig in a bigger market’ but it doesn’t eventuate.

Over the past few years, regional markets have become competitive with regional surveys and are just as important as the ‘next big gig’. After this Covid-19 period as passed, the right radio attitudes will shine through above the rest and the egos will drop off.

Regional CD
3 Apr 2020 - 1:46 pm

This highlights that some regional announcers need a reality check. Be grateful for the role you have because it could be gone tomorrow.

Don’t leave a job because you think you’re better than the market you’re in to go casual in a metro station.

3 Apr 2020 - 1:51 pm

Listened to the Mandy /Jess podcast. As an ex radio station manager I wouldn’t have employed either of them. . You could imagine what they would be like at work. Too wrapped up in themselves.

3 Apr 2020 - 2:48 pm

Not sure it is ego all the time.
I think most regional announcers are from a metro area and so eventually just want to go home.

Wow how constructive......
3 Apr 2020 - 3:53 pm

What an engaging, raw and emotional look at an issue facing a lot of Australians right now.

Mandy, thanks for ripping open the scab and sharing your experiences. I am sure there are a bunch of people in our industry feeling this way. Jess, thanks for your insightful questions and being a shoulder for Mandy.

To the ‘station managers’ and ‘Content Directors’ who have been kind enough to share a moment of their time in the comments section- take a good look at yourselves.

These two incredible creative content drivers have been vulnerable enough to open up about one of the hardest things anyone goes through and your first reaction is to shame them for their supposed ‘Egos’. How dare a woman have a voice right!

‘Employees leave managers, not companies’. If that is your idea of nurturing then it is absolutely clear why people have decided not to work under you…

Mandy Catalano
3 Apr 2020 - 4:04 pm

Hey just wanted to clear something up. In the podcast I said I left Gippsland because I felt like I was no longer being challenged in that market, but what I didn’t go into was that I was doing long distance with my husband for 3.5 years (plus a few other things that were going on which would be distasteful for me to mention) and it was taking a toll on my mental health so I moved back home and hoped I could take a different path. I also have never felt entitled or expected any of the jobs I have applied for, I was simply expressing that I had certain goals and it’s only human to get bummed out when you feel like you get so close to reaching those goals and then find out that you’ve just missed out.

Happy for people to share their opinions but I just wanted to clear those things up 🙂

3 Apr 2020 - 4:21 pm

Mandy, that’s very important info to put everything into context.

I could only imagine moving to a place where you don’t know anyone, having to live close to the station because of the hours you work, not having your partner around etc…

3 years may seem little, but in your case would seem like an eternity.

Regional CD
3 Apr 2020 - 6:08 pm

@Wow how constructive……

The industry is very small, will more than likely only decrease in size to after Covid-19.

Many GM’s/CD’s communicate with each other, sharing experiences working with individuals and sometimes feedback is shared that individuals didn’t like working in a particular market because of factors outside of the studio which can go against an individual.

As you said, ‘employees leave managers, not companies’. Don’t recall mentioning previously that neither of the two women aren’t talented, Jess is a talent and sounds great on the show in Newcastle.

Credit to both of them for producing the podcast and opening up, there should be more creative types in radio doing so in my view. This recording just sounded like a desperate cry for a full time breakfast role again. Apologies, just my thoughts.


Thanks for sharing more details on your situation.

Do you think it was a wise decision to leave a full time breakfast gig in a market so close to Melbourne?

Ash London
3 Apr 2020 - 7:21 pm

If you don’t have the guts to put your first and last name on this forum while you take it upon yourself to give unhelpful and unsolicited advice to someone who just lost their job….and who you don’t know…then maybe it’s time to put the laptop away.

Mandy – well done for being brave. All of us will lose our gigs at one point in this game…and I have no doubt that you’ll be back in no time…with even more life experience and perspective to bring to the table. Good luck x

CURRENT radio employee
3 Apr 2020 - 7:40 pm

There’s a reason you’re an EX radio station manager, Peter. The industry is better off without people like you in it.

Mandy, thanks for being vulnerable and honest.

4 Apr 2020 - 11:36 pm


You don’t have to justify yourself to anyone. You’re a fantastic team mate, highly talented and did 3 years in one of the most challenging markets in the country before working Gosford Sydney and Melbourne.

How do I know this ? Because I ran content for a lot of them at a group level and also managed you.

Yes, some ppl had entitlement issues and no one is entitled to a role, but in my experience , any announcer worth hiring needs to be driven, drive is a good thing.

To the esteemed manager who wouldn’t hire you or farchione, good.. S/he wouldn’t be able to get the best out of either of you. The esteemed manager also doesn’t know JF was a leader in Shepparton when times got pretty tough.

If you’ve come this far, thanks. I very rarely let these things draw me into posting, but I see a young hard working and highly talented woman hurting from losing her job, which is sad. I also ‘experienced’ radio people playing the entitled card and going keyboard warrior on the basis of an emotional podcast, which is also sad.

Look after each other and all the best

Tony M
5 Apr 2020 - 12:07 pm

Why would you put out a podcast on this ? I don’t hear two creative girls here like the previous comment stated, they sound like they are spoiled brats. Did you sit around and say this would be great for the podcast. Who really cares. This is the type of attitude that causes so many headaches for regional radio, just ask anyone who works in these small markets and has a diva breaky host who thinks they are the next Jackie O and it’s the same for guys too. Ego’s are really big here, sorry girls. I’m guessing you wouldn’t think the same and would blame someone else.

Delusional LT
5 Apr 2020 - 1:14 pm

No sure LT had much to do with JF career apart from going across to Macca’s in Shepparton to buy a coffee once a year. Are you sure you have not confused Jess with Elle who you work with now and have confused Shepparton with the market you worked for at Bendigo. I’m pretty sure you’ve mixed them all up mate. Jess got the job in newie because she is amazing talent and a hard worker. I seem to remember her being pushed to take roles in smaller markets by some people in group content. I’m glad she proved everyone wrong at that time in group content and nailed the gig in Newcastle. She showed amazing leadership by not taking those roles in smaller markets and backing herself in. People who worked closely with her new she was destined for a big market. We love JF

6 Apr 2020 - 10:14 am

Firstly, Jess and Mandy: I love your podcasts so you better keep doing them (I don’t care that it’s from Skype for you now Mandy).

Secondly, thanks for having the guts to do this podcast. There would be many people from the radio industry – past and present – who can relate to this.

Spoilt brats? Not at all. Simply venting the frustrations of feeling like you’ve got a carrot being dangled in front of you and never reach the reward because after years of being told “you’re next in line”, you’re not. For reasons you’ll never know.

Mandy, I’ve known you for years and had the pleasure of working with you at the Fox in 2017. You’re a rock-solid human, 100% reliable (at work and as a friend) and I’m gutted that the current state of affairs due to the coronavirus has put your career on hold. I say on hold for a reason because it isn’t the end.

You’re still the tenacious, creative, funny, sincere person you’ve always been and that will continue to get you places.

You never thought you were above Warragul. We’ve spoken at length about your time there and you spent way more time in that market than I did – and I’ve never had that thrown back in my face. So why should you?

Let’s focus on how much you’ve done since leaving there – being one of the go-to people for not just Fox but also filling in around the network and leaving an incredible impression everytime.

Anyone who knows you, has worked with you or has met you knows the kind of heart you have.

PLEASE do not take the negative comments here to heart. What you and Jess did in that podcast is a service. Thank you for opening up and sharing your raw emotions.

Sit tight through this part of the year, hopefully it isn’t long until you’re back on the airwaves.

Scott Mac
6 Apr 2020 - 11:34 am


Does this podcast show creativity in being a content creator?

Your comment appears to be more about supporting someone who shares the same attitude as yourself. Not sure you’re the go-to-guy to talk about identifying talent, longevity in regional markets doesn’t appear to be a strength of those hired by you in the past.

Brave call taking claim for the progression of JF, wasn’t aware you were so invested in her while in the Goulburn Valley.

All the best in QLD.

6 Apr 2020 - 3:41 pm

This might be a bit of a basic comment but can we all just be nice to each other?
With everything going on everyone is having a bit of a shit time at the moment, slinging insults is not going to help. We need to stick together not be divided.
Be nice.

6 Apr 2020 - 4:59 pm

Yo Scotty etc

Where did LT claim he was responsible for JF success?

This seems like a personal attack based on something totally irrelevant. Let’s keep on topic thanks?

Nik James
6 Apr 2020 - 8:44 pm

I think it’s fair to say most of us have gone through redundancies, sackings and dozens of rejections (or maybe it’s just me) but we’ve always had to deal with these personal disappointments by ourselves. There’s never been a support network. It’s an industry that has thrived on the slogan of “it’s every man and woman for themselves”. Everyone has a different pathway, some jump into their dream job in next to no time rarely having to move around, others have moved around several times and taken different roles to try and reach their goal and continue that battle/journey year in year out BUT many, many people are chewed up and spat out and never return. There’s always been more people than radio jobs available. Sometimes it’s a case of who you know and not what you know. Sometimes you just get lucky. Sometimes it’s hard work. That’s Life. That’s Radio. It’s about taking the opportunities that are offered on the way no matter how big or small. It’s great that today’s generation can vent their frustrations via podcasts or social media but prior to these developments you just had to get back up off the floor, dust yourself off and try again… or give up. Remember this kind of stuff happens in all workplaces it’s not just a radio/media thing so let’s not think of ourselves as any more important than the guy stacking shelves in Coles.

Free As A Bird - An Uncaged One
7 Apr 2020 - 11:18 pm

Unfortunately I couldn’t get past the first few minutes of this podcast, however all the best to you Mandy.
I was one of the ‘Gang Of 90’ let go in December.
After 10 years in radio, I never thought I would say it but I am so glad to be free of it.


See all