SCA’s Hit Network axes 19 regional breakfast shows

Former Publisher

A number of the Hit Network’s regional breakfast show lineups have received their marching orders following a major cost-cutting restructure, Radio Today can reveal.

Of the 41 FM services within Australia’s largest radio network – there are 50 Hit stations – over half will soon be without local breakfast shows, adopting the Western Australia approach.

The affected breakfast hosts are being redeployed where possible, but some will depart.

Southern Cross Austereo announced the changes this afternoon after Radio Today reported on Wednesday that multiple announcers from Hit stations were told to “expect the worst”.

The hosts, who spoke with Radio Today on the condition of anonymity, said breakfast show talent from Hit regional stations across the country all received an “uncomfortable email” this week.

In the emails – some of which were cited by this writer – the impacted staffers were instructed to attend a post-show meeting after their shift on Thursday to discuss potential changes.

Some of those presenters then confirmed their redundancies with me on Thursday morning. The changes to take effect from August 24 according to a statement from SCA.

Coverage map of SCA’s media assets across its radio and television businesses.

The SCA-owned stations now plan to syndicate one breakfast show per state to most regional stations, in a landmark move that leaves some communities without a local brekkie team.

In NSW, broadcast from Hit101.3 Central Coast, the Gawndy & Ash Pollard breakfast show with Daniel Gawned and Ash Pollard, will be heard across most regional NSW-based stations.

In Victoria, broadcast from Hit104.9 in Albury, the Tim & Jess breakfast show with Tim Bolch and Jess Pantou will expand to be on air across all regional Victorian Hit stations.

In Queensland, on SCA’s Hit regional stations, the Cliffo & Gabi breakfast show with Guy Clifton and Gabi Elgood will now be heard statewide and broadcast from Hit103.1 Townsville.

In South Australia, the new SAFM Adelaide breakfast show, Bec, Cosi & Lehmo with Rebecca Morse, Andrew Costello and Anthony Lehmann will be heard on SAFM Mount Gambier.

Hit in regional Western Australia continues to broadcast the statewide Allan & Michelle breakfast show with Allan Aldsworth and Michelle Anderson.

Breakfast shows in Newcastle, the Gold Coast and Hobart will remain unchanged.

Ash Pollard and Daniel Gawned will host Hit NSW regional breakfast.

SCA’s national Triple M network will continue to “remain dedicated to everything local” by broadcasting existing breakfast shows across its 38 regional stations.

SCA content boss Dave Cameron said the business has “adapted to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 environment” and, as a result, will “deliver a different programming model”.

Cameron thanked the dedicated and talented people affected by the new approach and said SCA is actively looking for redeployment opportunities for some roles.

An SCA spokesperson declined to confirm how many workers are leaving the business.

Content quotas require three hours of local programming daily. To meet the requirement, Radio Today understands workdays will return to having local presenters in most markets.

In May peak body Commercial Radio Australia asked the Federal Government for relief from the current local content regulation for the 220 stations broadcasting in regional areas.

SCA was one of 107 regional media outlets to share in a $50 million fund committed to supporting regional news services in June. SCA pocketed “approximately $10 million”.

SCA content boss Dave Cameron said SCA has adapted to pandemic-induced challenges.

As first reported by Radio Today, SCA announced a brand refresh earlier this month. Cameron said the new look and music strategy was “a new starting line” for Hit.

Talking exclusively to this writer last month, Cameron, and network boss Gemma Fordham, said Hit’s new strategy represents a broader product and content approach.

“We are moving from being an under 40 network to a 30 to 54 demo, still a female skewed network but broad enough for all. It’ll still be a pop-based format,” Cameron told me.

“This is a direct reflection of where we see advertising money and briefs come through, which is to an older, broader audience. And we feel like we have a really strong point of difference here.

“You will see and hear us take a different approach to the way we’re putting our music together, to our messaging on-air. It’s a broader appeal to what we have done in the last five or six years.

“It’s certainly not the finishing line for us, this is a new starting line for us,” Cameron said.

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20 Aug 2020 - 2:02 pm

Australian radio, drying up like the Murray-Darling basin

The beginning of the end
20 Aug 2020 - 2:12 pm

SCA won’t be the last to further drive networking.

Metro will be next. 2DAY already has no breakfast show. Underperforming shows that cost millions will certainly be a relic of the past before long…

A sad day for radio. Coronavirus has simply hastened the end. I can’t see advertisers flooding back anytime soon.

Bianca fan
20 Aug 2020 - 2:15 pm

Well that was quick for Bianca Dye? Or does Gold Coast not count as regional?

20 Aug 2020 - 2:15 pm

I bet no increase in pay for the remaining shows, what a mess.

Terry Naulty
20 Aug 2020 - 2:20 pm

Call me old, but don’t we as listeners lose so much when the big guns take over radio stations be they city rural, whatever. Nowadays its just more and more of the stuff that takes away the local feel. Radio used to feel so special cause it was relative. Just my thoughts….

20 Aug 2020 - 2:27 pm

GC, Newcastle and Hobart remain unaffected.

20 Aug 2020 - 2:38 pm

Very sad news. I have many friends in radio around the country, and feel for them all. It is bad enough for those of them living in Melbourne, now this, which they all anticipated. Watch our suicide numbers rocket higher, unfortunately.

For the PD’s (content /music directors), programming music, skewing towards females…. Remember, not all of us are into the soft c*ock, pop music, or daggy 80’s disco.
Many of us love our rock and 90’s grunge.. ie Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Wolfmother….the more guitars, the better 🙂

@Biance Fan
20 Aug 2020 - 2:43 pm

@Bianca Fan Goldcoast is a provincial market not regional.

20 Aug 2020 - 2:45 pm

Breakfast shows in Newcastle, the Gold Coast and Hobart will remain unchanged.

20 Aug 2020 - 2:58 pm

Community Radio still offers local content, plays diverse music and fosters new Australian music talent in many areas right across Australia.

I think it’s very sad that the big companies take over local commercial stations and then network from the capital cities. Less local sport, less local information about events, festivals, markets etc.

(Disclaimer: I am involved in community radio)

20 Aug 2020 - 3:03 pm

Pity those with other wealthy incomes streams eg tv, weren’t given the chop, to help out the others.

20 Aug 2020 - 3:13 pm

This is such a sad day for radio. And a very sad day for the regional communities who will lose their local shows and voices, when they’ve never been more important.

Thoughts go out to everybody whose jobs are affected by this. All the best to you.

20 Aug 2020 - 3:16 pm

… now here’s an opportunity … there are plenty of spare FM frequencies in these markets so the ACMA should immediately call for applications for an additional commercial station in each market that SCA has removed a local breakfast … condition should be for local ownership and local content from 0600-1800 each day … let’s see if there are any entrepreneurs out there willing to put their money where their mouths are …

Mick C
20 Aug 2020 - 4:16 pm

In reply to Nick
I agree with you 100% about community radio.
I listen to a number of community stations throughout the week

Mcr 100.3
Swr999 2ssr 99.7its a pity that this sIts dont give info out on what community radio is doing.

I’m not involved in community radio

20 Aug 2020 - 4:20 pm

Pandemic induced? No it’s not, it’s induced by bad management. The Super Radio Network (2SM) hasn’t sacked anyone because of the pandemic, they’re going really well.

Michael Beveridge
20 Aug 2020 - 4:20 pm

If the Hit Network made these decisions many months ago, and didn’t tell the announcers about it, giving them zero time to adjust, upskill, begin looking for other options, start saving money etc then they are as heartless and cold as an employer can possibly be. They will deserve any grief that comes their way. To be paid an absolute pittance of 55k per year to slog your guts out in a regional market away from your loved ones, to constantly stick around under the lure of another gig, a better spot etc, to work fucking Saturdays doing OB’s from harvey norman and then to get your job cut out of nowhere, with zero other radio spots available, in a now flooded with talent market… i mean it’s just disgusting. If they only just made the call on this this week then that’s fine, these things happen. But if the call was made months ago then.. jeez. I hope you struggle to get to sleep.

20 Aug 2020 - 4:54 pm

How about Canberra? Surely they fit into the same category as Newcastle, Hobart and the Gold Coast…

20 Aug 2020 - 4:54 pm

Let’s be honest. Dinosaur commercial radio stations are dying, rapidly.
The concept of listening to the same small selection of songs, being repeated over and over again in between equally repetitious, and mind blowingly annoying commercials, just does not cut it anymore. Listeners are leaving in their droves, and with them, the advertising revenue.
I’ve not listened to my towns choice of commercial dinosaurs in years, and I really don’t miss it all. In fact, wherever I find myself in a situation whereby I cannot avoid over hearing one of them, it very quickly reminds me why I jumped ship when I did.

20 Aug 2020 - 5:50 pm

I worked in commercial radio for sometime during the 80’s but have watched with absolute disgust the decline in local content and everything being broadcast out of hubs and regional listeners are the ones who have suffered at the hands of power/money hungry networks. Its a disgrace and management don’t care about regional listeners at all plus the staff in those regions, whilst you sit in your plush office making metro decisions for regional areas whom crave local content….we regional Australia deserve better than what bean counters or city slickers think….sham on you all, you’ve killed regional radio for good. Hope your proud of yourselves.

20 Aug 2020 - 5:58 pm

The stations were already taking syndicated content across the day and in Drive so when will these stations fulfill their 3hrs of local content requirements?

20 Aug 2020 - 6:01 pm

This is so sad, and it’s taken a pandemic to speed up the inevitable.
I remember when stations like 2DayFM were powerhouses and had such an influence on Sydney.
Those days are long gone and our industry will never be the same.
So many ears and eyeballs and advertisers flocking on-line.
A really tough situation for many people.

20 Aug 2020 - 6:06 pm

Everyone here needs to calm their farm a bit. It isn’t Nineteen-diggity-three anymore, the game has changed and all of these networks need to adjust to a new playbook to stay relevant and solvent.

It’s absolutely sad for the redundant employees, but these are publicly listed companies reportable to shareholders, they’re not community service providers.

Am I the only one who prefers solid content over average local content?

@@Biance Fan
20 Aug 2020 - 6:41 pm

Darlz, pretty sure anything outside of metro is classed as “country”

Brett Cameron
20 Aug 2020 - 6:56 pm

There is no local in local radio anymore. Networking is the flavour and thats why SCA changed all the local stations to Hit & MMM. Why dont they simply turn regional stations into repeater stations? Ratings only count in metro markets.

Get That Get Out Feeling!
20 Aug 2020 - 7:45 pm

Is anyone ‘Getting that feeling yet’ keep watching? How proud these little shows must have felt as they bedded in the new brand… just as all the triple M’s will find out if this goes well.
Anybody who believes you can’t make money out of radio in the bush is a moron, it just isn’t like the metros. If you don’t want to play the game, hand it on! The first thing you do is talk about how the radio station understands how you do it local. How you’re a part of the town. You hear local people wanting to share in each others local successes. Nothing to talk about here, you’re programmatically painting yourselves into a cluster corner… shame on you.

Cill Baralis
20 Aug 2020 - 7:46 pm

I ain’t looking so bad now am I ?

Simon Baggs
20 Aug 2020 - 9:05 pm

I’m really devastated for our entire industry today. I’ve been on the phone for most of the day talking to awesome talent who are shocked with today’s announcement. It’s unfair and it’s not cool. You are all worthy of a gig. You were all giving your lives and lifestyles up for this industry we all love.
I’m not going to be able to say anything that can make any of you feel better right now but I can say that most of us in the industry are thinking of you and are here for you if you need to chat.
If you still love radio and want to pursue it then go for it. You will get another go if you want it bad enough and please make sure you reach out to Ryan Rathbone who is the head of Grant Broadcasters. Local content is important and it works!

20 Aug 2020 - 9:41 pm

I’m genuinely gutted for people losing their gigs but, away from the Radio Today comments section, how many regular listeners actually care about local content on music-based stations anymore? They’ve got Spotify and podcasts to provide all the personalised content they could ever need, without the ads. It’s easy to blame big companies for killing local radio when in fact, technology and consumer trends have changed listening habits.

Christian Hull
20 Aug 2020 - 11:36 pm

The inevitable is happening and it’s really sad. We are so connected and get our news and entertainment so instantly from a variety of sources. It’s all on demand.

Regional papers are going, breakfast shows and Tv news are getting the chop. The way we consume media has totally changed.

My parents ( in there 60’s) have a routine of watching the 6 o’clock news, reading the paper and listening to talk back. I think it’s generational. I don’t know anyone my age who does that.

Google maps have live traffic and you can ask your car to play you the latest news update.

Advertising is now spread so thin that tv and radio stations are not the powerhouses they used to be because they are competing for brands business.

This isn’t something that’s suddenly happened overnight. This has been a looming change on the horizon for years.

My radio career never took off. I tried and failed to be an on air personality. I found success on social media and the digital team at SCA were awesome. Sadly the social media side of radio I think is widely overlooked. It is there to support on air. Not to really create content.

You have all this amazing young talent now made redundant. They love to entertain, be funny, work with the community they are in. What happens to them now?

As an entertainment company you could manage and nurture them, use the huge social platforms you have to create YouTube shows and really build something amazing. Adapt to the changes by not just reflecting what’s ‘on air’ but by actually doing social only content.

I think that sentiment is too late sadly. It’s costly and should have been done years ago. In fact it was done. I worked on a YouTube show, a show that of Managment stuck with would be earn so much money in revenue of YT ads. But when you have Managment who are almost too experienced in radio Anything new is scary and we just end up going back to old formulas that worked in the past. The show was canceled right as it was taking off.

I really really hope those announcers who have to walk away from these jobs get support.

I’m so happy to help in any way I can DM me on insta @christianhull

21 Aug 2020 - 5:41 am

This is what happens when city slickers Such as SCA take over regional jobs and regional radio like a Venomous spider they create unemployment, disconnection and isolation. What a an absolute disgrace and well we are so deep in this muck that i dont think we can get ourselves out of this one . In Cairns The radio is So crap You know the radio dj is so distant and already the news comes from victoria and i couldn’t feel so isolated when im holidaying in FNQ if a Local disaster happen, FNQ Listeners might not hear about The problem On radio until the next day.

21 Aug 2020 - 7:29 am

So Toowoomba and the Darling Downs, Southern Downs, Western Downs and Southern Burnett, the largest regional area in Qld isn’t important enough to retain their breakfast program? We have the strongest economy in the country and have largely been unaffected by the pandemic.

Well done, SCA, for taking the easy way out. Cut the regional shows and bump up the profits even with the $10m funding boost you took.

You’ve lost a hell of a lot of listeners in our part of the world. You’re gonna feel it worse when the advertisers start pulling out.

Twitch Streamer
21 Aug 2020 - 7:37 am

It’s not that radio is dead. It’s just that radio didn’t evolve with the times.

SCA love to pat themselves on the back for creativity and innovation but they completely missed the digital revolution despite being so well positioned.

Is someone going to take responsibility for that? Grant? Dave? Gemma? Guy?

I agree with Christian Hull that they are probably “too experienced” in radio and it’s costs 100s of people their jobs.

Most people get their new music from Twitch and TikTok. Have they heard of those things?

21 Aug 2020 - 8:31 am

Nailed it Dave ; Pandemic induced? No it’s not, it’s induced by bad management.
SCA has been on the nose for years.

21 Aug 2020 - 8:33 am

Cutting the regional shows and bump up the profits even with the $10m funding boost you took. What a disgrace.

No-one even cares anymore
21 Aug 2020 - 8:37 am

The entire radio industry has failed to move with the times. All of these breakfast shows are potential content creators – who could easily roll into a podcast and maybe make some money that way.

The radio networks don’t realise what has been happening for the past decade and continue trying and doing the same old thing – and they will keep doing that until reality hits them in the face and they become another Kodak.

The digital market wasn’t quite ready in ‘08 and Australia didn’t feel the brunt of the GFC anyway. The economy will not recover quick enough to be able to meaningfully sway advertisers away from new and digital media, and they will be competing for a dwindling advertising spend.

The shift to older listeners is telling. It’s becoming ever clearer that listening to the radio is an ‘old person’ thing, and we’re banking the long-term longevity of the entire industry on an assumption that people will come to radio as they get older. We do self-supporting surveys designed to get a result that tells advertisers we’re still relevant, regardless of whether anyone is actually listening in any meaningful way. We survey 1000 people and pretend that is representative of hundreds of thousands of Australians.

20 year olds don’t know what radio is and yet all the decision makers sit around in a boardroom to talk about whether the secret sound or beat the bomb is the next greatest way to bribe people to listen with the promise of heaps of ‘cold hard cash’

Listening to what people actually want to hear has become irrelevant. Creating good content and playing good music is at best a secondary consideration. How many times an hour we can push the latest evictee of Survivor, or how many times a day we can tell people to ‘make sure they listen tomorrow’ because the winner of Big Brother Season 2 has a really interesting story about one time they went to the shop. Playing the same songs over and over again despite incessant listener complaints, and trying to game the survey and bribe people to ‘please please please please please listen to us’ has become the #1 importance.

Interesting that when an epic new shows drops on Netflix, everyone watches it and subscriber numbers increase. But on radio, we know we’re so irrelevant that we have to have ‘$100k on the line every day, it’s so easy to win’ to get people to pay any kind of attention.

Focus on content. Focus on good music. Focus on shifting with the digital revolution. Listen to some younger people. Listen to the listeners. Don’t assume you know what people want, or know better than the people you’re supposed to be programming for. And maybe we’ll have some kind of chance.

Too many execs who have been in radio for 25 years doing the same thing over and over and over again and wondering why the hell they’re not connecting with the demo. Couldn’t be that they’re making the wrong decisions. Nah, must be that we’re only saying the name of the breakfast show 6 times an hour instead of 15. Must be that we’re playing too many songs.

Oh, this strategy isn’t working? Put more throwbacks in, that’ll work. Make us sound exactly like all the other stations, that’ll really help. Put more promos on every week saying ‘Nah THIS tactic is the BIGGEST THING WEVE EVERRRRRRRRR DONE, not the thing we did last week that we also said was the BIGGEST THING WEVE EVERRRRR DONE’

No wonder people have moved to podcasts. 5 minutes of ads every fifteen minutes, old songs on repeat and 15 minutes of ‘up next, something reallllyy crazzzzyyyy and you have a 1 in a million chance if winning $100k! It’s so easy!!!!!!!!!’ is apparently not what people want. Who’d have thought.

Australian commercial radio has become a parody of itself.

21 Aug 2020 - 8:57 am

I blame the Government and Commercial Radio Australia.

If CRA had imposed on all regional licenses that there MUST be a locally produced, onsite full Breakfast show, this wouldn’t be happening. It saves jobs, it saves our industry and saves the flow on effect.

Think about these towns. Cafes will now loose those 4 coffees each day. Lunch outlets will lose the takeaway orders. Pubs will lose knock off drinks. It might only be a few people in each market, but this is one station. Local newspapers, TV etc closing too.

Commercial Radio Australia had an opportunity to protect the industry, to keep it alive and well but it didn’t. It didn’t protect the people. They regulate content and monitor stations closely when it suits them, where were the local conditions? 3 hours a day or something which they get away with having imported news links? It’s a joke.

SCA down $120m? This round of redundancies would be only saving $3m max. To risk loosing listeners, a sound that may not work in many markets, clients not getting that OB they want or not having talent onsite, is surely worth $3m to generate more revenue in a local market?

A matter of time until every metro station becomes like Triple J. One station for 6 markets.

21 Aug 2020 - 10:34 am

That’s because Super Radio Network ditched a lot of their local talent years ago. They’re networked as fucked (With a few exceptions) and the stations run on the smell of an oily rag. I’m not saying the network is bad.. but don’t try and say that they’re better because I remember when good friends of mine lost jobs when the ditched local content and decided to network out of hubs.

21 Aug 2020 - 10:36 am

It’s. A. Business.

@Michael Beveridge
21 Aug 2020 - 10:40 am

55k in a regional market is good money! The rent in a lot of these areas is like $200 a week.. for a house sometimes!

21 Aug 2020 - 11:23 am

I feel sorry for anyone that loses a job, but this whole model of having breakfast teams with stupid names like Em and Dick, combined with repetitious music, reality TV contestants being treated as stars and stations run by middle aged men and women is a recipe for disaster.
Savvy young people see right through this and consider it a relic of the past, as they listen to Spotify and all the other options available that don’t treat them like morons.

21 Aug 2020 - 12:15 pm

would be interesting to see the numbers they use for proof that localism doesn’t matter to listeners.
I’ve long suspected that the ratings system might be flawed and obscure true listenership numbers for things like community radio.
radio stations are hastening their own decline with the money men not brave enough to adapt and innovate to greet the younger generation. No wonder kids aren’t even tempted to move from spotify when its all throwback rnb songs… radio shying away from its former role curating the next hits and launching careers by only playing it safe.

failure to innovate will only hasten their decline as they fall back on doing things the way they’ve always done – e.g. networking – what’s the point of the ACRAs when half the people in the regional market have just been cut? look at any hit Facebook page and see the interaction of users with the generic videos from their networked stars versus the content that actually wants to engage with listeners and seek to start a conversation… radio was about starting conversations and fostering community before social media, now it’s going backwards when it could be going forwards…

Peter Johnson
21 Aug 2020 - 12:32 pm

Rove is still available to host a breakfast show in Sydney for $2million a year if anyone is interested?

21 Aug 2020 - 2:18 pm

Yet another absolutely atrocious move from SCA. The consistently out-of-touch “head honchos” there will undoubtedly try and poach far overpriced talent for their cap city stations, pouring bucketloads of money into shitty cash contests, marketing and branding which will continue netting them poor results because they don’t have the programming prowess, the balls OR the patience to actually sit on and idea and let it work.

In this 2020 cancelling culture, sorry SCA – YOU’RE CANCELLED. In fact, RADIO is basically cancelled. I encourage all of these people now made redundant to seek alternate careers and options. As hard as the transition can be, it’s worth it in the long run. Leave behind the pain and relentless hunt for the “next best gig” – it’s simply not worth it anymore, can’t you see where the industry is heading? Such a shame.

As for those disgraceful muppets in charge at SCA, well done. The only f*cking aircheck you likely ever gave these people was “not local enough, be more local, connect, be local, local wins” blah blah blah – how’s your local looking now??? You’re still going to desperately seek advertising dollars and revenue from these little stores, cafes, shops and restaurants yet make absolutely NO investment into the local areas entertainment? Not even a DAY JOCK??? You’re having day time VT’d from elsewhere JUST to a) save some money and b) hit that local quota, it’s DISGUSTING!!!!! So these major regional areas just aren’t worthy of having their own local breakfast show??? But the people and businesses within them are fine to take money from for advertising.

What about the millions and millions you idiots spent on updating regional studios around the country with the most modern technology? So now those studios are literally just going to sit completely empty while the office vultures outside keep raping local business for money to support your dying network and fill the pockets of the most out of touch executives media has ever seen???

You’re all a pack of animals, an utter disgrace. As one commenter wrote; I do hope you only knew about this recently, although nobody knew of the rebrands to B105 and SAFM in the building until they happened so it wouldn’t surprise me if their new quiet culture meant they were sitting on this for some time before they pulled triggers and gave their shows ONE f*cking days notice. HOW SAD. And what about your precious talent pipeline??? I do NOT encourage anyone trying to forge a career in this pathetic industry now but if people want to, where do they even go to get a start??????

Can’t wait til you crash and burn SCA.

Sam Muzza
21 Aug 2020 - 5:30 pm

Why as a regional, would you want that putrid trash from the City. Seriously, daytime request, pfftt I got my own music at home. SCA has destroyed regional radio. Time to pull your heads out of the clouds and put yourselves in Rehab, Clueless wanna be cler channel leeches. Commercial Radio is DEAD !!

Take a pill
22 Aug 2020 - 10:07 am

All the angry people on here news to take a pill and look at the big picture.

SCA has 2 networks. In 95% of these markets they have 2 radio stations.

One will serve local markets with local breakfast shows and attract local dollars.

The other will be a national sounding network, that will attract agency dollars.

SCA have to make a profit for their shareholders. They’re not funded by tax payer dollars.

Get a grip.

22 Aug 2020 - 10:53 am

How’s Boomtown going now?

22 Aug 2020 - 1:36 pm

I’m sorta with Take A Pill here. It’s awful and so sad these talented people have been shown the door with one day’s notice, but SCA is in poor health and needs to do something (I believe they weren’t paying their bills to Nine which is why their regional TV news bulletins were stopped for months).

Angry people like No-One Even Cares Anymore (seems that person cares a lot) don’t acknowledge that SCA is a legacy media company which has one foot in terrestrial broadcasting (where most of its older audience still is), and another foot in newer podcasting (where its younger audience is still growing but advertising is less lucrative). Aside from ABC and ARN, SCA would have to be the country’s third largest podcaster through such platforms as PodcastOne, and the Hit and Triple M apps? Doesn’t seem like a company that is ignoring the future to me. But some people here need to recognise that it’s a tricky balancing act for legacy companies such as SCA to slowly extract themselves from old forms of business and move towards the new (which this tough decision might be part of that move).

Interesting fact: Kodak actually invented the first digital camera in 1975.

Outraged morons
22 Aug 2020 - 2:56 pm

Let’s balance the outrage up with some common sense and facts….

No local hours are being taken away.
SCA remain the biggest employer in the radio industry.
Investment in their talent continues, including expanding their digital arm which goes from strength to strength. There would be more talent on their books now that 5 years ago with their Podcast One dept.
Triple M remaining highly local with breaky shows continues, that’s been pointed out as not changing.
This isn’t new. ACE did it several months ago, UK did it last year, NZ did it several years ago.
And it also says Deployment of several affected staff is going on already.
(The irony is….ask any talent what they dream of and its to go national…! Has anyone congratulated these new state shows for progressing to expanding their audience now because they’re excellent at what they do? No)

Every business needs to pivot, particularly in these times to strengthen their business and invest in the right areas for the future.
Content creation and monetisation is their business, where they choose to deliver that content for the benefit of their changing audience Behaviours, changing revenue demands, changing landscape is part of evolving business models is a strategy im sure they’re progressing with.

Anyone taking potshots here has zero business acumen, just wants to be angry because nots not the 80’s anymore, still sitting behind their antique cart machines and revox reel 2 reels, thinking the world hasn’t changed. If you want to see what they look like….they Actually have a face on a FB site called Radio Green Room! Take a look at this wonderful combination of “Has Beens” and “Coulda Beens” that have an axe to grind, and decide for yourself what decade they had their career On “The Wireless!!“

For others, pivot. Create content. Showcase yourself. Understand the new world. You’ll be of huge value if you can. When the world moves, move with it or get off.

Goodbye angry people. Welcome talent who get it and will grab the challenge.

22 Aug 2020 - 4:43 pm

Take A Pill, spoken like a true SCA stooge with the head firmly ensconced in the sand.

23 Aug 2020 - 8:36 am

Rolling Stones gather no moss.
Keep rolling radio we don’t want to loose you within the media diversity.
As a 46 year old child of the 80’s you’ll always be my incumbent medium.

23 Aug 2020 - 8:38 am

Can anyone tell me who lost their job in SCA management over the debacle in changing successful cap city station names to HIT only to change them back again just recently? A bad decision from day one and a bad decision that cost millions over a period of time. I’d be interested to know if the person who signed off on that is still in senior management at SCA. My point being, people need to be accountable for the decisions that are made in companies, especially public-listed companies.

@outraged morons
23 Aug 2020 - 8:59 am

“No local hours are being taken”?

Yes they are buddy. That’s the whole point….

Take a pill
23 Aug 2020 - 9:33 am

@Dave, ex-SCA actually. Which part of my statement to you disagree with. Which part is factually incorrect?

Welcome to the world
23 Aug 2020 - 4:09 pm

It’s Pudding time!
The last I looked SCA was not an abbreviation for Salvation Army.
It’s a business and the shareholders are hungry.

24 Aug 2020 - 10:48 am

@ Welcome to the World
Shareholders (and companies) often eat themselves when their hunger drives them to greed.

@Buddy ol Buddy ol Matey Matester
24 Aug 2020 - 12:02 pm

@outraged moron

Hi “Buddy”!
(Must feel good to pop that in for a bit o’ forum power play eh?)

I read the release. You didn’t. It said local morning shifts returning. Hence no local hours lost. “Buddy”.

That’s the point….(that you missed.)
Take it easy and don’t tangle yourself up in a tizzy “Buddy”

So Boomtown hey?
24 Aug 2020 - 12:35 pm

How can you expect national advertisers to increase their investment in regional markets when you have systematically dismantled and reduced yours since the SC and A merger?

Boomtown was a great idea, planned and executed by a bunch of out of touch city-dwellers.

The impact on regional communities these job losses have will be lasting.

@Buddy ol Buddy ol Matey Matester
24 Aug 2020 - 2:24 pm

I’m not here to debate the use of “buddy” but my apologies it offended you so much and felt the need to focus on it above.

I’m here to talk radio.

Local hours are lost. Many, many hours of local, on-site programming are lost. Local outside broadcasts, local social media videos, and local content. If you don’t understand that, I really don’t have the time or effort to explain.

“I read the release. You didn’t. It said local morning shifts returning. Hence no locals hours lost. “buddy”.

Local, on-site hours ARE lost. These studios will be empty with the lights off 6am-9am, and many will remain empty during “local mornings” as it’s voice tracked by someone far away who’s never stepped foot into that market. You clearly have zero comprehension or understanding of this. I however, do understand multi-market, split shifts and networking.

Take it easy and relax when someone says buddy. You seem triggered.

Take a Pill
24 Aug 2020 - 3:49 pm

@outraged moron

Dude, you REALLY didnt read that press release did you?

Local hours in mornings do not mean voice tracking. They mean someone in the market, sitting with their bum in the seat (and the lights on) talking into the noise stick. They’re required by legislation to have those local hours. So, again, take a pill.

Secondly, @so boomtown hey

National advertisers buy on reach. 1 breakfast show into 10 markets from Gosford will reach as many people as 10 breakfast shows into those markets for, you guessed it – 1/10th of the cost (approx – i don’t want maths nerds comin’ at me here). You really should spend some time understanding the ins and outs of radio advertising and the economics of business if you want to work in the medium.

Maybe you could go and work at a local newspaper? Oh no. None of those. Local TV station! Nope. Local ABC? Ah, sorry buddy (!?). Local commercial radio station? Yes! We still have those.

@take a chill pill
24 Aug 2020 - 5:03 pm

Pal, you need to take a chill pill. You just attempted to school me on my job, buying media, the reality is. As a buyer, this looks hypocritical, I don’t care what my 1+ reach is. You telling me to invest more into a market you are pulling money out of… the optic, they ain’t good.

Buddy Franklin
24 Aug 2020 - 5:41 pm

Heya Head Buddy of the Buddy Brigade….

See I reckon you’re still making assumptions. I reckon those local hours will be delivered by locals on location…..
But hey! I get you’re the expert in “multi-market split shift network” – so you sound like you’ve got it all worked out. But “Buddy” I just don’t think you’re in the loop on this one. I know that will come as a surprise to you being Head Buddy and all that someone didn’t cross something off with you. You should call a meeting and make sure everyone still knows you’re King Buddy – the network expert because frankly someones not reporting back to you.

Good on ya “Buddy”, you definitely know it all! Keep on believing in yourself.

Buddy Holly
25 Aug 2020 - 8:39 am

Hey Bud,


“Maybe you could go and work at a local newspaper? Oh no. None of those. Local TV station! Nope. Local ABC? Ah, sorry buddy (!?). Local commercial radio station? Yes! We still have those.”

Did you think perhaps a coincidence exists where until Floods, Fires and Pandemic hit, radio revenue was steadily growing and had been for years while those other, no longer local mediums were declining?

I think we all need to take a step back and be buddy mindful that if the locals don’t like it, the locals don’t consume it… And then you don’t have the same single reach number. Buddy he’ll, so much to say so little time it’s almost time for our sales meeting.

Bud, to be fair, they did a great job losing K&J and rebranding everything away from heritage, so I have full faith this to will work.

@Buddy Holly
25 Aug 2020 - 9:23 am

They did a great job in losing K&J?! So going from first to last is great? They are still hurting 6 years and 317 breakfast shows later!

@buddy Holly II
25 Aug 2020 - 5:43 pm

I see you hadn’t had your morning coffee, the K&J and heritage brand line were 100% sarcasm.

I hope you are by now, well-caffeinated. #longlivelocalism

26 Aug 2020 - 11:19 am

what the heck , i blame the carbon tax, it was blamed for everythoing else

26 Aug 2020 - 4:16 pm

so i gather the 2 on the billboard still have their radio job along with their tv job ?

9 Sep 2020 - 12:20 pm

It wasn’t just talent SCA made redundant on the 20/7/2020 it was a number of their finance team also, and again management has stuffed up and let go a number of their best and most experience workers, leaving inexperience staff in their roles, so its not just higher management, ifs finance management at the place who also have no clue what goes on, what staffs roles entail and who is actually doing the work…

17 Sep 2020 - 11:53 pm

It always gives me a laugh when you get these community radio types pumping up their tyres. Fewer people listen to community radio than they think. Their signals are mostly scratchy at best, programming is inconsistent and the people on air think they sound great but have never worked in commercial radio and with good reason. The bigger tragedy is the FM frequencies these toy stations occupy. Why isn’t ACMA putting community stations and the electricity they squander on AM and giving their FM frequencies to the heritage AM commercial stations to create an even playing field in regional towns and cities? Let’s face it, most community FMs like to pretend they’re as good as the local commercial stations but if you can listen to them for more that 5 minutes you’re doing better than me.

22 Jan 2021 - 12:02 pm

Would love to see a follow-up story on all those people who were axed and find out what they’re doing today? Has SCA been active on checking on their welfare and finding them new roles in the industry?

11 Mar 2021 - 7:49 pm

Niko, No they have not! Gave us a company to do our resume professionally. First company I gave it to said it was not easy to read and I was lucky to get it read! Still looking for work, but no longer looking at Media, it is a sinking ship. CEO’s who sit on their millions a year are out of touch. I have seen it first hand.

9 Aug 2021 - 9:37 am

So sad… Announcers are redundant now. Unless you went on MAFS, are a stand up comic, or beautiful journo, it seems being on air will remain a dream for many.
More podcasts I predict. From all these out of work announcers!

9 Jul 2022 - 4:23 pm

Hi. I was just reading some of the other comments, and I noticed that one of the comments that were said that there are three areas that would retain their own local breakfast show.

I would like to let you know the reason Newcastle still has their own breakfast show. This is because the Central Coast Hit Radio Station is only one hour away from Newcastle.

I hope this helps other readers as to why Newcastle still has its own breakfast show on Hit Newcastle.

25 Oct 2022 - 8:43 am

Just over two years since this atrocious decision and I’m lucky to have found work elsewhere in the industry, though it took a while. Unfortunately the vast majority of the people effected by this have left the industry completely. One has to wonder the long term damage of completely obliterating your talent pool.


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