Kyle Sandilands opens up about gender pay gap with Jackie O

Former Editor & Content Director

Kyle Sandilands has confirmed he felt “paralysed” when in the early days of his on-air partnership with Jackie ‘O’ Henderson, he realised he was significantly out-earning her.

He said his $258,000 pay packet in 1999 when he replaced ‘Ugly’ Phil O’Neill on the Hot30 Countdown absolutely floored him, but he couldn’t believe his co-host, who had already been with the program for some time, was on around $80,000 by comparison.

“I was sort of paralysed… I was like ‘What do you mean you get 80 [thousand dollars]? You’re Jackie O’. I just assumed they were getting the same. I didn’t know there was diversity or difference. I knew nothing about that,” he told Mia Freedman’s No Filter podcast, the second part of which was released last week.

“And she said ‘No, no’, she said ‘In all honesty, Phil does all the interviews and I go outside and then when he points at me, I laugh’. I was shocked. I didn’t know that’s how it worked….

“I said ‘I can’t do that, you have to be in the interview’, because I didn’t know anything.”

Sandilands said he took the issue to then general manager of 2DayFM and Triple M, Cathy O’Connor, and said the money had to be equal.

“I said ‘It has to be 50/50. I expect her to be in there all the time, like I will be, and you’re just going to have to take from mine and just make up the difference with hers, pay her the difference out of mine and make it even’. And I was terrified of Cathy O’Connor, not because she was horrible, but she was just a very impressive, strong woman that you didn’t want to get on the wrong side of. But she was lovely.”

He said the issue was resolved with O’Connor agreeing for Henderson’s pay to be upped, rather than Sandilands to have his cut.

The duo have since defected to Australian Radio Network’s (ARN) KIIS, and in 2019 signed a new multimillion-dollar deal with to remain with the network.

You can listen to the full podcast – which also covers Sandilands’ views on children and his body image – below. Part one can be found here.

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Peter Johnson
19 Apr 2021 - 7:20 pm

I am outraged that Deb Knight on 2GB doesn’t earn the same amount as Ray Hadley.

I will be organising a petition

20 Apr 2021 - 11:16 am

I agree – Deb knight should be getting the same pay as Ray Hadley as they are both doing the same job

20 Apr 2021 - 11:35 am

Lisa Wilkinson walked out of the Today Show because she wasn’t getting as much as Karl, so maybe Deb Knight should threaten to leave the station if she doesn’t get the same pay as Ray

20 Apr 2021 - 11:17 pm

Host – co host

That’s why.

Like she said, the host did all the work and she just laughed and went outside.

It’s like president and vice president of a company. Except in most cases the vice actually does more work. Regardless of the person’s sex.

And please use the correct term. It is impossible to have a “gender” paygap since the term “gender” means nothing today and has only refered to objects in the past.

Matthew Okeefe
21 Apr 2021 - 8:53 am

Different time slots. Bigger Issues, more pressure more research. Bigger audience. Can’t really compare Deb to Ray.

Nice to hear/watch more ladies in media though. Much needed.

chuck tuna
22 Apr 2021 - 11:20 am

Maybe cause the other host does most of the work ? She’s had a dream run for years..


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