Networks respond on wages and conditions in the radio industry
The market dynamic is changing, the cost of living is increasing and there is more competition for skilled staff from PR and Podcast companies who are paying more.
In our series of articles on this topic we have looked at the rising cost of living, the changing employment market and more competition from companies paying more than radio does. We also examined the economic realities of radio companies, the issue of contract restrictions and other issues associated with the sentiments raised in an open letter to radio employers.
The issues raised were more than financial, they also included lack of recognition and respect, some managers boasting about high salaries and bonuses while other staff are not allowed to reveal what they are paid, lack of career progression paths and an increasing workload without commensurate compensation and recognition.
Our readers have told us many stories about their experiences:
It’s not just a regional problem, it’s literally rampant everywhere. Anon
You work the hours until the job is done (whether that’s music scheduling, promo script writing, etc), you do promo for the station outside of normal hours (for little, or no extra pay), you work weekend shifts, fill in when others are away, drive the promo vehicle, etc. And the perks (as mentioned in the article) are few and far between, despite you pulling the survey results. Dan
I must have missed the memo. When is it the employer’s responsibility to “make ends meet” for their employees? John
What a fantastic article! It’s a taboo not spoken about publicly enough. Our seniors – The GMs, the Sales Managers and greedy network owners have next to zero understanding of the reality on the ground. Over It
I was disturbed numerous times outside of my contracted hours and when I flagged it with management, I was told to go work in the mines if I didn’t like it. I ended up leaving. Anon
I worked on a Metro breakfast show a little while ago. The on air jocks got a pay increase from $600k to $800k each for turning up at 530am and leaving at 9am. For me, 15 hours was a ‘normal day’ plus most weekends. Alan
I left the industry and realised that so many other industries paid far better and had fair and hefty bonus schemes. My next job out of radio was almost $75K more and has since risen at least $10K each year after fair salary review processes. Former Promotions Director
Don’t get me wrong, I love this industry… but when your struggling to make ends meet… there’s a real problem. As radio professionals we have a specific set of skills that take time, a lot of volunteering and in a lot of cases money for courses to acquire. Why should we be paid any less than an assistant manager at Woolies? Anon
Will any of our CEOs / Group CDs have the courage to acknowledge our concerns and advocate for change? Anon
There’s plenty more comments at the bottom of each of our previous articles.
Radio Today has put our readers’ views to the networks. We asked for their comments several weeks ago and received timely responses from SCA and ARN.
Nine Entertainment declined to comment saying “it’s not something that we’ve found to be an issue for our stations, hence the decision not to comment.”
Nova Entertainment did not respond by the time of publication.
Southern Cross Austereo
- At SCA, we compensate our people with wages reflective of the market rate aligned with our competitors, other external benchmarks, and of course with vigilant adherence to the renumeration and entitlements outlined in relevant Modern Awards designed and reviewed annually for our industry
- SCA reviews remuneration including base salary and incentives annually (the only year we were not able to do so was in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19). Our Annual Remuneration review process takes into consideration cost of living and inflationary increases but aims to reward performance and balance benchmarking within the business.
- Internal compensation ranges are based on experience, tenure, and performance – allowing SCA to hire for both potential and experience.
- We acknowledge that the cost of living pressures are increasing, and like many of our peers we are seeing this reflected in the ability to attract for roles in the regions. We are committed to continually reviewing all markets where a disparity may exist. These challenges are experienced by many sectors.
- Whilst remuneration is clearly important, we also deploy a range of other personal and professional benefits and strategies to retain our valued people. This includes workplace flexibility, substantial investment in Learning and Development programs to help our people upskill and grow, as well as an award-winning culture where people can be at their best and enjoy the work that they do.
- SCA has a 50% internal mobility rate – meaning that of all vacant roles, 50% go to internal candidates. This indicates SCA’s commitment to continuing to develop people to have meaningful careers with us.
Australian Radio Network
Our philosophy at ARN is that in order to attract and retain the best people, we must have a simple, transparent and well understood approach to rewarding our people and recognising their achievements. This includes a holistic “total reward” offering across financial and non-financial elements, underpinned by an equitable, consistent approach for reward and recognition.
We are committed to ensuring staff are paid fairly for the work they do and proportionately to the business value of the role. Our remuneration framework enables us to check how people compare to a benchmarked group of companies and ensure we are rewarding people in similar roles consistently with others in similar roles internally and externally.
If we receive further comments from networks we will update this article.