Radio bloodshed

I watched and read with growing despair as rumour and speculation gave way to reality in the merger of Fairfax and Macquarie.

All those talented people at 2UE and 4BC, who suddenly find themselves unemployed. Careers put in a holding pattern as the industry absorbs the ramifications of the merger.

And it may not be the end of the blood shed.  Staff from Magic 1278 have reportedly been called to a meeting later this morning, where they’ll no doubt be told of the ‘tough decisions that need to be made in a tough environment’.

No doubt they’ll be told ‘it’s never any easy decision’ and that ‘it’s not a reflection of their ability’.  It’s just one of those things.  Depressingly in our industry, it’s becoming a common story and many of us who’ve worked in radio have had ‘that’ conversation with a General Manager at some point in their working life.

It’s a horrible feeling being told that despite your loyalty and love for the place, you’re not one of the lucky few to keep their jobs. It can take a long while to recalibrate and get on with things.

In my case, when I was exited from DMG Melbourne, I was angry, sad, pissed off, annoyed, scared of the future, angry, and depressed – all in the first 24hours after the purge of 2012.  It took a long while before I even felt the urge or desire to get back in the biz.

And I still get the dry horrors driving past 678 Victoria Street, Richmond – totally irrational of course.

For those who’ve spent the weekend being angry/sad/depressed/worried, know that it’s not you.  It’s really not. It’s them.  It’s a numbers game and unfortunately you’re ‘just a number’ to those making the decisions.   Do they see the talent, the experience or the loyalty?  Probably not.

Given the calibre and talent of those who’ve been given the chop, it won’t be long before they’re back on their feet. They will go on to bigger and better things and it probably won’t be in radio.

That’s the truly depressing thing and it will take a long time before our industry recovers from the loss of experience and local knowledge that these talented broadcasters represent.

Good luck to those who’ve lost their jobs.  Good luck to those who’ve yet find out their fate.  Good luck to those who’ve been left to get on with the job.

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