In what’s being referred to as ‘Black Tuesday’, up to 90 people at Southern Cross Austereo have been left jobless, according to industry sources.
B&T understands the redundancies were made across the entire SCA business, although the network could not confirm the numbers or departments.
In a media statement to B&T, a spokesperson for the network said: “The entire advertising and media sector is operating in a challenging and difficult market and Southern Cross Austereo has and is being equally affected.
“Management, with the support of the board, have conducted a comprehensive review of our workforce structure to provide an effective and efficient organisation for now and into the future. These proposed changes will impact some of our people.
“These decisions have not been taken lightly and we are committed to supporting our people as we work through this process.”
A tough year
There’s no doubt it’s been a tough year for SCA.
In August, it reported a net annual loss of $91.3m, despite a small 0.5 per cent revenue increase on last year to $660.1m, which CEO Grant Blackley attributed to a value loss on television licenses, as well as value loss on its broadcast transmission assets.
And in October this year, SCA bought Seven West Media’s Western Australian radio assets (Redwave) for a cool $28 million, certainly putting a sizable dent in the cash flow.
While it is indeed a tough market, we’re not seeing mass casualties across ARN or Nova, which would suggest it’s a problem with SCA and its content slate.
In August this year, SCA axed its struggling Sydney 2DayFM breakfast show, which was hosted by Grant, Ed & Ash. In its place, 2DayFM started a ‘Music For Breakfast’ show, hosted by Jamie Angel.
At the time, speaking to B&T Blackley said the decision to scrap the breakfast program followed years of attempting to reach a “substantial and sustainable” result, that the network did not manage to reach.
“Effectively, we have looked at all of the data points. And what’s very clear, is that music is a very strong contributor. It is in fact over 60 per cent of what listeners hear on a radio station every day.”
Blackley said SCA’s data over the last five years shows that the more songs played, the higher the audience share, which is why the broadcaster has extended that format into breakfast and to “create a point of difference between [their] competitors.”
However, it appears the decision to scrap the breakfast show hasn’t translated into greater audience share, with the most recent radio ratings proving three months on, the move to music only has been a bit of a fizzer.
The station came in with a measly 2.6 per cent audience share across the breakfast spot. While this is up 0.1 per cent since the last survey, it’s clear 2DayFM is continuing to struggle to find its audience since the departure of Kyle & Jackie O in 2014.