Australian Radio Network stands down staff as it prepares for COVID-19 recovery

Australian Radio Network (ARN) is in the process of standing down parts of its workforce in the wake of the havoc wreaked by COVID-19.

Mumbrella understands CEO Ciaran Davis told staff the stand downs will apply to about 5% of ARN’s workforce.

“ARN is making some changes this week to both streamline and strengthen the business due to the effects of COVID-19,” a spokesperson confirmed to Mumbrella.

ARN’s brands include Kiis FM, WS FM and iHeartRadio 

Mumbrella understands ARN conducted a business review to identify which areas of the business will be slower to recover from the pandemic, and which will likely be the key growth areas.

“As a result, we’re currently in consultation with a small percentage of impacted staff regarding a proposed Job Keeper stand down for the next few months,” the spokesperson said. “For privacy reasons and to minimise any difficulty from these changes on our teams, we won’t release further details until it’s finalised later this week.”

The Job Keeper subsidy reimburses employers $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee. To be eligible, businesses with an annual turnover below $1bn need to have suffered a revenue fall of 30%. The program is currently scheduled to end on 27 September.

Mumbrella understands that once Job Keeper wraps up, those who can be redeployed within the business, will be.

ARN, like many media organisations, has already implemented pay cuts for staff and some on-air talent.

“Although ARN is in a strong position, like all media businesses our revenue has been significantly impacted by COVID-19,” Davis said in April.

“The priority of the board and management team is the safety and wellbeing of our staff. These decisive measures have been out in place to protect jobs and ensure ARN remains in a strong position as a stable business – and employer – in the long term.”

Various other media organisations including Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), Ten and Seven have implemented similar measures.


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