Jackie O stages KIIS walkout over ‘disgraceful’ gender pay gap in radio

Kyle Sandilands has revealed that KIIS FM has the worst gender pay gap in the radio industry, calling out his employer and the wider radio industry on air this morning.

UPDATE: ARN responds to Jackie O walkout

“Southern Cross Austereo has a disgraceful 5.9% pay gap,” Sandilands revealed on his show this morning. “At Nova and Smooth FM it is even worse, 6%. But, unfortunately, the number one spot is at KIIS FM – at the top of the tree with a 12% pay gap disparity.”

Sandilands then brought on one of the show’s producers (labelled ‘Intern’ Pete Deppeler on the show, due to his initial role on the programme) and another female KIIS staffer, who revealed that Deppeler was paid double what his female colleague took home.

“Are you freaking joking?” Jackie O asked. “Why is Peter getting that much money? I’m so angry about that, it makes my blood boil.”

Jackie O then staged a live walk off with other female workers. “We have all gone”, she declared.

This morning, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency published the gender pay gap for more than 5,000 Australian companies, after PM Anthony Albanese ordered the information be made public, for the first time in history. The base salary pay gap between the sexes was 14.5%, while the total pay gap was 19%, once super, bonuses, and all those extras were included.

Despite the theatrics, Kyle and Jackie earn the same amount — having recently signed a $200 million, ten-year deal with the network — although it took Sandilands fighting for parity early in the pair’s career, after learning he was earning $80,000 more than co-star Kyle around the turn of the century when the duo were hosting the Hot 30 Countdown on 2DayFM.

“I was like ‘What do you mean you get 80,000? You’re Jackie O’,” Sandilands recalled on the No Filter podcast. “I just assumed they were getting the same. I didn’t know there was diversity or difference. I knew nothing about that.”

Sandilands took the issue to management.

“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’.”

Despite the rant, the radio broadcast are actually under the national average when it comes to pay disparity.

This stunt comes as Kyle and Jackie are slated to debut on Melbourne radio next month. Although no date has been set, ARN chief Ciaran Davis told Mumbrella last week that the show will launch in the Victorian city “sooner rather than later”.

“We have started the pre-marketing down there,” Davis revealed. “We have started the on-air promos, we have introduced them, in terms of some of the content that they do.”


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