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More SA media jobs under threat as NOVA wields axe

Media and marketing

In the second blow to Adelaide’s media in as many days, NOVA Entertainment is likely to axe jobs from local radio stations FIVEaa and Nova 919 as the company deals with the economic fallout from COVID-19.

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NOVA Entertainment CEO Cathy O’Connor said “some” staff would be forced to go across the country as the company attempts to claw back about nine per cent of costs after reporting a 25 per cent drop in revenue.

A company spokesperson refused to reveal whether any jobs would be axed from its Adelaide bureau, which operates talkback station FIVEaa and younger-skewed music station NOVA 919, instead referring InDaily to a statement issued by O’Connor.  

In the statement, O’Connor did not confirm how many roles would be made redundant or where, but reports suggest about 70 positions across Australia face the axe.

Staff were informed of the decision yesterday, with the redundancies to be rolled out over the next five weeks.

“NOVA Entertainment, like most other companies, has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with an estimated fall in revenue of over 25 per cent this year,” O’Connor said.

“The media industry has been particularly hard hit and we expect the downturn to continue for the next twelve to eighteen months.

“As a result, we have reviewed every aspect of our business to reduce costs and increase efficiency while continuing to deliver for our clients and audiences.”

O’Connor said the company, formerly known as DMG Radio Australia, would try to find alternative positions for as many affected staff as possible.

She said those who would be made redundant would be paid above their entitlements and offered supports such as training courses and assistance to find new positions outside the company.

“These decisions will protect our core business and ensure that our company remains strong and successful and is positioned for growth as the economy recovers,” O’Connor said.

Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance SA branch secretary Angelique Ivanica told InDaily she was not yet aware of the number of Adelaide positions that would be made redundant, but some employees were today told that they were “safe”.

In December NOVA Entertainment blamed “tough economic conditions” on its decision to axe 15 roles.

In the latest radio ratings survey published in April, FIVEaa put on a massive 3.2 percentage points to come in at second overall alongside ABC Radio Adelaide.

FIVEaa rose from a distant sixth in the first survey of 2020 while the ABC leap-frogged to second from fourth.

The station’s success was largely driven by its dominant evenings line-up of Jon Blake (7-8pm) followed by Jeremy Cordeaux. The breakfast shift, hosted by duo David Penberthy and Will Goodings, was also among the shifts to increase share.

Goodings was yesterday made redundant from his sports presenter role at 10 News Adelaide.

Network Ten will only broadcast its evening news from Adelaide for another four weeks after it yesterday announced it would cut jobs and centralise the presentation of bulletins.

Adelaide’s 5pm Monday to Friday news will be broadcast from Melbourne and presenters Rebecca Morse and Kate Freebairn are among those to be made redundant.

Ivanica said between 20 to 40 per cent of local jobs are expected to go, including journalists, camera operators and other staff.

She said five people were already confirmed redundancies.

However, the network said it would continue to employ some reporters, camera operators and production staff in Adelaide to cover local news.

State Labor leader Peter Malinauskas expressed disappointment at the decision, saying South Australians who have relied on the bulletin for their local news would be disillusioned.

“Local journalism matters to the public,” he said.

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