ACE Radio without local brekkie shows after multiple redundancies

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ACE Radio's CEO, Mark Taylor, confirmed the departures on Monday.

Regional network ACE Radio has made multiple staffers redundant, Radio Today can reveal.

The family-owned broadcaster is the latest to feel the pinch caused by a weak advertising market, due in part to the summer bushfires and the pandemic.

ACE Radio is owned by Rowly and Judy Paterson and includes 17 stations in Victoria and NSW.

Radio Today understands that affected staffers were told late last week their roles were no longer required, with some on-air talent redeployed to new timeslots.

The changes leave ACE without local breakfast shows as it extends The Morning Crew with Gabi & Dan across all FM stations and The Morning Rush with Sean & Kate on all AM stations.

Local breakfast show talent including Lachi ‘Rookie’ Rooke, Danielle Keilar, Kylie King, Kevin Poulton and Blake Escott have all been shifted to new timeslots or roles within the business.

“ACE Radio has experienced a downturn in ad revenue greater than anyone could have imagined due to COVID-19,” its CEO, Mark Taylor, told Radio Today on Monday.

“We’ve already reduced operating costs, but the sustained downturn in the advertising market is proving difficult to move forward.

“The board regrets any redundancies, but we’ve done our best to look after our people,” he said.

When asked if all ACE-owned stations are continuing to meet local content quotas, Taylor confirmed they were, and added that its newsrooms also remain unaffected.

One former employee, who spoke to Radio Today on the condition of anonymity, said management asked all staff to complete JobKeeper forms about three weeks ago.

“Last week ACE Radio did a round of redundancies,” said the source, “after we all signed JobKeeper and told that our jobs were safe.”

However, Taylor disputed the source’s claims, telling Radio Today that workers were only promised the independently operated media company would “do its best” to protect jobs.

Grant Broadcasters also cut some jobs and salaries in March, as the big four commercial networks implemented larger measures to survive the economic impact of the coronavirus.

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Simon
11 May 2020 - 5:24 pm

You know, for all the hate SCA seem to get here and on MediaSpy they haven’t axed one local breakfast show across all their 86 radio stations… And they’re also bleeding to death.

Jock
11 May 2020 - 7:50 pm

This company has a lot to answer to…The biggest losers are the locals.

Old Mate
11 May 2020 - 8:22 pm

Given the huge profit margins generated by regional operators like ACE, and the very deep pockets of private owners still carrying the first dollar ever earned, I kinda get the feeling COVID-19 might just be used as an excuse to lobby ACMA for reductions in Local Compliance, and maybe to get rid of some pesky staff. Just sayin’

@old mate
12 May 2020 - 11:05 am

I think you have hit the nail on the head. It’s being used as an excuse to remove the agitators… but most of them are keeping the dead wood.

I guess, long live live and local while the agency clients are buying it. Who cares about the listener or the community the stations operate in.

Embarrassed
12 May 2020 - 2:08 pm

If anyone knew the people that were made redundant, many of those were multi skilled, some had been with the network for 5/10+ years and will be a huge loss to the company because of their knowledge and experience.

Craig
12 May 2020 - 2:17 pm

Unfortunately those who call themselves agitators are more often than not the dead wood.
Most of you know it. It just hurts when you get found out.

Scott
12 May 2020 - 4:34 pm

Sounds like it fits into the ACE way.

@craig
12 May 2020 - 5:17 pm

Interesting perspective. I’d suggest these networks have a look at what their GM level is up to at the moment. That’s a lot of monetary resources tied up that could fund a producer or an announcer… you know, the people who make the radio.

Tommy
13 May 2020 - 5:50 am

Radio today could you do an interview with John Vertigan who looks after the programming for the ace network on the idea of losing localism for networked shifts all day and how this will benefit the listeners and local advertiser’s. Would be a great listen. This could be a brilliant move that nobody has ever thought of and also if his race calls will be available still.

Staying The Same
14 May 2020 - 5:37 pm

On 2AY’s Facebook last night it was announced that Kylie and Kev are staying on breakfast looks like a back flip

Jamie
15 May 2020 - 11:50 am

Now a backflip in Albury?

Surely the people calling the shots at the moment have to be questioned on their decision making ability.

Sounds like a puppet on frayed strings.

Scott Anderson
21 May 2020 - 10:15 am

I’m sorry to say after listening to the radio this morning I’ll be tuning in to a different station.

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