ARN no longer eligible for JobKeeper

Australian Radio Network (ARN) is no longer eligible for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy, which offers financial support between September 28 and January 3.

ARN, along with many other media companies, had been receiving JobKeeper to prop up its employee expenses throughout the pandemic.

Initially, the Government required organisations to have a projected turnover decline of 30% to qualify. Once businesses had proved their projected eligibility, they would receive $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee.

From September 28, however, the requirements changed, and businesses had to show an actual revenue decline between the September quarter of 2019 and that of 2020.

ARN’s parent company Here, There & Everywhere (HT&E) told the ASX today that its revenue was only down 22.5%, thus disqualifying it from the revamped payment program.

HT&E noted this was significantly ahead of the broader metro radio market, which was down over 28% over the quarter. It also noted positive signs for the final quarter of the calendar year.

CEO of HT&E and ARN, Ciaran Davis, reiterated the company’s strong financial position.

“ARN’s trading is encouraging as we continue to gain commercial market share,” he said. “The actions we have taken across the business this year have placed the company in a strong position to enhance our leadership as both the #1 national radio network and podcast publisher in Australia.”

In its recent annual report, HT&E estimated it would receive $9 million from the JobKeeper program across the calendar year.

ARN rival Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) recently revealed it would continue to receive Government support via JobKeeper. It had already received $16.1 million from JobKeeper version one.

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