Nova scraps local workdays in Brisbane and Adelaide [exclusive]
Announcers from Nova Brisbane and Adelaide joined the unemployment queue last week after the radio network decided to scrap local workdays in those markets, Radio Today can reveal.
As part of the changes, Nova Brisbane announcers Katie Mattin and Jack Tree, and Nova Adelaide announcers Rosie Panetta and Jarrod Walsh, will depart the business or possibly be redeployed.
Radio Today understands all four presenters were notified after the shifts last Friday.
In Brisbane and Sydney, DC will host mornings with Smallzy on afternoons, and, in Adelaide and Melbourne, Jamie Row will front mornings while Mel Tracina tackles the afternoon shift.
Listening to Nova Brisbane and Sydney this afternoon (September 8) with Smallzy, it appears some localised breaks form part of the new strategy, along with shared playlists on both stations.
Row and Tracina will be familiar to Adelaide listeners, having been heard on-air across Nova 919.
Nova Perth will remain local, with Ross Wallman on mornings and Katie Lamb on afternoons.
Radio Today contacted Nova today for comment, who did confirm some changes, with the network’s programming and marketing boss, Paul Jackson, acknowledging the departures.
“It’s been a tough time for all media industries during COVID and as a result we’ve reviewed every aspect of our business, including programming, to ensure we continue to deliver our listeners with the best content, announcers and shows, in the most efficient way,” Jackson said.
“As a result of this review we’ve looked carefully at all our Nova workday announcers and unfortunately this has resulted in some talented broadcasters being made redundant.
“It is always difficult to make these types of decisions when they impact great broadcasters and we don’t make these changes lightly. I would like to thank all of the announcers affected for their hard work and passion and wish them the best for the future.”
Pictured: Nova’s marketing and programming boss, Paul Jackson.
As first reported by Radio Today on August 11, NOVA Entertainment revealed plans to reduce its headcount by about 70 employees in an effort to reduce overhead expenditure by 9%.
The company’s outgoing CEO, Cathy O’Connor, said the network will redeploy some affected staffers into other roles and that all departing employees would be paid above their entitlements.
The seasoned executive revealed her plans to exit radio after accepting the top job at outdoor business oOh!media, making way for Peter Charlton to become Nova’s new CEO.
Staffers assigned to the Nova-owned millennial news portal Goat also lost their jobs last month. As first reported by Radio Today, about five of the editorial team were made redundant.
It’s not the first time that Nova has dabbled in a “non-networking” offering. In late 2017 we revealed the broadcaster’s plans to beam ex-host Greg Burns into multiple markets.
That experiment also resulted in some job losses, and a ratings dive. By the time Nova abandoned the plan, mornings were down about 1.5 points in Brisbane and 2.0 points in Adelaide.
Pictured: Nova’s pop culture brand Goat will double down on podcasting.
One former programmer told Radio Today the new strategy plays right into Spotify’s hands.
“The two key things radio has against the streaming giant is talent and the opportunity to be local, and they are just handing that over,” the source, who asked not to be named, said.
“Why would they make this move right now when the audience is supposedly flocking to daytime radio and replace the offering with a more inferior networked product?”
According to insights shared by peak body Commercial Radio Australia, radio listening during the workday jumped considerably in April as more Australian’s remain at home during the pandemic.
On weekdays, TSL between 9am and 4pm jumped by just over an hour compared to the same period before restrictions and increased by over 35 minutes on weekends.
Although the share of listening at work dropped to 15% during lockdown (compared to 19% before restrictions), the amount of TSL by those at work has gone up by over one hour.