SCA cuts wages & extends ASX trading halt amid COVID-19 crisis

Managing Editor

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Southern Cross Austereo has voluntarily extended its trading halt today, with plans to reenter the market on April 3. But there are no guarantees in these troubled times.

SCA went into an initial trading halt on Monday (March 23), with shares closing at 16 cents, saying the voluntary suspension is necessary to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

The radio, television and digital business has also negotiated some short-term compromises with its workforce to secure its future and this of its employees.

Most workers and on-air talent, including breakfast and drive talent, will take a pay cut. And yes, that does include the senior leadership team and CEO Grant Blackley.

Anyone on the SCA payroll earning a base remuneration of $68,000 or above will have their remuneration reduced by 10%, excluding those on an award-based wage.

According to a statement sent to Radio Today, SCA confirmed staffers will also be forced to take no less than 10 days annual leave and won’t be expected to clock any overtime.

“We have taken these measures swiftly to protect the long-term health of our business and our people,” said Blackley.

Employees with significant annual or long service leave balances have been asked to utilise as much leave as possible over the next six months.

“We are endeavouring to ensure our people’s jobs remain for as long as possible during this unprecedented situation we all find ourselves in.

“These measures will impact all of us and I would like to thank and acknowledge our incredible staff for their support and commitment to our business.”

The new measures will carry through to June 30, being the end of the financial year, with no executive incentives paid during the current financial year and recruitment on hold indefinitely.

Recent bushfires, the worsening spread of the coronavirus and an already weak advertising market have put a significant strain on the media industry.

Pacific Star Network, which controls Crocmedia and 1116 SEN, also stopped trading on the ASX last Wednesday due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Nine Entertainment shares have more than halved from a high of $2 in January, forcing the company to scrap its profit guidance for 2020.

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Shame
26 Mar 2020 - 12:58 pm

Perhaps the senior leadership team should be taking a far bigger paycut considering they are the ones who put SCA in this position in the first place…. Asking average wage employees to take a paycut, do unpaid overtime and extra work to cover the forced annual leave of the rest of your staff while you sit comfortably even with your ten percent paycut is disgusting. Covid 19 might have been the event that tipped SCA over the edge but the years of ongoing bad decisions put it in a precarious position to begin with.

stupid uneducated comments
26 Mar 2020 - 4:07 pm

Shame,
Do you understand the alternative to this approach? Would you like to google corporate job losses in Australia in the last week?
The easy approach would have been to have major job losses, when revenue isn’t coming in. Thats most most companies are doing. Not this one.
Think about what you’re writing. Because you make about as much sense as Trump right now. But maybe you’ve got some kind of personal axe to grind……

Mick
27 Mar 2020 - 8:44 am

The rot had set in at poor old SCA well before Corona Virus. Started with Rove.

Captain Comrade
27 Mar 2020 - 9:15 am

I am happy to take the 10% pay cut to help make benefit for most glorious company, and am now looking forward to sharing 10% of the profits when business picks up in a few months.

hmmmm
30 Mar 2020 - 11:50 am

Alan Joyce, Qantas, takes $3.3m paycut
Arne Sorrenson, Marriot International, not taking anymore salary for 2020
Football players and coaches – 50% salary cuts

Surely there’s someone at the top in SCA that could do better than 10% so that their employees who earn less that the average australian wage ($86k) aren’t the ones that have to shoulder their bad decisions.

Rajah
1 Apr 2020 - 1:34 pm

A radio company in dire need of a leader now more than ever.

Disappointed
24 Apr 2020 - 11:12 am

Really shoddy to see a CEO take just a 10% pay cut while people who earn less than the average Australian wage also have to do the same.

How is it fair for someone who pockets more than $80k a MONTH to tell people who earn less than $80k a day they need to “do their bit”?

Really disappointing.

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