CQ jobs to be lost in WIN-Nine affiliation
WIN and Nine have signed an agreement that is likely to cause job losses across regional Queensland and the country.
From July 1, WIN will pay Nine about half of its advertising revenue to broadcast Nine’s free-to-air shows in regional Queensland, Victoria, Southern NSW, Western Australia, Tasmania, Griffith, Mildura, Loxton, and Mount Gambier.
Local WIN bulletins will air at 5.30pm in the place of Nine’s.
Nine has five regional Queensland bureaus, and The Morning Bulletin understands its journalists based in Rockhampton will be affected by the affiliation deal announced on Friday.
Nine has been associated with Southern Cross Austereo, and WIN with Ten, for the past five years; before that, Nine was associated with WIN, and Ten with Southern Cross.
Nine CEO Hugh Marks said “the terms of this new affiliation agreement should be positive to Nine’s EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation] from FY22 through the broader reach of Nine’s channels and by enabling incremental efficiencies across both sales and news.”
In a note to staff, he added: “One of the impacts of the change in affiliate partner will be an impact to our regional news services which we currently provide on behalf of SCA.
“We are aware that there will be some roles impacted as a result of this change but those impacted can be assured that Director of News and Current Affairs Darren Wick and his team are actively looking at options for redeployment for as many employees as possible.”
A statement approved by Southern Cross Austereo CEO Grant Blackley said the company would now try to reach a deal with Ten again.
“For more than 20 years before entering the Nine affiliation in 2016, SCA was affiliated with Network Ten in SCA’s licence areas,” it said.
“SCA looks forward to discussions in coming weeks with Network Ten to establish a new affiliation in regional Queensland, southern NSW and regional Victoria.”
MEAA media director Adam Portelli said the union was still determining the exact number of lost jobs.
He said the “nub of the problem” was the decline of advertising revenue over many years, and fewer rural journalists meant less media diversity.
“Generally we’ve seen regional areas across the country lose jobs, journalism jobs, over 2020 and well prior to that, so losing any services in broadcasting or other parts of the media is devastating obviously to those regional communities,” Mr Portelli said.
“There’s been significant taxpayer assistance provided to many of the regional media players, so for example, last year WIN received $4.5 million from the Federal Government, Nine received $4 million, Southern Cross a bit over $10 million.
“That is taxpayer funds, and taxpayers have a certain expectation that those funds are going to be used in a certain way.
“Our position is that the least these companies can do with that funding is to retain jobs and services. If they can’t do that, you have to ask yourself whether or not there’s better ways to support regional journalism.”