Local radio boss the latest casualty of industry downturn

The Adelaide-based general manager of Australia’s largest radio company has lost his job amid widespread layoffs across the media landscape.

Jul 02, 2024, updated Jul 02, 2024
The Adelaide-based SCA GM is understood to be the latest casualty of a media sector downturn.

The Adelaide-based SCA GM is understood to be the latest casualty of a media sector downturn.

The executive general manager of Southern Cross Austereo’s Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide businesses has been made redundant as part of the radio giant’s cost-cutting measures.

Adelaide-based SCA veteran James Pedersen – who has been with the company for 26 years – was made redundant alongside chief marketing officer Nikki Clarkson.

Pedersen joined SCA in 1998 as an assistant corporate accountant according to LinkedIn, after which he moved up the corporate ladder to be appointed as head of finance in 2008, general manager of SCA’s Adelaide business in 2010, and his latest role in 2023.

His redundancy follows an earlier round of staff cuts which hit the network’s commercial content division, including national head of studio Luke Parsons and national head of creativity Matt Dickson.

James Pedersen has been with SCA since 1998.

Meanwhile, SCA’s head of news and information Melanie Withnall resigned to return to the ABC after nearly three years with the radio company. Withnall was previously the manager of ABC Radio Sydney from 2018 to 2021.

Alongside Withnall, SCA’s head of corporate communications Rochelle Burbury has also resigned.

It comes as media companies nationwide are embarking on staff cuts, with Nine Entertainment announcing on Friday that it was axing 200 jobs following the loss of a lucrative content deal with Meta.

The 200 jobs were about four per cent of its nearly 5000 staff, with Nine chief executive Mike Sneesby telling staff the company was not immune to economic headwinds impacting other media companies globally.

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Jobs were lost at Nine-owned mastheads, with between 70 and 90 positions to go from its publishing business which includes The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

It also follows Seven West Media last week proposing to eliminate up to 150 roles, including journalists from TV and print divisions, as well as sales, marketing and print staff.

News Corporation has also been restructuring its business and has made an unknown number of positions redundant, with at least one long-time reporter made redundant last week at the Advertiser.

The acting director of media union MEAA Michelle Rae said the job cuts would “result in a less informed Australian public”.

“They bring into question how committed Nine, Seven and News Corp are to quality, public interest journalism,” Rae said.

“We will do all we can to support our members during this difficult time and advocate for media organisations to protect journalism by looking for other options to make savings.

“That these cuts are partly the result of Meta walking away from funding deals under the News Media Bargaining Code makes them even harder to swallow.”

– With AAP

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