$4M BREKKIE BONUS
Hadley keeps pay rise despite not moving to prime timeslot:
RAY Hadley will keep a $1.7 million “breakfast bonus” negotiated last year in the network’s failed plans to supplant Alan Jones in the prime 2GB breakfast radio slot.
Radio sources yesterday revealed Hadley’s new contract, which takes effect from tomorrow, July 1, soared from $2.3 million a year to $4 million a year during secret negations with Macquarie Media bosses last year as they manoeuvred to axe incumbent breakfast star Jones and promote Hadley to his coveted spot.
Neither Hadley nor Macquarie CEO Adam Lang responded to calls to confirm the pay rise that puts Hadley on equal money to Jones though on a longer and ultimately more lucrative contract.
Jones’s contract expires in 2021 while Hadley’s new contract runs until 2025 — putting Hadley on $24 million over six years.
From tomorrow, 2GB’s incoming new afternoon host Steve Price, currently host of the night shift, will also receive a salary bump negotiated last year as part of 2GB’s now abandoned plan to replace Jones at breakfast with Hadley and Hadley at mornings with Price.
That plan fell apart following Nine’s acquisition of a majority stake in Macquarie Media, 2GB’s parent company, in December and Nine’s insistence Jones be retained at breakfast.
The financial sweeteners should offset any embarrassment or inconvenience Hadley and Price may be feeling after being informed they’d have to wait at least two more years — the term of Jones’s newly signed $8 million contract — for their promised slot promotions.
The news comes as 2GB’s new majority shareholder Nine urges financial restraint across the radio network, including cancelling an existing contract with news provider AAP. The vision for the new 2GB under Nine also has bosses looking for an opportunity to draft one of its established female presenters into a slot on the radio station.
The preferred woman for the job is Today show presenter Deb Knight, a proven performer on both radio and television but one currently balancing a busy schedule at Nine as both Today presenter and weekend news anchor. The preferred slot for Knight, or an alternative woman, is the afternoon slot which until last week was occupied by Chris Smith.
“2GB wants her but for now she’s not going anywhere,” a media insider said last week.
Next week, while Smith takes his leave of 2GB to host a lavish Queen Mary 2 transatlantic cruise, Nine sports presenter Erin Molan and 2GB newsreader Natalie Peters will share hosting duties.
The women, both radio proteges of Hadley, will fill in until Price vacates his evening spot and moves to afternoons, a move mooted to take place next month.