$4M BREKKIE BONUS

Hadley keeps pay rise de­spite not mov­ing to prime times­lot:

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - FRONT PAGE - ANNETTE SHARP

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.

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