Following Lisa Wilkinson’s swift exit from Channel 9’s The Today Show earlier this week, radio personality Dave Hughes revealed he took a pay cut so that he and his KIIS FM co-host Kate Langbroek would be at parity.
Fairs fair! https://t.co/BGh3shUNPo
— Dave Hughes (@DHughesy) October 17, 2017
After finding out Hughesy was paid 40% more than him for the same co-hosting role last year, Langbroek broached the subject on International Women’s Day this year (March 8).
“This is an example of International Women’s Day,” she said on air. “This is heavy hitting. I found out last year that you get paid 40 per cent more than I do for doing this show.”
Hughesy was shocked, and welcomed KIIS FM management’s decision to pay her the same as him for the rest of 2016.
However, according to News Corp, Hughesy’s pay for 2017 had already been locked in, meaning he would only add to Australia’s rife gender pay gap issue. Hughesy then took a pay cut to place them both at parity.
“When we go to our new job, we get pay parity,” Langbroek said on air yesterday. “And we’re on parity now.”
“I couldn’t be happier. You deserve it,” Hughesy said. “Sometimes that might mean men might get paid less than what they might have got to make sure that what’s fair is fair.”
Hughesy later took to Twitter to reveal Langbroek would have walked if her pay had not been at parity:
Pains me to tarnish my halo but must point out @katelangbroek knows her worth and was gonna bail without parity and I did not want that!
— Dave Hughes (@DHughesy) October 18, 2017
In July last year, fellow ARN host Jackie O demanded and was given parity for her and co-host Kyle Sandilands’ five-year contract. According to news.com.au, the deal guarantees them at least $20 million each over the five years.
It’s now widely reported that Lisa Wilkinson quit her hosting position because she was paid half as much as her male co-host Karl Stefanovic – a reported $200,000 less. But while the chorus of voices demanding an end to the gender pay gap is getting louder and louder, Stefanovic has been awfully quiet.
The 43-year-old, who is thought to take home $2 million a year, has been tight-lipped on the reason behind Wilkinson’s exit. His announcement on Tuesday has been labeled “bizarre”:
“For whatever reason she won’t be doing that anymore and it was a surprise to us all,” Stefanovic said in part. “It’s safe to say that we’re all a little but shocked and it will take a little while to sink in.”
One can’t help but wonder whether Channel 9’s current media storm – which has been labeled one of the “worst financial decisions in the entertainment industry” – could have been avoided if Stefanovic did a ‘Hughsey’.