There was much interest in a leaked list of the pay packets of the ABC’s star personnel yesterday, published (paywalled) in The Australian. If I’d been asked to guess how much these folks were paid I would have been thinking the $80,000 to $120,000 range, which shows how out of touch I am.
The salaries listed in this article range from Annabel Crabb on $217,000 (rounded down to the nearest 1000) to $355,000 for Tony Jones.
My question is whether we are paying for star power, essentially personality, or for competence, outstanding ability to do the job. With respect to the latter, I don’t rate highly at all the competence of many listed. Tony Jones is an awful interviewer and is more interested in entertainment than journalism in my book. So my impression is that we are paying mostly for personality.
Some of the people listed are unknown to me in terms of their work. Richard Glover must be an awfully good radio presenter to be worth $280,000.
The Courier Mail today picks up on the Queensland scene. I believe Spencer Howson, local radio’s Breakfast presenter, was the only one to make the top 100 at $160,000. He’s light, breezy and rates well. It’s a long time since I’ve listened to him. For me Fran Kelly at $255,000 would be my choice in the time slot, and that seems an awful lot of money. Steve Austin, our local Mornings presenter, is on $115,000. I rate him and that strikes me as about what he’s worth.
The Community and Public Sector Union were not impressed, seeing it as an attack on the ABC.
It’s claimed that the women are paid less. Leigh Sales at $280,000 is paid $11,000 less than Quentin Dempster, but $25,000 more than Chris Uhlmann.
Jonathon Holmes was on $187,000, which inclines me to think we are rating star power above competence.
Someone pointed out that you can take a bunch of any half dozen and their combined salaries come nowhere near that of Kyle Sandilands.