Smooth: writers to work for free
By · 9 Oct 2013
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9 Oct 2013
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Smooth: writers to work for free

It rakes in $131 million a year in revenue, but apparently Lachlan Murdoch's DMG radio network can't spare a few dollars to pay writers for its station websites.

On Tuesday, DMG was advertising for freelance music writers, anywhere in Australia, to scribble rock reviews for its yoof-oriented network, Nova, and its easy-listening stations, smoothfm.

"If you're passionate about live music and writing and want to add a little more to your portfolio, this is the perfect opportunity," the ad on burbled.

"This year, NovaFM has covered massive shows from international stars including P!nk, One Direction and Rihanna, as well as festivals like Future Music, Big Day Out and Laneway. Over on smoothfm, we've sent contributors along to cover the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Norah Jones and Jason Mraz.

A catch? Of course. In addition to having to stay awake all the way through a Norah the snorer gig, the job is "an unpaid volunteer position".

DMG is at pains to point out it is not an internship - just as well, because the alleged exploitation of unpaid interns in industries such as radio, TV and, er, journalism, has been a hot topic this year. Critics say that while an internship is supposed to be a learning experience, young people have instead been used, Dubai-style, as unpaid labour.

DMG's most recent accounts, for the 2012 calendar year, provide good reason to minimise costs.

Despite the impressive revenue line, the company made an operating profit of just $2.6 million. After finance costs, it declared a loss of $7.46 million. Clearly every penny counts in radio. DMG didn't return CBD's call.

Tabcorp launch

Trainers, jockeys, fashionistas, sports broadcasters and media joined beneath the big tent on Crown Casino's rooftop tennis court yesterday for wagering company Tabcorp's official launch of the spring racing carnival. The tent was actually more of a sauna as the glorious sunny Melbourne day outside became a sweat box inside - fine for the jockeys who are always trying to shed a kilo or two - but not so good for some of the guests.

But the great cooking and wines proved a perfect distraction with the MasterChef restaurant that is currently on the Crown tennis court starring this year's winner, Emma Dean, as well as audience favourite Lynton Tapp.

Tabcorp boss David Attenborough looked happy - his tills are about to swell over the next 65 days as punters bet millions.

Some senior Tabcorp executives had a table directly in the sun during the three-hour lunch and will now have a stunning tan for the racing carnival. Guests were entertained by people dancing around in full-body skin-tight leotards covered with Tabcorp betting tickets. CBD was unable to confirm if they were actually any of the Tabcorp directors or the chairman in disguise.

Gender agenda

ASX boss Elmer Funke Kupper is a proud member of "Male Champions of Change", a group of 22 male business leaders including Alan Jones and Ian Narev who are committed to advancing women into leadership positions.

Over lunch in Melbourne on Tuesday, Funke Kupper spoke at length about the Champions, flexible working agreements at ASX and not appearing on panels which lack the presence of a senior woman. So, how did Mr Male Champion of Change feel about the 95 per cent male federal cabinet? "I think it's best that I don't go in to it," he said. He added that he was focused on promoting "incredibly talented" women at ASX.

BHP departure

Farewell to BHP Billiton spokeswoman Sam Stevens, who is leaving the Big Australian after eight long years deflecting hacks.

CBD looks forward to seeing where she pops up in future.

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