Really? Radio Jocks Still Paid Minimum Wage

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Ryan Covay, a sports anchor, producer and host at KNBR in San Francisco for six years, said at a press conference last week that he, “never received a raise or vacation pay. I have never received a day of holiday pay. The only pay increase I have received was the mandatory bump to the San Francisco minimum wage.”

KNBR’s on and off-air employees voted to join SAG-AFTRA in November 2014. Since then, Cumulus Media has refused to offer compensation in line with KNBR’s sister stations and the last attempt at negotiations was in February, according to SAG-AFTRA.

“Covering teams like the 2014 World Series champion San Francisco Giants, or the 2016 NBA finalist Golden State Warriors, or the five-time Super Bowl champion 49ers might not sound like a minimum-wage job, but that’s the reality,” said Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA. “We know that Cumulus is focused on its bottom line, but this station is a proven revenue-generator. It’s time for Cumulus to stop taking its workers for granted and fairly compensate the employees who make this station great. Let’s save local radio.”

KNBR ranks fifth in estimated 2015 revenue among the 453 Cumulus-owned and operated stations, generating an estimated $25 million a year in broadcast radio advertising revenue, according to SNL Kagan, an independent market research group. Cumulus also owns Bay Area radio stations KGO and KFOG, and is the second-largest owner and operator of AM and FM radio stations in the United States.

“We love this community, we love this radio station and we love our jobs. Unfortunately, the powers that be at Cumulus know how much we love our jobs and they use that against us,” said Covay.

The Save Local Radio press conference took place at 10 a.m. at the ILWU Local 34 Union Hall, 815 2nd St. in San Francisco. Speakers included Carteris (Beverly Hills, 90210); Bob Butler, radio reporter, SAG-AFTRA National Board member and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists; Matt Kolsky, KNBR producer and on-air reporter; Covay; and state Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco).

SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org. Follow SAG-AFTRA on Twitter (twitter.com/sagaftra), YouTube (youtube.com/sagaftra) and Facebook (facebook.com/sagaftra).

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