Comedian Dave Hughes was so shocked by the difference in pay between him and his long-time radio co-host Kate Langbroek that he took a pay cut to ensure she would get parity, according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald.
SMH writer Melissa Cunningham wrote that the subject was raised by the high-profile duo on their show on KIIS FM on Tuesday afternoon.
It followed Lisa Wilkinson’s shock departure from the Today show on Channel Nine, partly due to the pay disparity with Karl Stefanovic.
Hughes and Langbroek chatted candidly about their contracts after playing of a clip from their show on International Women’s Day last March in which Langbroek revealed a massive disparity in their earnings.
“You don’t know about this,” Langbroek said on air at the time, wrote Cunningham. “I found out last year that you get paid 40 per cent more than I do for doing this show.”
Hughes was audibly stunned, she said.
“I had no idea what we get paid,” Hughes told Langbroek. “Now I feel terrible”.
“You don’t need to feel terrible,” Langbroek told Hughes. “It wasn’t your fault that you were born with two oranges in a string bag [testicles]”.
“In all that time I have adored you, it’s not about you, it’s just about the recognition of us and what we do.”
Hughes said on Tuesday he’d been left “reeling” after the discussion about their contracts earlier this year, admitting they had never discussed how much each of them was getting paid.
“We’ve never discussed money over our journey together,” he said. “But now we do.”
Once Langbroek found out about the massive pay difference last year, she raised it with her bosses at KIIS FM and was paid the same as Hughes for the remainder of the year.
This year, Hughes’s salary had reportedly already been locked in, but when he found out about the disparity, he offered to take a pay cut so that Langbroek would get equal pay.
The longtime successful radio team currently host the national drive show on KIIS FM before they move to Southern Cross Austero’s Hit drive slot nationally next year.
“Now, when we go to our new job, we get pay parity,” Langbroek said on Tuesday. “And we’re on parity now.”
“And I couldn’t be happier, obviously,” Hughes said. “You deserve it”.