Following discussions regarding the opportunities on offer with Sky news in 2022, Alan Jones has made the decision he will not return to Sky News Australia next year.
The last episode of the Alan Jones program will air tonight, Thursday 4 November, 2021. Jones signed an exclusive deal with subscription TV channel to host a weeknight primetime program – Alan Jones – from Monday July 6, 2020.
Sky News Australia chief executive officer, Paul Whittaker, said: “Regrettably Alan has decided not to accept a new role that was offered to him for next year. We respect his decision and know he will be missed by many.
“Alan has contributed greatly to Sky News Australia over the years, advocating without fear or favour on the issues important to many Australians.
“His compelling commentary and views on the national debate have seen him become one of the country’s most successful and influential broadcasters for close to four decades.
“I’d like to thank Alan for his commendable dedication and service to Sky News. We wish him well.”
Alan Jones joined Sky News Australia in 2013 as co-host of political discussion program Richo + Jones, alongside Graham Richardson. He then went on to anchor Jones & Co in 2016. .
Jones spent the bulk of his career on Radio 2UE and 2GB. He departed the now Nine-owned 2GB in May 2020.
In a Facebook statement today, Jones wrote: “I write in my regular Thursday column to advise you that the management at Sky News have indicated to me that they will not renew my contract, which ends on November 30. It is, of course, the prerogative of any employer to make such a decision, but, given this is the case, I feel an obligation to my viewers to make some observations to avoid certain misconstructions.
“In all my broadcasting life, the ratings performances have been scrutinised. I have no problem with that. It may seem immodest to point out that the meeting I had with management on Friday, October 29, occurred the day after our program won the ratings in the 8PM slot. Ratings are an erratic beast, and in the excellent team of broadcasters with whom I have worked, we have all done our share of winning. But in today’s world of social media, they only tell part of the story.
“When I arrived at Sky News and was signed to a 17 month contract, it was made quite clear to me that the 8PM slot was, in the words of management, a ‘dead’ spot. It was clear from the outset that my signing at Sky News brought over a new audience to the station. Indeed, one obervation was made last year that “since the launch of Alan Jones on Sky News Australia, the network has seen major growth across its digital platforms.”
He continued: “The launch of Alan Jones on Sky News Australia in July saw the channel’s radio ratings double on the iHeart Radio app, making Sky News Radio the #1 Australian news/talk station on the platform. In my brief time that I have been at Sky News, the audience at 8PM has significantly increased. I will come to that in a moment. I should also point out that at the meeting on Friday 29 October, I wasn’t offered another slot with Sky News, but an alternative offer was made to me to appear once a week on the new streaming service, Flash.
“I declined that offer. In order to avoid any conclusion, contrary to the truth, I should point out here a few things in relation to my program. Earlier this year, you might recall there was plenty of media noise over the fact that my regular column in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph was ‘cancelled.’ All sorts of reasons were proffered, including the fact that, after 35 years of radio success, I was being told that my work ‘didn’t resonate.’
Jones’ post concluded: “Surprisingly to me, this led to an article by Crikey, with whom you would be familiar. It said in part, ‘Alan Jones has been dropped by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph’, which claims his columns are no longer resonating with its audience. But is this true? All available evidence points to no.”