Australia’s most popular and successful talkback presenter Alan Jones, has today announced that, acting on doctors’ advice, he will step down as the host of the 2GB and 4BC breakfast program at the end of May.
During his broadcast this morning Jones told listeners: “We are living in the world of Coronavirus. The most repeated statement we hear is ‘we must listen to the experts’.
“Well, the experts are telling me in no uncertain terms, and not for the first time I might add, ‘continuing with the present workload is seriously detrimental to your health’.
“I have listened to the experts and I am taking this opportunity to indicate to my radio family that I will be retiring from radio at the end of this month.”
During a distinguished career that has spanned 35 years behind the microphone, Alan Jones has dominated the breakfast radio timeslot, recording an unequalled 226 survey wins.
He told listeners that “After 35 years, the full stop has to go in somewhere.” He also credited John Brennan who mentored and coached him in the early part of his career with his success. “Whatever success I’ve had was due to John Brennan,” he said.
The first caller to pay tribute after Jones’ announcement was former PM, Tony Abbott followed by John Laws.
Jones’ broadcasting career began in 1985 when he was recruited to join Radio 2UE as its mornings host.
He moved to the breakfast shift in 1988 and soon shot to #1 with his unrivalled ability to break down complex issues and communicate them simply and clearly, and his passionate championing of struggle street , the people and listeners he was closer to than anyone.
In 2001, he moved from 2UE to 2GB driving the station to #1 in the Sydney market, a position it has held ever since.
Chairman of Nine, Peter Costello, says, “Alan Jones has a unique place in Australian media. His ratings record makes him the outstanding broadcaster of his generation. His ratings record will never be matched.
“Alan’s interests across politics, sport, the arts, business, made him a broad and stimulating commentator. He was always passionate and relentless in pursing issues on behalf of his listeners. And he was tough – as I can attest when I was on the other side of the microphone.
“Away from the microphone, Alan was warm and generous. Many people benefited from his support. He neither advertised nor sought recognition for it. Alan Jones will be given many accolades, and he deserves them. A great career. An outstanding contribution.”
Nine’s CEO Hugh Marks says, “I want to acknowledge Alan for his contribution to 2GB, and prior to that 2UE, over many years. Alan has shown a dedication to his craft unlike any other and with that dedication comes excellence.
“This focus on his program’s content has given him outstanding audience loyalty demonstrated over decades. We wish him well and thank him for all he has done.”
Nine’s Managing Director – Radio, Tom Malone, says “Alan’s radio career is without peer. The most telling indicator of his greatness was the switch from 2UE to 2GB – when Alan moved stations and the audience followed in lockstep. Alan did not miss a beat at #1. Sydney’s listeners repaid his advocacy with loyalty – Alan has always put them first.”
“Alan is a giant of Australian radio. We look forward to celebrating his soaring achievements at the appropriate time. We wish him well and thank him for everything he has achieved.”
Malone also paid tribute to the retiring broadcaster in a note to to the employees of Nine Radio this morning.
As you may have just heard on-air, Alan has just announced that due to the overwhelming advice of his doctors, he will be stepping down as host of the 2GB/4BC breakfast program. It’s very hard to capture the influence and success of Alan Jones on 2GB, the radio industry, and media, business and politics. He is without peer.
During a distinguished career that has spanned 35 years behind the microphone, Alan has dominated the Breakfast radio timeslot, recording an unequalled 226 survey wins – one of the greatest radio broadcasters in Australian history.
His broadcasting career began in 1985 when he was recruited to join Radio 2UE as their Mornings host. He moved to the Breakfast shift in 1988 and soon shot to Number 1 with his unrivalled ability to break down complex issues and communicate them simply and clearly, and his passionate championing of struggle street – the people and listeners he was closer to than anyone. In 2001, he moved from 2UE and immediately drove 2GB to #1 in the Sydney market, a position it has held ever since.
Loyalty is at the centre of everything Alan does. He has been loyal to this company and to his listeners – their greatest advocate – and they have repaid him in kind with their ears and their hearts.
His success in radio stemmed from an already rich and experienced life in teaching, sport, and politics. He can talk with equal ease to Prime Ministers and the everyday person. Of course, we know and love him for his unique turn of phrase and warm sense of humour. I’ll always remember one of my first days in the 2UE newsroom as a cadet in the late 90s, when Alan advised me: “If you’re going to be a dog, be an Alsatian.”
He is a giant of Australian broadcasting probably best measured by the fact that a simple reference to “Alan” could only mean one person – Alan Jones.
As I noted in the media release, the greatest indicator of his success was when he switched stations and took the audience with him – you can count on one hand the number of broadcasters who have done that.
He will be greatly missed by all of us for his intellect, wit, compassion and loyalty. He steps down with all of our best wishes.
But as Alan would say – the show must go on. I’m thrilled to announce that Ben Fordham has agreed to take over as the new host of 2GB breakfast. He will bring a great energy and style to the program, to make sure it continues the great legacy of setting the daily agenda, and holding business and government to account.
With Ben in Breakfast, Ray Hadley in Mornings – with more than 30 stations taking his show across Australia, and Deb Knight in Afternoons, we have the best line up to continue to drive 2GB’s success through the next decade.
We’ll be appointing a new Drive host for 2GB and launching a new Breakfast program on 4BC with announcements to be made in the coming weeks.
Jones, who just turned 79 last week, will continue to broadcast on Sky News and will also continue writing for The Daily Telegraph and The Australian. He has a one year exclusion clause which will not permit him to work for any rival radio station for one year.