One of the network’s most staple broadcasters hosts his final program tonight.
After close to four decades as one of Australia’s most influential broadcasters, Alan Jones will host his final titular program for Sky News Australia tonight at 8:00pm, departing the network almost immediately.
The news comes after Jones was removed from his Daily Telegraph column in July this year.
Jones released a lengthy statement on his Facebook page Thursday morning, and said:
“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.”
Jones went on to discuss the ratings performance of his 8:00pm program for Sky News Australia, and his column’s ‘cancellation’ at the Daily Telegraph. He said:
“In all my broadcasting life, the ratings performances have been scrutinised… 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… In my brief time that I have been at Sky News, the audience at 8PM has significantly increased.”
Jones said he was not offered the same slot as his current one with Sky News Australia, but instead was offered to appear once a week on the new streaming service, Flash, which he declined.
He also acknowledged the company has felt under threat from being cancelled for his opinions, but rebutted by boasting the figures and praise of his show, his former column, and presence on social media, and went on to say:
“I am only offering all of this because, for most of my professional life, I have never defended myself against criticisms of my performance.
“I merely let the figures speak for themselves, as they did in radio and… they have, in my brief stint on television.”
Jones concluded his statement thanking fellow hosts, backroom Sky News figures, and the sponsors of his program.
“I have always been grateful for their support and I wish them and the organisation at Sky News the very best in the tasks and challenges ahead.”
Sky News Australia issued a statement on their website, instead saying Jones had made the decision not to renew his contract for 2022, not Sky News’ management staff as Jones had indicated on Facebook.
Paul Whittaker, Chief Executive Officer of Sky News Australia 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.”
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 before hosting the Alan Jones program from July 2020.