Jones’ future up in the air as 2GB contract talks stall

Assistant Editor

Top-rating talkback host Alan Jones could leave his 2GB Breakfast show this year, with reports suggesting that contract talks have stalled with Macquarie Media.

News Corp reports that a legal clause in his contract means that Macquarie has until Wednesday to respond to an expression of interest to continue negotiations.

After that time passes, Jones becomes a free agent.

Currently rating a 16.5% share of listening as of the final GfK survey of 2018, the departure of Jones from Breakfast could see 2GB take a significant ratings hit.

I’ve never commented at any point on this and I’m not about to start now,” Jones told The Australian, who are also reporting today that Andrew Bolt is leaving Macquarie following a breakdown in contract negotiations.

So if Jones was to leave 2GB, what would happen next?

With a huge number of listeners loyal to Jones for many years, any replacement will find it difficult to retain his whole audience.

This is a problem that 2GB was going to have to face eventually, whether Jones stays or goes this time around.

Rising AM talkback star Ben Fordham is a strong candidate to be put into Breakfast, as Ray Hadley is bedded into Mornings with his own loyal listeners.

As for Jones, News Corp reports that he has plenty of suitors, including a move to Sky News.

Rumours are also circulating that the Cherie Romaro-run 2CH could make a run for Jones.

But having spent so long at 2GB, it’s hard to see Jones moving to another station, as it would no doubt take his older listeners some time to switch over, if they did at all.

SMH suggests that Rupert Murdoch could make a play for Jones and Hadley, floating the idea that Lachlan Murdoch‘s Illyria could transfer its interests in the NOVA Entertainment radio stations to Nine, who own Macquarie after their Fairfax Merger.

In exchange, Nine would transfer ownership of 2GB and 3AW to the Murdochs.

Alan Jones has oft been the source of controversy for 2GB over the past year, and it doesn’t appear that life is going to get any easier for the station soon.

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Mick
11 Mar 2019 - 12:39 pm

I don’t recall Jones’ “older listeners” taking very long to switch over when he moved from 2UE.
I believe history would probably repeat if he were to move.
Macquarie would do well to remember what happened to 2DAY when Kyle and Jackie left.
I’ve already heard one sponsor will withdraw $700,000 if he goes. I doubt they’d be the only ones.

Jack
11 Mar 2019 - 12:54 pm

Yeah I can just see Lachlan Murdoch swapping a premium FM network for an ailing AM network. 2CH wont be making any offers to Alan Jones they can’t afford it they are losing money already. Alan has had a great run. Put Ben Fordham on Breakfast with Alan appearing for 10 minutes each morning. They will save a few million dollars . Problem solved.

Rodney ingram
12 Mar 2019 - 7:59 pm

Jones is the greatest

Glen
13 Mar 2019 - 6:51 am

Michael McLaren is the true up and coming star at 2GB !! In my opinion Ben Fordham is a total lightweight that tries to be a hard hitter and fails dismally, lots of serious 2GB followers switch off when he comes on the air!

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