Russell Tate rubbishes claims Macquarie management wants Alan Jones gone

Assistant Editor

Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate says claims that management wants to get rid of Alan Jones are “rubbish”.

Tate admitted to The Australian that contract talks with Jones have stalled until such time as the merger between Nine and Macquarie owners Fairfax has been finalised.

But he has taken aim at an opinion piece in SMH over the weekend about Jones’ employment, which claimed management “wanted him gone”.

The article suggested that sponsors are “running” from Jones’ show and that he has “lost the confidence of the management.”

“We have not started our discussions with Alan,” said Tate.

“Anyone with any brains would not finalise a key talent contract like Alan Jones until the major shareholder (of Macquarie Media) is known.

“If the merger proposal is successful, Macquarie Media’s controlling shareholder will change on December 7 from Fairfax to Nine.

Tate said it will be key to discover what CEO Hugh Marks and Nine think about Macquarie’s talent, including Jones, before making any decisions.

“That will mean Nine’s board and management will have their own views on what they want to do, whether it be with on-air personalities, executives, directors or other staff of Macquarie.

“I imagine Nine will have views on everything from Alan Jones to how we do business.”

The merger was approved by the ACCC earlier this month, while shareholders also voted in favour of the motion.

Now its just a case of waiting to find out the ultimate fate of the deal, which is set to see Nine taking a controlling 51.1% share in the new business.

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