How on earth did Alan Jones manage to pollute our screens for so long? Obviously, it wuz his close friendship with the Packer family wot done it. And now that young James Packer has flushed grandpa's media empire down the drain, Alan Jones's true value is realised:
THE first swing of the axe by the Nine television network's new private-equity owners has fallen on Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones, a long-time Packer family ally, saving up to $100,000 a year.It is ironic that a private equity firm should be the one to bring down the guillotine on this pathetic little Big Business shrill. Back to the public toilet block for you, Jonesy!
Jones' 60 to 90-second editorial spot on Nine's morning news and chat show Today, which has been running for the past two decades, will end on June 15.
Jones has been a long-time confidant of Nine's former owner, the Packer family. He was master of ceremonies at Kerry Packer's funeral service and is expected to attend James Packer's wedding to Erica Baxter in the south of France this month.
Jones' Today spot was his primary national outlet — his morning program on 2GB broadcasts only in Sydney. Its axing signals a potential diminishing of his influence.
UPDATE: John Howard will no doubt be lamenting this great set-back for public broadcasting:
"I am not going to get involved in comments on individual decisions, but let me say this; I think Alan Jones is an outstanding broadcaster," Mr Howard said.The "decision" Howard was avoiding was the decision by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to hold Alan Jones accountable for inciting last year's racist violence at Cronulla beach. As Jones boasted at the time:
"I don't think he's a person who encourages prejudice in the Australian community, not for one moment, but he is a person who articulates what a lot of people think," he said.
“I’m the person that’s led this charge here. Nobody wanted to know about North Cronulla, now it’s gathered to this.”Maybe the legal fees connected to his legal defense helped Channel 9's new owners decide to dump him? Or maybe it was the time he called the rich folks in the corporate world (those who provide the cash for his comments) "deadshits and dickheads"?
Jones is gone from Nine, but he still holds his place on the radio waves. Why? Maybe it's time for a Royal Commission into talkback radio?
UPDATE 2: Hi to Crikey readers. Ever wondered about Rupert Murdoch's sexy young Chinese wife? Eric Ellis's new profile (which Fairfax spiked) is out in the Monthly today. Click here to reveal all!