Alan Jones was made an ‘insulting’ offer by Australia before his weekday show was cancelled, prompting him to leave the company.
The outspoken broadcaster said during crunch talks on October 29, bosses refused to renew his contract but offered him a job hosting a show on News Corp’s new streaming service Flash once a week, an offer he declined.
A media insider told Daily Mail Australia: Slot Online ‘The Flash offer was an insult — Flash has 46 likes on Facebook compared to Alan’s 156,000.’
The source also accused Sky owner News Corp of going woke by removing conservative host Jones from its TV line up.
‘This, along with the Daily Telegraph’s decision to drop Alan’s column, is evidence of a clear agenda to cancel right-wing voices,’ the source said.
Jones has hosted an 8pm show on Sky News Australia four nights a week since July 2020
Alan Jones (pictured in Sydney in June 2021) has been forced out of Sky News Australia after bosses refused to renew his contract
Jones who has been on the airwaves since 1985 and has hosted an 8pm show four nights a week since July 2020, posted a lengthy statement on his page saying he will leave the company at the end of this month.
‘I write in my regular Thursday column to advise you that the management at Sky News have indicated to me that they will not renew my contract, which ends on November 30,’ he wrote.
Senator Pauline Hanson swiftly offered Jones a job working for her, writing: ‘Please stand for the Senate in NSW under the banner of One Nation.’
The 80-year-old said the company’s reason for not renewing his contract was apparently bad ratings, which he described as an ‘erratic beast’.
But he went on to say this was unfair because it did not take into account how many watched and shared his content via social media.
In July the Daily Telegraph cancelled Jones’ weekly column with editor Ben English saying his views did not ‘resonate’ with readers.
Jones had been strident in his opposition to Covid lockdowns and restrictions, saying the virus’ death rate was akin to that of seasonal flu.
He insulted NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant, saying: ‘How many villages are missing their idiot?’
In his statement on Thursday, Jones produced figures to show he was more engaging than other Sky hosts.
‘The total who go to the Alan Jones opinion area is, pleasingly, greater than the aggregate of all other Sky News hosts,’ he wrote.
‘In recent times my material hasn’t been widely published on these sites as the company has felt under threat from being cancelled.’
Alan Jones is pictured in 2002 just after he joined Sydney radio station 2GB
Jones started his radio career with 2UE in 1985 after a very successful spell as head coach of the Wallabies, Australia’s national rugby union team (pictured in London in 1984)
Alan Jones is pictured with supermodel Jennifer Hawkins at the launch of Trinity Point at Cafe Sydney back in 2014
‘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, as I think you can see from above, they have, in my brief stint on television.
‘May I say, I have enjoyed my experience thoroughly,’ he wrote.
Sky News Australia chief executive officer Paul Whittaker insisted it was Jones’ decision to leave.
‘Regrettably Alan has decided not to accept a new role that was offered to him for next year,’ he said.
‘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.’
It comes as News Corp is rocked by internal tensions over the company’s dramatic switch towards supporting a net zero emissions target after years of campaigning against the policy.
Sky News host Andrew Bolt and commentator Peta Credlin have opposed it fiercely.
Jones’ radio career began at 2UE in 1985 and he moved to 2GB in 2001, where he delivered a record 226 wins in rating surveys and drove the station to number one in the Sydney market.
Last year Jones retired from 2GB radio, telling listeners he had been told by doctors that his intense workload was becoming detrimental to his health.
Jones then told listeners that he would continue as a commentator by writing his weekly newspaper column in The Australian and hosing his Sky News show alongside Peta Credlin, but that it was the right time to end his radio career.
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news" data-version="2" id="mol-a1fa17b0-3d07-11ec-a741-5fc7b4f20ce9" website Jones forced out by Sky News Australia