Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News cable channel has signed Alan Jones to an exclusive contract, giving the controversial broadcaster a new home after his departure from radio station 2GB.
His new show, to be called simply Alan Jones, will premiere July 6 and go to air four nights a week, Monday to Thursday.
“It’s a privilege to be invited to work with such a strong and committed team,” Jones said in a statement issued by Sky.
“There are real issues facing Australians today. We will be addressing them.”
Jones will continue to provide opinion columns News Corp mastheads The Daily Telegraph and The Australian.
Jones has been a longtime talking head on Sky’s opionated after-dark lineup, but the new deal will make him a permanent fixture.
His full-time appointment comes despite telling 2GB listeners that he was leaving the station for “health reasons”.
Only on Sky would getting sacked for discrimination, incompetence and irrelevance be considered success 🙄 #AuspolSoCorrupt
— Jonathon Momsen (@JonathonMomsen) June 20, 2020
While Sky News showered its latest right-wing recruit with praise, history does not bode well.
An attempt by the Ten Network to launch Jones as a nightly national television current affairs personality, in Alan Jones Live in 1994, proved a dismal failure and was soon cancelled.
Jones’ departure from the radio station that had been his on-air home for more than three decades came amid boycotts that saw a number of corporate advertisers walk away from his show.
The boycott campaign was spurred when the Australian Communications and Media Authority ordered an on-air correction for comments he made about climate change and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Jones said he hoped Prime Minister Scott Morrison would give his trans-Tasman counterpart “a few backhanders”, also urging that he “shove a sock down her throat” when the pair met at a Pacific Islands Forum.
- Read ACMA’s scathing condemnation here
The outburst sparked an outcry, with the broadcasting authority being blitzed by a deluge of complaints that included the charge he was encouraging and endorsing violence against women.
In an earlier diatribe he told listeners that then-prime minister Julia Gillard should be stuffed in a chaff bag and drowned, also telling a private audience that Ms Gillard’s father must have “died of shame”.
“The repeated use of violent metaphors by Mr Jones and his apparent encouragement of aggressive silencing of Ms Ardern was highly offensive and did not meet contemporary community expectations,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said when the ruling was handed down.