Alan Jones announces shock retirement
Alan Jones has sensationally quit his morning breakfast show, announcing he will be retiring from radio at the end of May.
The popular 2GB talk show host announced his decision to retire on-air this morning.
"When the program ends at 9:00, it doesn't end," he said. "Another world begins. I've always taken the view that my listeners are my best researchers. The correspondence is given relevance and strength to the program content but answering it is immensely demanding."
The 79-year-old presenter said health concerns was the reason for his retirement, saying he needs to "reduce his workload" and "listen to the experts".
"We are living in the world of coronavirus," he said. "The most repeated statement we hear is 'we must listen to the experts'. Well, the experts are telling me in no uncertain terms, and not for the first time I might add, 'continuing with the present workload is seriously detrimental to your health'.
"I have taken on extra load in television and print media but if I am to be serious about reducing the workload and listen to the experts then I've decided that the bulk of my workload is dominated by radio. I guess after 35 years the full stop has to go in somewhere.
"I'm immensely grateful for the opportunities I've been given to share ideas, help people and even argue with people on behalf of someone else. These are privileges in this industry that should never be taken for granted.
"There will always be bumps in the road. We will confront them but I choose to dwell on the rewards and the satisfactions that the job has given me. I will have an opportunity between now and the end of this month to thank others.
He went on to praise his team at 2GB, before adding: "I am not going away. I will still be on Facebook, email, TV. We will be able to communicate.
"I am not retiring, I am just retiring from radio. I want to thank one person, though. Above all employers who have been good to me and that includes my current employer, John Brennan, got me into this gig. Whatever success I've had or we've had, I owe to him. I will be taking the chance to thank you personally, Brenno, as I hope will be the case for many others but for now, as always, we've got work to do."
Jones will be replaced on 2GB by afternoon presenter Ben Fordham, who tweeted his praise for the veteran talk show host shortly after his announcement.
Huge congratulations to @AlanJones on a sensational breakfast radio career. Following advice from doctors, AJ has announced he’s giving the early hours away. His television and newspaper work will continue. There will only ever be one Alan Jones.— Ben Fordham (@BenFordham) May 11, 2020
"I feel a sense of both responsibility and opportunity. There's a huge responsibility in taking over from Alan and the opportunity to bring my own flavour to breakfast," Fordham said in a statement.
"Alan is the most successful broadcaster in the history of Australian radio. There will only ever be one Alan Jones. My first taste of radio was as a 15-year-old work experience kid on the Alan Jones breakfast show. I can't quite believe that all these years on I'm taking over the position he's made his own."
Jones, a former Wallabies coach, has worked in radio for over 30 years, having joined the Sydney AM radio station 2UE as the morning show host after long-time host John Laws left for 2GB.
In 2002, Jones switched to 2GB as breakfast announcer.
He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2005, for service to the community, to the media, and to sports administration.
Nine's CEO Hugh Marks thanked Jones for his contribution to radio.
"I want to acknowledge Alan for his contribution to 2GB, and prior to that 2UE, over many years. Alan has shown a dedication to his craft unlike any other and with that dedication comes excellence," he said
"This focus on his program's content has given him outstanding audience loyalty demonstrated over decades. We wish him well and thank him for all he has done."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison called in to his show this morning to offer his congratulations.
"You've always spoken your mind to everyone, including me, and we've had one or two disagreements, but you've always done the best for your country," Mr Morrison said.
In April this year, Jones saw his ratings jump 3.1 per cent to secure him a massive 17.9 per cent share of the Sydney breakfast market, with his nearest rival, ABC Sydney, trailing behind with a 10.9 per cent share.
More to come …
Originally published as Alan Jones announces shock retirement