Alan Jones has been dumped from his four-nights-a-week prime time program on Sky News Australia, amid poor ratings.
The ratings for his 8pm show have fallen dramatically since launching last year. Alan Jones started at a peak of 109,000 viewers in July last year, but that dwindled into a viewership between highs in the 60,000 and lows in the 30,000.
The 2021 Digital News Report, published by the University of Canberra’s News and Media Research Centre, showed Sky News attracted 10 per cent of the television audience, dropping 2 per cent compared to 2020.
In a statement shared to his Facebook page, Jones wrote that management at Sky News confirmed that his contract, which ends on November 30th, would not be renewed.
Jones said he declined an offer from Sky News for a weekly slot on a new streaming service.
“I have had nothing but support from people in the backroom of Sky News who rarely get a mention; and, apart from my contribution towards raising the viewer numbers, I hope I have also contributed to the morale of the organisation,” Jones said.
Elsewhere in the statement, Jones wrote that Sky News failed to consider that he “had brought over a new audience to the station”.
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“I merely let the figures speak for themselves,” he said. “In my brief time that I have been at Sky News, the audience at 8pm has significantly increased.”
He also claims his videos, which are often mired in controversy, have not been appearing as frequently on Sky News’ YouTube channel, Sky News’ Facebook page or the Sky News website, SkyNews.com.au.
“In recent times my material hasn’t been widely published on these sites as the company has felt under threat from being cancelled,” he wrote.
“It is, of course, the prerogative of any employer to make such a decision; but, given this is the case, I feel an obligation to my viewers to make some observations to avoid certain misconstructions,” Jones continued.
“In all my broadcasting life, the ratings performances have been scrutinised. I have no problem with that.”
The shock jock first joined Sky News in 2013, signing a contract to present the After Dark talk show last year.
Though the program has been steeped in controversy over Jone’s commentary on COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions.
Last month, the Sky News Australia Youtube account was suspended for a week after spreading misinformation about the pandemic.