Alan Jones has marked the end of his tenure at with a private dinner with producer Jake Thrupp, NSW Labor leader Chris Minns and MP Tania Mihailuk.
Jones had hosted an 8pm show four nights a week on the News Corp-owned channel since July 2020 after leaving 2GB radio.
But yesterday he revealed his last show would air that evening and claimed he had been ‘cancelled’ by the cable TV channel.
Jones’ show last night was pre-recorded so it barely made a mention of his shock departure from Sky after a 17-month stint.
Alan Jones celebrated his final show after 17 months at Sky News by having a private dinner with producer Jake Thrupp and two close friends
Jones appeared outside his Macquarie Street home around the corner from the exclusive restaurant on Sydney Harbour
The 80-year-old was then spotted at Matt Moran’s ARIA restaurant in Circular Quay dining alongside Thrupp, another man and woman
Thrupp, a friend and Jones leave his Macquarie Street home to head out for dinner at the award-winning restaurant on the harbour
Instead, it was business as usual with the high-profile commentator lamenting liberal bias, vaccine mandates and oddly decrying the lack of poetry being taught in schools.
‘You can still find me on my Facebook page, I ain’t going away.Stay with me and I’ll still be with you,’ he signed off on Thursday night.
Jones briefly noted the show would be his last at the start of the program after a glowing introduction from fellow staunch conservative Andrew Bolt, whose program aired before Jones’.
Bolt said he was ‘really sad’ to see him go, saying he would ‘always fight for the little person’.
Labor Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek and ‘dear friend’ Catherine McGregor were among the guests on his final show who gushed over his achievements over a near six-decade career in the media.
At one stage he awkwardly spruiked his Sky News email address and text line as a way to communicate with viewers, saying that he will ‘still check them’.
The 80-year-old was then spotted at Matt Moran’s ARIA restaurant in Circular Quay dining alongside Thrupp, 24, and the two state Labor MPs – both weekly panellists on the program.
He was still in the same grey suit and a pink shirt and salmon tie he wore for his final broadcast, and was seen smiling and laughing with his close confidantes.
The three sipped on red wine and shared stories before Jones returned to his Macquarie Street penthouse around the corner from the exclusive restaurant.
Jones, Thrupp and his friends sip on red wine and share stories – possibly plotting the Australian media giant’s next moves
The three sipped on red wine and shared stories before Jones returned to his Macquarie Street penthouse around the corner from the exclusive restaurant
The host was still in the same grey suit with a pink shirt and salmon tie he wore for his final broadcast, seen smiling and laughing with his close confidantes
Jones and close friend Thrupp head out for dinner after the media icon hosted his last show for Sky News on Thursday night
Sky News CEO Paul Whittaker and head of programs Mark Calvert had told Jones last week they would not be renewing his show, despite winning his subscription TV timeslot’s ratings the previous night.
Instead, they were offering the radio veteran a once-a-week slot on News Corp Australia’s new streaming service, Flash, a proposition one insider called an ‘insult’.
Jones had kept what he thought of the offer to himself before declaring his position on his page at 9am Thursday
The 80-year-old revealed he would be leaving Sky with a 1,625-word polemic in which he noted the changing media landscape and defended his performance at the network.
Just two minutes later Sky announced Jones had ‘regrettably’ decided not to accept a ‘new role’ and would host his final program at 8 o’clock tonight.
Jones signed off from Sky News on Thursday night after 17 months with the conservative news network – claiming through his Facebook account he was ‘cancelled’
The Daily Telegraph sacked Jones as a columnist after weeks of his anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown Covid-19 commentary.A source accused News Corp of going woke by removing the conservative host from its Sky News line up. Jones is pictured with Sky host Peta Credlin
There are rumours Jones could return through a new program only shown through his social media channels.
Jones portrayed last Friday’s meeting with Whittaker and Calvert – neither of whom he named – as the breaking point with Sky but observers have predicted the parting for months.
The Daily Telegraph, which is also owned by News Corp, sacked Jones as a weekly columnist in July after months of him downplaying the seriousness of Covid-19.
While Jones had reportedly been told his columns no longer ‘resonated’ with readers, the official line from News Corp was that the company still supported the broadcaster.
‘The decision to no longer publish Alan Jones’s column in The Daily Telegraph was made by its editor, Ben English, based on the impact the column was having on the Telegraph’s objective to build its audience,’ a News Corp spokesman said.
Former 2GB colleague Ray Hadley (left) unloaded on Jones (centre) in July over his Covid commentary for Sky, describing his conduct as ‘scurrilous, contemptible and undignified’.Jones’s replacement in the 2GB breakfast slot, Ben Fordham, is pictured right
‘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,’ Jones wrote on Facebook on Thursday
‘Decisions about what to publish in News Corp mastheads is the responsibility of the editor.These decisions should not be confused with the company’s corporate position or, in this case, a signal that News Corp Australia no longer supports Alan.’
The spokesman even acknowledged Jones’s strong ratings since joining Sky in July last year after ending his record-breaking career as a breakfast radio broadcaster.
‘Alan is one of Australia’s most accomplished broadcasters; his show on Sky News is achieving strong success and he has a widely read column in The Australian,’ he said.
‘He is a compelling voice that has long represented the values of many Australians and his relationship with News Corp remains strong.’
Jones flatly rejected the suggestion his columns did not resonate with Telegraph readers in comments he gave to one of News Corp’s rival newspapers owned by Nine Entertainment.
‘If the argument has been it’s not resonating, I don’t have to defend myself,’ he said at the time.
‘Have a look at Sky News YouTube, Sky News Facebook and Alan Jones Facebook and you can see.The same column that I write for the Tele goes up on my Facebook page.
‘The public can check it for themselves. Thirty-five years at top of the radio and I don’t resonate with the public? Honestly.’
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford posted this newspaper advertisement to social media on Thursday.The ad features Sky commentators Andrew Bolt, Peta Credlin and Paul Murray, presenter Laura Jayes, reporter Andrew Clennell but not Jones, Sky’s biggest star
Two days before those remarks, 2GB morning presenter Ray Hadley had unloaded on Jones over his former colleague’s Covid commentary for Sky, describing his conduct as ‘scurrilous, contemptible and undignified’.
Hadley writes a weekly column for the Telegraph and 2GB is owned by Nine. Jones left 2GB in May last year, citing health reasons and amid an exodus of advertisers.
In July, Jones had offered sympathy for anti-lockdown protesters in Sydney, suggested a 38-year-old who died from Covid had died from something else and called NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant ‘dumb’.
Hadley told his listeners he was sick of ‘getting emails from lunatics, a few of them every morning, about the rantings the night before, saying “oh Alan told me… “‘
‘Let me tell you something,’ Hadley said in an almost 10-minute diatribe.’Half of what Alan says is very well researched. Should you have any inquiries regarding exactly where as well as the way to utilize Situs Judi Slot Bet Kecil Dan Slot Bet Rendah Terbaik di Indonesia, you possibly can contact us on the web site. The other half is bull****.’
Earlier in July, Jones had cited UK data to claim the Delta strain of Covid was far less dangerous than the original virus, and that vaccinated people were more like to die.
Hadley said Jones was doing ‘himself, Sky News, and the Australian public, a great disservice’ with that broadcast, which Sky corrected and removed from all platforms.
Another clue that Jones may have been on the outer at Sky came in August when a newspaper advertisement promoted the network’s on-air line up.
The ad featured fellow commentators Andrew Bolt, Peta Credlin and Paul Murray, presenter Laura Jayes, reporters Kieran Gilbert and Andrew Clennell but not Jones, Sky’s biggest star.
News Corp also recently launched an editorial campaign for stronger action against climate change, conflicting with some of Jones’s positions on the environment and energy.
Jones was not giving interviews on Thursday but an insider familiar with the negotiations said there was no way he would accept the network’s new offer.
‘The Flash offer was an insult – Flash has 46 likes on Facebook compared to Alan’s 156,000,’ the source said.