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Alan Jones is an Australian right-wing commentator and former radio broadcaster. He is a former coach of the Australia national rugby union team and rugby league coach and administrator. He has worked as a school teacher, a speechwriter in the office of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, and in musical theatre. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland and completed a one-year teaching diploma at Worcester College, Oxford. He has received civil and industry awards.
Jones hosted a popular Sydney breakfast radio program, on radio station 2GB from 2002 until 2020. Jones advocates conservative views, and the popularity of his radio program has made him a highly paid and influential media personality in Australia. Despite his success, he remains a controversial figure. His on-air conduct has received adverse findings from Australia’s media regulators, and he has frequently been sued for defamation. In May 2020, Jones announced his retirement from his role at 2GB. In November 2021 it was confirmed that he would not have his contract with Sky News Australia renewed.
|Net Worth||$20 million|
Alan Belford Jones AO was born on April 13, 1941 (age 82 years) in Oakey, Australia. His parents are a farmer and coal miner Charlie Thomas (1906–90) and former school teacher Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Belford; 1906–82). Alan was the middle of three children, with an older brother, Robert Charles, and a younger sister, Colleen, both of whom would become school teachers like their mother and brother.
Jones was raised on a dairy farm near Oakey in south-east Queensland, attending primary school at Acland State School, before transferring to Toowoomba Grammar School as a boarder.
After leaving school, Jones trained as a teacher at the Kelvin Grove Teachers College (now part of the Queensland University of Technology) in Brisbane. In 1961, he commenced his teaching career at a state primary school, Ironside State School in the inner suburbs of Brisbane. In 1963, he obtained a position at Brisbane Grammar School, a private secondary school for boys, where he remained until the end of 1969. Throughout this period he also studied part-time at the University of Queensland for a Bachelor of Arts degree, which he was awarded in 1967. Apart from his teaching duties at Brisbane Grammar, Jones additionally proved to be a highly successful sporting coach in athletics, tennis, and, later, rugby union.
In 1970, Jones was appointed Senior English Master at The King’s School, Parramatta in Sydney. Again Jones was also heavily involved in coaching a number of sports with considerable success, including progressing to coaching the First XV rugby union side, which he took to the championship in an unbeaten season in 1974. At the end of the first term in 1975, following a meeting with the school’s principal, Jones chose to resign from the school.
After leaving King’s School Jones briefly moved to Canberra where he made a failed bid to win preselection to stand as a Country Party candidate for federal parliament. He then spent several years as the manager of a small airline in Quirindi in the country New South Wales, where he also coached the local rugby team. During this same period, over 1976–77 while in his mid-30s, Jones spent time in England where he completed a one-year diploma in educational studies at Worcester College, Oxford. While at Oxford Jones won a University Blue for tennis.
Alan Jones returned to Sydney in 1978 to run for the State Parliament as a Liberal Party candidate. After failing to win his seat in the election, Jones worked for some time as a speechwriter for the Liberal NSW Opposition leader, John Mason. In 1979, Jones was recruited as a speechwriter for the Liberal Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser, so returned to Canberra for the position, remaining there until early 1981. He then moved back to Sydney after being recruited to be Executive Director of the New South Wales Employers’ Federation, where he worked until he began his radio career in 1985.
In October 1985, Jones was awarded the Rostrum Speakers’ Award as the Communicator of the Year.
In 1974, a parent at The King’s School, Parramatta, Doug Anthony, leader of the Country Party (now the National Party of Australia) in the Australian Parliament, offered Jones a position with the party in Canberra. In 1975, Jones sought party preselection as the candidate for the Federal parliamentary seat of Eden-Monaro but lost the bid.
In 1978, he was the candidate for the July 1978 by-election for the NSW state seat of Earlwood for the Liberal Party of Australia, formerly held by deposed Liberal leader Sir Eric Willis. He lost what had been considered a “safe seat”. Jones again contested the seat for the Liberal Party at the 1978 New South Wales state election held in October; the Australian Labor Party candidate was returned with a greater majority.
In September 1979, Jones stood for Liberal preselection for the Federal Division of North Sydney, placing third in the ballot. The winning candidate, Peter Solomon was later disendorsed, but Jones did not re-contest the ballot in March 1980, with John Spender taking preselection and winning the seat.
In 1986, Jones was nominated for the Liberal preselection for the Federal Division of Wentworth in Sydney, but was a late withdrawal from the ballot; the preselection and seat were won by future Liberal leader Dr John Hewson.
Health issues: Alan Jones underwent surgery in July 2008 for prostate cancer. In December 2008, he had surgery to remove a benign brain tumour. Jones had back surgery in November 2016 and neck operations which caused him to be off the air for four months. In November 2018, Jones was hospitalised for severe back pain and again was off the air.
Rugby football coaching
The year 1982 was the beginning of Alan Jones’ association with semi-professional rugby, firstly appointed as (part-time) manager of the NSW Rugby Union team. The next year he served as a coach for the Manly Rugby Union team, winning the Shute Shield competition for the first time in 32 years.
In February 1984, Jones replaced Bob Dwyer as coach of the Australia national rugby union team (the Wallabies). Jones coached the Australian team for 4 years with 86 victories from 102 matches including 23 victories in 30 Tests. When he took the team on it included Mark Ella, and it soon recruited Peter FitzSimons and James Black, both Manly players, and Nick Farr-Jones. Also in 1984, Australia’s national team, the Wallabies, won the Grand Slam victories over England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and a Barbarians side made up of the best players of those countries and France.
In 1985, Jones was awarded Coach of the Year from the Confederation of Australian Sport. The 1986 Bledisloe Cup victory against New Zealand in New Zealand was the first time that had been achieved in 39 years. In 1988, Jones was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to Rugby Union football. In 1989, Jones was elected to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame for his contribution to sport as the Australian rugby union coach.
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In October 2007, Jones signalled his interest in coaching the Wallabies after Queensland Rugby Chairman Peter Lewis suggested to the media he was the right person for the job. “If Peter Lewis and the Queensland Rugby Union – who have played a major role in Australian rugby for many years – are of the view I am the person who can make that contribution then I am obligated to put my hand up and say, ‘Well if that is the case, I’m available.”
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) on 14 December 2007 ruled Jones out of the coaching position, instead of appointing New Zealand Crusaders coach Robbie Deans. In 2017, Jones took up an invitation to coach the Barbarians against the Classic Wallabies in Lismore and the Wallabies in Sydney during the 2017 end-of-year rugby union internationals.
In 1990 Jones replaced Warren Ryan as coach of the Balmain Tigers rugby league football club, without accepting a fee. Balmain had been quite successful, including coming runners-up in 1988 and 1989 in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, but with Jones in charge, they struggled despite his claims upon appointment that “Balmain are sick and tired of coming second”. It was while coaching Balmain that Jones was dubbed with his best-known nickname, the ‘Parrot’, by comedian Greig Pickhaver in his role as sports commentator H.G. Nelson, although Jones has never approved of the name.
Alan Jones coached Balmain from 1991 to 1993 with these results: 1991 – 8 wins, 12th place; 1992 – 10 wins, 10th place; 1993 – 5 wins, 12th place. At the end of the 1993 season, he reapplied for the coaching role, offering a new business plan to the board, but when it was rejected he resigned. He was soon after appointed as the Manager of Football Operations with the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league club, also without a fee.
Radio and other media works
Alan Jones joined the Sydney AM radio station 2UE in 1985 as the morning show host after long-time host John Laws left for 2GB. Laws returned to 2UE in 1988 to again host the morning show, so from March of that year Jones was moved to the breakfast slot from 5.30 am to 9.00 am. On changing to the breakfast show, Jones first adopted the program’s long-time opening and closing theme music, “Gloria” by Laura Branigan. By the mid-1990s Jones’ audience share in the Sydney market was up to 22%, giving him the largest radio audience in Sydney, and, including his transmissions into regional and interstate markets, possibly the largest radio audience in Australia.
Jones’ program has remained little changed over time, as a mixture of opinion pieces, interviews, talkback, and commercial endorsements. His on-air popularity has made him a highly paid and powerful media personality. Jones uses his program to advocate largely conservative views, and he has been described as one of the most influential broadcasters in Australia. Throughout his time on radio Jones has frequently been referred to as a ‘shock jock’ due to the style of his presentation, although he personally rejects this term.
In January 1993, the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People, Jones described the choice of Aboriginal Australian Mandawuy Yunupingu as Australian of the Year as “ridiculous” and suggested Yunupingu had been granted the award because of his “colour or … history”. Later that year, prominent Aboriginal Australian Charles Perkins and Jones clashed in a live TV and radio debate. Jones said Australians are “getting no say when Aboriginal people say this is their nation; it’s not, it’s Australia’s nation … Average Australians are being asked to pay taxes to fund people who are seeking title to productive land to which they’ve made no contribution to its productivity”. Perkins called Jones racist and a redneck and commented, “You’ve sat on your white bum at 2UE in Sydney all your life so you wouldn’t know what goes on out there”.
On seven occasions between 1990 and 1997, Jones was awarded by Commercial Radio Australia the title Australian Radio Talk Personality of the Year. In 2001 Jones was awarded the Centenary Medal and the Australian Sports Medal, both being awarded for his contributions to sport and the broadcasting industry. In 2002, Jones switched to 2GB as breakfast announcer, reportedly also taking a financial interest in the station.
In 2008, Jones’ audience numbers began to fall, with competition from ABC Radio 702, although he retained his number one position. In 2011, Jones had an audience share of 19.2 per cent, still the largest for a radio commentator in Sydney. In 2012 Jones retained the largest share, with 18.5% of the Sydney radio audience, although this represented an average number of listeners of just 151,000 out of a listening audience of 469,000 and a possible Sydney audience of 4.1 million, and was down from 185,000 in 2006 despite an increase in population. In February 2013, his audience share dropped to 15.4%.
In November 2014, Jones celebrated having the highest share in Sydney breakfast radio for 100 consecutive radio rating surveys. In May 2020 Jones announced he would retire from his role at 2GB at the end of that month. He cited ill health, however, some news outlets have stated that it was a forced resignation after making controversial comments about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last year cost his breakfast program large sums of money from advertisers. Some of that revenue has never returned.
Alan Jones’ first regular position in the media was writing a column called “The Way I See It” for the Quirindi Advocate newspaper from November 1977 until February 1978. From 1988 until 1990 Jones wrote a regular column for the Sydney Sunday tabloid The Sun-Herald but did not appear following a petition by staff calling for his removal as a contributor. This followed Jones’ publication of a column predicting an oil crisis, in which a large amount of material had been taken from Frederick Forsyth’s novel The Negotiator without attribution or indication that their source was a work of fiction. Jones was later hired by the Sun-Herald’s rival paper, The Sunday Telegraph, where he wrote a one-page column titled “To the Point” until 1995.
Since the 1980s, Jones has frequently been the subject of profile pieces in newspapers and magazines throughout the country, which have ranged in style from complimentary to investigatory and critical.
At the end of January 1994, Jones debuted in his own Network Ten program, Alan Jones Live, intended to be similar in purpose and content to the American program Larry King Live. Proving to be a rating failure, it was cancelled in April 1994 after just 13 weeks on air. In March 1995, he began a segment making an editorial comment on the Nine Network’s Today breakfast show. Jones continued to present this 7.15 am editorial on Today until it was eventually cancelled in June 2007.
From 2013, Jones began co-hosting a political discussion program on Sky News Australia with Graham Richardson named Richo + Jones. The episode on 22 April 2014 was the twentieth most-watched show on subscription television reaching 39,000 viewers and was the channel’s second-highest broadcast that day. An episode on 17 June, featuring a live interview with Clive Palmer, was the seventeenth most-watched show on subscription television and the most-watched broadcast on Sky News with 43,000 viewers. The program has since been retitled by Jones & Co and co-hosted by Peta Credlin. In November 2021, Jones’ contract with Sky News was not renewed. This means that for the first time in Jones’ media career he has not had a media platform.
Jones had his stage musical debut in 2012, playing the role of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the Lyric Theatre’s production of Annie the Musical in Sydney.
Alan Jones has been a participant in national debates for some decades. A former candidate for the Liberal Party of Australia preselection, and former adviser to Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, Jones is a noted supporter of conservative politics in Australia. He has nonetheless at different times criticised or joined forces with Australian politicians from across the party-political spectrum to lobby for political causes.
Jones says he does not believe in significant human-induced climate change and has been critical of Government policy to use the Australian taxation system as a means of reducing carbon emissions. His radio show often promotes climate change denial, including claims that increases in carbon dioxide are natural and that there is significant scientific disagreement on the IPCC’s findings. After the 2010 Australian Federal Election, Jones was critical of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s decision to introduce a price on carbon claiming that this was breaking a pre-election promise. In 2012, the Australian Communications and Media Authority censured Jones for broadcasting falsities about anthropological carbon dioxide, ordering him to undergo factual accuracy training and employ a fact-checker.
Jones is a supporter of the Galileo Movement, a climate change denial group that argues that climate change is a hoax perpetrated to form a world government.
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Jones, a Sydney-based broadcaster, has criticised Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s efforts to close laneways and parking areas in the city of Sydney to cars. Jones says that this unduly inconveniences long-distance commuters and adversely affects city-based businesses. On 29 June 2011, Jones said of the Lord Mayor of Sydney … “put her in the same chaff bag as Julia Gillard and throw them both out to sea” and about Greens leader Bob Brown … “The woman’s Gillard off her tree and quite frankly they should shove her and Bob Brown in a chaff bag and take them as far out to sea as they can and tell them to swim home.”
In February 2011, Jones asked Gillard on-air how she felt about being called “Ju-liar” and that “…people…are saying that we’ve got a liar running the country” following the reversal of her pre-election pledge not to introduce a new carbon tax. He also criticised her for being 10 minutes late for his program. These comments attracted condemnation from critics, including ABC Television’s Jonathan Holmes of Media Watch.
Alan Jones has called for consideration of expanding Australia’s irrigation and dam systems. He opposed the Iemma Labor Government’s plan to privatise the Snowy Mountains Scheme in 2006, and in 2011, he broadcast from Mildura from where he criticised the Gillard Government’s Murray-Darling Basin Plan, saying “we’re seeing policy made without any consultation with people who are the stakeholders – the farmers”.
Jones has been a campaigner against coal seam gas mining in prime agricultural regions in Australia. Jones said on ABC Television that “…no-one can be serious when they talk about food security and the great opportunities for us in Asia when our prime agricultural land is being surrendered to mining.” In October 2011, Jones addressed the National Press Club on the issue.
In August 2019, Jones was criticized for his remark that Prime Minister Scott Morrison should “shove a sock down the throat” of his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern following her criticism at the 2019 Pacific Islands Forum conference in Tuvalu of the Australian Government’s inaction on climate change. Jones later derided Ardern as a lightweight Prime Minister and hypocrite. Jones’ remarks were widely criticized by several quarters including former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his successor Morrison. At least five companies cancelled advertising with Jones’ 2GB radio show following complaints from customers. Jones later sent an apology letter to Prime Minister Ardern, apologizing for “not choosing his words carefully.” Jones is a critic of foreign ownership in Australia, especially by China.
Alan Jones is noted for his support of charity organisations and charitable causes. As well as financial contributions, Jones has regularly made personal appearances and given talks to support organisations which he backs. Jones is also well known for providing support to individuals, such as listeners who contact him through his radio show, and for giving personal, professional, and financial assistance to friends and acquaintances, especially young elite sportspeople.
During March 2020, while Australia reacted to exponentially-increasing infections from the COVID-19 pandemic, Jones played down the risk, saying “We now seem to be facing the health version of global warming. Exaggeration in almost everything. Certainly in the description, and certainly in behaviour”. In statements playing down the risk of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Jones concentrated on static numbers of infected and dead, omitting mention of the universally-agreed exponential increase in those numbers that are behind medical professionals’ concerns about the disease. At the time, Jones was in isolation at his country estate to avoid the risk of infection. Jones’s radio audience consists largely of older people who are in the most severe risk group for the disease. Commentator Mike Carlton labelled Jones’s COVID-19 comments as “dangerous” and “reckless”.
Jones backed down soon afterwards, agreeing that for “…those at greater risk, older Australians and those who are more vulnerable, particularly those with pre-existing conditions… it is a far more serious virus”, but still failed to mention the exponential increase in infection and death. Jones said that “China brought this disaster on…” and raised rumours without evidence of China buying up devalued Australian assets.
Alan Jones first joined Sky News in 2013 and last year signed a contract to present the Alan Jones program, a talk show which goes to air four nights a week.
Jones revealed in November 2021 that he has been dumped from his four-nights-a-week prime time program on Sky News. In a statement posted on Facebook, Jones said he had been informed by management at Sky News that his contract, which ends on November 30, would not be renewed.
His sacking comes just months after his regular column in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph was scrapped, with the paper’s editor Ben English saying Jones’s writing no longer resonated with readers.
The former 2GB shock jock, known for his conservative views and forthright style, said Sky News had offered him an alternative weekly slot on a new streaming service, which he declined.
“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.
Alan Jones has never been married and has no children. His wife or girlfriend is unknown to the public. However, in 2004, Jones received a Queen’s Birthday Honour of an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) partly for his service to the media and sports’ administration, but also for helping many charities. These organisations included Youth Off The Streets, the Children’s Hospital, Starlight Children’s Foundation, the Sir Edward Dunlop Medical Research Foundation and the Heart Research Institute. Alan Jones live in a private house in Sydney.
Alan Jones net worth
How much is Alan Jones worth? Alan Jones net worth is estimated at around $20 million. His main source of income is from his career as a media personality. Jones successful career has earned him some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy cars. He is one of the richest media personalities in Australia.