Hanging Up The Headphones: Shock Jock Alan Jones Retires From Radio After 35 Years
Infamous radio shock jock Alan Jones has announced his retirement from 2GB, ending his 35-year broadcast career.
The controversial broadcaster is retiring at the end of the month after doctors advised him that continuing with his present workload would be detrimental to his health.
In the announcement on Monday morning, Jones said: "I'm not retiring, I'm just retiring from radio."
Jones kickstarted his career at Sydney's on 2UE in 1985 before hitting 2GB's airwaves in 2002.
He's since won 226 consecutive breakfast radio ratings surveys over the past 15 years.
The polarising figure is well-known for making outlandish comments that have attracted both praise and scorn from the Australian public.
Last August, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Jones was “way out of line” for suggesting the Australian prime minister should “shove a sock down the throat” of NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
In 2012, Jones was slammed for saying then-prime minister Julia Gillard should be “shoved in a chaff bag”.
The broadcaster later commented that Gillard’s father had died “of shame” because she “told lies every time she stood for parliament”.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority ruled Jones had encouraged violence and vilified people of Lebanese and Middle Eastern descent in comments made before the Cronulla riots in 2005.
Jones's popular show has been struggling over the past year after his comments about Ardern cost the program about 50 percent of its revenue.
Journalist Ben Fordham has been named as the new host of 2GB’s breakfast program and said he was excited to be taking up the mantle.
“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 on Monday.
“Alan is the most successful broadcaster in the history of Australian radio. There will only ever be one Alan Jones," he added.
"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”.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian congratulated Jones for his long, "successful career" in a press conference on Monday.
"He's had a long and successful career and not everybody gets to retire when they're at the top of their game. Congratulations to him and I wish him the very best," she said.
"Anyone who commands such a strong following deserves our congratulations and respect."
More to come.