Alan Jones (radio broadcaster)

Alan Jones (radio broadcaster)

Infobox Rugby biography
name = Alan Jones

caption =
birthname = Alan Belford Jones
nickname = The Parrot [cite news|first=Andrew|last=Hornery|coauthors=Low, Lenny Ann|title=A plucked parrot and a society for squawkers|publisher=The Sydney Morning Herald|url=|date=2002-05-22|accessdate=2007-04-16]
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1941|4|13|df=yes
placeofbirth = nowrap|Oakey, Queensland, Australia
dateofdeath =
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ru_coachclubs = Manly Marlins
ru_coachyears = 1983
1984 – 1987
ru_coachupdate =
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rl_coachclubs = Balmain Tigers
rl_coachyears = 1991 – 1993
rl_coachupdate =
other = yes
occupation = Radio presenter
spouse =
children =
relatives =
school = nowrap|Toowoomba Grammar School
university = nowrap|Kelvin Grove Teachers College
nowrap|University of Queensland
nowrap|University of Oxford
url = [ Alan Jones at 2GB]

Alan Belford Jones AO (born 13 April 1941 or possibly 1943 [cite news |title=The Jones Boy |first=Chris |last=Masters |publisher=The Age |date=2006-10-20 |url=
] ) is an Australian radio broadcaster, former rugby union and rugby league coach and administrator.

Jones hosts Sydney's most popular breakfast radio programme, on radio station 2GB. [cite news
title=2GB tops radio ratings | |date=2007-12-04 |url= |accessdate=2008-01-26
] Like his former colleague and competitor John Laws, the popularity of Jones' program (a mixture of talkback, interviews, opinion and commercial endorsements) has made him one of Australia's most highly paid media personalities. Jones is highly politically motivated and sometimes uses his program and his popularity to advocate his conservative views; he has been described as one of the most influential broadcasters in Australia. [cite news
title=Tell-all Alan Jones book axed |first=Greg |last=Ansley |publisher=The New Zealand Herald
date=2006-07-05 |url=
] [cite news |title=Jones, Laws stoush engulfs PM |first=Emma |last=Alberici |publisher= |date=2004-04-28
url= |accessdate=2007-03-06

His on-air conduct has attracted numerous adverse findings from Australia's media regulators, and one on-air incident resulted in Jones being charged with contempt of court. He would eventually be exonerated.Cite news
title=Magistrate makes example of Jones and records conviction
publisher=The Sydney Morning Herald
date=21 April 2007
] cite news |first=Bellinda |last=Kontominas |title=Alan Jones conviction quashed |url= |publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald" |date=2008-03-27 |accessdate=2008-03-27 ]

In 2008, Jones' audience numbers began to slip, with strong competition from ABC Radio 702, though he retains his number one position with a slim margin.cite news |first=Sue |last=Javes |title=It's struggle street for Alan Jones |url= |publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald" |date=2008-06-18 |accessdate=2008-07-03 ] In July, 2008 Jones underwent surgery for prostate cancer. [cite news |first=Louise |last=Hall |title=Jones has cancer operation |url= |publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald" |date=2008-07-20 |accessdate=2008-07-20 ]

Early life

Jones was born and raised on a dairy farm near Oakey in south-east Queensland, and attended primary school there before attending Toowoomba Grammar School as a boarder.

After leaving school, he trained as a teacher at the Kelvin Grove Teachers College (now part of the Queensland University of Technology) in Brisbane. After this training, in 1961 he taught first at a state primary school, then in 1963 won a position at the Brisbane Grammar School for boys. He was studying part-time at the University of Queensland for a Bachelor of Arts degree, which he was awarded in 1969.

In 1970, Jones was appointed Senior English Master at The King's School at Parramatta in Sydney, where he coached the rugby union side to victory in 1974. Jones was later asked to leave,Fact|date=May 2008 a parent at Kings who owned the New South Wales based airline, Skyways, offered Jones the opportunity to branch into management, and he left Kings in 1975. Later that year, another parent at Kings, 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. The next year, he sought party preselection as the candidate for the parliamentary seat of Eden-Monaro, but he was unsuccessful at the election.

Jones studied further in 1977 at Oxford University, completing his education with majors in English and French language and literature, politics and education. He excelled at tennis, in which he won a University Blue.

Returning to Australia, 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. The formerly safe seat was lost, [ [ NSW By-Election Earlwood Results] ] and Jones' antics at a Greek cultural event were called into question. Notwithstanding this he again contested the seat in the Liberal interest at the subsequent general election in October of the same year. This time the ALP candidate was returned with an even greater majority despite the absence, on this occasion, of a Gay Liberation and another three conservative party and independent candidates. [ [ NSW Election Results Earlwood 1978] ] Jones then worked for several years as a speech writer for NSW Opposition leader John Mason, meanwhile standing for preselection for the Federal seat of North Sydney.

In 1979, Jones again moved to Canberra, where he was a speech writer for the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser, until early 1981. He then moved back to Sydney to be Executive Director of the Employers' Federation of NSW, which he held until 1985.

Rugby (Union and League)

1982 was the beginning of Jones' association with semi-professional rugby, firstly appointed as (part-time) manager of the NSW Rugby Union team. The next year he served as First Grade coach for the Manly Rugby Union team, which won the Premiership for the first time in 32 years.

In February 1984, Alan Jones replaced Bob Dwyer as coach of the Australian Rugby Union national team, and he was to coach the Australian team for 4 years with victories in 102 matches including 23 victories in 30 Tests, making him one of the more successful Australian coaches. The side included Mark Ella until his retirement, but quickly added Nick Farr-Jones and two Manly players Peter FitzSimons and James Black. Also in 1984, Australia's national team, the Wallabies, won the Grand Slam victories over England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and a side made up of the best players of those countries and France.

The 1986 Bledisloe Cup victory against New Zealand was the first time that had been achieved in six years, and only the third since 1949. Jones was awarded the Rostrum Speakers' Award as the Communicator of the Year, and named the 1985 Confederation of Australian Sport as Australia's Coach of the Year. However, Jones also pulled out of the Liberal preselection for the Federal Division of Wentworth in Sydney.

In 1988, Jones was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to Rugby Union football. [ [ It's an Honour] - Member of the Order of Australia] 1989 saw Jones elected to the Confederation of Australian Sports' Hall of Fame in recognition of his contribution to Australian Sport as the Australian Rugby Union coach.

In 1990, he was appointed coach of the Balmain Tigers rugby league football club, without accepting a fee. He resigned in July 1993 with these results: 1991 - 8 wins, 12th place; 1992 - 10 wins, 10th place; 1993 - five wins, 12th place. The next month he was appointed Director of Football for the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league football club, also without a fee.

In October 2007 Jones implied his interest in coaching the Wallabies after Queensland Rugby Chairman Peter Lewis suggested to the media he be 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'."cite web
url =
title = Setanta Sports - Jones admits interest in Australian job
format = html
publisher = Setana Sports
accessdate = 2007-10-25

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) on December 14, 2007 ruled Jones out of the coaching position, instead appointing New Zealand Crusaders coach Robbie Deans. ARU Chairman Peter McGrath however left the door open for a future position for Jones, saying there would "always be a place" for the former coach and radio broadcaster.

Radio and the media

1985 saw Jones join Sydney radio station 2UE as the morning show host after John Laws left for 2GB. He moved to the 5.30am to 9.00am Breakfast slot in February 1988, and achieved the largest breakfast audience and also the largest radio audience in Australia.

His opening and closing theme music from both stations has been the hit Gloria by Laura Branigan, whom he met and was the inspiration for using the song.

In 1990–93 and 1995–97, Jones was awarded the title Australian Radio Talk Personality of the Year. [cite web
title=Alan Jones

In 2001, Jones was awarded both the Centenary Medal [ [ It's an Honour] - Centenary Medal] and the Australian Sports Medal. [ [ It's an Honour] - Australian Sports Medal] Both were awarded for his significant contributions to sport and the broadcasting industry.

In 2002, Jones joined 2GB as breakfast announcer, reportedly also taking a financial interest in the station. When passionate about a topic, he occasionally discusses it on air and during ad breaks with his panel operator Ross Geddes. Afternoon announcer, Philip Clark occasionally appears on Jones' show to show support to big news items. Jason Morrison is a daily contributor with two appearances to discuss news items and also filling in for Alan should he be on leave. Along with his radio show, he also did a segment making editorial comment on the Nine Network's "Today".

In 2004, Jones received a Queen's Birthday Honour - an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) partly for his service to the media and sports' administration, but also helping many charities, including Youth off the Streets, the Children's Hospital, Starlight Foundation, the Sir Edward Dunlop Medical Research Foundation and the Heart Research Institute. [ [ It's an Honour] - Officer of the Order of Australia]

On 6 June 2007, Jones ended his 7.15am editorial on Nine Network's "Today". His last editorial was on 15 June. [cite web
title=Alan Jones sacked by Nine


In December 1988, Jones was arrested in a public lavatory in London's West End. He was initially charged with two counts of outraging public decency, but was later granted bail and charges were dropped. [cite web
title = Alan Jones Chronology | work =
publisher = Australian Broadcasting Corporation
date =
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-05-29

For a time until 1990, Jones had been writing for "The Sun-Herald" but it announced that Jones' column would no longer 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. [cite web
title=Alan Jones - The Parrot is Back |publisher=Media Watch
date=2000-05-22 |url=
] Following his dismissal, Jones was hired by the Sun-Herald's rival paper, the Sunday Telegraph.

Later that year, Jones in his role with 2UE was ordered by a court to pay more than $55,000 damages for defaming David Parker, a former councillor of the NRMA, the NSW Motorists' organisation; 2UE was also ordered to pay $80,000. Parker claimed he was defamed during the NRMA election campaign in October 1986. July 1991 had Jones commenting during a conspiracy to murder trial, of Tom Domican and two others; about the key crown witness, a self-confessed heroin smuggler, Jones said, "Why is he the witness and not the defendant?" Contempt is not proved; what Jones did is said to be "dangerous".

1992 brought several events:
* Jones was rebuked by the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption for making attacks on former State Minister Dr Terry Metherell during evidence in an inquiry relating to Metherell's appointment to a government job.
* "Media Watch" showed how on-air comments made by Jones about the Rio summit and the Green movement aligned with those made by B.A. Santamaria in "The Australian". Santamaria later said Jones had contacted his office for permission to quote from the article.
* Jones and 2UE were found guilty of contempt of court after the criminal trial of ex-policeman John Killen was aborted following an interview with a former Drug Enforcement Squad officer.

1993 was another year of controversy:
* In January, Jones described the choice of Mandawuy Yunupingu (an Australian Aborigine) as Australian of the Year as an "insult" and said he'd been granted the award simply because he was black. [cite book |title= [ Jonestown: The Power and the Myth of Alan Jones] |last=Masters |first=Chris |year=2007 |publisher=Allen & Unwin |location= |isbn=174175156X |pages=624 ]
* In March, Jones and 2UE were prosecuted by the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions for contempt of court and fined $77,000, of which Jones' share was $2,000, after Jones caused the trial of a policeman to be aborted: The policeman was facing a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice on the same day as Jones conducted an interview with the Police Association and dealt with allegations that police had suffered at the hands of false accusations.
* In June, leading Australian Aborigine 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".

1994 also had its moments:
* In April, after only 13 weeks and 64 episodes, the Network Ten program "Alan Jones Live" was pulled due to low audiences and criticism. It was intended to be similar in purpose and content to "Larry King Live".
* In July, "Media Watch" highlighted Jones' on-air promotion of Optus.
* In November:
** Separately, Don Mackay, president of the NRMA sued Jones and 2UE alleging Jones made a number of false imputations against him.
** Further, Jones had a public spat with his fellow 2UE broadcaster John Laws. In an interview with Laws, then Prime Minister Paul Keating said of Jones "You know, he's got a good-rating program, even though it's basically, you know, most of the stuff is middle-of-the-road fascism". Keating had refused Jones' requests to appear on his program all year.

In 1998 Jones claimed on-air that rugby league referee Bill Harrigan was biased. Harrigan sued Jones for defamation and, in 2001, was awarded damages of $90 000. [cite web |url= |title=Harrigan v Jones |accessdate=2008-03-30 |author=Highfield, Michael |date=December 2001 |work=M & M Sport |publisher=Mullins & Mullins]

In the late 1990s, Jones suffered more public humiliation when unedited studio recordings of pre-recorded material he had taped at 2UE were leaked to the ABC radio station Triple J. [Cite web |url= |title=The Closet Recordings of Alan Jones |publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation |work=Triple J] Although the tapes were admittedly highly selective and were no doubt chosen to show Jones in the worst possible light, these recordings have since become something of a cult item with Jones' critics, especially since they present Jones as egotistical, ill-tempered and fond of using bad language.

Cash for Comment

Between 1999 and 2000, the "Cash for comment" investigation was conducted. Jones had been accused of contracting to have personal commercial support in exchange for favourable "unscripted" comments, principally for Telstra and QANTAS, during his radio show. The independent Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV show, "Media Watch", was heavily involved in exposing these practices. The Australian Broadcasting Authority finally decided that disclosure had to be made, hence the "Commercial Agreement Register" at the Jones portion of his station's web site. (Jones was investigated along with John Laws from 2UE.)

In April 2004, another scandal broke after it was revealed the Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, David Flint, who had headed the "Cash for comment" inquiries, had sent a stream of admiring letters to Alan Jones. [cite news
author=Philippa McDonald
title=Flint under fire for Jones letters
publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation
date=27 April 2004 |accessdate=2007-01-03
] This called into question the impartiality of Flint, and the then Federal Minister for Communications, Daryl Williams, was embroiled in media speculation as to the future of Flint. With an inquiry imminent, Flint resigned. In an appearance on the ABC's "Enough Rope", John Laws accused Jones of placing pressure on Prime Minister John Howard to keep Flint as head of the ABA, made comments that many viewers took to imply a sexual relationship between Jones and Flint and broadly hinted that Jones was homosexual like Flint, who is openly gay. [cite web
title=John Laws interview transcript
publisher=Enough Rope

2005 Cronulla riots

In December 2005, in the lead-up to the Cronulla riots, Jones used his breakfast radio programme to read out and discuss a widely-circulated text message calling on people to "Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge... get down to North Cronulla to support the Leb and wog bashing day". Media commentator David Marr accused Jones of inciting racial tensions and implicitly encouraging violence and vigilantism by the manner of his responses to callers even while he was verbally disapproving of them taking the law into their own hands.

On 10 April 2007, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that the broadcaster 2GB and Jones had broadcast material (specifically comments made by Jones between December 5-9, 2005) that was "likely to encourage violence or brutality and to vilify people of Lebanese and Middle-Eastern backgrounds on the basis of ethnicity". [Cite news |url= |title=Jones rapped for pre-riot 'scum' remarks |publisher=The Sydney Morning Herald |date=2007-04-10] [Cite news |url=,23599,21532575-2,00.html |title=Jones show incited violence, watchdog finds | |date=2007-04-10] [cite news
title=Alan Jones: I'm the person that's led this charge |first=David |last=Marr |publisher=The Age |date=2005-12-13 |accessdate=2007-03-06 |url=
] During his on-air rebuttal of the ACMA findings on 10 April 2007, Jones stated that by referring to his show as "Breakfast with Alan Jones", the ACMA had little credibility as his show was actually known as "The Alan Jones Show". However, the 2GB website prior to this broadcast clearly showed the Jones program as being "Breakfast with Alan Jones", [Cite news |url=|title=Breakfast with Alan Jones homepage |publisher=2GB Radio|date=2007-04-10|accessdate=2007-04-16] this was changed after the broadcast of Jones' rebuttal to be "Alan Jones Show". [Cite news |url=|title=Alan Jones Show homepage |publisher=2GB Radio|date=2007-04-16|accessdate=2007-04-16]

Once again, David Flint leapt to Jones' defence by appearing on Jones' morning show "to support his friend and to condemn the process that found him guilty. He told 2GB listeners that the vigilante movement existed at Cronulla long before Jones began broadcasting and that the ACMA findings amounted to a classic case of shoot the messenger. He said the complaints process was flawed because, unlike the Press Council, Jones could not face or question his accusers". [Cite news |url=|title=Shock and awe|publisher=The Age|date=2007-04-13|accessdate=2007-04-19]


"" (Allen & Unwin), is an unauthorised biography of Jones by Australian journalist Chris Masters.

Extracts of the book published in "The Sydney Morning Herald" concentrated largely on Jones' sexuality, questionable behaviour while Senior English Master at The King's School at Parramatta in Sydney and the "cottaging" incident in a London public toilet. The book claims that Jones is a homosexual and that his denial of this is "a defining feature of the Jones persona".cite news
title=The demons that drive Alan Jones
publisher=The Sydney Morning Herald

Contempt of Court charges

Jones was originally convicted of breaching the "Children's (Criminal Proceedings) Act" 1987 (NSW), by broadcasting the suppressed name of a juvenile witness in a murder trial.

The deputy chief magistrate, Helen Syme, criticised Jones for not issuing an on-air apology to the boy he had named, and said that Jones' offence was "serious". The magistrate placed Jones on a nine month good-behaviour bond, fined him $1000.

Outside the court, Jones said, "The court found it was not a simple mistake. My view does not count."

In February 2008 Jones lost an appeal against his conviction. His lawyers told the judge they would be challenging the penalty at a future date. [cite news
title=Alan Jones loses appeal
publisher=The Sydney Morning Herald

On 27 March, 2008, Jones' criminal conviction was quashed. The judge presiding over the appeal, Judge Michael Finnane, said: "While it was no excuse from liability in law that Mr Jones relied on The Daily Telegraph, the fact that he did, to some extent ameliorates the seriousness of the offence." The judge confirmed Jones' guilt, but dismissed the charge and annulled the conviction.cite news |title=Alan Jones wins child witness appeal |url= |publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation |date=2008-03-27 |accessdate=2008-03-27 ]

Kovco Comments

On Wednesday 18 October 2007 it was revealed that NSW State Coroner Mary Jerram was referring Jones and The Daily Telegraph to the NSW Supreme Court for comments made the Friday earlier relating to the inquest into the death of Private Jake Kovco. Jones claimed that assisting counsel John Agius had unfairly attempted to persuade Kovco's mother into refusing a jury inquest, comments which Jerram stated could prejudice the inquest. [ [ Jones in Kovco Strife] ]


External links

* [ Radio station 2GB] - see link and then biography
* [ Alan Jones' book club]

NAME=Jones, Alan Belford
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Australian radio personality
DATE OF BIRTH=13 April 1941 or 1943
PLACE OF BIRTH=Oakey, Queensland, Australia

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