News, Culture & Society

Alan Jones email: 2GB sales chief Mark Noakes is made redundant 24 hours after team sent message

2GB boss is sacked after extraordinary email calling on staff to make money out of star broadcaster Alan Jones’s Christmas break

  • Radio 2GB’s sales chief was let go within a day of sending his team an email
  • Mark Noakes referred to the advertiser boycott of Alan Jones show on Nov 26
  • With holiday period starting, asked ‘can we reapproach clients’ not advertising 
  • Mr Noakes was made redundant the next day ‘with our best wishes and thanks’ 
  • ‘Power Station’s’ bottom line hurt by boycott after Jones’s Ardern comments   
  • A spokesman for Macquarie, now part of Nine, said the emails were not linked 

A top executive at Sydney’s Radio 2GB was let go a day after sending an email to staff referencing an advertiser boycott of Alan Jones’s breakfast show.  

The broadcaster’s long-time sales chief Mark Noakes was made redundant last Wednesday after about 17 years of service.

In a statement to staff, Nine’s new radio chief Tom Malone announced Mr Noakes was leaving the business to better ‘align’ 2GB’s sales structure with new owner Nine.

But Mr Noakes’s departure came within 24 hours of sending an email asking his staff to make the most of Jones’s holiday break. (Nine denies a link.) 

Broadcaster Alan Jones held a massive 16.1 per cent share of the breakfast radio market in the latest survey

Mr Noakes wrote; ‘From this Thursday Steve Price will be hosting Breakfast (along with John Stanley over Christmas) for the remainder of the year and over January.

‘Can we reapproach clients who opted not to advertise in breakfast for a matter of urgency. Many thanks. PS: We are thinking about a ”back to breakfast” pack.’

Mark Noakes, Radio 2GB's veteran sales chief, was made redundant by Macquarie after almost 17 years last week

Mark Noakes, Radio 2GB’s veteran sales chief, was made redundant by Macquarie after almost 17 years last week

Jones sparked an advertiser backlash earlier this year after suggesting Prime Minister Scott Morrison ‘shove a sock’ down New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern’s throat over her views on climate change. 

Big brands including Bing Lee and mattress company Koala announced they were pulling their advertising, and Nine’s chairman Peter Costello has confirmed to shareholders that the boycott had hurt the radio business’s bottom line. 

Mr Noakes’s email to his staff came to light when former radio presenter Michael Smith published it last Tuesday, accusing 2GB of going ‘soft left’ over the holiday period. 

Less than 24 hours later, Nine’s managing director for radio, Tom Malone, announced that Mr Noakes was leaving the business.

This email, sent by Mark Noakes on November 26, was published on former radio presenter Michael Smith's blog last week

This email, sent by Mark Noakes on November 26, was published on former radio presenter Michael Smith’s blog last week

In his farewell statement, Mr Malone described Mr Noakes as a ‘veteran of Macquarie having been with the business since 2002’ who had made a ‘significant contribution’. 

‘I want to take this opportunity to thank Mark for everything he has contributed to Macquarie. He leaves with our best wishes and thanks.’ 

The incredible timing of the two emails, within 24 hours of one another, was pointed out by The Australian’s Media Diary section on Monday.   

A spokesman for Macquarie – now part of the Nine media group – today insisted it was just a coincidence. 

 ‘There is no link between the email and the redundancy,’ the spokesman said. 

Mr Noakes was approached for comment.   


Jones said Scott Morrison should 'shove a sock' down the throat of NZ PM Jacinda Ardern

Jones said Scott Morrison should ‘shove a sock’ down the throat of NZ PM Jacinda Ardern

Alan Jones apologised to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier this year, after suggesting Scott Morrison ‘shove a sock’ down her throat.

Ms Ardern and Mr Morrison were attending a leaders’ forum in the Pacific in August when the 2GB breakfast host unleashed on the Kiwi leader.

‘Here she is preaching on global warming and saying that we’ve got to do something about climate change,’ Mr Jones told listeners.

‘She is a joke, this woman, an absolute and utter lightweight … 

‘I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat.’

A letter of apology to the prime minister was later released under New Zealand Freedom of Information laws.

‘My dear Prime Minister,’ the letter read.

‘One of my comments which has been broadly reported, and doesn’t need to be repeated here, didn’t come out quite as I intended.

‘I meant to say ‘put a sock in it’ and my actual words were taken literally by some who took offence on your behalf.’

Mr Jones said he would never wish Ms Ardern any harm and invited her to come on his program.


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