Sky News ratings TANK in Alan Jones’s timeslot after the broadcasting legend’s departure – as 80-year-old draws huge ratings on Facebook and prepares to announce his next move
- Right wing radio, TV news legend Alan Jones left Sky News after lesser job offer
- Ratings in his former 8pm slot, now held by Rita Panahi, have plummeted
- Meanwhile, Jones claimed 54,000 viewers for a Facebook live stream he hosted
- Jones is set to announce his next deal this month and begin before Christmas
The nightly ratings for Alan Jones’ former television timeslot on Sky News have fallen off a cliff since the right-wing commentator left the network claiming he’d been ‘cancelled’.
One week after Jones’s departure, just 36,000 viewers tuned into Sky News’ 8pm time slot for Inside the News with Rita Panahi – barely a third of the 95,000 viewers Jones attracted at the same time a week before.
By comparison, a Facebook livestream run by Jones the day after his final show on Sky attracted nearly 56,000 viewers.
Jones, who left the network after rejecting a once-a-week role on News Corp’s new streaming service Flash, is expected to announce his next high-profile news venture in the next fortnight.
Daily Mail Australia understands Jones could be back in the spotlight in weeks.
Alan Jones is said to be set to announce a new weekly news show as the nightly ratings for former Sky News television timeslot fell off a cliff after he left
Rita Panahi (left) has struggled to find the kind of ratings that Jones (right) effortlessly drew to Sky News as his replacement
Jake Thrupp, a friend and Jones leave his Macquarie Street home to head out for dinner at the award-winning restaurant on the harbour after he left Sky News
Since his departure, Jones, 80, is understood to have received offers from radio and television networks and online platforms focusing on social media.
The senior broadcaster is expected to rejoin Australia’s news landscape in a regular news commentary role before Christmas – most likely for a primarily ‘digital’ audience.
Jones had hosted an 8pm Sky News show four nights a week on the News Corp-owned channel since July 2020 after leaving Radio 2GB.
Jones’ last episode in the slot, on November 4, scored 95,000 viewers – only being beaten by the T20 world cup.
‘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 said signing off.
Fellow anchor Andrew Bolt said he was ‘really sad’ to see him go, saying he would ‘always fight for the little person’.
Broadcasting legend Alan Jones was at his fiery best the day after laving Sky News on a Facebook live stream (pictured above) that drew nearly 56,000 viewers
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’
Sky News CEO Paul Whittaker and head of programs Mark Calvert had told Jones in a meeting that they would not be renewing his show.
Jones had kept what he thought of the offer to himself before declaring his position on his Facebook page.
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.
Sky announced Jones had ‘regrettably’ decided not to accept a ‘new role’ and would host his final program that evening.
His peak audience on Sky News was 105,000 in June 2020, although his audience more often hovered between 60,000 and 80,000.
Panahi’s audience in her first week Jones’ old slot reached 45,000 but also fell as low as 34,000.
The Daily Telegraph, which like Sky is owned by News Corp, sacked Jones as a weekly columnist in July after months of him downplaying the seriousness of Covid-19.
Jones had reportedly been told his columns no longer ‘resonated’ with readers.
Daily Mail Australia approached News Corp Australia for comment on the ratings change.