In the media programme supplement in The Daily Telegraph of 12 June, 2007, Mr. Phillip Motbev, of Bomaderry, NSW foreshadowed a reaction which I suspect will be seen across the country:
”I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed we are at not being able to see Alan Jones on the Today show any more. It will only further reduce the number of viewers they have. After years of watching Today, my wife and I have changed to Sunrise on Seven.”
Incidentally, on 11 June, 2007, “The Guide”, The Sydney Morning Herald’s weekly TV and electronic supplement, raised the termination of the Alan Jones editorial which has long been broadcast nationwide on the Channel 9 Breakfast programme.
The SMH said: “It’s almost a week since Channel Nine confirmed 2GB’s Alan Jones was off the Today show and there are still aftershocks over his departure. Professor David Flint used the platform of news/gossip website Crikey to wrap Jones’s abrupt exit in anti-monarchist subterfuge, though The Guide’s sources suggest far more earthly issues – budget cuts and old radio rivalries – are closer to the heart of it. One insider pointed to Jones’s hefty salary and his po-faced "Hello, team" on new co-host Lisa Wilkinson’s first morning (Jones normally greets each member of the Today team by name) as revealing clues. Since Wilkinson joined Today, the show has crossed with some regularity to 2UE, where her husband, journalist Peter FitzSimons, works.”
But my conclusion was also that this was probably more than republicanism. In this column on 5 June,2007, which also appeared in Crikey.com and on On Line Opinion, I wrote: “The Sydney Morning Herald Stay in Touch column on 6 June 2007 pointedly asked whether Alan Jones monarchist views clashed with Mrs FitzSimons’ republicanism. It may be more than just that. Alan Jones presents views challenge not only media orthodoxy, but also many in the financial, political and economic establishment of the country. He is not afraid to take on leading brokers, the retailers who are driving small business out of suburbs and towns across the country, the ACCC, union bosses and politicians everywhere and from all parties. His evident success has attracted the jealousy of other people in the media, reducing one to resort to psycho-babble in a vain attempt to justify his very personal attack. Before this appeared in a book, it was first presented on ABC TV, where the producer was, believe it or not, none other than Mike Carlton’s wife. The ABC underwrote the book at considerable cost, but the Board decided not to publish it.
”One thing is clear from the decision to drop the Alan Jones editorial. A very large number of viewers from all over the country are going to be disappointed. Indeed some are going to be very angry. The decision may please the elites, but talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Alan Jones was the reason so many stayed with or switched over to Channel 9.”
I concluded: “Perhaps another network will see an opportunity there and the new owners of Channel 9 will then wonder what is going on.”