2GB presenter Alan Jones has labelled his critics as “losers” and “nasty, small minded people on the ABC” in a strident defence of his broadcasting style.
Speaking in a rare interview to mark the one year point from the beginning of the Olympics – for which 2GB is Australia’s official commercial radio broadcaster – Jones told Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes that his listeners realise he is expressing his opinions and that he does not set out to be a journalist.
“It’s called the Alan Jones show. Much of my stuff is opinion. I’m a broadcaster. I don’t pretend to be a journalist and I don’t know what that means anyway – they’ve got a certificate or something.”
“If those opinions lack validity or if those opinions are extreme or if they are overly provocative, they won’t listen. I’ve stood the test of time.”
Jones has been a regular focus of coverage from the ABC’s Media Watch which broke the cash for comment affair. And 2GB’s coverage of climate change received scrutiny from the ABC1 show earlier this month.
Jones said: “These are all critics from people who are losers. They can’t do what you do so they want to have a potshot.”
Asked whether he watched Media Watch, he said: “No never. It’s just rubbish. Who’s watching Media Watch? Who are they. They’re just nasty small minded people on the ABC.”
Jones said that criticisms that he caused the Cronulla riots was “a complete untruth.”
2GB has the national commercial rights for next year’s London Olympics, which begin a year from today. The coverage will be headed by Ray Hadley with Jones helming a breakfast wrap up of the day’s events.
TV broadcaster Nine revealed earlier this week that it has already secured most of its topline sponsors for its coverage. They include Coles, Commonwealth Bank, McDonald’s, Qantas, Swisse and Harvey Norman.
2GB is now heightening its push for ad sponsorship.
Sales director Mark Noakes said, “This is a prime opportunity for advertisers with the London Olympics being ideally timed for Australian radio. Most of the main events where Aussies will perform well are scheduled to run during radio’s strongest time slot of breakfast. This will deliver advertisers an incredibly strong audience at home and a captured audience in the car.”
2GB’s owner Macquarie Radio will also build a national radio network in metro and regional markets for the event.
Foxtel is also banging the drum for its coverage, announcing today that it will be providing eight channels of coverage.
Jones told Mumbrella: “Television is an imperfect medium for something like the Olympic games. You can only watch one thing at a time. The great virtue of radio… is that we can cover 15 venues in a minute.”
Jones also shared his view on the News of the World phone hacking saga. Asked whether he would be surprised to see it happening in Australia, he said: “No I wouldn’t. I’m afraid I don’t have a very high regard of some. There’s a clamouring for what’s on the front page. I’ve never understood that.”