Is Alan On The Move? Murdoch Eyes Jones

Is Alan On The Move? Murdoch Eyes Jones
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Controversial radio broadcaster Alan Jones may be on the move, with recent murmurings suggesting the Murdochs may make a play for Jones, B&T believes.

Jones’ employer, Macquarie Media, was previously controlled by Fairfax Media, which was sensationally acquired by Nine last year.

Macquarie Media is currently dealing with shareholder challenges, while also negotiating a new contract for Jones.

However, once resolved, it is possible there will be a major media overhaul, one that would see the creation of two major media companies in Australia that have a more consistent political portfolio.

Across the media industry, there are talks of a straight asset swap.

This would see Lachlan Murdoch’s Illyria transferring its assets in the Nova FM radio stations to Nine, in exchange for Nine’s ownership of AM radio stations, which would include Jones and Ray Hadley’s 2GB in Sydney and Neil Mitchell’s 3AW in Melbourne.

B&T believes it has also been discussed by senior News Corp execs, but that a deal won’t be happening any time soon.

According to last year’s annual report, Macquarie Media posted an underlying net profit, after tax, of $21.5 million.

Revenue was $136.3 million, which is up four per cent from a year earlier.

Following last year’s Fairfax deal, Nine now owns 54.5 per cent of Macquarie Media.

The rest of the shares are mostly held by John Singleton and corporate adviser Mark Carnegie.

Singleton has made it known he is interested in selling, while Nine suggested it wanted full ownership of Macquarie Media, just not at current prices.

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