2GB working on back up plan if Alan Jones walks

2GB parent company Macquarie Media Limited is working on contingency plans should contract negotiations with breakfast radio stalwart Alan Jones fall through.

Embattled mornings host Ray Hadley will move in to Jones' breakfast slot while night time presenter Steve Price will take over his gig.

"Ray is going to take over breakfast and Steve will go into mornings if Alan is not there," a high placed executive at the station told The Daily Telegraph.

Radio network proprietor Bill Caralis is believed to have approached Jones recently in the hope of enticing him to join the 2SM Super Network, the largest privately owned radio network in the country. Picture: AAP/John Gass
Radio network proprietor Bill Caralis is believed to have approached Jones recently in the hope of enticing him to join the 2SM Super Network, the largest privately owned radio network in the country. Picture: AAP/John Gass

Jones, the undisputed king of Sydney radio, who has topped the ratings for every survey for years, is in the midst of prolonged contract negotiations with some speculating he might jump ship to a rival station.

Macquarie has been working on contingency plans over recent years, not just during the contract negotiations, as Jones has suffered a number of health challenges.

2GB radio host Ray Hadley. Picture: AAP/Darren England
2GB radio host Ray Hadley. Picture: AAP/Darren England

He is out of the exclusive negotiation period, meaning he can hold discussions with rival stations. Others though, believe a deal is almost done with 2GB and Jones is unlikely to leave.

One possible option for Jones could be to move across from 2GB to 2SM.

Radio network proprietor Bill Caralis is believed to have approached Jones recently in the hope of enticing him to join the 2SM Super Network, the largest privately owned radio network in the country.

Such a move would reunite two of Australian radio's biggest stars - Jones and broadcasting legend John Laws.

Reclusive radio station owner Bill Caralis is seated centre in a suit and flanked by league legends Tommy Raudonikis and Phil Gould.
Reclusive radio station owner Bill Caralis is seated centre in a suit and flanked by league legends Tommy Raudonikis and Phil Gould.

While Caralis is unlikely to be in a position to match the $4 million a year Jones current earns at 2GB, the offer could hold appeal to Jones given 2GB's slow manoeuvrings in re-signing him.

While Hadley was the obvious successor for a long time, recent claims of bullying have plagued the outspoken broadcaster.

Alan Jones and John Laws back in 1998 could be reunited. Picture: Supplied
Alan Jones and John Laws back in 1998 could be reunited. Picture: Supplied

And with his ongoing woes, others say there's no chance he will be moved to breakfast.

"Hadley has enough trouble holding his own shift at the moment, let alone being promoted to breakfast," another executive said.

"At the very least one would think Macquarie Media's new majority shareholder, the Nine Network, might have to stand Hadley down until all the accusations about bullying are fully investigated."

2GB Drive host Ben Fordham could move to breakfast.
2GB Drive host Ben Fordham could move to breakfast.

More likely, the executive said, is that Ben Fordham will move to breakfast while Price is the obvious contender to replace Hadley at 9am.

But when contacted yesterday, Price played down the industry rumours.

"I'm very happy doing nights and working on The Project so I don't really have time to shift to mornings," Price said.

Presenter Steve Price appearing on The Project. Picture: Supplied
Presenter Steve Price appearing on The Project. Picture: Supplied