New king of talkback? Ben Fordham tops the ratings after Alan Jones’ departure

Sep 29, 2020
Fordham replaced Alan Jones in June. Source: Getty.

There’s no doubt Ben Fordham would have felt the pressure when he took over the reins on Sydney’s 2GB radio from veteran broadcaster Alan Jones earlier this year. But it seems the 43-year-old had no reason to worry, as he has held onto the top spot for breakfast radio.

The ratings were released by market research firm Growth from Knowledge on Tuesday and revealed that Fordham has managed to retain the loyal audience he inherited from Jones less than four months ago.

Fordham dominated the breakfast slot with a 17.3 per cent share of the airwaves, ahead of ABC Sydney with 12.5 per cent. This is down just 0.6 per cent from Jones’ last result of 17.9 per cent in April.

“Despite significant changes in key shifts on 3AW and 2GB our audience has stayed with us and knows who to trust,” Nine Radio’s Head of Content Greg Byrnes said in a statement.

“At 2GB, Ben Fordham took on the toughest job of all when Alan stepped down and has marked his first survey as Sydney’s clear number 1 with a share of 17.3%.”

Ben started his journalism career at 2UE when he was just 15 after landing a work experience gig on the Alan Jones Breakfast show. In 1995 he became a cadet reporter at 2UE and was appointed as a political correspondent at the age of 20. He also spent a year working for Sky News and has worked on several Channel Nine shows, including Today, A Current Affair, 60 Minutes and Australian Ninja Warrior.

Fordham was announced as Jones’ replacement in May this year, after the 79-year-old shock jock announced that he would be retiring from radio due to health concerns. Revealing the news live on-air, Jones said: “We are living in the world of coronavirus. The most repeated statement we hear is ‘we must listen to the experts’.

“Well, the experts are telling me in no uncertain terms, and not for the first time I might add, ‘Continuing with the present workload is seriously detrimental to your health’. I have listened to the experts and I am taking this opportunity to indicate to my radio family that I will be retiring from radio at the end of this month.”

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