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Sports radio host Matt Jones fired from TV show after announcing Mitch McConnell book

Matt Jones, host of Kentucky Sports Radio (Ohio Valley Emmy Awards)

Following his announcement of a book critical of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Matt Jones will no longer host a daily TV show in Lexington, Ky., about sports and politics, the Lexington NBC affiliate announced.

Jones, a liberal radio host who is mulling a run for Senate, announced last week that he was writing a book titled, “Mitch, Please!” It plans to chronicle what Jones sees as McConnell’s negative impact on Kentucky. On Friday, WLEX announced Jones no longer will appear as a host on nightly topical and debate show “Hey Kentucky!”

Kentucky sports radio host plans book-length rebuke of Mitch McConnell

“Matt Jones is no longer with ‘Hey Kentucky!' ” read a statement from WLEX Vice President and General Manager Pat Dalbey. “As a broadcaster of balanced and unbiased news and information, WLEX has an obligation to fairness across its platforms, and we believe this decision is consistent with that commitment."

In response, Jones tweeted, “I disagree strongly with this decision, but it is what it is. I will continue to pursue my passions and beliefs, regardless of the result.”

Jones, who will continue to host his popular radio show that airs across Kentucky, created “Hey Kentucky!” three years ago. He was removed from hosting the show temporarily last month as he considered a Senate run. According to one person familiar with the deliberations, the campaign of Amy McGrath, another Democrat challenging McConnell in the Senate, had raised questions to WLEX about Jones hosting the show while contemplating a Senate run. Now, Jones will not return to the TV show regardless of whether he runs for public office.

Last week, Jones said he still was thinking about a Senate run in which he would take on McGrath in the primary and potentially McConnell in the general election.

“I’m going to decide shortly,” Jones said. “When Amy McGrath is backed by the Democratic establishment, you’re looking at trying to take down two establishments, and that’s harder.”