OH Jayson. Why did you need to vent your frustration in those terms? You’re a smart guy. You surely must have known such careless talk was laced with danger, and risked such an inevitable conclusion.

Watching the ex-AFTA chief squirm in front of A Current Affair cameras made for torturous viewing. And the tragedy is that it was entirely self-inflicted. I doubt even Jayson knows why he stooped to such a grubby level as to suggest Tracy Grimshaw, the matriarch of A Current Affair, needed a “virtual” punch. From such an experienced and articulate operator it was a jaw-dropping misjudgement.

The defence mounted by some on social media was that A Current Affair must take responsibility. “Who can blame Jayson amid such provocation?” the argument went. That is risible. Jayson alone is responsible for the words that flow out of his mouth. And the words he spoke on the webinar have no place in 2020, let alone during a period when domestic violence has spiked.

ACA‘s confrontational and sometimes unbalanced reporting style, and Jason’s ill-advised reaction, should not be linked. We can rail against ACA and attempt to put the record straight. But aggressive remarks towards Grimshaw, regardless of your personal view of her style or the “closed” nature of the webinar, could never be justified.

And what sort of example would it have set had the board continued Jayson’s employment? The stigma would have lingered — ACA would have made sure of that — and AFTA’s reputation is likely to have been tarnished. In short, AFTA Chairman Tom Manwaring had little option but to call time on his CEO’s 13-year reign.

For all that, it is desperately sad, both for Jayson and the wider industry. He made the role his own. He breathed fresh life into a moribund organisation, and gave it a profile and energy that had been lacking. Whether you agreed with him or not, AFTA will be a poorer place without his presence.