Tuesday 6 December 2016

The radio listeners' crown goes south

Michael Cullen

Published 06/08/2015 | 02:30

Red CEO Diarmuid O'Leary
Red CEO Diarmuid O'Leary
TV3 Ireland AM Presenter Anna Daly

Cork independent station Red FM has emerged as the success story of the latest Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) overtaking local rival 96FM/C103, an analysis of the latest audience figures by media agency OMD indicates. The agency says Red has made an "incredible leap", going from fifth to first in Cork in the last 15 months.

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The latest book, which covers the year to June, shows Red gaining 34,000 listeners, giving it nearly 25pc share locally. Neil Prendeville has regained his position as Cork's top radio talk show host. Prendeville joined Red from 96FM last year after a 25-year career.

His 9am to midday show started in March. Red also revamped its breakfast show with Keith Cunningham (KC) joining from Today FM. The new morning line up was part of a station rebrand, spearheaded by former Irish Daily Star marketing boss Diarmuid O'Leary, who joined Red as ceo two years ago.

The latest results show Newstalk had a strong year, with George Hook up 20,000 year-on-year bringing him to 143,000 listeners, overtaking Today FM's Matt Cooper on 141,000. Newstalk also saw an increase of 26,000 in its Breakfast Show, co-hosted by Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue, as it chips away at Radio 1's Morning Ireland.

But despite the recent declines at Morning Ireland, the show remains by far the most listened-to radio programme in Ireland.

Despite a drop in figures, Seán O'Rourke's show on Radio 1 attracts 296,000 a day, more than double that of Newstalk's Pat Kenny in the mid-morning slot. Newstalk also saw a 9,000 increase for Jonathon Healy's lunchtime show.

RTÉ 2fm has bridged some of the gap between it and Today FM in an effort to become the most popular station among 20-44s.

Worryingly, a large share of the success is due to the growing numbers for Ryan Tubridy. Tubs returns to Radio 1 in early September to present a show in his old 9am weekday slot.

OMD says 2fm has been buoyed by a presenter who's less than compatible with the music station's positioning, which is symptomatic of 2FM's ongoing struggle with its identity. It should be interesting to see how 2fm fares in the coming months.

* As Tesco in the UK removes sugary soft drinks from its shelves, Dublin is to host a conference on obesity next month. Behavioural economist and food psychologist Prof Brian Wansink from Cornell University is the keynote speaker at the Nutrition & Health Foundation (NHF) half-day seminar themed 'Obesity prevention through changing consumer behaviour'. Prof Wansink is behind the nudge theory, which links plate size to calorie intake. He launched the Slim by Design Movement, urging catering, hospitality and retail marketers to promote consumer choices through the creation of food environments.

One in four Irish people are obese and 37pc of adults are overweight. An Irish longitudinal study on ageing by TCD found four out of every five over-50s in Ireland are overweight or obese. The NHF seminar is in the Gibson hotel in Dublin on September 10.

* Having turned pro, one of Ireland's top tennis prospects is in the market for a sponsor. Ranked as the country's top ladies' singles player since her early teens, Jenny Claffey (25) has set herself a five-year plan. She aims to make the world's top 200 next year and become the first Irish woman to play Wimbledon by 2019. She hopes to represent Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Claffey first represented Ireland as a schoolgirl on the 2009 Federation Cup team. In her first three pro tournaments this year, she reached the singles' semi-finals and won the ladies doubles.

A member of Elm Park, she has a five-year plan and wants to play for the next 10 years. To help her climb up the world rankings and play in Grand Slams, she needs funding to enter 25 tournaments a year. Claffey is pictured above at an AIG sports event.

* Anna Daly will co-host TV3's new weekend morning shows, Saturday AM and Sunday AM. The shows go out between 9am and midday from the end of this month. In an interview in TV3's 'Planit' magazine, Daly, pictured left, is asked how she will adjust to the weekend shifts. She replies: "Who knows! We'll just have to get going and see how it works. It's something I love and really enjoy, everything else will fall into place." Well said, Anna.

* Energia has agreed a sponsorship with Newstalk offering SMEs help on cutting energy usage and costs. Running for the next six months on George Hook's 'The Right Hook' evening drivetime show, the deal comprises on air promos and online activity directed to energiahub.ie

SMEs can win €1,000 a month in investment funds or energy saving schemes with a €2,000 prize. Energia has 60,000 business customers - a 26pc share of the electricity and gas market.

Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie: cullen@marketing.ie

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