independent

Friday 18 April 2014

2FM stand by Will Leahy move after 15,000 petition for him to stay in drivetime slot

2FM have defended their decision to move DJ Will Leahy to a weekend slot after nearly 15,000 people have joined an online campaign to keep Leahy on ‘More Music Drive’ on 2FM.

Last week, 2FM announced that Colm Hayes would take over from Leahy as part of the 2FM re launch. Leahy described his move as “inevitable” saying “with all this incredible new talent coming in to 2fm, there are only so many seats at the dinner table.”

2FM have introduced several new broadcasters to the slate including former Westlife singer Nicky Byrne and Republic of telly star Jennifer Maguire. 

But many listeners feel the new line up is too ‘Dublin focused’ and as a national broadcaster RTE should be looking for talent further afield.

“Will gave a national perspective,” listener Alan Sheridan (22) from County Monaghan told the Irish Independent. “I think its very bad form on RTE’s part to have so many people from Dublin on the radio. You need a bit of variety.”

Fans of ‘More Music Drive’ hope the Facebook campaign entitled ‘Keep Will Leahy on More Music Drive’ will encourage 2FM boss Dan Healy to reconsider Leahy’s move, but RTE say they are committed to the new schedule.

“Things change and people move around,” a spokesperson from 2FM said. “We are confident the re-launch will be a success and are committed to the changes we have made.”

Regarding the abundance of Dublin based broadcasters; RTE said critiquing the schedule at such an early stage was ‘redundant’.  

“We haven’t finishing announcing the schedule,” the spokesperson said. “It’s impossible to judge the schedule when it hasn’t been announced in its entirety.”

2FM will reveal two more presenters in the coming weeks and said they will bring a ‘perspective from outside Dublin’.

Leahy has worked at 2FM for close to 17 years; from 1999 – 2007 he presented popular weekend show The Saturday Show.

This programme ended its run in 2007 with a record 252,000 listeners and RTE believe he will command a loyal audience once again.

“Radio is a seven day week service and weekends are as important as Monday to Friday,” Dan Healy said.

“Will owned the weekends on 2fm and I am thrilled he is taking on the challenge of growing our Saturday and Sunday audiences.”

Meanwhile, yesterday was the last show of veteran 2FM presenter John Clarke. 

In a statement this evening, RTE said the presenter was informed last week that Sunday would be his last show.

It said he had been reassigned and remains a 'valuable employee' at RTE.

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