Wednesday 28 September 2016

Champagne pops as Sean O'Rourke eclipses Pat Kenny's RTE audience

Melanie Finn and Eimear Rabbitt

Published 04/02/2016 | 07:25

Pat Kenny and Sean O'Rourke at the opening night of Heartbeat of Home at the Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin last year. Picture: Arthur Carron/Collins
Pat Kenny and Sean O'Rourke at the opening night of Heartbeat of Home at the Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin last year. Picture: Arthur Carron/Collins

RTE’s Sean O’Rourke admitted that it was a “source of a lot of satisfaction” that he is now pulling in higher ratings than his predecessor Pat Kenny.

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The champagne corks were popping in RTE Radio 1 after nearly all the programmes revealed jumps in listenership when compared with 2015.

The Sean O’Rourke Show is up a massive 30,000 when compared with last year’s listenership and up 3,000 alone from the last quarterly figure.

They now enjoy 331,000 listeners, which is more than when he took over the slot from Pat, who had 327,000. 

Pleased

“We’re really pleased about that. At this stage, we’re two-and-a-half years on the programme and it’s really settled down well and we now have more listeners than my predecessor,” he said.

“Nobody would have predicted that. As (RTE director general) Noel Curran keeps telling me, you’ve got to remember that the opposition you’re up against is much stiffer than the opposition that he was up against.

“He [Pat] isn’t up against The Pat Kenny Show and we are –  [the figures] are a source of a lot of satisfaction.”

But there was no late-night celebrations for O’Rourke and his team, given their early start and hectic schedule, especially with the forthcoming election.

“The one thing about the programme is, no matter how good it is, you have about ten minutes to go ‘that’s great’ and then you’re straight back into it. As the saying goes, you’re only as good as your last show,” he said.

Meanwhile, Newstalk’s Pat Kenny said he isn’t concerned by the slight drop in listeners as his fall of 1,000 down to 133,000 is “within the margin of error”.

“We have been rock solid and what we have seen is that when people tune in, they don’t leave us, so it’s just about getting more people to move the dial as it can be a very crowded place,” he said.

Pat also said that he was not concerned that O’Rourke now has more listeners than when he helmed the show.

“The basis was there when I left and we were up and down within the margin of error all of the time,” he said.

Herald

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