Comedian Al Porter (23) is the favourite to replace 2FM's Colm Hayes
Al Porter has been earmarked for Colm Hayes' weekend slot on RTE.
The Tallaght comedian has been tipped as the most likely replacement for the veteran DJ, who confirmed this week that he was leaving 2FM.
He was previously named as one of RTE's best-paid broadcasters, having earned €213,954 in 2009, but now he's off to pastures new.
Porter got his big break working with Hayes on his radio programme more than a year ago, and he's now considered the hot favourite to take over the reins on his 7am to 10am morning show.
Replacing Hayes with Porter is expected to be part of an overall shake-up of 2FM's weekend schedule under station boss Dan Healy.
A source said Porter was the top choice for the job after impressing bosses during his tenure with Hayes.
"He's the perfect demographic for the station. He's only 23, he's a very likeable character and listeners reacted well to him on 2fm, so he's the most obvious replacement for Colm," said the source.
"He's also well used to the live element of performing as he has done so much stand-up over the years."
Hayes said he had "absolutely no problem" leaving RTE after 10 years, as he felt it was catering for a more youthful market.
"2FM is going in a certain direction and it's going after quite a young audience and I need to re-establish myself. I'm going in a different direction," he said. "I don't think I suit the brand because of my age.
"My entire career I've gone Monday to Friday full-time shift on some of the biggest shows and I need another challenge now that wasn't there on 2fm.
"I need to make a step into being a mature broadcaster. It's gone after the younger audience and I don't think I can be sat there playing Justin Bieber on a Saturday morning any more. I think I'm nearly old enough to be his grandfather."
Hayes, who also runs his own media company, said he "needed to move from RTE".
"I don't think there's anything there. I think I have got to be honest and not hang on for something. I need to go out and take on a new challenge," he said.
He gave his pal Porter the big thumbs-up when asked if he thought he'd make a good replacement.
"I would hope that Al would get his own show, yeah," he said. "I taught Al everything he knows about radio. He's a bright spark.
"People talk about chemistry and it's something that's so hard to put your finger on, and between me and Al, we had that."