Sunday 23 October 2016

RTÉ axes John Murray's show from morning radio slot

Published 27/06/2015 | 02:30

RTÉ presenter John Murray
RTÉ presenter John Murray

After five years on air, John Murray's popular RTÉ Radio 1 chat show has come to an end.

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Murray took over the coveted 9am slot in 2010 when Ryan Tubridy moved to 2fm.

Last night, Head of Radio 1 Tom McGuire said RTÉ felt it was now time "to renew and redesign this prime hour of radio".

"Over the past decade, the nine o'clock daily show on RTÉ Radio 1 has continued to develop and change," McGuire said.

"It is now opportune, this autumn, to renew and redesign this prime hour of radio."

A spokesperson for RTÉ admitted the decision to call time on the show "hadn't been an easy one to make" but stressed Murray will "remain an on-air presence" on Radio 1.

"John Murray will return in the autumn and will continue to broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 in a brand new role," the spokesperson said.

Murray's ratings had dipped slightly in recent months but he remained popular with listeners, pulling in a respectable listenership figure of 287,000.

The radio presenter said it had been "a pleasure and a privilege" to host the show and thanked "the listeners for their support and for making it all worthwhile".

Broadcaster Brendan O'Connor will take over the slot for the month of July. It is believed either O'Connor or recent recruit Ray D'Arcy will replace Murray as host in the autumn.

RTÉ will announce details of Murray's new show and his permanent replacement in the coming weeks.

Murray joined the State broadcaster in 1992 before taking up a position as adviser to the then-leader of the Progressive Democrats, Mary Harney in 1995.

He returned to work in RTÉ in 2003, presenting flagship current affairs programme, 'Morning Ireland'.

Murray also presented RTÉ's weekly business and finance show, 'The Business'.

He was awarded the inaugural Michael Smurfit Graduate School Business Broadcaster of the Year Award in 2007.

In 2013, the 50-year-old broadcaster took a six-month-long break from his morning radio show as be battled depression.

He spoke openly about his struggle with the illness and the stigma he faced.

Irish Independent

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