Tuesday 28 March 2017

'The older audience have left in their droves' - 2fm's Keith Walsh on the station's youth focus driving away listeners

The Breakfast Republic crew on 2FM - Keith Walsh, Jennifer Zamparelli, Bernard O'Shea
The Breakfast Republic crew on 2FM - Keith Walsh, Jennifer Zamparelli, Bernard O'Shea

Sean O'Grady

It was bad news for 2fm when the recent JNLR figures revealed the station had lost thousands of listeners across several of its programmes.

Morning show Breakfast Republic suffered a blow when it lost 19,000 listeners from the previous quarter.

However, presenter Keith Walsh has insisted the show is still doing well.

The father-of-two reckons the show took a dip in listeners because of the station's efforts to focus on younger viewers, which has left mature audiences switching off in favour of other stations.

"The job that we had to do was to come in and look who was listening to 2fm at the time," he told the Herald.

"The music is completely different now. We don't play any oldies. Our oldies would be from the 2000s.

"The attitude has changed. Everything is more towards a younger audience and what's happened is the older audience have left in their droves.

"We're in the process of trying to bring [young people] in as quickly as possible."

With fellow presenters Jennifer Zamparelli and Bernard O'Shea having recently signed new contracts, the trio's place on the airwaves is set.

"We just signed a new contract recently so I have another three years hanging out with Jennifer and Bernard.

"We're happy anyway. We wouldn't have got a new contract if it wasn't going that way."

Although the 42-year-old loves hosting alongside Jennifer and Bernard, he has no desire to front his own show.

"I don't know. I like that style of radio where it's three people trying to control a conversation," he said.

"I'm not really sure if I would enjoy [my own show] as much. I'm happy where I am at the moment."

Keith is married to wife Suzanne and lives in Kildare with their two children.

The 2fm host said the pair have no plans to expand their brood again anytime soon.

"I have a 13 year-old and a seven year-old and then we got a cat, a hamster and a dog.

"I think we're done now," he added.

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