Ray continues to outshine Ryan Tubridy in battle for radio ratings
RAY D'ARCY continues to beat his rival Ryan Tubridy in the ratings battle for their mid-morning radio shows, the latest listenership figures reveal.
But the latest batch of numbers reveal 2fm star Mr Tubridy has stopped the rot -- picking up 1,000 listeners between October and December last year.
The biggest winner is Marian Finucane, who has added a staggering 30,000 listeners to her Saturday show, and 14,000 to her Sunday programme.
Previous figures from the Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) showed Mr Tubridy had lost a third of the listeners to the mid-morning 2fm slot since he took over from the late Gerry Ryan.
He now has a modest 176,000 listeners to his weekday chat show, compared with fellow 2FM late-morning man Colm Hayes, who gained 5,000 listeners for a total of 140,000.
An RTE spokesman acknowledged that the figures for Mr Tubridy's show weren't stellar despite the gain.
"It's not going to turn around in one quarter," he said of the ratings.
"What they were looking for was stabilisation. It's about building it from here," he told the Irish Independent.
However, Mr D'Arcy made an impressive gain of 6,000 listeners during the same period to bring him to 234,000, albeit with a show that runs an hour longer.
Today FM chairman John McColgan said the show was "an antidote to all the daily doom and gloom. We're providing a great combination of personality, information, opinion and fun, and it's working".
RTE Radio One's Ms Finucane, meanwhile, now has 365,000 listeners on a Saturday and 349,000 on a Sunday.
RTE's competitors also made substantial gains in the breakfast slot.
Both Ian Dempsey on Today FM and the 'Breakfast Show' on Newstalk hosted by Ivan Yates picked up 18,000 more listeners for a total of 171,000 and 133,000 listeners respectively.
At the same time, the state broadcaster's flagship morning news and current affairs show, 'Morning Ireland', lost 8,000 listeners. It remains, however, the most listened-to programme in the country with 446,000 listeners.
The figures, compiled through surveys by MRBI and including all platforms -- including online broadcasts -- reveals that more people are "talking to Joe".
Joe Duffy, the popular host of weekday phone-in show 'Liveline', drew 16,000 more listeners for a total of 414,000.
He vowed he wouldn't be resting on his laurels, either.
"I'd like to thank the listeners, callers and on-air participants for putting their trust in 'Liveline' day after day. Myself and the radio team will continue to work hard," he said.
Meanwhile, newcomer Radio Nova, serving Dublin and its commuter belt, was celebrating last night after obtaining a 6pc market share during its first 16 months on air.
CEO Kevin Branigan said the classic and alternative rock station catering to the 25-54 year-old market had hoped for a 4.5pc reach in its licensing application.
"For Nova, this is the best book we've had," he said. "We're gaining a lot of ground, especially among the over-45s."
The survey also revealed that 85pc of the adult population tuned into the radio every weekday, with 58pc listening to a local or regional station and 47pc listening to a national station for an average of four hours a day between 7am and 7pm.