Saturday 1 October 2016

New faces to fore as Newstalk revamps its schedule

Sean O'Grady

Published 29/06/2016 | 02:30

Sarah McInerney and Colette Fitzpatrick at the announcement of Newstalk’s autumn schedule at its studio in Dublin’s Digges Lane. Photo: Maxwells
Sarah McInerney and Colette Fitzpatrick at the announcement of Newstalk’s autumn schedule at its studio in Dublin’s Digges Lane. Photo: Maxwells

Newstalk's revamped schedule has two female presenters to the fore, as it goes head-to-head with RTÉ in key breakfast and drivetime slots.

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TV3 broadcaster Colette Fitzpatrick and journalist Sarah McInerney have been unveiled for the new autumn schedule, while renowned journalist Paul Williams has also joined the station.

Newstalk’s political correspondent Shane Coleman is also joining the ‘Breakfast’ team as a third co-anchor.

Fitzpatrick, Williams and Coleman will be rotated and replace departing host Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue.

Meanwhile, Donoghue will be moving from the breakfast show to the drivetime slot alongside McInerney.

Former Irish rugby international Alan Quinlan has also been signed up by the commercial radio station. George Hook has moved to lunchtime, while Pat Kenny will start his show at 9am, going on air with a longer programme until 12pm.

Newstalk editor-in-chief Garrett Harte said the station managed to secure every presenter on its wish list for the new schedule.

“We had a clear idea of where we wanted to arrive at. There was a fair bit of work behind the scenes where we wanted to identify people. The people that we have ended up with were the people we set out to target. I have known Colette, Paul and Alan for quite a number of years.”

Fitzpatrick said: “I’ve been with Newstalk for the last year so I was delighted to get on board with the breakfast show. We’re not doing five days a week each because of the burnout factor so we are splitting it up between us. We will get into a dogfight now over who is taking what days!”

Donoghue (32), who is moving slot, said he was not worried about the drivetime competition.

“I just bumped into Matt Cooper’s producer in the street and he just said ‘it’s on’ which was kind of funny.”

Irish Independent

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