Monday 21 May 2018

RTÉ One bucks trend as radio stations post big listenership losses

Ray D'Arcy
Ray D'Arcy
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

The juggernaut that is RTÉ Radio One is continuing to dominate the Irish airwaves.

It was the major station to emerge unscathed as its rivals saw thousands switching off in the latest listenership figures.

Its sister station RTÉ 2fm lost thousands of listeners from some of its flagship shows.

Newstalk and Today FM also recorded losses in the latest set of JNLR figures.

Flagship RTÉ One offerings, such as 'Morning Ireland' and 'The Ryan Tubridy Show', performed well.

But on 2fm, 'The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene' is down almost 14,000 from the last review, released three months ago.

'Breakfast Republic' is also down, having lost 19,000 listeners for the 6-10am programme hosted by Jennifer Zamparelli, Keith Walsh and Bernard O'Shea.

Eoghan McDermott's show is down 4,000 when compared with his listenership from the previous quarter and now has 113,000 listeners.

Meanwhile, at Today FM Anton Savage has recorded a drop of 8,000 listeners when compared with the previous quarter and now has 175,000 listeners.

His colleague Ian Dempsey is also down slightly with a drop of 7,000 but still has an impressive tally of 180,000.

Long-term duo Dermot and Dave have dropped 4,000, and Louise Duffy is now at 91,000, having lost some 3,000 listeners.

Current affairs broadcaster Matt Cooper is the only one in the Today FM team to remain stable, with the same listenership numbers as before, at 132,000.

Newstalk also saw most of its shows record a drop in listenership.

Former RTÉ presenter Pat Kenny has dropped a further 7,000 listeners, and is now standing at 126,000 for his morning slot.


'Newstalk Breakfast' with Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue is also down 7,000, while George Hook is down 9,000 and Sean Moncrieff has dropped by 5,000.

Reacting to the figures, 2fm boss Dan Healy said they were reflective of a transition period for the station.

He pointed out that this included the move of Ryan Tubridy back to RTÉ Radio One.

"We knew that losing Ryan last September was going to have some impact for that 9-11am slot," he said.

"We turned the station upside-down last September, so in a way, we had to destroy the schedule in order to rebuild it.

"You can't do what we're doing without losing audiences. People don't like change and we fully expect that the figures will be up in three months' time."

'Morning Ireland' is up 12,000 listeners when compared with the last quarter, while Tubridy is continuing to perform strongly, having gone up 9,000.

'Drivetime' has also managed to maintain its listenership, remaining steady at 240,000.

Sean O'Rourke recorded a slight drop of 5,000 but still claims a huge morning audience of 326,000.

'Prime Time' presenter Miriam O'Callaghan is also down by 9,000 - to 256,000 listeners.

However, her Sunday morning slot remains one of the most-listened to shows in Ireland.

She said that she was "thrilled" with the news, especially given that they don't inherit a huge audience from the show before them and it's only on once a week.

Proving he was right to jump ship is Ray D'Arcy, who has gained 2,000 listeners from the last survey three months ago and 34,000 when compared with April 2015.

"I'm delighted listeners are running in, in such numbers," he told the Irish Independent.

"Hopefully, we're offering a vibrant alternative to listeners. It's really encouraging after all the hard work the team puts in."

He said that he's feeling "really at home" at RTÉ now.

Irish Independent

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