Wednesday 24 July 2019

2fm 'back on the map' - but jury is still out on D'Arcy's radio slot

Ray D'Arcy: Jury still out on RTE Radio One's latest recruit
Ray D'Arcy: Jury still out on RTE Radio One's latest recruit
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Five years after the death of legendary broadcaster Gerry Ryan it looks like 2fm is back in favour with radio listeners.

But while it was good news for 2fm, the jury is out on RTÉ Radio One's latest recruit Ray D'Arcy.

In the latest Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) radio ratings, 2fm broadcaster Ryan Tubridy climbed 12,000 to 189,000.

Nicky Byrne and Jenny Greene's mid-morning chat show jumped 10,000 to 150,000, while Rick O'Shea increased his listenership to 121,000.

2fm boss Dan Healy said it was a "fitting tribute" to Gerry Ryan to see figures increase across the station.

"The best way we can honour Gerry's memory is to put 2fm back on the map," he said.

Meanwhile, at RTÉ One, the afternoon slot now occupied by Ray D'Arcy has lost 10,000 listeners. The broadcaster shocked fans last year when he announced his departure from Today FM and joined RTÉ on a reported salary of €500,000.

But RTÉ insisted it was "too early" to accurately assess the programme's performance - as D'Arcy was not in the role for the full period covered by the JNLRs.

D'Arcy only took over Derek Mooney's afternoon slot this February. "We will look at Ray's ratings in the next three months," a spokesperson said. "There has been a great deal of change in the slot in recent weeks - comparing it to the previous book of ratings would be inaccurate."

Over on Newstalk, Pat Kenny remained static with figures of 142,000, while Sean O'Rourke increased 5,000 to 303,000 listeners.

"We're going in the right direction," O'Rourke said. "The show is still evolving . . . there were some dire predictions when I took over, but that hasn't happened."

Newstalk's station editor Garrett Harte stated that Kenny's programme was "on track to reach its target of 150,000 listeners after two years".

'The Right Hook' with George Hook jumped 12,000 to 138,000 listeners, while Ivan Yates' and Chris Donoghue's breakfast show increased by 7,000 to 172,000.

RTÉ Radio One figures slumped for midweek programmes, with 'Liveline' dropping 11,000 to 367,000 listeners and John Murray falling 8,000.

'Morning Ireland' dropped 9,000 but remains the most popular weekly radio show in the country with an average listenership of 417,000.

Female broadcasters did well, with 'Saturday with Claire Byrne' up 14,000 to 220,000 and Miriam O'Callaghan's 'Sunday with Miriam' up 2,000 to 241,000.

"The whole team is thrilled and delighted," Byrne said. "It is way beyond our expectations."

Marian Finucane's Saturday broadcast remained static on 366,000 listeners, but her Sunday programme lost 16,000.

On Today FM, Dermot & Dave's show increased to 121,000 - up 5,000 - while Ian Dempsey rose 7,000 to 194,000.

The legacy of the late Gerry Ryan: 'A titan of broadcasting who remains irreplaceable' 

Irish Independent

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