Friday 24 May 2019

2FM schedule shake-up: Jenny Greene to return as Bernard O'Shea departs and Doireann Garrihy joins line-up

Jenny Greene is returning to 2FM
Jenny Greene is returning to 2FM
Jenny Green is returning to RTE 2FM. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

DJ Jenny Greene is set to return to RTE 2FM as part of the station's new schedule.

Greene (36) announced her departure from the station in March after 12 years.

She had been co-presenting the Nicky Byrne Show on the RTE station for five years and also presented the hugely popular Electric Disco on Saturday evenings and performed with the RTE Concert Orchestra.

Following Byrne's departure to return to Westlife, Jennifer Zamparelli was given her own show and Greene was offered an evening show, which she turned down.

Jenny Greene and Nicky Byrne. Pictures Brian McEvoy
Jenny Greene and Nicky Byrne. Pictures Brian McEvoy

However, RTE has confirmed Jenny will return to the daytime schedule from June with a show kicking off from 3pm on weekdays.

Speaking about the news, head of 2FM Dan Healy tells Independent.ie that he was "shocked" she had decided to leave but he understood why.

Marty Morrissey and Bernard O'Shea at the launch of RTÉ One's brand new series Marty and Bernards Big Adventure
Marty Morrissey and Bernard O'Shea at the launch of RTÉ One's brand new series Marty and Bernards Big Adventure

"Jenny Greene is a huge part of 2FM and the history of 2FM," he says.  "When we found out Jenny was leaving the sadness in the radio station was unbelievable."

Healy adds that there had been "no row" and "no chemistry issues" prior to her departure but following her shock announcement he asked her to return.

Eoghan McDermott
Eoghan McDermott

"We're really thrilled she said 'yes'," he adds.  "It's like the Bobby Ewing dream - maybe it never happened!"

However, excitement at Jenny's return is tempered by the loss of Breakfast Republic's Bernard O'Shea, who is leaving radio to focus on TV.  He stars in Bridget & Eamon with Jennifer Zamparelli and recently filmed a series with fellow Dancing with the Stars celeb Marty Morrissey.

Presenters from Rte 2fm -Lottie Ryan and Tracey Clifford when details were announced of RTÉ 2fm's Xmas Appeal in aid of the ISPCC
Broadcasting from Benetton Window, St Stephen Green 7am -7pm
Thursday 3rd December
Guests will include Hozier, Jamie Heaslip, Vogue Williams, Hometown, RipTide Movement Angela Scanlon plus many, many more...
Text 2fmBall to 50300 to donate 2 Pictures Brian McEvoy
No repro fee for one use
Presenters from Rte 2fm -Lottie Ryan and Tracey Clifford when details were announced of RTÉ 2fm's Xmas Appeal in aid of the ISPCC Broadcasting from Benetton Window, St Stephen Green 7am -7pm Thursday 3rd December Guests will include Hozier, Jamie Heaslip, Vogue Williams, Hometown, RipTide Movement Angela Scanlon plus many, many more... Text 2fmBall to 50300 to donate 2 Pictures Brian McEvoy No repro fee for one use

"I've spent seven of the last ten years working with Bernard between iRadio and here and it's really sad," says Dan. 

"There's change happening here and mainly we're keeping everybody with one new introduction and one departure and for me it's tinged with sadness because Bernard is a friend and a brilliant content creator and a great guy."

Eoghan McDermott is moving from his drive time show to breakfast.  The latest JNLR figures reveal his show dropped 4,000 listeners since February and 2,000 since last year.  He'll now host breakfast from 6am to 9am with Doireann Garrihy, the one new addition to the schedule.

Healy hopes Doireann will bring new listeners to FM from her 180,000 strong Instagram audience, her podcast, and her comedy fans.

"Audio habits are changing and we have to address that," says Healy.  "One of the ways we address that is to bring someone in that space into the FM schedule and hope that works.  We have to address the fact that [15-34 year old listeners] are beginning to slip away."

Doireann is no stranger to RTE having presented the reboot of The Podge & Rodge Show late last year and wrote and presented a successful web series, The Doireann Project, on the RTE Player.

As Bernard departs Breakfast Republic, his fellow co-presenter Keith Walsh is remaining at 2FM but moving to weekends while Lottie Ryan, who has been filling the seat vacated by Jennifer Zamparelli on the show will return to her role as entertainment reporter.

"Lottie was really unlucky here, that's the truth of it," says Healy.  "She really was in a great position to get the breakfast show but when it became clear Doireann was a possibility for us then we decided to go with a whole new breakfast show.

"Unfortunately we had to make that change, but Lottie is having a great career.  Nobody works harder in this organisation than Lottie Ryan. There are great things coming for Lottie but I feel really sorry for her.  I'm sure she feels this one passed her by but when you work like Lottie Ryan works nothing passes you by."

Jennifer Zamparelli follows breakfast with a talk show from 12pm to 3pm on weekdays. 

Read more: JNLRS: RTE Radio 1 thriving year on year as 2FM slows ahead of schedule shake-up

"She's funny and sometimes there's an edge to her, she cuts to it and nobody is safe but she has empathy and she's a young woman with a young family so she knows what it's like to be running a busy household and between 9am and 12pm the audience is older than 25 so she'll do a really good job," says Healy.

Tracy Clifford will move to 12 noon for a three hour music show.  The latest JLNLRs were positive for Tracy with her show increasing by 2,000 listeners since the start of the year and 18,000 since last year.

"She's our secret weapon," says Healy.  "She's a journalist by trade and ended up on breakfast by accident.  She was on Spin and it took us two years to get her here.  She's done really well with a really strong music show."

Read more: 'Going back to the evenings just doesn't feel like the right decision' - Jenny Greene is leaving 2FM 

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