Tuesday 18 June 2019

Breakfast radio is still king as Morning Ireland and Ian Dempsey’s Breakfast Show gain listeners

Ian Dempsey
Ian Dempsey
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

While the importance of breakfast was brought into question by studies last week, it is clear breakfast radio is still king with Irish listeners.

Morning Ireland is still the most listened to radio show in Ireland with 439,000 listeners tuning in, according to the latest Joint National Listenership Figures (JNLRs) published on Thursday.  

This is up 5,000 since the last JNLR figures in October. 

It has gained 16,000 listeners year on year. 

However, it was Ian Dempsey’s Breakfast Show that saw the biggest gains in listenership in this book, with an increase of 18,000 listeners book on book to 180,000. This was tied with Marian Finucane’s Saturday show which was up 18,000 to 364,000. 

There was success for Ryan Tubridy’s Radio One show, which airs weekdays straight after Morning Ireland, with 325,000 listeners showing gains of 12,000 on the last book. Listenership has gone up 7,000 year on year. 

Newstalk Breakfast has made gains after it slipped last book, now reaching 128,000 listeners, up 7,000 book on book. 

While those figures did not surpass 2FM’s Breakfast Republic which had 187,000 listeners, the 2FM show suffered a loss of 2,000 listeners.

Sunday listenership on RTE One also took a hit, with a significant drop for both Miriam O’Callaghan and Marian Finucane. 

Miriam O’Callaghan was down 24,000 listeners book on book to 246,000. 

Marian was down listeners by 10,000 book on book to 312,000 on Sunday but a spokesperson for RTE said that Sunday figures were traditionally “volatile” and the drop may be explained by the time of year.

“Around Christmas there is a change of habit, people are out Christmas shopping over November and December.” 

“The station is confident that the figures will swing back up.” 

“Miriam Has a brilliant programme, she had an exclusive with Van Morrison, he hadn’t done an interview in ten years.” 

Meanwhile, on Today FM, new addition in the last six months Mario Rosenstock attracted 79,000 listeners for his Sunday Roast up 11,000  book on book. 

On Radio One in general, there were steady gains: Sean O’Rourke gained 3,000 listeners book on book, moving up to 320,000 listeners. He was still ahead of the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk which reached 155,000 although Pat made gains of 6,000 book-on-book.

Ronan Collins saw an increase of 4,000, attracting 221,000 listeners. 

The News at One was up 2000 book on book, at 343,000 listeners while Liveline was up 7,000 to 381,000. Ray Darcy upped his listenership by 2,000 to 221,000 book on book. He gained 14,000 year on year. 

However, Drive Time with Mary Wilson was down 1,000 to 221,000. 

Over on 2FM, there was disappointment for Eoghan McDermott, who dropped 7,000 listeners book on book to 138,000. 

Head of 2FM Dan Healy said the news “took him by surprise” as Eoghan was not only a music lover but “well able to talk about Brexit and Trump too”. 

“He has that ability, it’s not a worry, he is up year on year. We will keep an eye on it and we will be talking to the production year to see if something caused it in that quarter. If there is something, we will talk about it but other than that we will keep going.” 

There was no change for Nicky Byrne and Jenny Greene as they remained steady at 153,000. They were up 3,000 listeners year on year. No replacement has been named for Nicky when he heads on tour with Westlife but Mr Healy insisted Jenny Green would remain a part of the plans at the station.

“She is a super broadcaster, and very valued here,” he said. 

Tracey Clifford’s lunchtime show saw gains of 3000 book on book, attracting 145,000. 

On Newstalk, Lunchtime Live with Ciara Kelly had 105,000 listeners jumping 4,000 listeners in the last quarter with a steady increase of 6,000 year on year. 

Sean Moncrieff was listened to by 97,000, gaining 6,000, with impressive annual gains of 15,000 year on year. 

The Hard Shoulder with Ivan Yates was still ahead of his TV co-host Matt Cooper reaching 170,000 - up 13,000 book on book and up 31,000 year on year – while Today Fm’s The Last Word was up 5,000 to 142,000 listeners.  Matt has half an hour less on air than Ivan.

Newsalk’s sports show Off The Ball reached 54,000, up 2,000 book on book but down 1,000 year on year. 

On Today FM Dermot and Dave were up to 165,000 up 1,000 book on book while Muireann O’Connell was on 99,000 listeners down 6,000 book on book

Fergal Darcy saw no change remaining on 112,000 book on book. 

Louise Duffy had 30,000 listeners up 3,000 book on book, with steady growth of 5,000 year on year. She has recently returned from maternity leave, with Ed Smith covering in her absence. 

Today FM now has an increased weekly listenership to 893,000 up 13,000 book on book and 56,000 ahead of 2FM.

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