Entertainment Radio

Monday 19 August 2019

JNLRs: Muireann O'Connell gains 3,000 listeners as Today FM refuses to comment on her being 'fired' in shake-up

Muireann O'Connell
Muireann O'Connell
Tara Stewart, Tracy Clifford, Lottie Ryan, Eoghan McDermott, Doireann Garrihy, Jenny Greene, Jennifer Zamparelli at 2FM unveiling. PIC: Tony Kinlan
Doireann Garrihy and Eoghan McDermott at the unveiling of new 2FM shows and presenters at The Devlin Hotel. PHOTO: Tony Kinlan
Jenny Greene and Nicky Byrne. Pictures Brian McEvoy
Mairead Ronan has been handed the plum lunchtime slot at Today FM
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

Today FM have refused to comment on why Muireann O’Connell is moving on from the station when her figures show she is up 3,000 listeners since the last quarter.

Her lunchtime show on the station saw a modest boost to 96,000 from 93,000 in the latest Joint National Listenership Research (JNLRs) release today.

It was announced earlier this week that she was being replaced by Mairead Ronan as the Dancing with the Stars winner landed her own show at the station, having worked on a number of shows there in the past.

Muireann took to Twitter to state that she had been “fired” by her Today FM bosses on Tuesday:

"Hello lovely people! I have been fired from @TodayFM. It’s all good. Like, it’s embarrassing and I’m a bit sad but I love almost everyone in that station and wish them all the best in the future.  @cocomairead will be great!"

Meanwhile, there was also no comment on the decision to rejig the evening schedule, axing Louise Duffy’s Lost in Music for Ed Smith’s new programme National Anthems.

Louise’s JNLR figures show that she was down 1,000 listeners book on book, to 29,000.

Elsewhere at the station, there were no drastic jumps or losses for DJs. Ian Dempsey was down 2,000 to 179,000 book on book, while Dermot and Dave saw no change from their 163,000 last book.

It was positive for Fergal Darcy who gained 3,000 listeners since the last book to 109,000.

Matt Cooper’s The Last Word was down 1,000 to 151,000.

There is cause for celebration at Newstalk as, although not directly comparable as Ivan Yates has an extra half an hour on air, Matt’s co-host on Virgin Media's The Tonight Show gained 10,000 listeners since the last book, with a total of 183,000 listeners tuning in for The Hard Shoulder.

He boosted his audience by 30,000 year on year, making the drive time show the biggest outside of the national broadcaster.

Pat Kenny saw the most significant drop at the station with a dip in 8,000 listeners book on book to 142,000.

Lunchtime Live with Ciara Kelly brought in 99,000 listeners down 1,000 book on book, while Sean Moncrief was also down 1,000 to 96,000 book on book.

Newstalk Breakfast was also down 1,000 listeners to 123,000.

Across the airwaves on RTE Radio One, Morning Ireland is still clearly sweeping the boards for early risers. They are up 3,000 from 421,000 last book to 424,000.

On 2FM, where Eoghan McDermott and Doireann Garrihy are now hosting the breakfast slot, there was a large drop in listenership in this book compared to the last book in the morning hours.

2fm doireann eoghan 2.jpg
Doireann Garrihy and Eoghan McDermott at the unveiling of new 2FM shows and presenters at The Devlin Hotel. PHOTO: Tony Kinlan

The 6am – 9am slot attracted 133,000 since the last book while the 6am –10am one had reached 188,000 listeners.

Head of 2FM Dan Healy said that the 55,000 difference did “not relate to Eoghan and Doireann” because they have only been on air since June and this book covers April, May and June.

He said that the station was practically a “new station” after so many changes and time would tell if the changes proved positive.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Zamparelli has enticed 163,000 listeners from 9am - noon. In the last book, Nicky Byrne and Jenny Greene had 155,000 listeners from 10am - 1pm.

Jenny has now moved to an evening show from 3pm - 6pm and has 147,000 listeners this book. Eoghan McDermott formerly hosted at 4pm - 7pm and last book had 134,000.

And again, while Tracy Clifford is broadcasting an hour earlier than in the past, her show still has 147,000 listeners this book.

At the weekends on 2FM, there was a dip in listenership book on book. On Saturdays, Dave Fanning was down seven book on book to 101,000; Chris and Ciara dropped from 113,000 to 105,000; Stephen Byrne went from 120,000 to 112,000.

On Sundays, Dave went from 76,000 to 64,000, Chris and Ciara from 95,000 to 84,000, and Stephen from 106,000 to 92,000.

Meanwhile RTE Radio One remained relatively steady all round.

Ryan Tubridy went up 4,000 to 332,000 listeners. Sean O'Rourke was down 3,000 however from 322,000 to 319,000. Liveline also lost 3,000, reeling in 372,000.

Ray Darcy had a positive book, enjoying an increase of 3,000 to arrive at 223,000 listeners.

News at One went down 5,000 to 329,000 while Drivetime with Mary Wilson was down 2,000 book on book to 221,000.

At the weekends, Marian Finucane saw her slots  lose listeners, down 8,000 on Saturdays to 374,000 and down 14,000 on Sundays to 311,000 from 325,000.

Miriam O'Callaghan's Sunday show was down 2,000 to 250,000 book on book.

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