Wednesday 26 June 2019

Miriam queen of the airwaves while Hook also grabs listeners

RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan
RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan

Mark O'Regan and Kirsty Blake Knox

Miriam O'Callaghan has cemented her name as one of the hottest properties in Irish radio, according to the latest listenership figures.

And RTÉ Radio bosses breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when Ray D'Arcy's figures increased by 7,000.

But champagne corks were also popping in Newstalk, as George Hook's ratings showed an impressive jump of 5,000 listeners, bringing his daily fanbase to 143,000, an increase of 20,000 listeners year on year.

One of the biggest winners, as revealed in the Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) results, is Miriam O'Callaghan's Sunday show which gained a total of 21,000 new listeners over the past three months.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, she said she was "thrilled" with the figures.

"They are always very stressful and unpredictable. I have a great team and we got some really big interviews this year, such as Leo Varadkar coming out and Bertie Ahern just last week," she said.

RTÉ Radio One's established heavy hitter 'Morning Ireland' also enjoyed a significant boost to its numbers, with an additional 16,000 listeners. Some 433,000 people tune in every morning, putting it comfortably ahead of other programmes.


But its main competitor, 'Newstalk Breakfast', is gaining ground. Some 173,000 tune in to Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue's early morning show, an additional 26,000 of whom were not listening last year.

And 'Lunchtime', presented by Jonathan Healy, registered a figure of 81,000, an increase of 9,000 year on year.

However, with a drop of 8,000 listeners since April to 134,000, Newstalk's Pat Kenny trails RTE's Sean O'Rourke - up 14,000 to 317,000 listeners.

Meanwhile, Ray D'Arcy, who defected to RTÉ from Today FM last year, pulled in impressive figures of 190,000.

According to Radio One boss Tom McGuire, the station is confident he will pass the 200,000 mark next time around.

"When the next JNLR results come out, we should be over that," he said. "It's a great start."

Joe Duffy's 'LiveLine' clawed back 2,000 having dropped 11,000 in the last quarter. It now stands at 369,000.

The 'News at One' team also saw a rise of 7,000 to take them to 314,000, and Ronan Collins rose 6,000 to 214,000.

Marian Finucane (left) also achieved an increase in the audience for her Saturday and Sunday shows, with an extra 7,000 and 2,000 listeners respectively.

Elsewhere, on 2fm Ryan Tubridy saw an increase of 2,000 this quarter.

At Today FM the news was disappointing for its flagship presenters.

Anton Savage was down 18,000, while those tuning in to Ian Dempsey fell by 11,000.

Irish Independent

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