Monday 19 August 2019

Radio wars: O'Connell 'fired' from Today FM as Ronan lands lunchtime slot

Muireann O'Connell. Photo: Keith Arkins
Muireann O'Connell. Photo: Keith Arkins
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

Muireann O'Connell has said she was "fired" from Today FM as she and Louise Duffy move on from the station with Mairéad Ronan bagging the lunchtime slot.

The 'Dancing with the Stars' champion will take to the airwaves in September, with Ed Smith also starting new evening show 'National Anthems' in mid-August.

O'Connell has been at the station since 2016, securing her own lunchtime show in January 2018.

Duffy's 'Lost in Music' aired on weekday evenings at 7pm.

O'Connell took to Twitter to say she had been "fired" and was "sad" about the changes.

"Hello lovely people! I have been fired from Today FM. 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!"

Louise Duffy. Photo: David Conachy
Louise Duffy. Photo: David Conachy

O'Connell tweeted last night that she had a "great chat" with the "wonderful" Ronan, and "I love this woman".

Duffy, who is married to Kerry GAA star Paul Galvin and has a one-year-old girl Esme, posted on Instagram she was leaving the station after eight "wonderful years".

"I'm leaving Today FM. I've had eight wonderful years working with my friends, and I'm excited for something new. Thank you for listening to me from early morning to late evening.

"I'll miss my lovely listeners, I'll miss my brilliant colleagues, I won't miss missing bedtime five nights of the week," she said.

Mairéad Ronan. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Mairéad Ronan. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Meanwhile, Ronan (39) returns to the airwaves as a familiar voice to listeners, having worked on and produced several shows on the station over the years.

The mum of three said having her own show had long been a "dream" for her. It will air weekdays from noon-2pm.

"It's hard to put into words how thrilled I am going back to Today FM with my own show," she said.

"This was always a dream of mine, ever since I was making coffee and posting prizes at the very start of my radio career. After two very busy years away it now feels like I'm going home. I can't wait to get started."

Today FM chief executive Keith McCormack thanked both O'Connell and Duffy for their role at the station.

He said the new line-up would "speak to more people than ever before".

"I'm delighted to have Mairéad return with her very own show and I know she will prove a massive hit with our audiences. I'd also like to congratulate Ed Smith on his new evening show 'National Anthems', which will be the soundtrack to the nation's evenings," he said.

"I would like to thank both Muireann and Louise for their contribution to the station and wish them well in their future endeavours."

Smith is set to take the reins in mid-August, while Ronan's lunchtime show will debut in early September.

A spokeswoman for Today FM told the Irish Independent there was no further comment to make in relation to O'Connell's tweet that she had been "fired" from the station.

Irish Independent

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