Revealed: Paul Williams, Colette Fitzpatrick and Alan Quinlan part of Newstalk's new line-up
TV3 broadcaster Colette Fitzpatrick and renowned journalist Paul Williams have been unveiled as Newstalk's new presenters.
Former Irish rugby international Alan Quinlan and Sunday Times journalist Sarah McInerney have also been signed up by the commercial radio station as part of their revamped schedule.
The new signings and changes to the schedule - due to take place in September - were unveiled today.
Colette and Paul, who is special correspondent with Independent News & Media and a renowned criminal journalist, will co-anchor the station's long-running 'Breakfast' programme. It is expected he will continue doing his popular 'Paul Williams Meets...' podcasts with independent.ie.
Colette will keep her commitments with TV3, as well as host the early morning programme.
The station's political correspondent Shane Coleman is also joining the 'Breakfast' team as a third co-anchor. The trio will be rotated and replace departing host Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue.
Former rugby star and Irish Independent columnist Alan Quinlan, joins 'Breakfast' morning Sports Anchor, delivering sports coverage throughout the morning schedule with regular updates and reports.
Chris Donoghue is moving to the station's 'drivetime' slot where he will co-anchor a programme with Sarah McInerney. The new programme will be called 'Drive'.
The new programme will air at the earlier time of 4pm, promising feature a lively mix of energetic debate on the day’s issues, business and technology updates, plus entertainment on movies, travel and tech with contributors from Newstalk’s Tom Dunne and Henry McKean.
Commenting on the new hosts, Garrett Harte, Station Editor-In-Chief said: “We’re delighted to welcome Colette, Paul, Sarah and Alan on board. They bring energy, curiosity and the dynamism to complement the great team of presenters we already have at the station. We’re hugely excited at the entire team we have assembled, and we are particularly pleased that Colette Fitzpatrick has been able to join our breakfast team in addition to her ongoing commitments to TV3.”
As part of the station's schedule revamp, Pat Kenny will start his show at 9am, going on air with a longer programme until 12pm, reflecting listener demand for a move from the current affairs breakfast format to a talk show at an earlier time.
Newstalk stalwart George Hook will take on a new lunchtime slot, from 12-2pm, with a brand new midday show offering a unique point of difference for lunchtime listeners. Joining George will be some of his popular regular contributors including Dr. Ciara Kelly.
The Moncrieff show will move to a new afternoon slot, anchored by the popular Sean Moncrieff where listeners can join in the show’s lively mix of conversation and diverse topics from around the world.
And the ever popular Off the Ball team will join the new Drive duo from 6.30pm and regularly feed in before the programme starts at its usual time of 7pm.
Speaking on the new schedule, Tim Collins, Station CEO said: “Our announcement today is an important milestone in the evolution of Newstalk as a major media brand. Our strategy is to become the country’s leading talk station for 25-55 year olds and our new schedule reflects the tastes and interests of this younger audience.
"In the past year we have also made a significant investment in our digital platforms in order to grow our total audience on Newstalk.com, on the Radio Player and on social platforms. These changes announced today, will add further momentum to Newstalk as one of Ireland's leading multi-platform media businesses," he concluded.
The new schedule was unveiled at Sophie's Dublin.