Entertainment Radio

Saturday 21 July 2018

Yates to take on evening slot as Newstalk rings changes

Opinion-led show: Ivan Yates
Opinion-led show: Ivan Yates

Laura Lynott

Ivan Yates is returning to daily radio, taking over the drivetime slot at Newstalk.

Yates, a former Fine Gael minister, who currently presents a Sunday show, will return to a full-time role at the station - taking over on 'Newstalk Drive' from September 4.

A columnist with the Irish Independent on Saturday, he had also been linked with the late night position at TV3 vacated by Vincent Browne.

Newstalk says Yates will bring his "straight-talking, opinion-led" commentary to the slot while not specifying what roles await the current hosts, Chris Donohue and Sarah McInerney.

But it is understood Donohue will be appointed as the station's group political editor - a role he is certain to be more than comfortable with given his extensive knowledge of current affairs.

It is also believed he will be given a slot on Sunday, which is currently filled by Yates.

Yates hosted the station's breakfast show with Donoghue until April 2016, pulling 164,000 listeners.

The latest JNLR radio figures show 'Newstalk Drive' has 130,000 listeners, only 2,000 less than 'The Right Hook' with George Hook enjoyed in the evening slot.

Newstalk managing editor Patricia Monahan said Yates is "one of Ireland's foremost commentators".

"His brand of straight-talking, opinion-led commentary will provide an engaging forum for listeners. This is an exciting time for the business as we continue to develop a brand of opinion-led content."

The station's plans for McInerney's future are unclear. She had been presenting the early evening show with Donoghue for the past year. She is a former and very respected political correspondent for 'The Sunday Times'. It is not known if she could yet be moved to a breakfast slot.

"We are currently in discussions with both Chris Donoghue and Sarah McInerney about alternative roles within the Communicorp Group," Ms Monahan said

Irish Independent

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