It will be easier to poach from RTE TV than radio, says Kenny
Broadcaster Pat Kenny believes it will be easier to convince viewers to tune into his new TV channel than it is to get listeners to move away from RTE radio.
Kenny will make his first on-screen appearance for UTV Ireland on New Year's Day when he fronts an hour-long documentary 'Out with the Old - In With the U'.
"People are programme loyal rather than channel loyal. I don't think TV is as hard as 'Moving the Dial'," he said referring to Newstalk's 2013 campaign, which encouraged listeners to follow him from RTE Radio One to Newstalk 106 - 108FM.
"I always used to say that the radio you will never shift is the one in the milking parlour which is covered in a fine layer of congealed cow sh*t.
"But television is different, I hope if they like what I do they will be programme loyal and enjoy UTV Ireland."
After his initial broadcast, Kenny will disappear from our screens for several months before his new chat show airs in March.
Produced by Coco Television the programme is still in the early stages of development.
"It's still in the melting pot," Kenny said. "But it definitely won't be formulaic. I want to construct a few water cooler moments."
Since Kenny shocked Ireland's media scene by announcing he had joined the station, there have been several other surprising recruits, with key members of staff from both TV3 and RTE joining rank.
TV3 lost their Head of Creative Content David Moran and Claire Brock while RTE saw former news reporter Paul Colgan jump ship.
RTE's Head of News and Current Affairs, Kevin Bakhurst, said Colgan wasn't the only member of staff approached by UTV Ireland bosses.
"They did try to take a lot of talent off us," Mr Bakhurst said.
"They did try to take more senior members. I am pleased people decided to stay with RTE, but UTV Ireland made a big effort."
Speaking ahead of the station's launch tomorrow, managing director Michael Wilson outlined his ambition for the station. "In a year's time I want UTV Ireland to be the second most watched channel in Ireland after RTE 1 and that's our target," he said.
Mr Wilson also stressed that the station would have it's own unique identity. "It's not UTV from the North shipped in, it's a brand new channel. We know these are the programmes that the audiences like."