Sunday 25 February 2018

Miriam defends 'Prime Time' as ratings fall

Miriam O'Callaghan
Miriam O'Callaghan
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

BROADCASTER Miriam O'Callaghan has admitted she is "obsessed with ratings" following the news that the Monday night edition of 'Prime Time' has dropped 137,400 viewers in the past year.

Ratings for the Monday night slot, which was previously occupied by Pat Kenny's 'The Frontline', have fallen from 34pc during the period 2009-2010 to 21pc in 2013-14.

O'Callaghan was insistent, however, that 'Prime Time' remains a strong brand with strong viewership figures.

"I love numbers and ratings," she told the Irish Independent. "In the office they always say I'm 'ratings obsessed'.

"'Prime Time' is a great show and has a great audience and we need to hold on to that audience. We have to. Having said that, our ratings are still high, better than some UK shows."

RTE executives are now considering ways to shake up the 'Prime Time' format in an effort to improve ratings.

Regarding rumours that the Monday night show may be cancelled completely, O'Callaghan replied: 'Prime Time' was traditionally two nights a week, then we went to three nights. If we stay on three nights that's great, if we go back to two that's fine too – I'm easy. "As long as we keep a high standard of journalism – that's all that matters."

She was talking at the launch of new cookery book 'The Secret Ingredient' in St James's Hospital, Dublin.

The book includes recipes from celebrities such as Imelda May, Simon Delaney and Devin Toner (€10) and aims to raise funds for new family rooms and gardens in the hospital.

Irish Independent

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