Radio boss changes his tune as Nicky Byrne joins 2fm
FORMER Westlife star Nicky Byrne is rejoining 2fm, months after the station boss said: "We don't want him."
The dad-of-three will host a new weekday, mid-morning show from 11am.
Byrne, right, is replacing Colm Hayes, with Hayes expected to move to a later slot.
Byrne's appointment may seem surprising, after 2fm boss Dan Healy's previous comments that there would be "no more Nicky Byrne".
"We don't want him,"he said last July.
"There will be no more Nicky Byrne because we have great broadcasters."
Mr Healy now claims the comments were taken out of context and he was not bad mouthing Byrne – merely explaining that the star would not be filling in for 2fm broadcasters while they were on holiday during the summer months.
"I wanted to demonstrate to out listeners how much talent there was inside the station," he said. "We have some gems and we wanted to utilise them."
"The comments were taken out of context. Myself and 2fm have been in talks with Nicky about a new radio show since last summer."
The station boss also said Hayes "remains a key player in the 2fm relaunch" and will feature later on in the day.
"He's a fantastic broadcaster who I competed with for years when I worked in 98fm. We're committed to him," Mr Healy told the Irish Independent.
It is believed Hayes will take over Will Leahy's 4.30pm drive-time slot.
Byrne, whose target audience is women between 25 and 34, previously presented on 2fm in 2010 and filled in for Ryan Tubridy last year.
"He (Byrne) will deliver," Mr Healy said. "He's got likeability and a great sense of humour. We wanted a broadcaster who women would like but men could also relate to."
Byrne said he can't wait to settle into the 2fm studios
"The thought of being on air Monday to Friday is daunting but very, very exciting," he said.
"I can't wait to get chatting to our listeners."