Saturday 20 January 2018

Ryan Tubridy stops radio slide as rival Ray D'Arcy loses listeners

Hector O hEochagain: 'wild'

Allison Bray and Ken Sweeney

RYAN Tubridy was the winner in the latest radio figures survey while his RTE colleague Hector O hEochagain has also picked up another 8,000 listeners for his breakfast show.

The latest JNLR listenership figures were cause for celebration at 2fm while Today FM's rival morning chat show with Ray D'Arcy is losing thousands of listeners.

D'Arcy recorded 6,000 fewer listeners compared to the last JNLR survey in July, although he was at an all-time high of 255,000 then.

And despite the setback he still enjoys a massive lead on 2fm with 74,000 more listeners than Tubridy, who stepped into the morning slot after the death of Gerry Ryan.

Tubridy's figures, meanwhile, remained static over the past three months, and have not changed since he gained a modest 3,000 listeners last spring.

But the stability will be welcome for the 39-year-old Montrose star who haemorrhaged 27,000 listeners in just six months last year.

"I wouldn't describe myself as jumping around breaking out the champagne over these figures, but I'm happy that we are shoring up what we have and doing a good job," said Tubridy.

"It's about building something by going out into the streets and towns of Ireland and meeting listeners. We were in Clonakilty last week and there's going to be lots more travelling around the country in the year ahead. I've got a great team backing me on the radio show and I'd like to publicly thank them for their support."

And RTE chiefs were delighted with the overall results, especially with repeated gains on Hector's breakfast show since he started broadcasting live from his base in Galway two years ago.

"The red-haired Navan man is clearly having an impact on the listening habits of the nation. The eponymous 2fm show was one of the few radio breakfast shows to make a convincing gain in this latest survey," said an RTE spokesman.

Clare Duignan, managing director of RTE Radio, added: "Hector is blazing a trail through breakfast and Ryan Tubridy is establishing a large and loyal morning audience."

Hector himself attributed his success to keeping it real -- and local.

"I have a real love of the country and it's an all-inclusive thing," he said.

He said broadcasting from RTE's studio in Galway instead of south Dublin -- with an emphasis on appealing to listeners in every town and village countrywide -- had proven to be a winning formula.

"It's been a great result. There's a wildness and a bit of madness. But all I want to do is make people smile in the morning," he said.


Meanwhile, news and current affairs are back on the agenda for listeners after taking a bit of a backseat in the summer.

RTE's flagship news and current affairs show 'The News at One' gained 9,000 listeners, while 'Drivetime with Mary Wilson' also drew in 7,000 new listeners. Newstalk's 'The Right Hook' with George Hook attracted 6,000 more listeners and Marian Finucane's Saturday show gained 4,000 more listeners. But it was a reverse situation for Ms Finucane's Sunday show, which lost a massive 16,000 listeners since July.

However, Tony Fenton's show on rival Today FM has bled 11,000 listeners.

Pat Kenny lost a significant number of listeners over the summer and early autumn.

Irish Independent

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