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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Marian and Sean deliver for RTÉ in ratings battle

Marian Finucane’s Saturday morning show added 10,000 listeners to push her total to 382,000
Marian Finucane’s Saturday morning show added 10,000 listeners to push her total to 382,000

Alan O'Keeffe

Sean O'Rourke and Marian Finucane are the biggest winners in the latest JNLR radio listenership ratings survey.

Champagne corks may pop at RTÉ Radio 1 after two of the national station's most respected broadcasters piled on the listeners.

"It's all down to the team," O'Rourke said. "They don't miss anything."

Over at Newstalk, Sean Moncrieff was toasting a significant increase of 11,000, bringing his listener numbers to 76,000.

Finucane's Sunday Show on Radio 1 has won 28,000 new listeners, giving her a new total of 336,000 individuals tuning in on Sunday mornings.

All comparisons are between the latest JNLR figures and those released on February 1.

Finucane's Saturday morning show added 10,000 listeners to push her total to 382,000.

O'Rourke's two-hour mid-morning show on weekdays drew an extra 22,000 listeners this month, rising to 354,000, compared with the February ratings survey.

At Newstalk, Pat Kenny and George Hook made gains, with 1,000 and 2,000 new listeners respectively.

Patricia Monahan, of Newstalk, said: "We are very pleased with our performance and the great progress made since the new schedule was put in place late last year."

At Today FM, afternoon presenter Fergal D'Arcy celebrated a whopping 10,000 new listeners bringing his audience to 113,000, a five-year high for that timeslot.

Dermot and Dave, meanwhile, won 7,000 new listeners to bring their audience to 122,000.

Tom McGuire, head of RTÉ Radio 1, said O'Rourke was the first broadcaster to surpass the 350,000 barrier for mid-morning weekday radio listenership.

"It's a brilliant performance. Sean is a wonderful broadcaster. We're getting a younger audience coming into his programme because they will hear Sean doing stuff related to family and education, as well as music and sport and books," McGuire said.

He praised Finucane for giving listeners the expectation she will always ask the question the listener wants asked.

Over on 2FM, the Breakfast Republic team was celebrating 13,000 new listeners and the welcome news the show hit 167,000 - the exact same number of listeners as Ian Dempsey on Today FM.

2FM's Nicky Byrne garnered 8,000 more listeners for a new total of 139,000 while Tracey Clifford scored 6,000 new listeners to bring audience levels to 119,000.

Dan Healy, head of 2FM, said he was delighted with the performance of his channel as "a challenger brand".

It is over two years since a conscious move was made to go after a younger audience. The new policy meant 2FM lost its older listeners and figures were declining, but now it has enjoyed back-to-back listenership growth.

The big increase in the Breakfast Republic listenership was particularly satisfying and it had the biggest listenership in Ireland for people aged 15 to 34, he said.

He was delighted that former Westlife star Nicky Byrne enjoyed significant audience growth and he attributed it to talent and hard work.

"He's a guy who probably doesn't have to work, I assume, but he comes in with a massive work ethic," he said.

He praised Nicky's fellow broadcaster on the show Jenny Greene and how both worked so well together since she joined him.

"She didn't like Westlife, so you've got a really interesting kind of chemistry there," he quipped.

Irish Independent

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