Wednesday 12 December 2018

More listeners tuning in for weekend and lifestyle shows as news takes a hit

(stock image)
(stock image)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Radio news programmes and news-led talk shows lost listeners over the later summer season, JNLR figures show.

However, weekend shows and lifestyle programmes recorded modest gains from July to September.

'Morning Ireland' on RTÉ Radio 1 remains the most popular breakfast show - and the biggest radio programme - in Ireland, despite losing 4,000 listeners since July to reach an audience of 434,000.

'Newstalk Breakfast' is down 5,000 to 121,000, although it is holding steady year on year.

On Radio 1, both the 'News at One' and Joe Duffy's 'Liveline' saw decreases of 5,000 and 7,000 respectively, although they still draw an impressive listenership of 341,000 and 374,000, up on last year.

'Drivetime' on Radio 1, with Mary Wilson, also lost listeners. It now draws 222,000, down 6,000 since July, and down 14,000 year on year, according to the JNLR results.

Tom McGuire, head of RTÉ Radio 1, said it was a "very stable kind of performance".

At Newstalk, Ivan Yates, who overtook Pat Kenny for the first time in July, has increased his lead by gaining 4,000 to reach 157,000, an increase of 22,000 year on year. Pat slipped back to 149,000, losing 3,000. However, his figures are holding steady year on year.

Overall, Newstalk has grown its listenership by 30,000 over the past year.

At Today FM, 'The Last Word' with Matt Cooper is also down, dropping 4,000 to 137,000 listeners but with no change year on year.

There was better news at RTÉ Radio 1 where Miriam O'Callaghan helped to boost Sean O'Rourke's ratings by 10,000 this summer while he took a two-month break.

Keelin Shanley took the reins for a period this summer on Sunday with Miriam, which gained 8,000 to reach 272,000.

The biggest gain in listenership was seen by Marian Finucane for her Saturday show, which increased by 17,000 to 346,000 listeners. Her Sunday show saw an increase of 1,000 to reach 322,000.

Ryan Tubridy's weekday morning slot has gained 2,000 listeners to hit 313,000, but he is down 17,000 since last year.

Ray D'Arcy's afternoon talk show on Radio 1 held steady at 219,000. Ronan Collins increased by 4,000 to 317,000.

In terms of entertainment breakfast shows, 2FM's 'Breakfast Republic' gained 3,000 listeners to reach 189,000, while Ian Dempsey on Today FM is down 5,000 to 162,000.

2FM saw increases on weekdays with Nicky Byrne and Jenny Green up 5,000 to 153,000, Tracey Clifford up 2,000 to 142,000, and Eoghan McDermott up 1,000 to 147,000.

At Newstalk Sean Moncrieff gained 4,000 to reach 91,000, 12,000 up on last year.

At Today FM, Dermot and Dave are down 3,000 to 164,000 and Muireann O'Connell is down 1,000 to 105,000. Fergal D'Arcy saw the only increase for a weekday show, adding 10,000 listeners to reach 112,000.

Irish Independent

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