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Sunday 18 March 2018

Radio wars: Pat Kenny climbs 18,000 listeners while Sean O'Rourke falls by 15,000

Matt Cooper and Marian

Geraldine Gittens and Kirsty Blake Knox

The votes have been counted and the results are in.

And it looks like radio listeners are switching the dial to Newstalk to follow broadcaster Pat Kenny. 

Figures for Kenny’s radio show increased by 18,000 to an average listenership of 114,000 in the latest JNLRs.

Meanwhile Sean O’Rourke who took over Kenny’s slot on Radio One has fallen 15,000 to 312,000.

Sean O’Rourke told today: “No one gets carried away on one set of figures – whether they’re up or down.”

“All the grand predictions have been very wide off the mark. It was predicted that we were going to lose 100,000. But when you take the biggest beast in the forest and you have a €1million campaign behind you, then you’re obviously going to make in-roads.”

“It’s a very competitive place and for Today with Sean O’Rourke to be 198,000 listeners ahead of its nearest rival in current affairs, well that’s pretty good.”

The majority of the new slate for 2FM was not included in the latest round of JNLR’s as they have only been on air a matter of weeks but Tubridy’s listenership fell to 148,000 from 152,000.

Ray D’Arcy’s figures also dipped from 230,000 to 218,000 while Ian Dempsey’s figures remained stable at 189,000.

Morning Ireland lost 5,000 listeners when compared with the last quarter – bringing its total listener figures to 444,000.

Newstalk Breakfast, hosted by Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue, have 137,000 listeners daily - an increase in 16,000 listeners year-on-year.

Mary Wilson's Drivetime programme fell by 19,000 when compared with this time last year, and by 1,000 listeners when compared to the last quarter.

Drivetime still remains more popular than Matt Cooper's Last Word - with 241,000 average listeners for Drivetime and 157,000 for Last Word.

RTE’s main female presenters Claire Byrne, Marian Finucane, and Miriam O’Callaghan all increased their listenership.

Claire Byrne attracted 29,000 more listeners when compared with last year, but she lost 7,000 listeners from the last quarter.

A spokesperson for RTE said: “Claire is a natural talent and we’re lucky to have her.”

The Marian Finucane Show increased by 10,000 listeners on Sundays for her programme, but remains the same for Sundays when comparing this quarter with last quarter.

Her listeners increased by a massive 72,000 year on year for her Sunday show, while her Saturday show jumped by 18,000.

The RTE spokesperson said “Marian doesn’t take her figures for granted. She works very hard as does her whole team”.

Miriam O’Callaghan’s show Sunday With Miriam got a total of 262,000 listeners, increasing by 13,000 on last year, and by just 1,000 listeners on the last quarter.

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