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Tubridy falls behind D'Arcy in radio battle

Veteran broadcaster Pat Kenny last night advised Ryan Tubridy not to panic as the younger presenter's 2FM radio show continued to shed listeners.

Tubridy's 2fm morning chat show lost 14,000 listeners since the last listenership figures were released three months ago and now stands at 202,000.

The latest Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) figures, published yesterday, reveal that he has been unseated as the most popular mid-morning radio show host by rival Ray D'Arcy on Today FM with 219,000 listeners.

The 2fm morning show has been losing listeners since Mr Tubridy took over the slot following the death of Gerry Ryan on April 30, 2010.

The previous JNLR survey published in February 2011 revealed that the broadcaster shed 91,000 listeners over the previous 12 months, although the show did change in format from three hours to two during that period.

Mr Tubridy could not be reached for comment last night. But Pat Kenny -- whose own listenership figures on his "Today" show increased by 2,000 to 326,000 -- advised patience.

"I would advise Ryan not to panic, no . . . particularly in the turbulent year it has been. If I was him I would hold my nerve," he told the Irish Independent last night.

"Gerry's shoes were never going to be filled easily. I think I said to Ryan, or if I didn't I should, when the accolades were being heaped on him after 'The Late Late Show', just wait. A constant stream of compliments and good news never lasts. The press needs a dynamic; the hero becomes a villain and the villain becomes a hero."

An RTE radio spokesman also downplayed the ratings figures last night claiming that it was unfair to compare ratings for the Ryan and Tubridy shows.


"If your show is longer, you will have more listeners," he said, adding that the figures were on target with what RTE had predicted following the veteran broadcaster's untimely demise.

But despite the brave face, 2FM also suffered massive ratings losses for the Colm Hayes show which comes on immediately after Tubridy's 9-11am slot.

The show, which saw the departure of co-host Jim Jim Nugent, lost 16,000 listeners since the last survey in February. And 2fm's drivetime programme, 'The Will Leahy Show', also lost 8,000 listeners as did Marian Finucane's Saturday show on RTE Radio One.

However, RTE was also home to two of the biggest ratings winners, Derek Mooney and Ronan Collins.

Mooney's mid-afternoon chat show on RTE Radio 1 grew by 23,000 listeners, while Mr Collins' easy-listening midday show won 20,000 new listeners.

The biggest ratings gain, however, was Newstalk's Breakfast Show hosted by Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue which saw an increase of 23,000 listeners since the last survey. However, its format also changed during that period when an hour was added on to the show.

Overall, the survey -- which also includes local, regional, national, Dublin and Cork stations -- found that 85pc of Ireland's adult population listen to a daily mix of national, regional, multi-city and local radio shows throughout the day.

Irish Independent