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Monday 19 November 2018

Tubridy on top again

Ratings win caps 'extraordinary week' for star

Laura Noonan

TV's man of the moment Ryan Turbidy was last night celebrating the "most extraordinary week" of his career after he was crowned king of the airwaves.

The incoming 'Late Late Show' host gained an extra 18,000 listeners to his Radio 1 show, bringing his morning show audience to 330,000.

"The huge increase in 'The Tubridy Show' listenership figures tops off an extraordinary week in my broadcasting life," he told the Irish Independent.

"All credit must be given to 'The Tubridy Show' team who come up with an eclectic mix of items on a daily basis.

"I'm very grateful to all of our regular listeners and of course, welcome all the new members of our club."

Tubridy's RTE comrade Gerry Ryan, billed by many as a contender for the 'Late Late' job, yesterday learned his 2fm mid-morning radio show has shed 11,000 listeners. The show still attracts an average of 306,000 listeners each day.

The new listenership figures also show a massive surge in popularity of news and current affairs shows, as gloomy fascination with the recession and a growing frustration with the economic collapse drive people to the airwaves.

The surging interest in news and current affairs helped push overall radio listenership to its highest level since 2003, with 86pc of the population tuning in every day.

Joe Duffy's 'Liveline' would seem to be the biggest beneficiary of the growing ranks of the disaffected, adding an enormous 21,000 listeners. The rise followed a 14,000 surge in Duffy's audience last February, and brings the Dubliner's listnership to an all-time high of 413,000.

Long time presenter Pat Kenny was another major winner, adding 18,000 to bring his audience to 323,000, while the 16,000 increase in the News at One's listenership comes at a particularly good time for host Sean O'Rourke.

"I came back to work in RTE 20 years ago to the day on Friday [today]," Mr O'Rourke said yesterday.

"This is the best possible news to celebrate the occasion."

Radio 1's 'Morning Ireland' also continued its onward march, snapping up another 13,000 listeners to bring its total contingent to 450,000, securing its title as Ireland's most listened to radio show.

Today FM's Ray D'Arcy was one of the few losers of the day, shedding 7,000 listeners on top of the 3,000 he dropped in February, leaving him with a following of 235,000.

"I wouldn't call it a concern, but it's something we are looking at," said Today FM boss Willie O'Reilly.

In February Today FM made much of having "closed the gap" with 2fm when both stations reported that their reach extended to 16pc of adult listeners. Yesterday's figures show Today FM's reach has now slipped back to 15pc while 2fm's has held firm at 16pc.

"You have to take the bad stuff with the good stuff, but it was really very marginal," said Mr O'Reilly. "Last time we were 15.53pc, which was rounded up to 16pc, this time we're 15.49pc, which was rounded down to 15pc."

Over at Newstalk, 'The Right Hook' with George Hook added another 8,000 listeners, bringing its total to 103,000, while newcomer Tom Dunne, who formerly hosted a show on Today FM, is now averaging 69,000 listeners in his new gig.

The major winner among stations was RTE Radio 1, which grew its market share from 21.9pc to 22.7pc.

Donegal's Highland Radio increased its share from 60.3pc to 62.4pc, Tipp FM rose from 49pc to 52.3pc and Radio Kerry rose from 46.5pc to 48.6pc.

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