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Weekend listeners provide boost for RTE

The number of people who are tuning into RTE at the weekend has surged, the latest listenership figures reveal.

But Ryan Tubridy's weekday show continues to lose listeners to Ray D'Arcy in the hotly-contested mid-morning slot.

Listeners to all morning radio programmes on RTE 1 have jumped dramatically since the last Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) survey was published in February.

The biggest winner was RTE Radio One's hour-long 'Playback' show which airs at 9am on Saturday.

It saw 23,000 more listeners tune in to presenter Marian Richardson as she presents a compilation of highlights from the previous week's broadcasts on RTE 1.

Marian Finucane, who is already at the number three spot in the country, attracted another 20,000 listeners to her two-hour show on Saturday morning at 11am while her Sunday morning show at the same time slot pulled in another 15,000.

News and current affairs shows 'Morning Ireland' and Joe Duffy's 'Liveline' retained their places at the number one and two spots, with 449,000 and 417,000 listeners respectively.

But following close behind was Today FM's Mr D'Arcy whose popularity continues to climb in the mid-morning slot at the expense of Mr Tubridy.


Mr D'Arcy drew another 15,000 listeners since February and now boasts a listenership of 249,000 while Mr Tubridy lost another 4,000 listeners and now stands at just 172,000 listeners -- almost half of the 300,000 listeners who tuned in to his predecessor, the late Gerry Ryan.

RTE radio spokesman Joe Hoban told the Irish Independent: "Gains of 23,000 are quite remarkable. I'm not sure if people are staying home more on Saturday or Sunday mornings because of the recession, but it could be something as simple as that."

Ian Dempsey's 'Breakfast Show' on Today FM also fared well, pulling in another 12,000 listeners to 183,000.

Derek Mooney on RTE 1, however, fared the poorest of the lot in the latest survey, losing 12,000 listeners despite making impressive gains of 11,000 listeners in February.

Irish Independent