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Late nights for Tom in Pat radio rejig


 Pat Kenny who has left RTE radio for Newstalk. Photo: Mark Condren

Pat Kenny who has left RTE radio for Newstalk. Photo: Mark Condren

Pat Kenny who has left RTE radio for Newstalk. Photo: Mark Condren

NEWSTALK presenter Tom Dunne is being shifted to a late-night radio slot to make way for Pat Kenny, the Herald has learned.

The move is part of a series of changes to the Newstalk schedule to be announced in the coming days.

There was speculation in radio circles that Dunne would leave the station after it was announced that Pat Kenny had defected from RTE.

But station bosses offered Dunne a new night-time slot, to which he has agreed.

Economist Marc Coleman, who previously presented a night-time debate programme, is leaving.

The move means that Dunne's show will go head-to-head with RTE's night-time debate show, The Late Debate.

It's not known what format the new show will take, but sources say Dunne is 'keen' to take on harder news.

"Tom is very popular and has a loyal listenership. Certainly it's hoped that he can bring those listeners to his new slot and put his stamp on night-time radio," said a source.

The Herald revealed last week that Kenny visited the Diggs Lane studios and held discussions with key staff.


He is due to meet his production team in the coming days, prior to the launch of his show on September 2.

The 65-year-old has been told that he will not be given an office and will share an area with presenters, reporters and researchers. "It's a bit like driving a new car; you have to get used to it. I had never been in Newstalk at all, so it was all new to me," Kenny said.

"I was impressed with what I saw. I heard Newstalk being described as compact, but what I saw was comparable to RTE Radio 1."

Kenny will go head-to-head in the mid-morning slot with his successor on RTE Radio 1, Sean O'Rourke.

He insisted that he did not leave Montrose because of money.

"I had two offers on the table. The money was not the overriding factor at all. RTE made me a very generous offer," he said.