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Tubs' 2fm show to get a shake-up in bid to woo back 110,000 listeners

RYAN Tubridy's 2fm show is to get a shake-up in a move to boost listener figures.

New producer Paul Russell, has been lined up to take over the 9-11am programme from September.

He also worked with Tubridy (38) on his Radio 1 show, which eventually became one of the station's most successful.

However, the self-styled young fogey's move to 2fm has fallen well short of expectations, with the slot losing 110,000 listeners from the late Gerry Ryan's time in the hot seat.

Tubridy, who earns more than €500,000 a year, took over the programme following Ryan's untimely death last year.

The show has also failed to attract a sponsor, despite initial hopes of it landing a major deal.

A spokesman for RTE confirmed Mr Russell would be taking up the position of producer-in-charge on 'Tubridy'.

Every September elements of the radio schedule may change -- and even when that does not happen, production teams change, he told the Herald. "[Paul] is a staff producer on RTE and he previously produced Ryan Tubridy [on Radio 1]," the spokesman said.

He insisted the change is "by no means unusual".

The spokesman confirmed the programme is "in the market for a sponsor at the moment".

The latest radio listenership figures revealed a further drop for Tubridy, continuing the trend of recent months.

He recorded a drop of 16,000 listeners since the last report, scraping in at 19 in the top 20 most listened to programmes.

The JNLR/Ipsos MRBI survey released last week covered the period July 2010 to June 2011. Now just 186,000 listeners tune in to 'Tubridy' on weekdays, compared with 296,000 listeners in May 2010.

RTE head of radio Clare Duignan defended the figures, saying the show had found its "rhythm".

In the meantime, Tubridy is standing in for Graham Norton on BBC Radio 2 over the summer.

Mr Russell is a highly respected radio producer in RTE, recently winning a prestigious award for the documentary Don't Go Far.

Along with fellow RTE producer Ronan Kelly, Mr Russell told the story of the amazing journey of two young boys from Dublin to New York in 1985.

Don't Go Far helped RTE Radio win the Broadcaster of the Year prize at the 2011 New York Festivals Radio Awards.

From 183 finalists covering 26 countries, the grand jury selected RTE Radio as its overall winner.

It was the first time in the festivals' 54-year history that an Irish radio station won broadcaster of the year.

comurphy@herald.ie


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