THE Gerry Ryan Show was the most popular radio programme among 20-44-year-olds at the time of his sudden death.
The mammoth task facing RTE bosses in their search to replace Ryan was laid bare last night as new figures revealed he had a massive 296,000 listeners everyday.
Figures today show big names such as Joe Duffy, Ryan Tubridy, Pat Kenny and Eamon Keane continued to gain new listeners.
Marian Fincuane - who earns the equivalent of €50 a minute for her time on air - also took in more listeners. Ms Finucane earns €455,000 per annum foer two-hour shows on Saturday and Sunday.
But other high-profile presenters such as Colm and Jim Jim, Ian Dempsey and Ray D'Arcy lost out.
Colm and Jim Jim's breakfast show dropped a massive 21pc to just 150,000 in a development that will worry 2fm bosses. Their main rival, Ian Dempsey, also lost 39,000 fans but remains 46,000 ahead of the RTE duo. Colm Hayes is currently filling Gerry Ryan's slot on a temporary basis with Lucy Kennedy.
While most current affairs shows attracted bigger audiences, Morning Ireland and News at One lost 5,000 and 3,000 listeners respectively.
Newstalk's flagship programmes The Breakfast Show, Lunchtime with Eamon Keane and The Right Hook all took a larger share of the audience.
Keane gained 7,000 new listeners, while the Breakfast Show which is co-hosted by Herald columnist Claire Byrne and former Fine Gael minister Ivan Yates now has 76,000 listeners every morning. The Right Hook's audience jumped by 15,000 to 118,000.
Meanwhile Marian Finucane is still pulling in an extra 23,000 to her Saturday morning show, which now has 382,000. The Sunday version also gained a 31,000 listeners and now has 341,000 regulars.
Ryan Tubridy, who is tipped to take over Gerry Ryan's slot, had 352,000 listeners to his 9am show on Radio One.
He consolidated his position as the fourth-most-listened-to programme everyday, ahead of Pat Kenny who was up 7,000 listeners to 330,000. And an extra 1,000 people were tuning in to Joe Duffy's Liveline, consolidating his position as the second most popular radio show, behind Morning Ireland.
Meanwhile, despite a small drop in his audience, the late Gery Ryan had tens of thousands more listeners than his 2fm colleagues. He was also streets ahead of his main rivals on Today FM and Newstalk.
The latest figures suggest that quirky radio programmes are losing out to their serious rivals.