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Liveline gets a lift from lockdown and Normal People


Joe Duffy’s is up

Joe Duffy’s is up

Joe Duffy’s is up

In the era of Covid, RTÉ Radio 1 has enjoyed a major increase in listeners and continues to dominate the airwaves, the latest Joint National Listenership Figures (JNLRs) show.

In the same period, 2fm's mix of light entertainment and music has taken a major hit.

Yearly comparative figures show Today FM has picked up listeners where its rivals 2fm has lost, while Newstalk Breakfast has seen a modest decline.

The biggest show in the country remains RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland, with an audience of 429,000 - rising to 491,000, an increase of 62,000.

In the same period, Newstalk Breakfast has dropped 5,000 listeners to 120,000.

A big winner in the lockdown listenership race is Joe Duffy, whose listeners soared to 404,000 this year - an increase of 41,000 on last year.

Head of RTÉ Radio 1 Peter Woods said Joe Duffy's success shows demographically Liveline's listenership had changed.


"It's a forum for the whole country. You would have said that slot was demographically driven but that (idea) is completely collapsing. You could see that particularly when we were looking at problems with the Leaving Cert and when we did our shows on Normal People."

Ryan Tubridy also saw a major boost and gained 47,000 listeners, from 334,000 to 381,000.

Under the stewardship of Sean O'Rourke, Sarah McInerney and Claire Byrne, the Today show has risen from 315,000 listeners to 369,000 up 54,000.

News At One is also up 50,000 from 320,000 to 370,000.

Ray D'Arcy showed more modest gains of 23,000 from 219,000 to 242,000. Drivetime has also grown from 211,000 to 265,000, up 54,000.

Speaking about his decision to shake up the schedule Woods says the move paid off.

"You don't come to RTÉ Radio 1 and make those decisions by yourself.

"I believed in the people and in our production teams.

"We were able to go from Sean O'Rourke to Sarah McInerney to Claire Byrne and increase our momentum.

"You have to have the right people and then show faith in them and support them, that's what we did here."

Meanwhile, on 2fm, Breakfast has dropped from 135,000 listeners to 126,000, down 9,000.

Jennifer Zamparelli also dropped from 156,000 to 152,000, down 4,000, while Tracy Clifford saw a decrease of 12,000 from 142,000 to 130,000.

Jenny Greene is also down from 139,000 to 113,000, a major loss of 26,000.

The big winner of the weekend schedule at RTÉ Radio 1 is Miriam O'Callaghan who has gone from 236,000 to 318,000 listeners, up 82,000.

O'Callaghan said she was "over the moon" with the latest figures.

Today FM is also celebrating the latest figures which have shown major audience growth across its daytime schedule, a five-year market share high (7.8pc).

The station's weekly listenership of 877,000 now stands at 100,000 more than nearest competitor 2FM.

In the current affairs stakes, Matt Cooper's The Last Word increased his drivetime audience by 4,000 to 152,000.