Saturday 23 February 2019

Dunphy steps into McWilliams' shoes at Newstalk

Newstalk FM's David McWilliams . . . he has been dropped from his early morning radio slot in favour of Eamon Dunphy and his weekly TV3 talk show also has been axed.
Newstalk FM's David McWilliams . . . he has been dropped from his early morning radio slot in favour of Eamon Dunphy and his weekly TV3 talk show also has been axed.

Ben Quinn

THE broadcasting career of economic pundit David McWilliams was in doubt last night after he was dropped from his radio slot in favour of Eamon Dunphy and his TV3 show was axed.

Dublin station Newstalk FM yesterday confirmed Dunphy is to replace McWilliams on its early morning flagship programme in September.

But station chiefs refused to say whether a new slot has been found for McWilliams, or whether he would stay with the station.

And the television career of McWilliams, who is credited with coining the term 'Celtic Tiger', also appears to be at an end at TV3.

The station confirmed last night that 'Agenda', the Sunday morning current affairs show he presents, will not be returning to screens in the autumn.

"The programme has reached its natural end and we continue to discuss other projects suitable for primetime on TV3," the radio station said yesterday.

A TV3 spokesperson revealed separately last night that it is planning a new political show for the autumn with which McWilliams will not be associated.

Meanwhile, Newstalk chief executive Dan Healy said that senior radio executives have already spoken to McWilliams but would not be drawn on whether he had been offered another slot.

Mr McWilliams could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

Eamon Dunphy will return to the airwaves in September presenting a show from 7am to 9am, said Mr Healy.

He believed that Mr Dunphy, former presenter of Today FM's 'Last Word' and a short-lived TV3 chat show, was the right person to provide an alternative to RTE's 'Morning Ireland'.

The broadcaster, currently on holiday in France, is to receive ?700,000 a year from Newstalk. Well-known for his late-night socialising, his new career means a 5am start.

The station also confirmed that it is hoping to sign a broadcaster from one of its competitors who would have particular appeal to a female audience.

There has been speculation that Newstalk had been trying to poach RTE presenter Marion Finucane.

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