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RTE Exodus

Here's why the 2 Johnnies are leaving their show on RTÉ 2fm, they say

Johnny Smacks and Johnny B will present their last episode of the show next Friday.

THE 2 JOHNNIES, who announced this week that they are soon leaving their RTÉ 2fm radio show Drive It, have said they are giving up the slot because “something has to go”.

The podcasters are attributing their departure to their busy schedules and have waved off suggestions it is related to new regulations at the national broadcaster.

Johnny McMahon and Johnny O’Brien, better known as Johnny Smacks and Johnny B, will present their last episode of the show next Friday.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One this morning, the pair said they had looked at their schedule of podcasts, live shows and other commitments and decided that “if we want to ever have our lives back, unfortunately radio was going to have to go”. 

The announcement that the 2 Johnnies were leaving the 2fm formed part of a string of high-profile departures from the station. Doireann Garrihy announced earlier this month that she was leaving her breakfast show after five years at 2fm, while Jennifer Zamparelli is leaving after more than a decade. 

2fm chief executive Dan Healy has faced questions about whether the departures are linked to new rules at RTÉ aimed at identifying conflicts of interest, including work done by presenters by other brands or organisations and any payment received for external activities. 

The 2 Johnnies insisted today that their decision to leave was not linked to the new system.

“It’s always been the case that when you sign an RTÉ contract that you have to get permission for outside work. That’s always happened anyway and we’ve still done it and you can on our Instagram and listen to our podcast where you’ll hear the deals that we’ve done, so it’s no secret for us,” they said.

The new register of interests “wasn’t something that came into our minds when we made this decision to change”. 

“We came in to do a job, which was to bring up the ratings. We’ve done that – what more can we do?” 

They added that their previous contract had ended in February.

The presenters said the door is open for them to go back in the future and that they are leaving the station on good terms, but are sad for themselves, the team behind the scenes, and for the listeners that their time at the station is ending. 

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