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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 30 November 2021

Newstalk makes gains, 2FM struggles, and we all love Ronan Collins

Who’s listening to what?

Updated at 8.17pm

THE LATEST JNLR/MRBI Ipsos figures are in, and we’ve decoded all the tricky stats and self-promotion from radio stations, to tell you exactly what you need to know.

Ok, radio lovers – let’s begin.


Champions of Breakfast

Newstalk’s Breakfast Show has grown significantly in popularity over the last 12 months, with an average of 27,000 more listeners tuning in to Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue every weekday morning.

Their average listenership of 147,000, however, doesn’t come close to Morning Ireland’s 438,000, even if the flagship RTE Radio 1 programme lost 12,000 since this time last year.

Ian Dempsey, meanwhile, has gained 28,000 listeners since this time last year, meaning 196,000 of us tune into him every morning.

donoghue-yates-newstalk Source: Newstalk

Mid Morning Matters

After Pat Kenny’s move to Newstalk (Pat Kenny moved to Newstalk, in case you hadn’t heard), his 10am-12.30pm slot has gained 20,000 listeners since the JNLR figures were last published, in April.

PK’s 134,000 average daily listeners, however, is less than half the number tuning in to rival show Today with Seán O’Rourke on RTE Radio 1, which attracts 307,000 a day, despite a drop of 5,000 since last time around.

screenshot-1398970409-48293 Source: RTE

Road rage

After losing 19,000 devotees last year, Drivetime on RTE Radio 1 has bounced back a little, adding 1,000 a day compared to April’s report. The programme, hosted by Mary Wilson, now has 242,000 of us listening in every weekday.

The Last Word with Matt Cooper has brought in 4,000 more traffic-jammed fans since this time last year, and remains the second-most popular early-evening radio show in Ireland, with 155,000 listeners.

The Right Hook on Newstalk, meanwhile, has gained 2,000 listeners since the last JNLR report, leaving George with 123,000 sweaty commuters tuning in every evening.

00096596 Source: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland

Special request central

Apparently everyone and their granny (especially their granny) loves Ronan Collins. His noon-time slot has 218,000 people texting in wedding anniversary requests every day, making it the most popular music programme in the country.

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2FM is struggling

Things haven’t been easy over at 2FM in recent times. With a major reshuffle of staff and schedules completed, it was perhaps predictable that listening figures would suffer.

And suffer they have. 2FM hosts are being left in third or fourth place in many major weekday slots, including Ryan Tubridy, who has shed 15,000 listeners since last year.

Reacting to today’s figures, the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland – which represents commercial radio station owners – claiming 2FM’s listenership had “hit an all-time low” while “public money used to support it reached at an all-time high”.

However, in a statement this evening, an RTÉ spokesperson said that 2fm had revamped its whole schedule “so it was predicted that we would loose listeners”.

“RTÉ have made it quite clear that 2fm is in a turnaround situation.

2fm has revamped its whole schedule in the last 3 months as it starts to re-engage with younger listeners which is its responsibility within the RTÉ portfolio.

And, referring to stations owned by the UTV media group and Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp, the spokesperson added:

While the team here are working really hard in 2fm – we are aware that we have a multinational on our left and a billionaire on our right who make up the bulk of the ownership of the IBI stations.

Additional reporting by Daragh Brophy.

Read: RTÉ regains lost listeners as Morning Ireland opens the gap on Newstalk Breakfast>

Today’s radio listenership figures: The winners and losers>

About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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