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'There was no argument or slamming of doors': Jenny Greene on leaving and coming back to 2FM

Green departed the station on March and returned in May.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

RADIO STATION 2FM launched its new line up today, with veteran broadcaster Jenny Greene back presenting a weekday drivetime show, less than three months after she left the station. 

Greene will present her own show from 3pm five days a week – a mix of playlist music, live sessions, news and interviews. 

The longtime broadcaster left 2FM after 12 years in early March after it was announced that actor, writer and presenter Jennifer Zamparelli was taking over the mid-morning slot.

Greene had co-presented the slot with Westlife star Nicky Byrne since 2014, and their show was very popular with listeners. 

Byrne departed the station to rejoin his band Westlife earlier this year, and Greene followed suit after she was offered a lower profile evening slot at the station. 

“It is with a very heavy heart that I have decided to say farewell to 2FM,” she said in an emotional statement back in March.

Having started off in the evening time and progressing on to a very successful day time show, going back to the evenings on 2FM just doesn’t feel like the right decision for me both professionally and personally.

Listeners reacted badly to the news of Greene’s departure. The broadcaster has a high profile from her live DJ gigs with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and her Saturday evening Electric Disco programme, both of which were due to stop with her departure. 

Return 

There was a quick turnaround, however, when it was announced early this month that Greene would return to 2FM with her new late afternoon show. 

So what happened in the meantime? 

“It’s certainly not something that a couple of months ago I thought in a million years would ever happen,” Greene told TheJournal.ie at the launch today. 

“I had gone a little while and then [2FM boss Dan Healy] asked me to meet me for a coffee to have a chat and I did. 

“Even when I met him he wasn’t 100% sure. He said, ‘I need to do some work here, I need to move some things. Would you be open to it if I do?’ and I said yeah absolutely of course I would. 

So then he came back and offered me drive time. 

Greene said there was “no bad blood” between her and 2FM over the departure, and her decision to leave the station was more to do with logistics and practicalities, rather than with her being given a lower-profile slot to fill.

“It was a massive decision but the only thing that made it kind of easier for me was that my reason for it was because I work weekends as well,” she said. 

If I was to do what was proposed and work every evening I would be at home on my own all day in the house, and then I’d be in work all weekend on my own, and then I’d come home, my wife is gone to bed, and then I’d be DJing at the weekend.
“So I thought, ‘I physically can’t do that’, because I won’t see anyone and I’ll have no life.” 

She said her reason for leaving was never “never a case of thinking I’m too good for the evenings”.

It was never that at all.

Fan reaction 

But whatever the reasons were for her leaving, 2FM seems to have quickly realised it made a big error in letting her go. Listeners weren’t at all happy with the news back in March.

2FM gears itself towards the 15-34 age bracket, a group not exactly known for their longstanding loyalty to FM radio.

With YouTube, Spotify and all manner of podcasts to contend with, losing a high-profile name like Greene – whose concerts sell out quickly and are the main attraction at a lot of summer festivals – isn’t a great look.

“I was certainly not expecting anything even close to that,” Greene said, referring to the outpouring of support she received after she announced her departure. 

I was sitting at home that day and I was reading some of the stuff and it was very kind I felt some of it wasn’t really warranted, it felt like a living eulogy.

But the longtime broadcaster has “no doubt” it contributed to the quick turnaround from RTÉ. 

“But I have no doubt – I never asked Dan – but I really have no doubt that that had to be a factor in it.

Without a shadow of a doubt I think they looked at that and thought, ‘oh maybe we will ask her back’.

She said that the decision was probably made easier for the station by the fact that they had parted ways on good terms. 

“In fairness, it wasn’t that hard for them. We hadn’t had a falling out, there was no bad feelings or row or nothing.

“I understood the situation they were in and I think they understood the situation I was in. There was no argument, there was no slamming of doors or anything like that.

But I have no doubt that people’s comments online played a big part so I’m forever grateful for that. Even whether they were a bit overinflated or not, I’ll take it.

Greene will take over the new drivetime slot from 10 June. The programme will be a mix of music, live sessions and interviews. 

2FM announced its new weekday lineup at the start of the month and launched it today. Eoghan McDermott and Doireann Garrihy will present a breakfast show from 6am-9am.

Jennifer Zamparelli will host the mid-morning slot from 9am-12pm, followed by Tracy Clifford from 12pm-3pm and then Greene from 3pm. 

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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