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Radio wars: RTÉ Radio One is still killing its rivals but major shows are now losing listeners

The latest JNLRs have been released.

RTÉ RADIO ONE continues to dominate the national airwaves, producing 18 of the 20 most listened to radio shows in the country.

The latest JNLR figures for April to June show that the national broadcaster now has two shows that are listened to by over 400,000 people.

Despite this, many of RTÉ’s top draws have lost listeners in the second three months of the year.

Today FM and Newstalk both say they are pleased with today’s JNLR results having grown their market shares to 7.7% and 6.3% respectively.

4/3/2015. RTES International Web Player Mixed news for Ryan and Tubridy and Miriam O'Callaghan. Source: Rollingnews.ie

RTÉ Radio One

  • Morning Ireland continues to be comfortably the most listened to radio show in the country with 449,000 listeners. That’s 16,000 more than last year but 11,000 fewer than in April. 
  • At the weekends, Marian Finucane‘s 400,000 listeners on Saturday and 321,000 listeners on Sunday make her shows the second and sixth most listened to radio shows.
  • Liveline continues its popularity as the third most listened to show in the country, with an average of 391,000 listeners a day. That’s 22,000 more than last year and about the same as three months ago.
  • The News at One is the fourth most listened to show with 348,000 daily listeners, down slightly on the previous JNLRs but up on a yearly basis.
  • Today with Seán O’Rourke remains where it is both in terms of position and listeners with 326,000 people tuning in each morning.
  • The Ray D’Arcy Show in the mid-afternoon is down by 6,000 to 211,000 listeners but is also up compared to last year.
  • Drivetime presented by Mary Wilson has a bigger audience than its post-work commuting rivals on Today FM and Newstalk with 236,000 listeners.

image004 Source: Ipsos/RTÉ

Two of RTÉ’s biggest stars, Ryan Tubridy and Miriam O’Callaghan both keep their places in the top 10 (7th and 10th), but their shows have lost numbers since the last JNLR release.

The Ryan Tubridy Show commands 319,000 listeners, down 3,000 on the last time out. Sunday with Miriam gets 247,000 listeners every week, 9,000 fewer than in April.

Today FM 

The country’s most listened to private radio station has 100,000 more listeners a week than RTÉ’s 2FM, with the station saying that the results meant “a good day all around for Today FM”.

  • Breakfast radio veteran Ian Dempsey has kept the top spot in the battle of the morning chat shows with 180,000 loyal listeners, the same as his previous figure.
  • The Last Word with Matt Cooper gets 139,000 listeners a night for the early evening news slot, a jump of 7,000 listeners.
  • The Anton Savage Show is the only Today FM show to lose listeners since last time out, shedding 1,000 listeners for an audience of 174,000.

Today FM’s Fergal D’Arcy also added another 3,000 listeners to his evening show, the 7-9pm time slot which Louise Duffy is set to take over from August.

RTÉ 2FM 

In terms of national market share, RTÉ 2FM just pips Newstalk into third place with the station also saying that it has overtaken Today FM in the 15-34 age bracket.

The station’s Breakfast Republic has 151,000 listeners while The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene has 136,000 listeners, both figures are down on three months ago.

The Tracy Clifford Show has 114,000 listeners and The Eoghan Mc Dermott Show has 112,000 listeners.

28/6/2016. Newstalk Autumn Schedules Newstalk's new breakfast line-up.

Newstalk

There have been loads of changes to Newstalk’s line-up recently, most notably at Newstalk Breakfast and with George Hook’s move to early afternoon. Hook is to be replaced with Chris Donoghue and Sarah McInerny on ‘Newstalk Drive’ from September.

So with that in mind, here are Newstalk’s last JNLRs with those old line ups:

  • Newstalk Breakfast has 163,000 daily listeners, down about 8,000 since the end of January
  • The Pat Kenny Show is up by 5,000 since April with 131,000 listeners a day.
  • George Hook’s time as presenter on his usual slot comes to an end with 132,000 daily listeners on The Right Hook.
  • Newstalk’s most popular radio show continues to be Off The Ball with 194,000 weekend listeners.

Dublin versus the rest of the country

Overall, the figures show that 83% of Irish adults listen to the radio every day.

National radio stations hold the majority share position in Dublin (57.2%) and the greater Dublin commuter belt (57.0%), while regional radio is in the majority in the other regions throughout the country.

Local radio in particular achieves its highest share position in the north west (64.1%), Cork (61.3%) and south west regions (60.3%).

PastedImage-47233 Source: Ipsosmrbi.ie

Read: RTÉ Radio One remains top dog in the radio wars >

Read: How do you replace one of Irish broadcasting’s big beasts? This man has a plan >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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