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Thursday 28 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
# jnlr figures
RTÉ Radio 1 is still hammering the opposition in the radio wars
The JNLR figures are out – here’s what people have been listening to.

IT WAS A big day for Radio One today, which continued its domination of the radiowaves with a slew of great JNLR results.

The latest figures show that 83% of all adults – that’s around 3 million people aged over 15 – listen to the radio every day.

More than half tune into their local or regional station, while 46% listen to a national station.

How the figures break down

Today FM

The big success for Today FM is the Breakfast Show, presented by Ian Dempsey, which is up 6,000 since the last figures, with an audience share of 187,000.

Ian Dempsey said:

I’m delighted with the figures. We’ve got a great team of people working behind the scenes and we still have fun with it every day. I think listeners tune in to the Breakfast Show for its positivity. The whole country seems to be returning to a positive mood and I’d hope that our show reflects that mood.

Today FM holds onto its position as Ireland’s largest independent radio station, with a weekly audience of almost 900,000 listeners (891,000).

Anton Savage is down 8,000 year-on-year, with 183,000 audience share. However, the station pointed out that his show has only just passed its first year.

Dermot and Dave are down 2,000, with an audience share of 121,000. Louise Duffy is down 4,000 with an audience of 94,000.

Matt Cooper is down 3,000 with an audience share of 132,000. “It was a brilliant quarter for Matt so we know that he will pick up in the next book [of JNLR figures],” said a Today FM spokesperson.

Alison Curtis is up 6,000 on Saturdays, and Phil Cawley is up 8,000 on Sundays.


Tim Collins, CEO of Newstalk, said 2015 was a great year for the station. 709,000 people now listen in weekly, and its year-on-year listenership is up by 25,000.

“Year-on-year we have seen strong growth across our prime-time schedule,” he said.

This puts us on a strong footing for 2016 as we embark on our in-depth election coverage and take to the road touring battleground counties to deliver reports from the smallest towns to the largest cities.

Chris Donoghue and Ivan Yates’ Newstalk Breakfast is down 7,000 since the last results in November, but up 6,000 year-on-year, with an audience share of 171,000.

Pat Kenny is down 1,000 since last time out, with an audience share of 133,000.

Sean Moncrieff is attracting the same level of listeners.

The Right Hook is down 3,000 since the previous figures, but up 19,000 year-on-year, and has daily listeners of 145,000.

Radio 1

It has been a “phenomenal day” for Radio 1, a spokesperson said.

Every programme has had huge gains right across the board. It’s been a winner across all boards.

Morning Ireland is up 9,000 listeners since the last figures in November, but up 22,000 year-on-year. It now has the biggest listenership in the country, with an audience share of 448,000.

Ryan Tubridy started his new show last year, and has seen his audience grow by 7,000 since the last figures were released.

Sean O’Rourke‘s listenership has grown by 33,000 year-on-year, with an audience share of 331,000.

Ronan Collins has seen a growth of 11,000 year-on-year, with a 220,000 audience share.

News At One has seen a 34,000 leap in listenership in a year, with 346,000 people tuning in overall. Liveline has seen a 9,000 listener growth year-on-year, with a 387,000 audience share.

Ray D’Arcy has seen a 22,000 growth year-on-year, with 215,000 listeners.

Drivetime is up 18,000 year-on year, with a 240,000 audience share.

Marian Finucane is down 4,000 since the last figures, but up 26,000 year-on-year. Saturday with Claire Byrne is up 39,000 in a year.

Miriam O’Callaghan is up 39,000 year-on-year and 5,000 since the previous figures.

Over in 2FM, there were drops across the board except for Louise McSharry.

A spokesperson said that the new schedule had launched three months ago, with a rebrand only launched in the past few weeks.

She said that they will hopefully see the effect of the rebrand in the next round of figures. “It’s very early days for a brand new schedule,” she said.

Breakfast Republic is down 15,000 since the last figures in November, with an audience share of 181,000.

Nicky Byrne is down 6,000, with an audience share of 157,00.

Tracy Clifford, who started her show last year, is at 129,000 listeners every day.

Eoin McDermott is down 2,000, with an audience share of 117,000.

However, Louise McSharry has seen her listenership rise by 3,000 year-on-year. She returned to her show last April after receiving treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Radio reaction

jnlr figures RTE RTE

Speaking to, Tom Maguire, head of Radio 1, said that the success was due to a “project that we embarked on unwittingly at the time” after Pat Kenny’s departure.

He noted how Sean O’Rourke and Ryan Tubridy had come into the schedule, and that there had been a “huge growth” in the number of women on air at the station.

In addition, its younger listenership has grown for the ages 15 – 34. Radio 1 is now “a station for all ages”, said Maguire, “and that is I think because people tuned into us for the last year or two, they liked what they heard and stayed with us”. He also noted that they had put a lot into music and comedy in the schedule.

While Radio 1 “came late” to social media, Maguire said they are now “actively engaged” with it, particularly across Twitter, to which he partly attributed the growth in younger listeners.

Sean O’Rourke is now at a stage where he has a bigger audience than Pat Kenny had on the last full year he was with us.

Meanwhile, head of 2FM Dan Healy said that they have seen a “significant gain” in listeners aged 15 – 34.

“Last night I would have been nervous for sure,” he said. “I thought we were going to get hammered because of [the recent changes].” Ryan Tubridy left the schedule last year.

He noted that from a revenue point of view, advertising agencies understand what the station is trying to achieve, which is “is giving us great satisfaction”. He pointed out that Breakfast Republic is just 7,000 listeners behind Ian Dempsey’s show.

Today “feels like a launching pad” for 2FM, added Healy. The biggest challenge for the show, he said, is “change”, recounting how a listener since 1979 had recently written to say she no longer wanted to listen because of the changes. “I would prefer if she didn’t,” said Healy, describing how he understood as the station had changed.

Healy said it was sad to see some colleagues go, and described it as challenging “talking to people you admire saying you can no longer be on the daytime schedule”.

jnlr 2

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The JNLR survey also noted that:

Local radio continues to be a strong performer in the individual radio markets across the country – in many areas reaching more than 40% of the local adult population daily. In particular, on the criterion of share of minutes listened during prime 7am to 7pm, Highland Radio, MWR, and Radio Kerry hold the majority share position in their respective franchise areas.

Read: RTÉ Radio One and 2FM have had a STELLAR three months – here are the latest radio figures>

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