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Tubridy on the rise but Marian loses listeners as competition keeping RTÉ 'on its toes'

The Hard Shoulder with Ivan Yates is the only non-RTÉ Radio One show to make it into the top 20.

RTÉ RADIO ONE is still the most listened to station in Ireland according to the most recent figures published this afternoon, but weekend competition from Newstalk is ensuring the likes of the Marian Finucane show is “kept on their toes”, according to the head of the station. 

Earlier this year, Newstalk launched a string of weekend shows including On the Record, hosted by Gavan Reilly on Sundays which directly competes with RTÉ’s Marian Finucane show at 11am. 

Tom McGuire, who heads RTÉ Radio One, told TheJournal.ie that the new competition “keeps you on your toes”.

McGuire said that the Marian Finucane show had opened up those weekend slots for everyone else. “When it comes to seminal interviews in a year, that [programme] is where it’s going to come from,” he said. 

Across the radio shows, the traditional summer slump has seen a decline for the News at One and Joe Duffy’s Liveline on RTÉ Radio One.

There was good news elsewhere for Ryan Tubridy, Morning Ireland, Newstalk Breakfast and Off the Ball, however, in the latest JNLR listenership figures released this afternoon.

Here’s a breakdown (in all cases the rise or fall in listenership is compared to the previous quarter, unless stated).

RTÉ Radio One

  • Morning Ireland – 429,000 listeners (up 5,000)
  • The Ryan Tubridy Show – 334,000 (up 2,000)
  • Today with Sean O’Rourke – 315,000 (down 4,000)
  • News at One – 320,000 (down 9,000)
  • Liveline – 363,000 (down 9,000)

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All of the programmes in the top 20 most-listened-to in the last quarter (with the exception of Ivan Yates on Newstalk) were RTÉ Radio One programmes.

Tubridy is up 2,000 listeners this quarter but up an extra 21,000 on the year.

He said: “It’s been a great year for us on the radio. It helps being the Brexit escape hatch at 9am. We work hard to keep life interesting for the hour we are there and the response from listeners by text and mail helps fuel that sense of dialogue and fun. The team set the ball up, I try to score and we have a lot of craic getting there.”

Compared to the same time last year, the Marian Finucane Show on Sunday has lost over 20,000 listeners while Liveline’s numbers are also down on the previous two quarters.

Radio One head Tom McGuire said this time of year – covering the late summer months – is “always steady as it goes for us” with a reduction in politics news with the Dáil in recess and a lot of regular listeners on holidays.

Commenting on the competition from Newstalk, McGuire added: “Everyone needs to be kept on your toes. New blood gives new energy. That’s the normal order of things.”

2FM

It’s been something of a change for 2FM recently, which is just a few months into its new schedule.

Head of 2FM Dan Healy was pleased with the audience share of 13% among 15-34 year olds, and told TheJournal.ie that it gives them a good platform to build on. 

Here’s a breakdown of its listeners:

  • 2FM Breakfast with Doireann and Eoghan – 135,000 listeners
  • Jennifer Zamparelli – 156,000
  • Tracy Clifford – 147,000
  • Jenny Greene 2FM – 139,000

Healy said that the new combo on the breakfast show has performed well given that audiences tend to drop off when new presenters come on board.

He also praised Jennifer Zamparelli and her team in particular for the numbers on her show and said she was proving herself a host that listeners could share their own experiences with.

“Jen is really emerging,” he said. 

Newstalk

After rising consistently in previous quarters, The Hard Shoulder with Ivan Yates has fallen slightly, down 1,000 listeners on the last quarter. Overall though, he’s up 25,000 listeners when compared to the same time last year. 

Pat Kenny kept same the listenership compared to the last quarter but is down 11,000 listeners compared to the same time last year. 

Here’s a breakdown after it Newstalk continued to consolidate its position as the second-most-listened to station in Ireland

  • Newstalk Breakfast – 125,000 listeners (up 2,000)
  • The Pat Kenny Show – 142,000 (no change)
  • Lunchtime Live with Ciara Kelly – 92,000 (down 7,000)
  • Moncrieff – 90,000 (down 6,000)
  • The Hard Shoulder with Ivan Yates – 182,000 (down 1,000)
  • Off the Ball – 55,000 (up 4,000)

Newstalk managing editor Patricia Monahan said the station has had a “strong year”. 

“We are delighted to retain our position as the second most listened to station in Ireland and to see our drivetime shows, Newstalk Breakfast and The Hard Shoulder, become increasingly popular,” she said. 

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Sean Murray

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