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Radio Wars

RTÉ Radio One and 2FM have had a STELLAR three months - here are the latest radio figures

The state broadcaster has been cleaning up on all fronts over the last three months.

8/8/2013 RTE Television Schedules Laura Hutton / Laura Hutton / /

IT SEEMS THAT at present RTÉ radio can do no wrong – the state broadcaster has been having a field day on all fronts over the last three months according to the latest radio listenership figures.

The latest JNLR figures have just been released and they make for very happy reading indeed for RTÉ executives.

The ratings for every significant RTÉ Radio One, daytime radio, and all weekend slots have improved in the last three months.

On top of that, the fortunes of 2FM, which had struggled badly in recent times, have undergone something of a renaissance it seems.

RTÉ’s heads of respectively Radio One and 2FM, Tom Maguire and Dan Healy, spoke to this afternoon in the aftermath of the broadcaster’s positive results.

“This improvement, it’s been patient and slow and deliberate. It’s great but we’re not finished yet,” said Maguire.

The age profile for Radio One listenership in particular is really coming down. It’s because we’ve been able to invest in people, something we weren’t able to do in recent times.

“There are 44,000 more daily listeners to 2FM today than there was this time last year,” Healy said meanwhile.

The station has changed around completely from what it was two years ago.
It goes to show the station has had its struggles but we’ve definitely turned things around. We’re really giving it a go now.

Breakfast Republic on 2FM is one of the major success stories of this period, with 196,000 listeners bringing it into the top 20 of most listened shows for the first time (although this is based on a new timeslot, having absorbed listeners who would have previously been tuned in to Ryan Tubridy) with Today FM’s Ian Dempsey making way.


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Anton Savage and Matt Cooper on Today FM are among the big losers this time round.

Ray D’Arcy’s new afternoon show on Radio One is doing well with figures up by 9,000 to 199,000 since July, while Ryan Tubridy is a big winner – his new show in the slot formerly occupied by John Murray on Radio One now has 9,000 more listeners than in July with 307,000.

Marian Finucane is the big winner as regards weekend schedules, with 396,000 listeners for her Saturday morning show seeing an increase of 23,000 over the last year.

This RTÉ dominance is not a new story – when the last group of figures were published in July the state broadcaster occupied 18 of the top 20 weekly listenership slots – and 17 of those belonged to Radio One. That figure is now 19 of the top 20 with Anton Savage now the sole occupier of a top 20 slot from outside RTÉ.


Here’s some more highlights from this afternoon’s results:

  • Morning Ireland remains the show to beat in Ireland with 439,000 listeners, an increase of 6,000 since July
  • The Anton Savage Show on Today FM on weekday mornings has lost 3,000 listeners, down to 191,000
  • Pat Kenny’s morning show on Newstalk remained static at 134,000 listeners
  • Newstalk Breakfast with Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue has increased by 25,000 listeners year on year to 178,000
  • Ian Dempsey’s breakfast show on Today FM which had clung to 20th place on the ladder in July has now fallen to 181,000 listeners from 183,000 in July
  • George Hook’s Right Hook early evening show on Newstalk now has 148,000 listeners, an increase of 35,000, and his best ever showing
  • Today with Seán O’Rourke has increased listeners by 33,000 since last year to 328,000
  • Joe Duffy’s Liveline has seen a modest increase of 2,000 in listenership to 371,000

Currently 83% of the adult Irish population listen to the radio each day. We are truly a nation in love with the radio.

RTÉ Radio One remains very much the big boy on the court – with 22.3% of listenership nationally it can boast almost three times the listeners compared to its nearest non-RTÉ rival Today FM (7.9%).

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