Radiowaves.FM - Irish Radio News


2FM (non) shuffle

2FM’s much-hyped reshuffle starts on Monday and – hey – they’ve got a new logo! That’s about it really.

The ‘new’ schedule looks like this: 6am Ruth Scott….7am Damien McCaul….9am Gerry Ryan (big change!)…12 Larry Gogan, whose shirts are annoying even on radio! Hasn’t Larry been in this time-slot broadcasting to the dinosaurs? Yep, it’s major reshuffle time at 2FM…2pm new time (sic) for Gareth O’Callaghan…hope he settles in!…5pm Tony Fenton (“On the Radio” it says here – thanks for clearing that up guys)…7pm Dusty Rhodes….9pm Dave Fanning…11pm Uaneen Fitzsimons…2am World Web Radio……it’s going to take us an age to get used to these changes!

2FM site relaunch

2FM’S relaunch was allegedly pre-empted by a hacked attack on their site which has now also been relaunched. A new fresh sound (it says here) but has anybody else noticed the similarity between 2FM’s new jingle package and that of BBC Radio 1’s?

Valleri Plans Return

Radio Valleri, the 1970s Dublin pirate whose first shortwave broadcast was on 6317kHz in October 1973, is planning a return to SW in the near future, Radiowaves is delighted to reveal. This will be a major boost for aging anoraks, overseas Dublin radio listeners and those with shortwave receivers. It will be operated by the original Radio Valleri crew: namely Derek Jones (presently on air on Radio Caroline Dublin every Sunday morning) and Mike Anderson.

E Valleri

Radio Valleri have set up an email address for anybody wishing to write requesting information and details about their planned relaunch. Obviously good luck messages are also welcomed at

Atlantic licence renewed

Atlantic 252, Ireland’s long wave station, have had their licence renewed for another 8 years. News that’s bound to make somebody’s day! 

Push over the Atlantic

Atlantic 252’s managing-director John O’Hara has been given the green light by parent company CLT-UFA to kick-start a £1 million marketing push to restore the youth-oriented station to its former glory. Atlantic’s website is due to launch on October 1st and they hope to have re-established themselves in the “hearts and minds” of their 15-34 year old audience by then. 

First for TalkSport

TalkSport in the UK are claiming a first with the novel idea of inviting listeners to record audio email messages through their website to be sent to the station for later broadcast.

Atlantic push website

Atlantic 252 have appointed e-business consultancy E-Marketing to develop its new website which they hope will be the most innovative radio station website ever created. A live stream will also be available.

The long wave station, which is based in Co Meath, is about to announce details of it’s £1m marketing push, and all of this follows a 20% audience increase since its new schedule launch in January.

The site is due for official launch on October 1st. 

Ozone to Leave a Hole in SW?

Ozone Radio, the shortwave pirate station based in Dublin, may be leaving the airwaves within a month owing to a lack of interest from listeners, according to SRSnews.

Station controller Prince Terry has been making on-air statements regarding lack of interest, in particular very few letters.

Ozone Radio has been on air for 3 decades and was formerly known as Westside Radio.

The station broadcasts on Sunday mornings usually from about 8am and carries a deferred relay of Phantom FM’s ‘The Anorak Hour’.

Stafford Denies Pushing for RTÉ Radio 2 Close

James Stafford of Century Radio has denied that he ever pushed for RTÉ Radio 2 to be closed down.

Stafford said at the Flood Tribunal today that it was his view that RTÉ Radio 2 should be closed as it was using the RTÉ licence fee to sell below-cost advertising to stifle competition.

Capital Radio in London, which took a stake in Century, also believed it should be closed.

But, he said, it was never a requirement, and it was not included in the 1990 legislation.

Today Want Ray

Today FM, Ireland’s independent national radio service, want to sign Ray D’Arcy to present a morning programme on the station.

Atlantic web

Atlantic 252 – the long wave station broadcasting to the UK and Ireland – have put up a temporary page at their website where listeners can tune in on the internet. Atlantic’s website is due for a full launch at the beginning of October. The address is

Sky Calls BBC’s Tune

BBC Radio 1’s sentimental feature “Our Tune” will be on TV on Sky One from next month. Simon Bates – the man who made it a ‘must-weep’ feature for millions of listeners – will present.

Everyone’s doing great!

RTÉ Radio, Today FM and just about every other station in the country are claiming that more and more people are tuning their way. It can only mean today’s release of the JNLR figures covering the period July 99 – June 2000. Countrywide, yesterday RTÉ Radio 1 are getting 30%, 2FM 28% and Today FM 14%. In Dublin RTÉ Radio 1 are pulling in 40% of listeners with 16% each for 2FM, FM104 and 98FM. Overall the RTÉ stations are getting a 49% share and the independents 51%.

Comment: Such a shame that the pirates aren’t included. It would be nice to have a true reflection of who’s listening to what and it might also put an end to the whole ESG v Hot debate currently boring everyone to tears on bulletin boards.

Tribunal Affair

RTÉ Radio 1 plan to broadcast reenactments of tribunals as a stand-alone programme in their peak evening slot. Proving very popular with listeners, reenactments have already featured as part of the channel’s 7pm show “Tonight With Vincent Browne” but this programme will no longer be a part of radio schedules as its host is moving to television.

Mayo for Breakfast Served Again

BBC Radio 1’s Simon Mayo show can once again be heard crystal clear on Dublin’s FM band courtesy of Freedom 92FM. In addition to Radio 1’s breakfast show, Freedom have extended relays of the UK national pop channel until 12 midday.


2FM is being relayed on 6220kHz on the shortwave band (monitored with a very good signal in Scotland). This frequency has most recently been used by Laser Hot Hits.

Source Alex Jenkins

Ray for Today

Today FM introduced a ‘new face on the radio’ today in the form of Ray D’Arcy (but no Zig and Zag!) presenting the first of his daily shows at 10am. A slight reshuffle sees Tim Kelly moved to the afternoon slot while Philip Cawley is on holidays, and with Ian Dempsey back from his latest vacation, Today FM are hoping that the new look schedule will grab them a further increase in audience share on the back of the recent JNLR figures.

Five Live switch off on Astra

BBC Five Live have stopped broadcasting in analogue via the Astra satellite at 19.2E due to broadcasting rights restrictions.

The Irish cable service from ntl has also been affected. A company representative for ntl has said that they hope to restore the channel soon – even though he needed to be informed that Five Live was a radio – not a tv – channel and that it was offered as part of their service.

Five Live is encrypted on Sky Digital but can be received on 990kHz, 909kHz and 693kHz on medium wave in many parts of Ireland.

Five Live Cable Issues

ntl are now admitting that they might have problems carrying Five Live in the future as a result of sports broadcasting rights restrictions which prevent the station broadcasting outside of the UK.

Five Live has been removed from analogue satellite and, as a consequence, from ntl.

The station is encrypted on the Sky Digital platform and available to UK listeners only.

Listeners in Ireland can now only tune in on medium wave.

Comment: Although ntl are not at fault it might be worth letting them know that you want Five Live as part of your cable service. Customer service: 1800 123123 or fill in the customer care form on their website.

Gay Radio Station Bound for Ireland?

Ireland could be home to Europe’s first gay radio station next year. Australian businessman Dr Austen James wants the station to be run entirely by gays but will settle for “people who live on the edge” if equality laws don’t permit it. The station hopes to beam it’s signal across Europe and plans are subject to the station receiving a licence.

Latest From the Flood Tribunal

James Stafford, the former director of Century Radio, has been accused of lying to the Flood Tribunal. Denying the allegation, Mr Stafford claimed that comments he made during a private interview were misinterpreted.
The tribunal heard that Mr Stafford said that he first heard about the now infamous payment to Ray Burke when he read about it in press reports earlier this year but later said in evidence that he had heard about it back in 1991. At that point, Oliver Barry claimed that he was owed money for the payment he made to Ray Burke. James Stafford said that was the first time he heard about it. However, tribunal lawyers have uncovered documents which reveal that Oliver Barry was refunded the payment after the London based Capital Radio took a stake in the station, and that James Stafford helped him to do this.

Atlantic Off Their Tits

Atlantic 252 are about to launch a new £1m promotional campaign aimed at their 15-24 year old target audience. Entitled "Dance Your Tits Off", the campaign will feature naked male model torsos with plasters over their nipples in an attempt to encourage more interest from dance music followers. 
Atlantic 252 broadcast to Ireland and the UK on the long wave band.

Atlantic 252 are about to launch a new £1m promotional campaign aimed at their 15-24 year old target audience. Entitled “Dance Your Tits Off”, the campaign will feature naked male model torsos with plasters over their nipples in an attempt to encourage more interest from dance music followers.
Atlantic 252 broadcast to Ireland and the UK on the long wave band.

Atlantic 252 website on test

Atlantic 252’s new website is currently at the testing stage and the plan is for it to go live on October 16th. The site was originally due for relaunch on October 1st. Atlantic 252 can be heard across the British Isles on the long wave band or by visiting their webpage.

Gaybo’s No Muggins

Gay Byrne today gave evidence at the Flood Tribunal. He told the court that Oliver Barry arrived at his home in Howth with a cheque for £1m as a downpayment for joining Century Radio. He declined the offer because he didn’t want to be seen as “muggins the frontman” for the new station. He said that he was nervous that the station owners had placed so much emphasis on having him on board and feared that he would be first to be criticised should the station fail.

Atlantic Gain Listeners

Atlantic 252 have shown an increase in the latest release of RAJAR figures. The station have attracted 50,000 new listeners – an increase of 4%. Atlantic 252 broadcast to the UK and Ireland on 252kHz long wave.

Today at The Flood Tribunal

RTE’s dealings with Century Radio, and the cap on it’s advertising rates, cost the station approximately £20m, RTE’s chief financial officer Gerry O’Brien claimed today at The Flood Tribunal.

Remembering Uaneen

The first in a series of commemorative events in honour of Uaneen Fitzsimons, the RTE radio and TV presenter killed in a road accident last week, will take place tomorrow night at the Temple Bar Music Centre in Dublin at 11pm.
The event will feature “The Sound In A Light Year” a film by Donal Dineen plus DJs: Johnny Moy, Donal Scannell, Billy Scurry, Hugh Scully, Glen Brady and Philip Boyle.
All proceeds will go to one of Uaneen’s favourite charities.

Today at the Flood Tribunal

Mr Patrick Taylor, former finance director of the UK’s Capital Radio who invested over £1m in Century Radio, said today that it was suggested to him that former Communications Minister Ray Burke was paid £35,000 by Oliver Barry, Century’s co-founder, in return for placing a cap on RTÉ’s advertising revenue.
The suggestion was made to him by Mr James Stafford, also co-founder of Century, in late 1991.

Mr Taylor also told the Tribunal that he was unaware that Mr John Mulhern, son-in-law of Charles Haughey, was an investor in Century Radio. It was not disclosed in the legal documents drawn up at the time of Capital’s investment in the station, he said.

In other evidence given today, Mr Paddy Corbett (Manager of Bank of Ireland, O’Connell Street) agreed that words recorded in an internal bank memo to the effect that Mr Oliver Barry had used his ‘political clout to get…a level playing field’ – referring to the cap on RTÉ’s advertising – were his, but he had no recollection of saying it.

Mr Séamus O’Neill, former marketing director of Century Radio, said that he had sold advertising prior to the station’s launch on the basis that the signal would reach 60% of the country on it’s first day of broadcasting and that it should not have launched, because at that point, only 45% of the country could receive the station. He had never been shown RTÉ’s transmission document which stated that it would take nine months before this level of coverage could be reached. This led to advertisers cancelling orders and it became difficult to get new business, he added.

New appointment at 252

Following the recent poor showing in the RAJAR figures, Meath-based long wave station Atlantic 252 have appointed a new Programme Controller in the shape of 27 year old Sarah Henderson.
Atlantic 252 broadcast across the UK and Ireland on 252kHz. 

Atlantic 252 for sale

Atlantic 252, which is owned by RTL (80%) and RTÉ, is to be put up for sale again, according to a report in today’s Mail On Sunday. The value could be up to £20m.

Report: Mike Terry 

Business as usual at 252

The press speculation at the weekend concerning a sale by RTL of their 80% controlling interest in Atlantic 252 has led to station manager John O’Hara issuing a statement yesterday in which he said that it was business as usual for the staff and himself.
“[We] are committed to restoring Atlantic 252 to its former glory and that process has already begun,” he says. “The resurgence of interest in long wave from the UK, the Dutch and the Scandinavians can only be good for us and we look forward to a long and successful future.”
RTÉ, the state broadcaster which owns a 20% stake, remains committed to the station.

Report: Mike Terry 

Five’s Alive Again

Both BBC Five Live and WRN have been restored to NTL’s cable network in Dublin. Five Live can be heard through NTL on 95.1MHz whilst WRN is tuneable on 102.7MHz.

Meanwhile, as a result, WXTC have confirmed that their relay of BBC Five Live will resume this evening following their own live programming and they plan to relay the British network as much as possible during the run-in to the UK general election.

Atlantic 252 is finally dead

Atlantic 252 is no more. Following on from the final live programming from the station just befpre Christmas, the automated music programming ceased at midnight last night and has been replaced with promotional programming for TeamTalk Radio – which is due to launch on 252kHz long wave on February 25th. 

Boring Boring Talksport

Two of three complaints by listeners against national UK station TalkSport have been upheld. The UK’s Radio Authority reprimanded the talk station for an item on their Breakfast Show in which Turkish people were described as being “barbaric”. Despite a claim that the word was used in the context of Galatasaray football supporters, the Radio Authority upheld the complaint.

TalkSport’s FA Cup commentaries were described by the station as being “exclusive”, even though they are anything but! The station’s claim that they meant exclusive in the sense of style and presentation rather than the competition itself was, not surprisingly, rejected, although the complaint was only partially upheld by the Radio Authority.

Not upheld was the complaint by a listener that the station was “plain boring”! The Radio Authority admitted that it was not within their powers to reprimand any station for being boring.

Source: Media Guardian

Corrupt Corrupt Corrupt

After five years, the Flood Tribunal has released its interim report. There were a number of key points concerning Century Radio, the national station which was awarded a licence in 1989 but lasted only two years on air.

Justice Flood has found that a £35,000 payment to then minister for communications Ray Burke by Century Radio owner Oliver Barry on 26th May 1989, was a corrupt payment and was not intended by Barry to be a political donation to Burke or to Fianna Fáil. This followed the award of the new national licence to Century.

It was also found that a ministerial directive obliging RTÉ to provide its facilities to Century, issued by Burke on March 14th, 1989, was issued to advance the private interests of the promoters of Century and not to serve the public interest.

Further, in proposing legislation which would have had the effect of curbing RTÉ’s advertising, altering the format of 2FM, and diverting broadcasting licence fee income from RTÉ to independent broadcasters, Burke was acting in response to demands made of him by the promoters of Century and was not serving the public interest.

The payment of £35,000 to Ray Burke by Oliver Barry ensured that he was available to serve the interests of Century’s promoters, as is evidenced by his willingness to meet with their bankers and to give them assurances that he would take steps, including, if necessary, the introduction of legislation which would be to Century’s financial benefit.

Dad let go from Today FM

Today FM bosses have axed Ian Noctor’s Sunday night Dad Rock show. Dad Rock features classic rock tunes from the ’60s and ’70s but station bosses are said to be unhappy with the size of the niche audience it attracts, and will launch an indie rock show in its place to regain listeners lost to pirate stations like Phantom FM and XFM.

Dad Rock has been on air since 1999. Ian Noctor has been presenting the show for just over a year, Marty Miller presented it previously. Ian Noctor is said to be so devastated with the news that he opted out of presenting the final two shows, the first of which was last Sunday. Cliff Walker has taken Ian’s place and will present a special finale this Sunday evening.

Dan’s The Newstalk Man

Aidan Dunne has resigned as Chief Executive at NewsTalk 106FM. This is the second Chief Executive the Dublin talk station have lost in their 17 months on air. 98FM chief Dan Healy will take over the role with almost inmmediate effect. He will be replaced at 98FM by the station’s marketing manager Ciaran Davis.

Funds for Newstalk

NewsTalk 106FM have announced that they will raise €2.5m from the station’s shareholders over the next few months. This is expected to fund a new marketing drive as well as ongoing operational costs.

Big Ron is Hooked on Newstalk

‘Big Ron’ Atkinson has signed up as a football pundit on ‘The Right Hook’ for NewsTalk 106. Atkinson is one of English football’s more colourful characters, but it was an unfortunate incident relating to colour that lost him his similar, mega-bucks job with ITV Sport. Atkinson was overheard referring to a Chelsea player as a ‘f**king lazy, thick ni**er’ when he thought his comments were not being broadcast. Unfortunately for him, the mic was still open and the comments were carried live by several tv stations around the world who were relying on ITV for their pictures. Atkinson has since apologised, but was widely condemned for the remarks, and led to him resigning his post at ITV, as well as a columnist job with The Guardian newspaper.
Atkinson will be employed as a stand-in for Eamon Dunphy when the station’s breakfast presenter is not available.

NewsTalk’s Celtic Coverage Ruled Offside

NewsTalk 106 have been told that their live coverage of Glasgow Celtic’s football matches are in breach of contract rights. The station were broadcasting the Scottish team’s Saturday afternoon matches based on an agreement with the club itself. However, the broadcast rights for individual clubs are held collectively by the game’s governing body, who contacted the Dublin station and advised them to stop. This was based on a complaint from another radio station.
NewsTalk 106 have been brought to task in the past for unofficial coverage of Irish league matches. Their Sunday and Monday night coverage of The Premiership remains unaffected. This agreement allows NewsTalk 106 to relay BBC Radio 5 Live’s match coverage to Dublin FM audiences. Unfortunately for NewsTalk, Five Live’s comprehensive sporting coverage leads to many broken points in the live commentary when the BBC goes elsewhere for updates or live broadcasts of other events.

Marty Promises ‘Personality’ Breakfast

Marty Whelan has said that his new breakfast show, starting at 7am on RTÉ 2FM on Monday morning, will focus mainly on his own personality rather than relying on gags or sketches. Speaking to tonight’s Evening Herald the popular presenter promises listeners a fun-filled show that will offer something different to humour-based shows on offer on Today FM and FM104. Marty also promises more (and a wider wariety of) music than other shows available at the same hour.

Claire FM

Claire Byrne is leaving TV Three to join NewsTalk FM, the Dublin news station which is about to go national. NewsTalk have been desperate to sign a big name ever since the high-profile departure of Eamon Dunphy and sources suggest that Claire will join Ger Gilroy on a double-headed breakfast show.
Tests are now starting on the new national frequencies, and the relaunch is set to happen on October 2nd with a release outlining the station’s new schedule due tomorrow.

Possible Early National Launch for Newstalk

NewsTalk 106-108 say they are ready to launch on a national basis and will do so this Friday if given a BCI nod of approval. The four year old Dublin station were awarded the national licence earlier this year and had set October 2nd as the date when the rest of the country could tune in to its unique blend of news and talk. They will also introduce music to the schedules for the first time when they go national and there will be a schedule shake-up. NewsTalk is marketing itself as a younger alternative to RTÉ Radio 1 and have employed a number of correspondents from outside Dublin.

Formalities Out of the Way, Friday Launch for Talk Alternative

NewsTalk 106-108 will launch their national service this Friday following a contract signing today which sees them enter an agreement with the BCI to provide a service for ten years.
Newstalk 106-108 will offer speech-driven content for over-25s, with a primary audience of 25-44 year olds and a secondary audience of 45-55 year old adults. The station will broadcast 24 hours per day with over 120 hours of live programming per week.
Speaking at the contract signing, the BCI Chairman Conor J. Maguire said: “We are delighted to sign today’s contract with Newstalk 106-108. In now broadcasting to a national audience, the service will mark a new era in Irish broadcasting. We are confident that the service will add significantly to news and speech-based radio in Ireland and will provide Irish listeners with a vibrant alternative.”

Radio 1 Says Goodbye to MW with Brendan Balfe

Brendan Balfe, Larry Gogan and Mike Murphy (1974)

To mark Monday’s closedown of RTÉ Radio 1’s Medium Wave service Brendan Balfe will present ‘Medium Wave Goodbye’ from 1.30pm. Brendan will countdown to the switch off at 3pm with a personal choice of rare, medium and well-done moments from the Irish airwaves.

RTÉ’s broadcasts began life on medium wave as 2RN, later known as Radio Athlone, Raidió Éireann and in more recent times as RTÉ Radio 1. RTÉ introduced the FM service in 1966 to counteract interference and poor reception on the MW band.

For Medium Wave Goodbye, which will be broadcast on all wavelengths, on the internet and on RTÉ’s digital radio trial service, Brendan has assembled a nostalgic programme highlighting some of his favourite moments on Irish radio. Brendan promises an entertaining and fascinating 90 minutes of memories of a service which has brought the world into homes all over the country since 1926, capturing moments of history and life through decades of news, sport, features and entertainment. The programme includes archive audio of request programmes, pop and trad music, features, documentaries and commentaries.

After March 24th listeners can only tune into conventional RTÉ Radio 1 broadcasts on FM, 252kHz LW, and also via cable television, satellite, the internet and in pilot areas on RTÉ’s DAB digital radio trial service.

Listeners who tune into MW specifically for extra RTÉ Radio 1 programmes, including weekday sports broadcasts and Sunday religious services, will find those programmes on long wave, cable television and the internet.

For an alternative to sports broadcasts on Saturdays and Sundays listeners will find a selection of RTÉ Radio 1 arts, features and drama on RTÉ’s digital radio test station, RTÉ Choice, and as downloadable podcasts from

John McMahon Named 2FM’s New Station Head

Following an internal competition, RTÉ Radio have announced that John McMahon has been appointed as the new Head of RTÉ 2FM. The appointment follows John Clarke’s earlier decision not to renew his contract as Head of the station. The news comes on foot of the announcement that RTÉ 2FM’s core target audience would be re-positioned in 2010 from 15-34 years to 25-44 years.


Clare Duignan, RTÉ Radio MD, said: “John McMahon is a true radiohead who migrated to RTÉ Television but is now coming home to Radio. As RTÉ 2FM faces into a challenging 2010, I am confident that John has both the skills and the vision to steer Ireland’s second most-listened-to radio station in a confident new direction. I would also like to take this opportunity to, once again, acknowledge the huge contribution by the outgoing Head John Clarke over his 11 years at the helm of RTÉ 2FM.”

John McMahon said: “After years behind the producer’s desk it’s great to now be getting behind a desk of a different sort at RTÉ 2FM. I look forward to returning to my natural home in radio and tackling the challenges ahead. RTÉ 2FM is Ireland’s most-listened-to music station. I look forward to working with the hugely talented 2FM team to build on this unquestionably solid foundation to re-shape the station for a new generation.”

38 year old John has a Post-graduate in broadcast journalism. He joined RTÉ in 1994, working in RTÉ Aertel, before becoming RTÉ’s first webmaster and launching RTÉ Online in 1996. He moved to RTÉ Radio in 1998 where over the years he worked as a series producer on RTÉ Radio 1’s ‘Today with Pat Kenny’, ‘5 7 Live’, ‘The Sunday Show’ and ‘The Vinyl Curtain’. From 2002 until 2004 he was series producer of RTÉ 2FM’s ‘Full Irish with Ryan Tubridy’. In 2004 he became Editor of Current Affairs and Daily Talk Shows on RTÉ Radio 1. John moved to RTÉ Television in 2006 when he was appointed Deputy Head of Schedule Planning. John has won several awards as a programme maker, including PPI, Justice Media and Meteor Music Awards. He will take up the post later in the year.

Green Tea for Saturday Mornings On RTÉ Radio 1

From tomorrow morning RTÉ Radio 1 will broadcast a dedicated political satire show in a popular Saturday morning slot for the fist time in ten years. ‘Green Tea’, a new series from the makers of ‘Nob Nation’, will air at 10.30am for the duration of Election 2011.

Mimic and satirist Oliver Callan (pictured), one of the show’s scriptwriters, says: “We are delighted that RTÉ Radio 1 will broadcast Green Tea in the old ‘Scrap Saturday’ slot because there’s no doubt that satirical commentary on the changing face of Irish society is needed at the moment. We’re going to take a look at politics, the banking sector, the judiciary, the GAA, the media, the arty set and the various characters that make Ireland so interesting.”

Green Tea will follow various political heavyweights, including Eamon Gilbore, Moan Burton, the Baron of Northstead (aka Gerry Adams) and new characters such as Richard-Boyd-Gladstone-Tudor-Barrett. Micky Martin from Fianna Fáil will be joined on the election campaign trail by veteran politicians such as Mammy O’Rourke.

The show will also feature well-known Irish broadcasters and media personalities including Marian Finucane, Séan O’Rourke, Vincent Browne, footballer Paul Galvin and showbiz impresario Louis Walsh, who will be joined by his show band side-kick Albert Reynolds.

Green Tea debuted with two episodes on RTÉ Radio 1 in December 2010.

RTÉ Radio 1 Ahead of its National Rivals

RTÉ Radio 1 is still Ireland’s most-listened-to radio station, with reach jumping from 24% to 25%. While competitors have seen losses to key breakfast and daytime slots, RTÉ Radio 1 has recorded strong book-on-book gains for ‘Morning Ireland’, and ‘The John Murray Show’ has made its JNLR debut with an additional 2,000 listeners. Most other RTÉ Radio 1 daytime shows recorded gains.

At weekends, gains continued for The Marian Finucane Show (Sunday), This Week, Saturday Sport, Countrywide, The Business and John Bowman.

RTÉ Radio 1 occupied every slot in the top ten most-listened-to programmes in Ireland. RTÉ Radio overall has claimed 19 of the top 20 most-listened-to programmes in the country, up from 18 this time last year.

Jim Jennings, Head of Radio 1, says: “The latest figures for RTÉ Radio 1 tell us we are the first choice for the majority of radio listeners in Ireland. Listeners choose Radio 1 time and again thanks to the high standard of award-winning, impartial and entertaining coverage that only Radio 1 can deliver. We have had much talk about the migration to and from current-affairs coverage across the stations. Our competitors have lost out in this book not because listeners are tuning out of the national discussion, but because the conversation is now firmly on RTÉ Radio 1.”

RTÉ 2FM has maintained its seven-day reach lead on its commercial competitors, while it has also remained neck-and-neck with Today FM with weekday reach at 13%. Hector Ó hEochagáin’s new breakfast show debuted with an encouraging 133,000 listeners. Ryan Tubridy’s new 2FM show, with 216,000 listeners, is almost neck and neck with Ray D’Arcy, despite being an hour shorter. 2FM has seen strong gains on Sundays.

John McMahon, Head of RTÉ 2FM, says: “The new 2FM schedule was just launched in September. The reduction in timeslots of key shows from three to two hours was always going to impact figures. Our aim was to hold stable, and this we have done. I’m delighted that ‘Breakfast with Hector’ has got off to a strong start, and it’s all to play for now with Tubridy and Colm Hayes. The figures for the afternoon shows are a real cause for optimism, as are the gains on Sundays. The new 2FM TV ad is still on air, and it has been hugely well received. The next two JNLR books will offer conclusive indications for 2FM, and we’re determined to attract more listeners to what is a brilliant new schedule.”

RTÉ Lyric FM’s Marty Whelan has made a strong debut in his new breakfast slot, with 19,000 listeners. Lyric has seen continued growth at weekends, with book-on-book growth also recorded on weekdays. Lyric’s Liz Nolan, Niall Carroll, George Hamilton, Lorcan Murray (Saturday), Gay Byrne and Rachel Blech all recorded gains book-on-book, while there was also good news for lyric year-on-year, with gains for ‘Movies and Musicals’ and ‘Niall Carroll’s Classic Drive’.

Clare Duignan, Managing Director of RTÉ Radio, commented: “There had been some slippage recently on RTÉ Radio 1 but those slippages have been dramatically reversed with these figures. We have seen a decisive move by listeners back to RTÉ Radio 1. This tells me that RTÉ Radio delivered: through the extreme weather events of late last year, and the even more extreme developments in the political and economic arena, RTÉ Radio 1 was the clear leader for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. This is a clear endorsement of RTÉ Radio’s Public Service Broadcasting and we are hugely grateful to the listeners for their loyalty. This was another good book for lyric with growth returning to week days and growth also for key programmes. Marty Whelan has made a strong debut at breakfast. As for 2FM: we made our own predictions for this book and I’m happy that we’ve landed exactly where we knew we would. The new schedule was launched last September; it informs only three months of the 12-month research period, and so we will have to wait for the next two books to get a clearer picture of where we are. We wanted breakfast to hold steady: it has. We wanted Tubridy to stay neck-and-neck with his nearest rival, who has over 10 year’s heritage in his slot. Tubridy has met that challenge. Crucially, 2FM remains the second-most-listened to radio station. It’s a good start to 2011.”

Main points for RTÉ Radio 1:
it is the only national station with a weekly reach of over 1 million listeners. Radio 1’s listenership is up 9,000 to 1.313, million
its weekday reach is up a point to 25% (+21,000 to 869,000) and weekday share up a point to 22.7%
gains at weekends with 690,000 listeners on Saturdays and 635,000 on Sundays
Morning Ireland is Ireland’s number 1 programme with Adults 15+: 449,000 listeners, up 23,000 listeners
Marian Finucane holds number 2 and number 4 position with 400,000 on Saturday and 369,000 on Sundays
Liveline is number 3 in Top 10 Adults 15+ with 392,000 listeners
The Business is number 5 in Top 10, up 4,000 listeners to 351,000
The John Murray Show debuts at No.7 in Top 10 with 332,000 listeners, up 2,000
Pat Kenny up 4,000 to 324,000
News at One up 2,000 to 335,000
Drivetime, Ireland’s most popular drivetime show, up 5,000 to 234,000
Ronan Collins, up 10,000 to 223,000
Mooney up 4,000 to 211,000
This Week up 5,000 to 201,000
Saturday Sport up 5,000 to 192,000
Miriam Meets up 36,000 year on year to 262,000

Main points for RTÉ 2FM:
it is the second most listened to station in the country with 26% (931,000 listeners) 7 day reach and 44,000 more listeners than its nearest competitor
its reach is up 11,000 to 276,000 on Sundays
The Tubridy Show debuts with 216,000 listeners – number 2 amongst 20 to 44 year olds – and in at number 15 in the Top 20 all week national radio programmes (Adults 15+)
Hector’s Breakfast Show debuts with 133,000 listeners
Ireland’s Biggest Jukebox up 9,000 to 127,000
Michael Cahill up 7,000 to 52,000
Baz and Lucy on Sundays, up 6,000 to 56,000

Main points for RTÉ Lyric FM:
it has over a quarter of a million listeners (259,000) with 7 day reach at 7%
its reach is up on weekdays (up 4,000 to 115,000) and Saturdays (up 5,000 to 99,000)
Marty in the Morning performing strongly in new breakfast slot with 19,000 listeners
Liz Nolan’s Lunchtime Classics up 2,000 to 30,000
Niall Carroll’s Classic Drive up 2,000 to 50,000
The Hamilton Scores up 2,000 to 27,000
Lorcan Murray’s Classic Drive up 2,000 to 49,000
Sunday with Gay Byrne up 2,000 to 46,000
The John Kelly Ensemble up 1,000 to 30,000