RTÉ Radio 1

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.

RTÉ Radio 1 Taking the Piss

A news item on RTÉ Radio 1’s flagship Five Seven Live news programme threw the studio into chaos when the newsreader told listeners that she had almost said a rude word during the piece – and then went on to tell listeners what the word was!
Traffic chaos caused by a sheep and horse fair in Connemara was the subject of a report by newsreader Frances Shanaghan. Connemara is so remote it is not usually in the news as a result of traffic. So Frances felt she should inform listeners that the item was genuine. She said: “Before you think i’m taking the …”, but realising she was live on air, she stopped herself just before finishing the sentence. However, she then went on to say: “I was going to say ‘taking the piss’ but I won’t.” Main presenter Rachael English collapsed in a fit of giggles and the sports reporter who was on next had trouble delivering his bulletin.

Marian to Give Up Morning Programme

Marian Finucane is giving up her morning programme with RTÉ Radio 1. Marian has revealed that her hour-long morning show will cease when it stops for next year’s summer break. This will give her the freedom to pursue other radio projects for the station. She has given no details of this new arrangement, except to say that there have been ideas in her head for eleven years.
Recent speculation suggested that RTÉ would be dropping her show in the new year, whilst other reports suggested that she would be moving to Dublin station NewsTalk 106FM.

Duffy Listeners Blown Away by Comment

Listeners to RTÉ Radio 1’s Liveline show were stunned yesterday when a hoax caller managed to suggest that minister Martin Cullen’s PR advisor Monica Leech must be ‘sucking his c**k’ to earn the €120,000 a year he’s paying her from government funds.

The caller to the afternoon phone-in show presented by Joe Duffy identified himself as ‘Norman’, a member of the Progressive Democrats.

Debate had been raging on the show with many listeners critical of the amount of money being paid. However, ‘Norman’ took the debate to another level when he first suggested that Leech was not being overpaid at all. Duffy asked him to justify the remarks but wasn’t prepared for the response he got.
‘Norman’ offered the view that maybe she’s been doing other things besides the constituency work. When he became more specific, Duffy instantly stopped the call and went to a commercial break.
Today’s Liveline contained an unreserved apology but it may not prevent a massive libel case against RTÉ.

Duffy Criticises Bono’s Radio Skills

RTÉ’s Joe Duffy has criticised Bono’s performance as guest editor of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme earlier this week. The presenter of Radio 1’s Liveline programme called the U2 lead singer “boring” and “too wrapped up in himself” in his Ireland on Sunday column published today. Duffy feels that Bono made a ‘dog’s dinner’ of producing the programme, which went out just two days after the tsunami disaster which struck South-East Asia last weekend. He claims that Bono allowed his ‘old-pals club’ to spend time offering devotion to Bono and themselves, rather than devoting time to dealing with the disaster which has laid the planet’s population grief-stricken.
Duffy was also critical of an item Bono produced suggesting that the Irish are descended from Arabs rather than the Celts. Considering the events in Asia, Duffy questions whether anyone cares whether Bono is a Celt or an Arab.
At the same time Duffy was full of praise for Pat Kenny, his colleague at Radio 1, for his treatment of the tsunami disaster. He called Kenny’s show “a masterclass of sensitivity and production”.

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 www.rte.ie/radio1.

Ana Leddy Resigns as Head of RTÉ Radio 1

RTÉ have announced that Ana Leddy has decided to stand down as head of RTÉ Radio 1 when her contract expires next year. Commenting on her decision, Leddy said: “After five years at the helm of the station, it is time for a change.”

RTÉ have announced that Ana Leddy has decided to stand down as head of RTÉ Radio 1 when her contract expires next year. Commenting on her decision, Leddy said: "After five years at the helm of the station, it is time for a change."
Courtesy Irish Independent

During Ms Leddy’s time as Station Head, RTÉ Radio 1 successfully battled a long-term share decline, consolidating its position as the most-listened to station. Ms Leddy also oversaw significant changes in weekend listening, with nine of the country’s Top 20 programmes now broadcast at weekends.

She says: “I came to RTÉ Radio 1 with a mission and it has been an incredibly satisfying five years as I have worked with colleagues to make RTÉ Radio 1 the best radio station in Ireland. It has been both challenging and exhilarating. As I prepare to hand on the role, I look at my schedule with a sense of pride, the result of some bold and indeed controversial programming decisions. It has been a privilege to be able to make these decisions and, having achieved what I want to achieve for RTÉ Radio 1, I’m now looking for a new challenge. It’s time to reconnect with my creative roots in production. I want to pay tribute to my colleagues: their work has filled our schedules with top-rating, award-winning and critically acclaimed radio, and I look forward to joining them, and making great radio.”

Speaking about Ms Leddy’s decision, RTÉ Radio MD Clare Duignan said: “Ana Leddy did that rare thing in broadcasting: she reinvigorated a station in decline. In her approach to programming and scheduling, she always put the listener first and this approach delivered results in spades. Her legacy is that she leaves Radio 1 stronger, more audience-focused and more competitive than when she arrived. I am hugely grateful to Ana for her enormous energy and commitment during her time as Head of Radio 1. As programme-makers, we all share that itch to get back to the mixing-desk. Ana is making that leap and management’s loss is programming’s gain. Listeners have a lot to look forward to once Ana Leddy returns to the talk-back.”

Ana Leddy joined RTÉ Radio 1 in 2006, having previously worked for the BBC. RTÉ will announce a competition for the position of Head of RTÉ Radio 1 in the coming weeks. Ana Leddy will continue as Head of RTÉ Radio 1 until a successor is in place, after which she will work at a senior level in programme production on Radio 1.

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