RTÉ Radio 1 performed well across the board, Today FM lost listeners to its flagship programmes, and the battle for airwave supremacy in Cork City saw presenter Neil Prendeville lose ground to his main rival.
In a year-on-year analysis of performance, based on the latest JNLR/IPSOS MRBI figures, Morning Ireland remains the country’s number one radio programme with 449,000 listeners, up 16,000 since July 2015.
RTÉ Radio 1 continues to be top for news and current affairs with News on One attracting 348,000 weekday listeners, an increase of 34,000 and Drivetime with Mary Wilson attracting 236,000 listeners, an increase year-on-year of 18,000.
Marian Finucane remains the weekend leader, with a massive 400,000 tuning in on Saturday, a gain of 27,000 year-on-year. Saturday with Claire Byrne is up 14,000 listeners year-on-year to 244,000; Liveline with Joe Duffy is up 22,000 to 391,000, while Today with Sean O’Rourke saw a gain of 9,000 to 326,000. This puts him well ahead of former RTÉ star Pat Kenny, whom he replaced when Mr Kenny moved to Newstalk.
Newstalk said The Pat Kenny Show “delivers growth with 131,000 listeners daily”, however the station failed to clarify whether this figure represents an increase on the same time last year.
Over on Today FM, Anton Savage commands an audience of 174,000, albeit down from 194,000 year-on-year.
While Today FM recorded increases in listenership in programmes such as The Last Word in the last three months, with Matt Cooper attracting an audience of 139,000, the figure was down from 141,000 this time last year.
However, Mr Cooper is ahead of his Newstalk rival George Hook who has 132,000 daily listeners to The Right Hook programme.
In Cork City, the balance of power shifted between the two kingpins of morning chat shows on rival stations, Cork’s 96FM and RedFM.
The Opinion Line with PJ Coogan on 96FM attracted 61,000 listeners daily over the past three months while over on RedFM, Neil Prendeville attracted 55,000.
This time last year, Mr Prendeville had 85,000 listeners every weekday morning, while PJ Coogan, who took over his slot on 96FM, had 73,000 listeners.
RTÉ 2FM was meanwhile counting the cost of losing approximately 30,000 morning listeners with Ryan Tubridy’s switch to RTÉ Radio 1 last September.
Head of 2FM Dan Healy said he was “not worried about the talent but we need to think about the content” between 9am and 11am when the loss of listenership occurred. During this slot, the final hour of Breakfast Republic and the first hour of The Nicky Byrne Show are broadcast.
Ian Dempsey retains the top spot in breakfast radio; his audience of 180,000, albeit down 3,000 year-on-year, is almost 30,000 ahead of 2FM’s Breakfast Republic.
In fact, of the top 20 all week national radio programmes listened to by an auidence of those aged 15 and over, The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show and The Anton Savage Show are the only two non-RTÉ programmes.
The Ryan Tubridy Show comes in at number 7, attracting 319,000 listeners on weekdays, up 23,000 year-on-year, while The Ray D’Arcy Show comes in at number 15 with 211,000 listeners tuning in weekdays, up 21,000 year-on-year.
Jim Jennings, managing director, RTÉ Radio, said Radio 1 “continues to lead the daytime schedule with 18 out of the top 20 programmes”.
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