Tubridy in talks to replace Gerry Ryan

HE became famous for what he had to say, but RTÉ is staying tight lipped on the race to replace Gerry Ryan.

Weekend reports suggest Ryan’s close friend, Ryan Tubridy is in talks to fill the hot seat, with a €1 million deal on the table for the 37-year-old presenter.

An RTÉ spokesperson said it was making “absolutely no comment” on reports that Tubridy is to take over the show in September.

The spokesperson said DJ Colm Hayes and chat-show host Lucy Kennedy would continue to fill the three-hour slot on 2FM over the next few weeks.

An announcement on Gerry Ryan’s successor would be made in “due course”, she said.

However, the Late Late Show host, who already presents an hour-long show five days a week on RTÉ Radio 1, is believed to be in negotiations to replace Gerry Ryan.

Reports that RTÉ is concerned that its flagship 2fm morning show has been losing thousands of listeners have been described as “completely inaccurate” by the spokesperson.

The spokesperson said the number of listeners tuning into the show since Gerry Ryan’s sudden death just over a month ago would not be known until the official figures were released.

A fall-off in listeners would not come as a surprise given the popularity of Mr Ryan. And it is not surprising either that Mr Tubridy has emerged as a strong favourite to take over the programme.

It is believed Mr Tubridy is eager to choose the content and the production team for the morning show and that it would run for two hours instead of three.

The 2FM mid-morning slot is worth €6m a year in advertising revenue to the national broadcaster.

Gerry Ryan’s show attracted about €150,000 of advertising every week because of its broad range of listeners.

According to the last JNLR figures in May, the average number of listeners to the Gerry Ryan show declined by 10,000 over the past year to 296,000.

Mr Tubridy’s hour-long Radio 1 show attracts an average 352,000 listeners every day and RTÉ bosses are confident he can boost his audience share when he moves to 2FM.

The presenter is believed to have mixed emotions about replacing Gerry Ryan, who ably held the helm of the station’s flagship programme for 21 years but also knows that he is well capable of taking over the slot.

It is understood that Mr Tubridy is the only big name to be approached to replace Gerry Ryan.

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