RTÉ Radio claims 19 of top 20 programmes

MORE than 1.8 million people listen to RTÉ Radio every week with 19 of the 20 most popular programmes on the airwaves now broadcast by the nation’s top station, figures from the Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) have revealed.

RTÉ’s jewels in the crown include Morning Ireland — with 460,000 listeners every morning, up from 431,000 last year — and Joe Duffy’s Liveline — with 400,000 daily listeners.

However, Today FM were still quick to crown themselves king of the morning talk shows, with DJs Ray D’Arcy and Ian Dempsey dominating the airwaves over rival 2FM.

The station’s bosses were yesterday revelling in the fact that for the first time Today FM has overtaken 2FM in “weekly reached” figures as well as maintaining its lead in market share and listened yesterday figures.

Today FM chief Willie O’Reilly said the station was “really proud” to have put clear blue water between it and 2FM.

The Ray D’Arcy Show now has 212,000 listeners tuning in daily — increasing its lead to 26,000 ahead of 2FM’s Ryan Tubridy, who has failed to shore up audiences for 2FM’s flagship programme following the death of Gerry Ryan.

Listener figures for Tubridy’s morning slot fell from 286,000 last year to just 186,000 this year, but it should be noted that the show has been reduced in length by one hour.

Clare Duignan, the managing director of RTÉ Radio, defended 2FM’S performance.

“Breakfast with Hector is a great show and Tubridy has found its rhythm. We remain committed to making it work, and we will re-double our efforts to reclaim 2FM’s second position behind Radio 1.”

RTÉ Radio 1 emerged as the nation’s favourite radio station. Mary Wilson’s Drivetime was the only early-evening programme to make gains from last year, and growth was also seen in figures for Morning Ireland, Today with Pat Kenny, The Ronan Collins Show and the News at One.

Across the airwaves at Newstalk, Ivan Yates’s and Chris Donoghue’s breakfast show has seen considerable gains.

Overall the results show that Newstalk now reaches 281,000 listeners daily, up 21,000 year on year.

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