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Dublin Live
Dublin Live
Sandra Mallon

Ryan Tubridy and RTE Radio 1 stars drop listeners as crunch meetings to be held

RTE Radio 1 chiefs are to hold crunch talks today after a new ratings dip – as rivals Today FM celebrated a surge.

Station head Peter Woods admitted he was worried over the figures which showed Morning Ireland and News at One had shipped 18,000 and 15,000 listeners. He said: “Yeah, I am worried about this.

"Some of this is definitely still an adjustment and we’ve done comparisons in our audiences. There is an adjustment to pre-Covid.

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“If you left radio out of this and just looked at the wider universal appetite for news and current affairs, I think that is affected as well. Audiences have been down recently on what were historic highs. Most of these programmes we’re looking at here have been on historic highs as well and are down off that.”

Peter said the Joint National Listenership Research figures showed audiences seemed to prefer segments about the cost of living crisis over coverage on homelessness and anti-migrant protests. He added: “The single items we would have in programmes at the minute are the ones that tell people how to cope with their electricity bills or their gas bills.

“If you were looking at a way of making programmes again, you would probably look at making programmes like that.” The JNLRs released yesterday showed Ryan Tubridy lost 13,000 listeners with 331,000 tuning in, while Claire Byrne lost 10,000 listeners, leaving 321,000.

As many as 10,000 people tuned out of Ronan Collins’ midday show before he left for RTE Gold. Now 222,000 are now tuning into the slot hosted by Louise Duffy.

Ray D’Arcy has 177,000 people tuning into his afternoon show – a 2,000 drop from his last quarter. Meanwhile, Drivetime has 208,000 listening in, a drop of 4,000 from last year’s book, while Miriam O’Callaghan suffered a 14,000 drop to her Sunday show. She now has 317,000.

Brendan O’Connor’s Saturday show has lost 6,000, with 338,000 still tuning in, while his Sunday show shipped 16,000 leaving 329,000. Peter said the meeting would be held at lunchtime to discuss the figures and what needs to be done to win back audiences.

He added: “We have to look at what we’re putting out. Overall, our lighter programmes and our music programmes are very steady. It’s the current affairs and news programmes that we would be more worried about.”

Peter also reacted to Joe Duffy’s Liveline being the most complained about show to the broadcasting authority last year. He said: “Liveline is phenomenal. I worked on it myself... but the real point is none of those complaints were upheld.”

But over at Today FM, the station was celebrating adding listeners. Ian Dempsey now has 203,000 tuning in – an increase in 4,000 while Dermot and Dave now have 9,000 listeners bringing them to 207,000. Pamela Joyce was up by 4,000 to 134,000 listeners.

Ray Foley has 11,000 extra tuning in, giving him a total of 160,000 listeners, while Matt Cooper’s The Last Word saw an 8,000 increase to 172,000 listeners.

Matt said: “Given that so much changed in people’s work patterns during 2022 we’re thrilled that it seems that all of the new listeners we gained when they were at home during Covid seem to have stuck with us on the return to the workplace. It shows that radio can be enjoyed wherever you are”.

At Newstalk, 3,000 listeners turned off Pat Kenny and he now has 174,000, while Newstalk Breakfast gained 10,000 listeners bring the total to 157,000. Meanwhile, 2FM boss Dan Healy was celebrating steady gains in the latest quarter.

Breakfast with Doireann, Carl and Donncha saw a 5,000 increase to 129,000 listeners, while Jennifer Zamparelli had a 3,000 jump to 134,000. But Tracey Clifford and the 2 Johnnies saw 4,000 and 3,000 losses respectively, with 116,000 and 119,000 listeners tuning in.

Dan said: “We’ve a breakfast show that is going very well. Jennifer Zamparelli I was worried about this morning when I woke – and she recovered what she lost.”

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