O’Rourke and Kenny battle for the airwaves to start next month
‘News at One’ anchor ‘excited’ by challenge
Seán O’Rourke: “I hope people will come for the news and stay for the craic.”
Veteran RTÉ broadcaster Seán O’Rourke’s head-to-head with former colleague Pat Kenny is to begin early next month.
The battle for listeners between two of Ireland’s foremost broadcasters is eagerly anticipated as observers wait to see what form the new landscape of Irish radio takes.
It was revealed on Saturday that O’Rourke is to present RTÉ’s new mid-morning radio show from September 2nd, which will air at the same time as Kenny’s new show on Newstalk. O’Rourke’s appointment will see him leave News at One for the first time in nearly two decades, having started there in 1995.
The changes will see Áine Lawlor and Richard Crowley take over the News at One slot, alternating as presenters. Lawlor is also the new presenter of The Week in Politics in the wake of O’Rourke’s new posting.
Speaking over the weekend, O’Rourke said he was “excited” at the prospect of filling Kenny’s shoes. “It’s 40 years ago next month since I began a lifelong love affair with journalism and I can honestly say I am as excited about this move as I was the first day I climbed the stairs in the Connacht Tribune in September 1973,” he said.
Debate and analysis
“I love radio and I love news. Not only will we break news, drive the debate and analyse the stories of the day, we’ll be getting stuck into much more than that. I hope people will come for the news and stay for the craic.”
The changes will also see presenter Claire Byrne join Rachael English, Gavin Jennings and Cathal MacCoille on the Morning Ireland team.
Miriam O’Callaghan will continue to present the John Murray Show for the autumn and will also return to RTÉ One’s Prime Time in September.
Acting managing director of RTÉ Radio Jim Jennings said: “This is a hugely strong schedule for RTÉ Radio One . . . A massive sports fan, a keen reader, Seán will showcase the best of what listeners love about the Today show. We are intent on holding and building listeners in this key slot.”