RTE again holds most popular radio shows


RTÉ RADIO is once again producing the 10 most listened-to radio programmes in the State, according to latest radio listenership figures.

Today FM entered the top 10 for the first time in the April 2006-March 2007 period with The Ray D'Arcy Show,but the latest JNLR/TNS mrbi survey shows that he has been nudged out by RTÉ's Conversations with Eamon Dunphy.

The figures show listenership increases for nine of the 10 most popular shows, with particularly strong increases for Marian Finucane.

Her Saturday morning show is now the third most popular programme in the State, having gained 24,000 listeners in the October 2007-September 2008 period when compared with July 2007-June 2008.

Her Sunday morning show did even better, gaining 26,000 listeners and jumping one place to eighth in the top 10 list.

The Morning Ireland news programme consolidated its position as the most listened-to show in the State, with 4,000 more listeners, bringing its listenership to 436,000. This is 58,000 listeners more than its nearest rival, Liveline.

Joe Duffy's phone-in show continued to accumulate listeners, with 10,000 more in the last survey period.

But the news was not so good for 2FM, where Gerry Ryan slipped from third to joint fifth in the ratings and lost 9,000 listeners. He was the only RTÉ presenter in the top 10 to lose listeners in this survey.

Playback, News at One, The Tubridy Show and Today with Pat Kennyall gained listeners. Eamon Dunphy's Sunday morning interview show has cemented its position with an increase of 11,000 on the previous period. It now has 251,000 listeners.

Today FM will be disappointed with the widening gap between The Last Wordand Drivetime. The evening-time slot has been keenly contested in recent surveys but RTÉ's Mary Wilson has surged ahead in this survey, gaining 8,000 listeners to give Drivetime a listenership of 229,000.

Today FM's Matt Cooper lost 9,000 listeners compared with the previous survey, giving The Last Word a listenership of 207,000.

Today FM's Ian Dempsey, Ray D'Arcy, Tony Fenton and Ray Foley all lost listeners when compared with the previous survey.

However, the station's chief executive Willie O'Reilly highlighted the fact that more than one million people continued to tune in to the independent station every week. "Despite all the new technologies, we continue to thrive with remarkably consistent listenership," he said.

Newstalk's evening show The Right Hookwon back listeners it had lost in the previous survey and gained some more. George Hook saw his audience reach the 100,000 milestone. This was an increase of 5,000 listeners on the previous survey.

The survey results were welcomed by RTÉ Radio's managing director Adrian Moynes. "Once again RTÉ Radio outperforms the competition in all the prime-time slots," he said. "This is the fifth report in a row confirming that our schedules are delivering for our audience."

The survey found that RTÉ Radio One's market share increased slightly to 21.5 per cent and Lyric FM's market share increased marginally to 1.7 per cent. However, 2FM saw a 0.1 per cent decrease, to 12.3 per cent.

Today FM also saw a slight decrease, bringing its market share to 11 per cent, while Newstalk's share fell by 0.1 per cent to 3.6 per cent, compared with the previous survey.

Regional and local stations now hold a daytime market share of 49.2 per cent - a rise of 0.4 per cent on the last survey period.

The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland welcomed the figures, pointing out that independent stations now had a market share of 63.8 per cent.

FM104 maintained its position as the most listened-to local radio station in the Dublin market, with a "listened yesterday" figure of 20 per cent.

Most Dublin stations recorded increases in their market share. FM104's share rose to 13.8 per cent, while its nearest rival, Dublin's 98, remained at 12.2 per cent.

Donegal's Highland Radio still has the best local market share in the State, commanding 59.3 per cent, while Mid-West Radio's market share is 55.8 per cent.

Other local stations with a large market share include Shannonside/Northern Sound, Tipp FM and Radio Kerry.

The combined services of Cork's 96FM/C103 saw a 2.1 per cent fall in market share, bringing it to 48.6 per cent.

The survey found that 85 per cent of the adult population continue to listen to the radio on a daily basis.