Mairéad Ronan is Today FM’s new lunchtime presenter

Ed Smith promoted to weekday evening slot, as two presenters depart station

Today FM’s new lunchtime host Mairéad Ronan with Dancing with the Stars  partner John Nolan. Photograph: RTÉ.

Today FM’s new lunchtime host Mairéad Ronan with Dancing with the Stars partner John Nolan. Photograph: RTÉ.

 

Broadcaster Mairéad Ronan will take over Today FM’s lunchtime slot from early September, the radio station has announced.

She succeeds Muireann O’Connell in the weekday noon to 2pm slot, where the station has been struggling for listeners in recent years.

Ms Ronan, who won this year’s Dancing with the Stars with professional partner John Nolan, was previously known to Today FM listeners as a regular contributor to the Ray D’Arcy Show under the name Mairéad Farrell.

Her RTÉ television presenting career has included Ireland’s Fittest Family and travel show Getaways.

Having earlier worked as a broadcasting assistant and co-producer for the Communicorp-owned national station, Ms Ronan said she was “thrilled” to be returning with her own show.

“This was always a dream of mine, ever since I was making coffee and posting prizes at the very start of my radio career.”

In another schedule change, Ed Smith will present a 7pm weeknight music show called National Anthems from mid-August, replacing Lost in Music with Louise Duffy. Smith currently presents the weekend show Ed’s Songs of Praise.

“This will be the listeners’ show as much as it is mine, and they’ll play a huge part in what comes out of their speakers every evening,” he said.

Station departures

Today FM said Ms O’Connell and Ms Duffy were both leaving the station and thanked them for their contribution.

“I have been so lucky to have had such incredible experiences with this station, but the time has come for me to move on,” said Ms Duffy. “I bid a very fond farewell and a big thank you to my colleagues and listeners at Today FM and look forward to the next chapter.”

Ms O’Connell, who was announced the replacement for Al Porter in January 2018, tweeted that she had been fired from the station.

“It’s all good. Like, it’s embarrassing and I’m a bit sad but I love almost everyone in that station and wish them all the best in the future,” she wrote, adding that Ms Ronan would be “great” in the role.

Keith McCormack, the station’s chief executive, said he was delighted to have Ms Ronan return to Today FM.

“I know she will prove a massive hit with our audiences.”

The latest radio audience figures compiled by research firm Ipsos MRBI will be published by the Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) committee on Thursday.