Finucane and O'Callaghan buck trend with huge gains in radio listenership


RTÉ’S FEMALE broadcasters have made huge gains in the radio ratings, with listenership figures for Marian Finucane and Miriam O’Callaghan up 23,000 and 27,000 respectively, in the latest JNLR/Ipsos MRBI survey.

The top 10 most popular radio shows are still produced by RTÉ but many of the broadcaster’s most prominent shows have seen significant declines in listenership in the period October 2009-September 2010 compared with the period July 2009 - June 2010.

Morning Irelandretains the top slot with 426,000 listeners. However, this represents a loss of 5,000 listeners from the previous survey and follows a loss of 14,000 from the survey before that.

Livelinehas slipped out of the number two slot to number three, dropping 10,000 listeners following a previous loss of 8,000 listeners.

One of the biggest losers is The Tubridy Showwhich shed 21,000 listeners. The programme was hosted by Ryan Tubridy until last June. Television personalities Kathryn Thomas and Gavin Duffy hosted the show during the summer months. The 9am to 10am slot has recently been taken over by former The Businesspresenter John Murray, but the listenership figures do not cover his tenure.

However, Murray’s former show has shown the largest increase in listeners of any radio programme. The Businessgained 31,000 listeners propelling it from the number nine slot to number five. Murray hosted the show until last June, when it was taken over by former Fine Gael politician George Lee.

Marian Finucane’s Saturday and Sunday shows have each jumped up a slot. The Saturday programme has gained 22,000 listeners, making it the second most listened to show, while her Sunday show gained 23,000 listeners, putting it in the number four slot.

Miriam O’Callaghan made even greater gains with the increase of 27,000 listeners for her Sunday morning Miriam Meetsshow pushing her into the top 10 for the first time, into the number 10 slot previously occupied by Gerry Ryan, who died last April.

The Gerry Ryan Showhad been the only 2FM programme in the top 10. Subsequently presented by Colm Hayes and Lucy Kennedy, who took over the slot on May 10th last, it is in 11th position with a loss of 24,000 listeners. Ryan Tubridy recently took over the slot, but this would not be reflected in the most recent figures.

The only other top 10 show to have shown listenership gains was Playback, hosted until recent weeks, and for the entirety of the survey period, by Ruth Buchanan. It gained 9,000 listeners to keep it in the number eight slot.

The News at Oneremains at number six, but lost 3,000 listeners on top of a previous loss of 12,000. Today with Pat Kennyhas moved from seventh to ninth position with the loss of 6,000 listeners.

RTÉ Radio’s managing director Clare Duignan blamed the “scale of societal change” for the fall in listenership for weekday shows.

Today FM’s top-rated Ray DArcy Showshed 17,000 listeners, bringing its listenership figure to 218,000. However, it remains the most listened to show among 20- to 44-year-olds. The station’s The Last Wordwith Matt Cooper increased by 4,000 to 159,000, while Drivetimeon RTÉ lost 8,000 listeners, bringing it to 229,000.

Newstalk’s The Right Hookwith George Hook, which is in a similar time slot, gained 3,000 listeners, bringing its total to 120,000.

Highland Radio continued to have the biggest market share of the local stations, at 63.4 per cent but this was a fall of 0.3 per cent on the previous survey.

Radio Kerry saw a 0.7 cent increase in its share to 56.3 per cent. Tipp FM’s market share fell by 3.5 per cent to 54.3 per cent while Midwest Radio fell by 0.9 per cent to 49.6 per cent and Shannonside/Northern Sound fell by 0.6 per cent to 46.2 per cent.