Seán O’Rourke set to take Kenny’s hot seat

‘News at One’ presenter to swap radio slot

Presenter Seán O’Rourke on the set of The Week in Politics.

Presenter Seán O’Rourke on the set of The Week in Politics.

 

The veteran RTÉ news and current affairs broadcaster Seán O’Rourke is to be announced as successor to Pat Kenny’s morning radio show.

O’Rourke, who currently presents the RTÉ News at One programme and The Week in Politics on RTÉ television, will replace Kenny who announced his shock departure from the national broadcaster, where he has worked for over four decades, last week.

The move is set to create an intensive radio rivalry between two of the industry’s greatest luminaries in current affairs and whose shows will air at the same time.

A source revealed the decision was made at a meeting in a Monaghan hotel yesterday morning, and involved several key Montrose executives including director general Noel Curran and head of news and current affairs Kevin Bakhurst.

The announcement is due to be made on RTÉ Radio 1 on the Marian Finucane Show today where he will be interviewed by Aine Lawlor.

O’Rourke is renowned for his presence on the national broadcaster’s flagship radio news programme and has a reputation as a formidable interviewer, particularly of politicians.

His appointment will see him leave that slot for the first time in nearly two decades having started there in 1995.

The 54-year-old, from Portlaoise, began his career at the Connacht Tribune, following up with stints at the Sunday Press and Irish Press as a sports journalist, feature writer and political correspondent.

He has been with RTÉ news and current affairs since 1989 as an editor and presenter. He has also reported extensively from abroad.

It is unclear if, at all, the move will affect his other role as presenter of The Week in Politics which airs every Sunday night on RTÉ television.

Kenny made the surprise announcement last week in what was widely considered an industry coup for Newstalk Radio, his new employer who said he would be on air from September 2nd next.

He said he was “relishing the challenge ahead and looking forward to a new chapter”, particularly in the world of independent broadcasting.

Last night, betting on Kenny’s replacement appeared to have been suspended on Paddy PowerKenny worked with the State broadcaster for the last 41 years before joining the Denis O’Brien controlled Newstalk where he will anchor the station’s prime time slot.