Radio listenership survey finds RTÉ has top nine most listened-to radio shows


RTÉ HAS come out best in its battle with Today FM for teatime listeners, according to the latest radio listenership figures.

The public broadcaster's Drivetimeprogramme, fronted by Mary Wilson, saw its listenership increase by 16,000 to 223,000, thereby leapfrogging The Last Word, presented by Matt Cooper on Today FM.

Cooper's audience grew by 5,000 to 220,000, the survey by JNLR/TNS mrbi shows.

Over on Newstalk, George Hook expanded his audience by 3,000 to 97,000.

While many RTÉ shows improved their listenership figures, Ryan Tubridy, Pat Kenny and Ruth Buchanan all lost listeners.

Overall, RTÉ broadcast the nine most listened-to shows in the State.

The survey covers the period April 2007-March 2008 and comparisons are made with the previous survey for the period January-December 2007.

RTÉ Radio's managing director, Adrian Moynes, welcomed the figures, and claimed they showed that recent schedule changes were delivering clear results.

One of the most impressive performances came from Gerry Ryan, whose morning programme on 2FM added 14,000 listeners, bringing in a total audience of 342,000.

There was good news, too, for Marian Finucane, whose Saturday show moved up to fourth spot on the rankings with a total audience of 309,000, up 7,000 on the last survey.

Finucane's Sunday programme moved from 12th place to ninth place in the listings, with a total audience of 253,000, up 18,000 on the previous survey.

RTÉ Radio 1's flagship news programme, Morning Ireland, cemented its position as the most popular in the State by adding another 7,000 listeners, giving a total of 437,000. Livelinewith Joe Duffy saw its audience increase by 1,000 to 363,000.

Arguably the biggest loser was Ryan Tubridy, whose morning show shed 4,000 listeners and fell two places in the rankings. This is the third successive survey to show a fall in Tubridy's audience.

Newstalk, which went national in September 2006, said figures for all its prime time shows increased.

Chief executive Elaine Geraghty said Munster now accounted for 20 per cent of the station's listeners and Leinster outside Dublin accounted for a further 29 per cent.

The latest survey shows signs of a stabilisation in overall radio listenership after a period of gradual decline. Some 84 per cent of the adult population listened daily to national, regional, or local radio, the same as in the last set of figures.

Local radio continued to improve its position marginally, with a 0.3 per cent increase in daytime market share, to 47.9 per cent. RTÉ Radio 1 once again had the greatest market share of any station, 21.4 per cent, followed by 2FM at 12.8 per cent.

Today FM was at 12.1 per cent and Newstalk at 3.7 per cent. RTÉ's classical music station, Lyric, suffered a 0.2 per cent fall in market share to 1.5 per cent.

Highland Radio was the most popular local radio station again, with a market share of almost 63 per cent in its catchment area in Co Donegal. Mid-West Radio was the only other station to be listened to by a majority of its local population.

In Dublin, RTÉ Radio 1 has the largest market share of any radio station, at 30.6 per cent. Music station FM104 comes next, at 12.6 per cent, followed by 2FM on 11.8 per cent and 98FM on 11.2 per cent. Newstalk, on 7.4 per cent, has a greater market share than Today FM, at 6.7 per cent.

Finally, veteran DJ Larry Gogan showed he can still pull in the listeners; his Saturday show on 2FM was up 8,000 and his Sunday audience increased by 13,000.