RYAN Tubridy has finally admitted that he may have to consider giving up his 2fm slot.
RTE's golden boy says he has been 'humbled' by the massive fall in his radio listenership -- but will 'fight' one last time to win them back.
"It's proving to be a different fit in trying to attune to the sensibilities of that audience. Although one can't keep trying forever," he said.
The latest JNLR figures show that Tubridy's audience has collapsed by 87,000 from 262,000 to 175,000. The fall comes as his radio rival Ray D'Arcy gained 16,000 new listeners on Today FM.
"It's not a good result for us. I'm not going to pretend anything else. But I know things can be transformed and redirected and there will be brighter days," Ryan said.
He went on to say the listener results were "humbling and educational". Speaking to the Herald today, the under-pressure broadcaster said it was "quite heavy going" presenting the Late Late Show on television and doing a daily radio show.
He said being moved out of his hugely successful morning slot on Radio One to fill the late Gerry Ryan's 2fm show was very challenging.
He said that listener figures may have been influenced by the changing of the format from a three-hour to a two-hour show and he wondered if a three-hour show would be better for morning radio.
"It's like a shop closing up an hour before the other shops on the street. Customers are not necessarily going to stay loyal," he said.
But he admitted to having reservations about being physically and mentally capable of meeting even heavier demands of presenting a longer radio show. He said: "It's quite heavy going doing the Late Late Show and the radio show. It takes enormous energy. Another hour on the radio show could be quite daunting on health levels. It would be a huge strain."
He was heartened, however, by the huge success of his appearance during the summer on BBC Radio 2 when he filled in for Graham Norton.
Norton's popular show got its second-highest ever listenership of 3.27 million when it was presented by Tubridy.
"It's swings and roundabouts, I suppose," he said. The broadcaster said his 2fm radio team was 'an excellent team and extremely supportive'.
"And we have a very loyal management who are standing by their man. We realise things have to change.
"But we're fighting back and changes are already being made. We are becoming more listener focused and increasing their level of participation. I'm very happy facing into 2012," he added.