'I'm glad Pat has come in - as my assistant'
RADIO host George Hook said he was the last to know that Pat Kenny was joining Newstalk.
The straight-talking presenter said that Pat won't have an easy job convincing listeners to jump ship immediately.
But he is convinced that it is a good move for the independent radio station.
"I'm delighted Pat has come in as my assistant," George joked.
"Pat Kenny coming to the station is more a statement in itself than about what he might do, because what it really says is there is a competitive station around.
"It's a big statement by Newstalk to go for a guy like that.
"The only problem is when Pat was on a big TV show like the Late Late he could come in on Monday morning and the figures would say 700 million people watched last night. Radio listenership doesn't work like that," he added.
"So it's effectively going to be a year before we can see how he's doing – we won't be able to say how well it's going till February 2015.
"That's when we will be able to tell if he's made it or not and that's a long way away."
George said that he believes the former RTE host will build up a loyal base of fans in his new position. But he said that the level of ratings won't be cut and dry.
"Ratings will come in but he'll be inheriting Tom's listeners – it's not till the rolling annual averages come in that we can tell how he's doing," he said.
And George said he was ready for the competition from within the station itself.
"There are huge challenges for Pat," he said.
"I am delighted he's joining the station and happy for him – best news I've heard in 11 years, but it's a big job for him. He has to beat me and that's tough.
"I was the last person to know he was coming – they never tell me anything," he added.