Sunday 23 October 2016

'It's not presenters' fault', says 2fm boss after losing listeners

2fm DJs Bernard O’Shea, Jennifer Zamparelli and Keith Walsh. Pic : Brian McEvoy
2fm DJs Bernard O’Shea, Jennifer Zamparelli and Keith Walsh. Pic : Brian McEvoy

RTE 2fm boss Dan Healy has insisted that the station is continuing to grow its audience despite a further drop in listeners in the latest Joint National Listenership Research (JNLRs) figures.

2fm suffered a drop across the board, some of which were only slight, while Today FM also saw some of its shows shed listeners.

It was bad news for Breakfast Republic hosts Jennifer Zamparelli, Bernard O'Shea and Keith Walsh - as the show has shed 11,000 listeners, dropping to 151,000.

Their show goes head-to-head with Today FM's Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, which brought in 181,000 listeners and has remained stable.

The Nicky Byrne Show is also down, losing 7,000 listeners -going from 143,000 to 136,000 within a three-month period.

Today FM's mid-morning show with Anton Savage recorded 174,000 - down 1,000 on last April's figures.

2fm newcomer Tracy Clifford also lost 7,000 listeners, while Rick O'Shea's weekend shows have both shed thousands of listeners. His Saturday show dropped by 11,000, while his Sunday show dipped by 6,000.

Eoghan McDermott's drivetime show has remained fairly stable, losing 1,000 listeners, bringing his audience to 112,000.

Healy insisted that, while the figures might not look great, the broadcaster's audience share has improved.

"Although it looks like we're dropping, the reality is that six months on six months we have gone from a 5.7pc share to a 6.3pc share," he told the Herald.

Healy revealed one of the station's primary objectives over the next quarter will be bringing more listeners to Breakfast Republic, saying: "When Ryan Tubridy moved across to Radio 1 in September of last year we made a decision that it was foolish to go against them. We should do something different and alternative."

Healy stressed he does not think the presenters are why 2fm has lost listeners and said content must be improved.


"I don't think it's the personalities - we need to think about the content. The Breakfast Show is funny and it's doing well. Ryan is a great broadcaster, and losing a guy like that means we just have to do some work in the 9-10 hour."

Healy said the morning poses the most difficult challenge for the station as the listenership is not as steady.

"You have to remember when you hit 9am you have a gear shift in the day," he said.

"You've got people at work listening and people at home, and the people that are available change - so we have to think about that a bit harder."

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