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Will D'Arcy follow as Today FM chief goes back to RTE?

COULD Ray D'Arcy be about to follow Willie O'Reilly out of Today FM?

Days after the station controversially axed Sam Smyth from the Sunday Supplement, Ray is the latest big name to speculate about his future.

He has revealed he would leave Today FM, but only in "extraordinary circumstances".

He said that RTE's approach to get him back to Montrose last year did not "feel right at the time", following Gerry Ryan's death.

The radio presenter was touted as a possible replacement for Gerry but RTE eventually gave the 2fm slot to Ryan Tubridy.

Mr D'Arcy, whose three-hour morning show on Today FM competes with Tubridy's new programme, said he felt a loyalty to his listeners.

And he insisted he would only leave the station in "extraordinary circumstances".

Mr D'Arcy made the comments in an interview published in The Dubliner magazine, which comes free inside the Herald every Thursday.

Mr D'Arcy said: "The longer you're with people the more loyalty you build up and not only loyalty to the business -- because business is cut-throat -- but more important to me would be loyalty to the listener."

Some 212,000 listeners tune into the Ray D'Arcy Show between 9am and midday every weekday, while Mr Tubridy attracts an audience of 186,000 for his 9am-11am programme.

Since Mr D'Arcy made the remarks, it was announced that Today FM chief executive Willie O'Reilly is to join RTE on January 1, in the newly-created role of group commercial directoron the national broadcaster's executive board.

He has been chief executive of Today FM since 1999. He previously worked in RTE, where he was executive producer of The Gerry Ryan Show for a ten-year period.

comurphy@herald.ie