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Sunday 18 November 2018

Ryan mulls over taking Gerry's slot

Ryan Tubridy has taken a week-long holiday to mull over whether or not he will take over the coveted radio slot left open by the late Gerry Ryan.

Weekend reports of a €1m radio contract were today described as "grossly inflated".

However, RTE are determined to get the Late Late Show host into the slot immediately, given that 2fm is haemorrhaging 10,000 listeners a week since Gerry Ryan's death.

The three-hour slot for the Gerry Ryan Show is 2fm's biggest moneymaker and is estimated to be generating revenue of up to €6m annually. And according to sources, station bosses have decided that the Late Late Show host (36) is "the only one who can do the job".

Since Gerry's death last month, speculation has been rife as to who would take over -- and everyone from Ray D'Arcy to Eamon Keane linked to the slot. But RTE has stuck with their golden boy to bring back listeners.

"After much deliberating, the head honchos decided only Ryan has the personality and the popularity that they need for Gerry's old slot," an insider said.

"He was such a huge personality, they need somebody of similar attraction for listeners. They're also under pressure cash-wise as that programme is their biggest earner so they need a big name to keep attracting the ads revenue."

The Gerry Ryan Show was one of the most popular on Irish radio with 307,000 listeners daily, but since the broadcaster's death, the listenership has plummeted.

However, Tubridy -- who was a longtime friend of the late 53-year old -- has taken time off to decide whether to take the slot.

He is believed to be soaking up the atmosphere at his favourite 'staycation' destination in Galway alongside girlfriend Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain (27).

And if the Late Late host takes over, he will choose the production team and monitor the content of the show himself.

"The only problem is Ryan is still a relatively young man and there is a fear he could burn out because he would be taking on a very, very heavy schedule.

"The difficulty is that there doesn't seem to be much chance of changing the format of the show to make it shorter because the station has spoken to the big advertisers and they like it running for three hours," the source added.

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