Saturday 18 January 2020

Tubs and 2FM take bow as listener figures jump


Ryan Tubridy
Ryan Tubridy

It looks like RTE bosses' decision to move Ryan Tubridy back to Radio 1 may have been the right call.

Since returning last July to "Nerd FM", as Tubridy calls the country's most listened-to station, most 2FM radio shows have increased their listenership.

But there was good news for Tubridy too.

Since he took over from John Murray, ratings for Radio 1's 9am slot have increased by 11,000 to 307,000.

The latest Joint National Radio Listenership Research figures (JNLRS) show 2FM's Breakfast Republic fronted by Jennifer Maguire, Bernard O'Shea and Keith Walsh jumped 77,000 to 196,000.


The Nicky Byrne Show was up 13,000 to 163,000 when compared to figures dating from July.

RTE was quick to stress that the 2FM jump in listeners is due mainly to the programmes being on air for longer.

"Both of the programmes have also inherited some of the listeners from the now defunct Tubridy on 2FM show," a spokesperson said.

Tom Maguire, the head of Radio 1, said the "timing was right" for Tubridy to re-join Radio 1.

"Ryan and Radio 1 go together like a hand and a glove puppet," he said.

"We're delighted with how well his show is doing. And he left 2FM in excellent condition."

Listeners are still as eager as even to "Talk to Joe", with his Liveline show increasing by 2,000 to 371,000.

On Newstalk, Pat Kenny remained stationary on 134,000 while Sean Moncrieff increased by 1,000 to 120,000.

Newstalk's Breakfast with Ivan Yates increased 5,000 to 178,000.

Radio 1's Sean O'Rourke was pleased to learn that another 11,000 fans were tuning in to his show, bringing the figures up to 328,000.

It was bad news for Today FM's Matt Cooper who fell from 141,000 to 135,000, but Newstalk's George Hook saw an increase of 5,000 to 148,000.

Ray D'Arcy saw his listenership on Radio 1 increase 9,000 to 199,000.

Female broadcasters proved the real winners, with Marian Finucane, Miriam O'Callaghan, Louise Duffy and Claire Byrne all increasing their listenership numbers.

It is 10 years since Finucane's first weekend radio show took to the air.

Her latest figures were up to 396,000 on Saturday and 338,000 on Sunday.

"I'm delighted," she said. "I think women should have a front and centre role in TV and radio.

"Myself and my producer Anne Farrell sat down 10 years ago to make a programme that wasn't guff.

"We wanted to make something substantial that mattered, so I'm delighted to hear people are enjoying the show and consider it part of their weekend."


Finucane said she has only endured one "nightmare interview" in the past decade, but refused to reveal who the culprit was.

"He was monosyllabic and terrible on air. He was very well-known, but I will never say who it was," she said.

O'Callaghan's listenership increased by 3,000, Today FM's Louise Duffy jumped 4,000 to 98,000 and Claire Byrne was up 10,000 to 240,000 listeners.

"I'm thrilled to see the figures have gone up once again," O'Callaghan told the Herald last night.

"The JNLRs are always quite stressful, so I'm delighted for myself and for my team that we're on a bit of a roll at the moment."

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