herald

Thursday 17 October 2019

27,000 listeners turn off from two top RTE Radio One news shows

News at One’s Claire Byrne
News at One’s Claire Byrne

Two of RTE Radio One's flagship news programmes lost 27,000 listeners between them during the first quarter of this year, the latest radio figures reveal.

The State broadcaster's flagship news and current affairs show Morning Ireland has lost 18,000 listeners since February.

Despite this, it remains one of the most tuned-into programmes in the country, with 421,000 listeners, according to the latest Joint National Listenership Figures (JNLR) published yesterday.

The News At One also shed 9,000 listeners during the first quarter of 2019, with a current following of 334,000.

The station's popular phone-in show, Liveline, also lost 6,000 listeners during the same period, to 375,000.

However, RTE Radio One managing editor Peter Wood insisted that despite the losses he was "overall really happy" with the station's performance.

"If you look at the audiences programmes like News At One have, you're talking 340,000, 350,000," he said. "You're losing and gaining over a period of time but you're holding around the same line," he said.

And he went on to praise the show's presenters, saying: "We have a dream team with News At One with Claire Byrne and Aine Lawlor."

"We will talk about the drop but there's no panic.

Steady

"On JNLR day I would generally walk out on the floor," he said.

Newstalk’s Pat Kenny
Newstalk’s Pat Kenny

"All the figures are known and it's an open office and on a general day it's bad news for some of them and you're trying to be not too celebratory for others.

"But walking up yesterday it was steady as she goes and all good news," he added. The figures also revealed rival News-talk suffered modest losses in listeners.

Pat Kenny has shed 5,000 of his audience since February, with 150,000 listeners tuning into his morning slot.

The station's breakfast show, Newstalk Breakfast, was also down 4,000 listeners, to 124,000.

But with 414,000 tuning in each day, the station is the second most popular in Ireland, behind RTE Radio One.

Patricia Monahan, Newstalk managing editor, said: "We are delighted with today's results, which clearly show that we are providing our audience with the opinion and analysis they want."

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