Friday 19 July 2019

Claire to host RTE News at One, as women dominate radio rejig

Claire Byrne
Claire Byrne
Aine Lawlor
Sarah McInerney

Women are dominating the latest shake-up of RTE Radio One's schedule.

Claire Byrne is moving to a high-profile position within the daily line-up, in changes announced by RTE yesterday.

She will join Aine Lawlor as presenter of the flagship RTE News at One show. They will host the show in rotation on different days.

The mum-of-three has seen her career go from strength to strength with the national broadcaster. Her Monday night television show Claire Byrne Live has also proved to be a ratings hit.

As part of the new schedule, The Late Debate, which airs from 10pm to 11pm, three nights a week, will have new presenters - former Newstalk host Sarah McInerney on a Tuesday, Prime Time stalwart Katie Hannon on a Wednesday, and former CNN presenter Fionnuala Sweeney on a Thursday.

Meanwhile, Cormac O hEadhra will move from presenting The Late Debate to the 1pm to 2pm slot on Saturday, which was previously occupied by Byrne.


He will now present Saturday with Cormac O hEadhra, with the new changes to the schedule coming into effect in February.

Earlier this month, RTE unveiled its new-look Six One News bulletin with Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry.

The co-anchors replaced long-running hosts Sharon Ni Bheolain and Bryan Dobson on the show.

The new presenting role on a Thursday night will be something of a homecoming for Fionnuala Sweeney, who left RTE in December 1993.

She then took up a role as an anchor and correspondent for CNN International, based at the network's headquarters in Atlanta, reporting on major news events from Europe and the Middle East.

However, she is also well-known for presenting the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993, and said that she still gets recognised in some airports around the world.

"People obviously do remember the Eurovision," she said.

She told the Herald that international news will be a key focus of her new radio show on RTE.

Commenting on the changes, RTE Radio One's head Tom McGuire said: "The new presenting team of Aine and Claire on RTE Radio One's News at One is exceptionally strong by any measure.


"And the move of Cormac O hEadhra into weekend peak on RTE Radio One is testament to his proven skills both on RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta and standing in on such shows as Today with Sean O'Rourke.

"Sarah, Fionnuala and Katie - our three new presenters on The Late Debate - bring with them some truly excellent experience from the world of print, television and international journalism, and I'm delighted to welcome them all to Radio One," he added.

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