Saturday 20 January 2018

Scrapping The Saturday Night Show is another baffling RTE bigwig decision

I WAS surprised and disappointed to read that Brendan O'Connor is to lose his Saturday night RTE TV slot.

I'm sure that I'm not the only one. Pat Kenny, for one, has expressed his surprise that O'Connor is being sidelined in favour of Ray D'Arcy. Kenny described the move as a "gamble".

He may well be right. D'Arcy hasn't hosted a premier television show in years.

Now he's a consummate radio broadcaster and I've no doubt he'll do a professional job on Saturday nights.

Nonetheless I am baffled by the RTE bigwigs' decision to appoint him, moving O'Connor to a midweek TV slot next year.

It's all the more baffling given that The Saturday Night Show was such a success.


In fact, it had recently eclipsed the viewership of the cherished Late, Late Show on one weekend. Could protecting the sacred Friday night cow have had anything to do with the O'Connor move?

The fact that Larry Masterson, the executive producer of O'Connor's show, is moving over to inject such life into The Late, Late Show is an indication that RTE chiefs are focused on shoring up Friday nights.

Still, it's something of a mystery why O'Connor was forced to make way. D'Arcy was hardly a wet week in his new weekday radio slot when this news was announced. So why the rush to give him a primetime weekend TV slot?

The cynic in me suggests this might be to further justify D'Arcy's paycheck - details of which are still not known, though you and I are paying it.

Looking forward though at least we have the good news that O'Connor is working on his new midweek show.

Will that outshine The Late, Late Show's figures? That could lead to some awkward conversations in the Montrose canteen...

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