Lots happens in the radio industry each week so here’s a summary of the week we just enjoyed.
Here’s what happened
What a mad week it’s been over at 2FM. A new show launched Monday, and was off air again by Thursday. So, let’s go through everything that happened, and discuss what might happen in the future.
The 2 Johnnies launched their new show on Monday, and it was clear 2FM had gone all in. New imaging had changed up the station sound, and voice notes from the lads mammy’s aired across the day promoting the show.
Other presenters promoted their shows, but it was clear 2FM had only one show they wanted people to know about. With briliant execution, the Jennifer Zamparelli show promo was turned into a sketch of the 2 lads hijacking the segment. Instead of Jen telling listeners what was coming up, the lads told Jen what was happening on her own show, then proceeded to shamelessly plug their own.
In short, it was fun. This wasn’t just excitement put on for radio, people in 2FM were clearly genuinely excited. As it drew closer to 3, I was excited too. I had never listened to the 2 Johnnies podcast with the exception of one episode with Dáithí Ó Sé, but despite my relative ignorance I knew this show would be different. I didn’t know if it would be a good or bad sort of different at this stage, but the idea of a change from the regular radio way was something that excited the radio nerd in me.
When 3 came, I was instantly impressed
They talked over the imaging, it was clearly pre scripted, it had everything that they teach you not to do in radio. But you know what? It was perfect. It was new, it was different. Sure this was a radio show with two men and bog standard competitions, but this wasn’t a strawberry alarm clock copycat. They hadn’t ripped off KC and Ross or Dermot and Dave, it was a new way of doing radio.
The show had its issues, some of the links were too long, and the budget for competitions seemed underwhelming considering the hype around the show. Winning a €100 Just Eat voucher seemed stupid alongside the €10,000 that was being given away on breakfast. But all this was stuff that could be fixed. The hosts were strong, and as for the format, that could be adapted later.
I was assuming at this stage that the show would have a good run and that any issues could be sorted out. but I was wrong. By Thursday, everything had changed.
I was taking a scroll through the RTÉ News App, and amid all of the coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, there was another story. The 2 Johnnies had apologised for sexist comments made on their podcast. When I read the article I learned that they had been taken off air while RTÉ looked into the situation, and from there it all began.
We would like to apologise for the content which appeared on our social media, these posts were offensive and should never have been published. This is not who we are nor what we stand for. We aim to do better in the future, we are not perfect, and we are learning all the time.The 2 Johnnies referring to a now removed sexist video posted on social media
Before we continue I want to make clear that I haven’t seen the video in question as I write this. The video has been very well scrubbed from the internet, and to be honest I’ve no real interest in seeking it out either. With that said, let’s go through what happened.
The 2 Johnnies had a segment on their podcast about car stickers. As part of this segment, they went through weird car stickers sent in by listeners. In the words of Johnny B on LiveLine, some of them got cruder, and some of them went too far.
Too far is a bit of an understatement, but let’s go into details for a minute.
As far as I can tell, there are two main issues
- One of the car stickers that was discussed used the word sl*t, with other sexist stickers in the mix as well.
- The lad’s apparently laughed at these stickers leading many to ask if they saw the seriousness of the issue.
The video was quickly removed and an apology was made, but at this stage the damage was done. Politicians questioned if they should be allowed on 2FM and this sparked a debate.
On one side, people argued that they had shown clear sexist behaviour
On the other, people argued that this was a clip out of context and cancelling the show does disservice to the lads record of promoting consent, safe sex, and standing up for women in sport ETC.
We at Radio Land did a poll on Twitter to try and establish some consensus. The results are interesting.
- A total of 399 people voted over a 24 hour voting window
- 72% of voters said that they should keep the show
- 28% said they shouldn’t
- There was also some nuance in the replies with one person saying that they feel the hosts should get one more chance
This result is interesting, it shows the majority is clearly on one side, but it isn’t unanimous either.
So that’s the story. A huge show launches and within days, it’s off air again due to sexism allegations.
What happens next is unclear. Speaking to Katie Hannon on LiveLine yesterday, Johnny B was asked when the duo would be back on air. He responded by saying “that’s not a discussion for today, RTÉ has their own guidelines and that’s a question for them”.
And that brings us up to now. We don’t know when or if the new show will return and unfortunately for RTÉ they’re not going to please everyone with whatever decision they make. All we can really do now is wait and see what happens.
When I heard the new imaging on Monday. I promised a Jingle Review. I don’t feel as passionate about doing that at this point but I do want to share some brief thoughts.
I have got my hands on some of the Drive It imaging. But I’m not going to say much on that other than to say I like it.
There are a few elements I do want to chat about though
I really like the intro to news. Strong sonic logo, good branding and VO’s and a generally good transition into the bed. I don’t know about the sonic note at the end, perhaps that could be improved, but in general very good.
All the shows have unique sounding Promo’s. And this is no exception. Again a very strong VO at the end, real great job on those guys, consistently great throughout. I also like the push towards the under appreciated RTÉ Radio Player. I’m not a massive fan of the bed, but as a package it works.
In short, I generally like the new imaging. Some of the imaging is a bit weird, the elements for 2FM Rising seemed a bit low pitch or something. But in all a good new station sound.
Believe it or not, stuff happened on other stations this week too.
Classic Hits has extended their coverage. The station now broadcasts on 94.1FM in north county Dublin. It will be interesting to see if the station can grow listenership in the region over the next few months, it may potentially make it harder to validate the performance of new shows on the station however.
The station has switched up breakfast, evenings and late nights in the last year, but increased coverage may make it harder to spot if the shows are underperforming in JNLR’s as one may counteract the other.
Radiocentre Ireland are using findings from Canadian research to try boost advertising in the radio industry here in Ireland. These stats are interesting for sure, but I’m really curious to see how ireland compares when we start doing our own research.