Lots happens in the radio industry each week so here’s a summary of the week we just enjoyed.
Here’s What Happened
It’s that time again!!! This week we got the latest JNLR listenership numbers, so it’s time to see who’s up and who’s down.
Radio 1 has had a mixed bag this time around. Some shows are up, and some are down, it probably all equals out really. The good news for RTÉ here is really the weekend schedual where they have seen some very healthy growth.
It seems they’re having some issues with weekday afternoons, which we’ll discuss more in a minute, but first let’s look at the numbers.
- Morning Ireland is up 14,000 for a very healthy 473,000 listeners, compared with 4,59,000 back in February
- Tubridy has also gained listeners even if it is a smaller jump. He’s now at 3,69,000 compared to 366,000, a jump of 3,000
- Claire Byrne has hit 350,000 listeners which is an increase of 4,000
- LiveLine continues its decline, and it’s going fast too. Joe now stands at 332,000, that’s down another 11,000, bringing his total losses in the last 3 books to a huge 72,000
- Ray Darcy is really not having a good time either as he now sits at 197,000. This is the slots lowest number since Ray took the slot in 2015, so surely serious questions are going to be asked here.
- Thankfully for radio 1 the losses are just for the middle of the day, as drive time is up 1,000 to 216,000
So all in all a mixed bag. Head of Radio 1 Peter Woods spoke to the Irish Times about the numbers, and it’s clear that he has some concerns about the afternoons.
“We are not 100 per cent sure on the afternoons, but we have seen a drift off from the end of News at One, and that peters out at the end as well, It’s hard to see what is happening and it’s hard to see where those listeners are going.”Head of Radio 1 Peter Woods
He also hinted that they’ll be taking a closer look at the situation after the next book in the autumn.
This could bring a lot of changes, but if this continues for another book I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ray getting replaced by the likes of Kathryn Thomas or Brendan O’Connor. Interesting times ahead.
Radio 1 had a great run at the weekend, so you can check out the Irish Times link for more on that.
Last time we spoke about 2FMs listener numbers, they’d just hired the 2 Johnnies, and a major TV campaign was on air promoting 2FM rising. It doesn’t seem like this has given 2FM any insane boost in listeners, but at the same time important shows are growing.
- 2FM breakfast now has 123,000 which is an increase of 9,000-12,000. The only major change to the show in the last while has been Clock Blockers, so maybe a chance to win €10,000 is bringing in new listeners. (Note, there seems to be two sets of numbers available here so there was obviously an error at some point, the show definitely has 123,000 listeners which is an increase, but the extent of the gains has some small variation across reports. We will update article once we establish the correct info.
- Jennifer Zamparelli has 138,000 listeners which is down 3,000. It’s still an okay number though, not catastrophic.
- Tracey is down 2,000 and now has 127,000 listeners. Again, not catastrophic but certainly not ideal.
- The 2 Johnnies have 122,000 listeners which is a good place to start, it will be more interesting to look at this in autumn when we can start looking at trends
I think 2FM will be fun to watch over the next while as they seem to be at the start of a new strategy. It will probably take time before we see anything extremely interesting but these numbers will be useful to compare in autumn.
Newstalk is doing very well with most shows gaining listeners. Any losses are small and it doesn’t seem the station has any major downward trends. That said, a few numbers from their press release might throw people slightly. Instead of comparing book to book, they went from year to year. They were very transparent about this in fairness, but we’ll stick to going book by book so it’s easier to compare with other stations.
- Newstalk Breakfast has reached 146,000, that’s up 8,000 from 138,000 back in February
- Pat hasn’t budged, he’s still got 148,000 listeners which is the same as last book
- Lunchtime live is down 3,000 and now sits at 111,000
- Moncrieff now has 88,000 listeners that’s up 11,000. This is a good continuation of a recovery we first saw in the last book.
- The hard shoulder is also up. The show gained 4,000 and now sits at 155,000
Really not bad. Newstalk only really had a miner drop with Lunchtime Live, and at least for now that’s not a trend. There is the risk of news exhaustion hurting the station slightly in the future but they seem to have avoided this for the most part so far.
Today FM have made changes recently and all seems relatively okay. They are still well ahead of 2FM and that looks unlikely to change anytime soon.
The problem is they have changed so much that any comparisons to previous books are basically irrelevant. For now we’re just going to share numbers without comparisons, and we’ll get more accurate trends in a few months time. All in all things seem healthy though.
- Ian Dempsey has 201,000 listeners or as Today FM put it, more than 200,000
- Dermot & Dave bring in 203,000 listeners. It will be interesting to see if they can stay above that 200,000 line
- 143,000 listen to Ray Foely. that’s a big jump for him after years at RedFM, so I’m sure he’s happy enough
- Pamela Joyce is entertaining 134,000, as of now there’s 7,000 between her and Tracey over on 2FM so she’ll be trying hard to maintain that lead.
- 174,000 tune into Matt Cooper at drive time
Generally these are very healthy numbers, we’ll need to wait and see how things go over the next while but it doesn’t look like Bauer will be crying anytime soon.
Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to cover every station as much as I’d love to. Here are links to a number of JNLR articles so you can hopefully find what your looking for.
I’d also recommend having a look at the JNLR hashtag on Twitter. some presenters share their numbers using that hashtag so it might be worth a look.
Overall everything seems to be remaining stable. For those of you who got good results congratulations, and for those who didn’t don’t be too hard on yourself. Every book tells a different story, so everyone will have another chance to impress in 3 months. Keep doing your best and you’ll do just fine.
In other news
TalkSport have secured Irish broadcast rights for the premier League. The new 3 year deal covers the 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25 seasons.
Talksport is available in the apps of all the Irish wireless group stations, and Irish coverage is usually produced from the 96FM studios in Cork. It will be interesting to see how the sports broadcast space evolves in Irish radio, as if Talksport or OTB took GAA radio rights for example things might change drastically.
For now though, Urban Media are selling sponsorship and advertising packages for the premier League coverage, trying to make some of the money back.
Finally this week, the BAI have announced a €2 million sound and vision round for Irish language projects.
This round is funded by the department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media, and is open to independent producers of television and radio projects.
In order to increase gender equality in the broadcast industry, this round requires that at least 50% of the actors or contributors on projects be women, and at least 50% of the creative team must be female also.
Any extra funding going into public service content production is a good thing for the industry, so hopefully we see more of this going forward.
The BAI point out that they will continue to allocate between 20% and 25% of funding towards Irish language projects in regular sound and vision rounds also, so we should certainly see and hear more Gaeilge on air over the next while.
The Irish language really gives you a great advantage in media, so I might need to re download Duolingo and get that skill back😂
If you’ve been affected by any of the topics discussed in this weeks radio land, you can visit the HSE website linked below for information and support