Lots happens in the radio industry each week so here’s a summary of the week we just enjoyed.
Here’s what happened
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s JNLR time once again. It’s time to take a look at who’s up and who’s down in the latest round of radio figures.
The good news is that no stations have had any catastrophe this time round, and RTÉ in particular will be satisfied knowing that their disaster of a book from last time seems to be behind them. Some shows certainly are doing better than others though, so let’s get into the details and see where people stand.
Radio 1 did better than last time
Overall the news is good for Radio 1. It’s certainly not worth a fireworks display or anything, but not bad at all.
- Morning Ireland is up 4,000 and now has 437,000 tuning in each morning. They lost 18,000 in the last book so still a bit of recovery needed, but an increase is an increase at the end of the day.
- The most talked about man in Ireland, also known as Ryan Tubridy, has an audience of 335,000 tuning in each morning. That’s an increase of 4,000. Tubridy will be interesting to watch over the next while as his time hosting the Late Late Show comes to an end. On one hand TV viewers might miss him and tune in on radio instead, or the lack of TV time might reduce the relevance of the show hurting it’s listenership. Fascinating times ahead.
- 327,000 tune into Claire Byrne each day. That’s a nice boost of 6,000.
- This is where the good news ends for a while. The Louise Duffy Show has dropped 9,000 to 213,000. How much of that loss is as a result of Ronan moving on to RTÉ Gold is hard to know, but it’s certainly not ideal to be losing listeners in your first book.
- News At One has 299,000 falling under the 300,000 mark. It’s a loss of 11,000 from last time which really ain’t great.
- LiveLine also fell and now sits at 306,000. That’s down 4,000.
- A much needed boost came for Ray Darcy, as he gained 4,000 to reach 181,000 listeners. He could still do with gaining a few more but it’s certainly an improvement.
- 214,000 tune in to Drive Time on Radio 1, that’s up 6,000. not bad at all.
Generally it’s not a bad performance. The shows with longer run times and consequently more ad breaks all gained listeners which is good news for the station. The Ray Darcy slot still needs serious improvement, but it’s not dropping even more listeners which is something.
“The increase in the listenership across the morning and late afternoon is very welcome. It’s a tribute to the focus and commitment of our teams and we will continue to refine our output. Weekend programmes have always fluctuated – but the position of so many of those programmes in the top ten underlines our continuing pre-eminence and connection with the audience. This was a good book.”Peter Woods, Head of RTÉ Radio
It will be interesting to see if all the changes on telly impact radio numbers in the next few books. Time will tell.
They’ll be dancing at 2FM, mostly
Last time we spoke about 2FM, it’s presenters were all dancing their hearts out on Dancing with the stars. Some presenters benefited from that, but it’s not universal.
- 135,000 people now tune in to 2FM breakfast each morning. That’s up 6,000. The show got good promotion when Carl won Dancing with the stars, so we’ll need to wait and see if it’s a sustained boost.
- Jennifer Zamparelli is down 1,000 and now has 133,000 tuning in. Only a small drop so no need for panic just yet.
- Tracey Clifford had a 7,000 listener drop and now has 109,000. She really needs to reverse course at this stage as she’s been losing listeners consistently for a while now. She was down 4,000 in February, and down 7,000 in November. Combined that’s a loss of 18,000 in the last 3 books. Certainly not ideal.
- The 2 Johnnies had a lovely boost and are now up 11,000 to 130,000 listeners. My dentist made the switch from Today FM recently,, so now you can suffer through an extraction while being entertained by the Parish Quiz. How bad.
The 2 johnnies have had a really good boost, but I’d be getting a bit concerned about Tracey. Does she need a co host? A new format? If it doesn’t improve in the next book or two it will be time to look at a more drastic change.
“Overall 2FM, has performed well. This is the first time that we have a full 12-month view of the 2 Johnnies since they joined the station in February last year. Their daily reach ( IPSOS MRBI/JNLR 2023-1) has grown by 11,000 adults since the last survey and with significant growth every quarter hour from 3pm. Doireann, Donncha and Carl also continue to grow from survey to survey. Their daily reach has increased by 21,000 from this time last year from 114,00 to 135,000.The new weekend schedule has bedded in quickly and we will have a clearer picture of how that is performing in the next survey. I want to thank everyone at 2FM, both on and off air for their creativity and hard work. Most importantly I want to thank our audience ,who despite the changing audio environment and irrespective of what device is used to listen, they know there is nothing better than live radio.”Dan Healy, Head of RTÉ Radio Strategy and RTÉ 2FM
Things are still ticking over just fine.
Some small ups and downs for Today FM
Good news continues for Today FM, as most of their shows continue to gain listeners.
- Ian Dempsey now has 208,000. That’s up 5,000 from last time. Slowly but surely moving away from that 200,000 clif edge.
- Dermot & Dave had a small drop of 2,000 to stand at 205,000. Nothing worth panicking about yet.
- Pamela Joyce has gained 2,000 listeners and now has 136,000 tuning in. She’s well ahead of Tracey Clifford for now, but you can never truely relax in this game.
- Ray Foley continues to smash it. He’s got 3,000 new listeners and now has 163,000 each day. Not bad at all.
- Matt Cooper’s down 4,000 and now sits at 168,000. Still a respectable audience but worth watching. He gained 8,000 back in February so should be grand.
The German bosses will be quite happy with this I would think. No crazy jumps, but more importantly no major losses.
“I’m incredibly proud of the Today FM team. We believe we have some of the finest talent here on-air and behind the scenes and today, our listeners have reinforced this. Together we are taking Today FM to new levels of success. One of the exciting aspects of our team is we have highly experienced professionals working together with the next generation of stars coming through. Our audience is at the heart of what we do and we have a lot of fun along the way doing it”Fyona Smith, Managing Editor Today FM
Today FM are continueing to perform well so no need for concern.
Newstalk is doing okay, although they did have a few losses. Lots of shows staying still here too which is fair enough I guess.
- Breakfast has dropped 3,000 and now has 149,000 listeners.
- Pat Kenny stays at 174,000 which is still as respectable as it was last time
- Lunchtime live hasn’t received a boost from Boylan it seems, it’s also stayed still with 106,000 listeners
- It’s a 2,000 jump for Moncrieff with 98,000 listeners. So close to the 100,000
- The hard shoulder took a hard fall of 7,000 to 152,000 listeners. Not ideal, but we’ve certainly seen worse.
Could be better and could be worse. There’s nothing wrong with staying still, so I wouldn’t be issueing a breaking news alert just yet.
Not a bad day for radio all things considered.
You can read more details on these results by clicking the links below, and we’ll be back to do it all again in 3 months time.
In other news
Wireless Radio Ireland, which is ultimately part of News Corp, made a loss of €2.58 million before tax, according to new accounts.
The group, which owns FM104 and Q102 in Dublin, 96FM and C103 in cork, live 95 in Limerick among others, has had a large reduction of staff, but it’s staff costs still went up.
240 people used to work for the company, but that number has now dropped to 201. It’s unclear where most of these jobs were cut, but the station has shown more interest in networking in recent times. Despite the lower staff count, staff costs are up from €10.56 million to €10.99 million, which is interesting to see.
The business mentioned strong digital growth, and they say they’re investing more in this area going forward.
There are more detailed financial details linked below, so go check that out if your interested. It’s ultimately a shame seeing numbers backing up staff cuts in radio, but unfortunately that’s the way it goes.
Hopefully radio will find itself on healthy ground in the years to come.
Usually when the minister for finance goes on a radio show, he gets asked some difficult questions by the presenter. But sometimes, politicians fight back.
Yesterday the minister for finance Michael McGrath joined Mick Mulcahy on Red FM to answer some questions. Ordinarily this would be of no relevance to Radio Land readers, but when the minister questions the presenter about the Cash Machine, it suddenly becomes more interesting.
On Thursday a cork couple from the minister’s constituency won over €40,000 on the Cash Machine. This lead to Mick attempting to get a declaration from the minister, but the endeavour didn’t go according to plan.
It is a beautiful radio moment, so allow me to share the experience with you.
Mick started as all good presenter should. He informed the minister that the following question was “just for fun”. Despite Mick’s efforts, the minister was expecting an interviewer ready for war, so he wasn’t exactly ready for fun.
Mick proceeds to point out the success the ministers constituents had on the Cash Machine the day before, and asked the minister to confirm that these winnings are tax free. This would have been grand, except the minister wasn’t sure. In order to answer the question effectively the minister needed more information about this Cash Machine thing.
The minister spoke about lotteries, leading Mick to expertly retort that “it’s a game of skill”. It was an intervention worthy of a lawyer from Mick, but Michael came back for more.
Who is the operator? Asked the minister, to which Mick responded “The GoLoud Network of Radio Stations. Mick was now on shaky ground as it’s actually Bauer Media Audio Ireland.
Before things could get any worse Mick came clean saying he just wanted a Sound Byte. The Minister proceeded to confirm that Lottery winnings are usually tax free, as long as the lottery is registered. For good measure the minister offered to look into it for Mick, at which point Nick promptly moved on to less interesting questions.
It was truly a great performance from both candidates, and it really raised some interesting questions. Is the Cash Machine a lottery? Or is it as Mick said “a game of skill”. Go vote on our Instagram story now.
Listen to the clip here:
And that’s the summary for this week. Come back to radio land next week for more radio news📻 and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for extra stories.