This Week In Radio 19/8/2023 (JNLR’s, buyouts, and a pinch of Ryan Tubridy)

Lots happens in the radio industry each week so here’s a summary of the week we just enjoyed.

Here’s what Happened

Iradio logo

Bauer are buying another radio station. Yes, another one.

This time it’s Iradio’s turn to become part of the big radio family, subject to them getting all the necessary go ahead from regulators, competition bodies, etc.

We can speculate about what this means, but realistically we know the playbook at this point. Cash Machine, GoLoud, and maybe a presenter shakeup. Bauers already huge grip on the industry was clear to see, and now it’s getting even tighter.

It’s hard to know how to put this, but Bauer is at this point taking over not just radio stations, but also the industry as a whole. There buying more and more stations, but even stations operated by other operators are doing things the Bauer way. That can’t be healthy.

Rather than do big analysis of this deal, we’re just going to ask a simple question. Is Bauer too big? Go vote on our Instagram story now.

Read the story here

JNLR logo

It’s been another crazy three months, and it’s time to see who’s going up and down with the latest JNLR results.

Let’s start with Radio 1

RTE radio 1 Logo

RTE has had a disastrous few months, but at least for now listenership seems okay. With Tubridy leaving we might see big changes here soon, but let’s look at where we’re at now.

  • 440,000 listen to Morning Ireland, which is a boost of 3,000 from last time. Every little helps
  • Last time I covered listenership numbers for tubs I called him “the most talked about man in Ireland”. i mean at least I know my content is evergreen. Anyway, unfortunately Tubridy won’t be going out on a high, he lost 1,000 listeners and had 334,000 tuning in.
  • Today with Claire Byrne has 323,000 listeners. That’s down 4,000 but she gain 6,000 last time so it’s not too bad.
  • News at One is up 3,000 and now sits at 303,000 listeners, or so RTÉ say. There seems to be an error here somewhere as RTEs last reported listenership was 299,000 from the show. Either the slot gain 4,000 listeners, or RTÉ under reported listeners last time. It’s also possible that they’ve over reported listeners in this book. We’ve reached out to RTÉ media sales to clarify and will update the article if we receive a response.
  • LiveLine is down 1,000 and sits at 305,000. This is based on numbers from the Irish Times, as RTÉ didn’t include the numbers for the show in their press release.
  • 183,000 listeners tune into Ray Darcy which is up 2,000. Ray was on a down hill slope there for a while but he’s up 6,000 in the last two books.
  • Drivetime also did well and has seen listener numbers grow. It’s up 6,000 for an audience of 220,000.

Seems like an okay book for the station, with strong growth being seen at the weekend too. RTE haven’t shared numbers for Louise Duffy, so I’ll update the article if I get those. All in all an okay book though.

RTE 2FM is also doing okay

2FM logo

Really 2FM has seen good results for key shows. Let’s take a look at how things are going

  • 2FM Breakfast with Doireann, Donncha, and Carl has 138,000 listeners. They’ve shown consistent steady growth and are up another 3,000 this book.
  • 133,000 listen to Jennifer Zamparelli, which is the same as last time.
  • Tracey Clifford is having a bit of a bad time at the moment losing yet more listeners. She’s now at 107,000 which is a 2,000 drop. She’s lost 20,000 in the last 4 books, so that’s got to sting a little.
  • The 2 johnnies had a lovely boost of 10,000 and now sit at 140,000. That’s really as good as it gets. Fair play.

Generally all good news, but it’s looking like it’s time for some changes for Tracey. Hopefully she gets a boost next time as otherwise I’d be very concerned for her. Can she do a ray Darcy and turn it around?

“2FM is in good health following the publication of listenership results for the most recent period. In general, most of our programmes have experienced an increase in audience. Particularly pleasing for all of us at 2FM is the continuous growth at breakfast time with Doireann, Donncha and Carl. With each quarter the show experiences steady growth. Producer Grace Callaghan and right hand person Willem McCarthy also deserve credit for the good shape the show is in. The two lads from Cahir , not yet on air two years, are out performing 2FM’s primetime share by 25%, this is a phenomenal result for The 2 Johnnies. Our new weekend schedule is also bedding in well and I look forward to the next set of results. As ever a massive thanks to our loyal audience and big welcome to our new listeners.”

2FM boss Dan Healy

Today FM will be happy out

Today FM Logo

Today FM will be happy out with their results as most weekday shows are up. Some of the gains aren’t small either.

  • 221,000 tune into Ian Dempsey each morning, which is a boost of a huge 13,000 from last time. Well done Ian.
  • Dermot and Dave had a listenership of 216,000, an 11,000 boost. Dermot has left the show now but it’s cool to see that he left on a high. We’ll need to wait and see if Dave can hold the audience solo.
  • Pamala Joyce has gained 9,000 listeners and now sits at 145,000. Today FM say she’s up nearly 10,000 listeners, which is mildly entertaining. 9,000 is nearly 10,000 so I suppose it’s fair enough.
  • Ray Foley continues to crush it. He’s up, again. He’s gained 10,000 and now has 173,000.
  • Matt cooper now has 174,000 up 7,000. This more than reverses his drop from last book.

Really it doesn’t get much better than this. Today FM are doing amazing on Basicaly every metric, and I’d imagine the German bosses at Bauer will be happy campers.

What’s the news with Newstalk

Newstalk Logo

Newstalk has only recently undertaken a visual rebrand, and they’ve also been doing some advertising. While we won’t see the results of that in this book, let’s take a look at how they’re getting on.

  • Newstalk breakfast had another drop, and now sits at 145,000. That’s down 4,000.
  • 179,000 people are tuning into Pat Kenny, a 6,000 listener increase according to the station. That doesn’t quite add up as they claimed he had 174,000 last time, so there’s an error somewhere. He’s up, but the details are a bit unclear.
  • Lunchtime live is down 4,000 and sits at 102,000. That’s dangerously close to that 100,000 clif edge
  • Moncrieff reached 103,000 daily listeners which is an increase of 5,000. Back over the 100,000, how bad.
  • 149,000 listen to The Hard Shoulder, that’s down 3,000. The show has now lost 10,000 in the last 2 books.

Outside of Kenny it’s not really great news, and even pats numbers are slightly unclear. We’ll need to hold out and see if the advertising makes any difference, but this book could have gone better.

“delighted to see more listeners tuning in every day, choosing us as their talk station. We welcome them and look forward to engaging with them in conversation that counts in the coming months,”

Newstalk Managing Editor Patricia Monahan


Things are still ticking along nicely. The next few books will be interesting as we see the fallout from all the RTÉ drama, but that’s for another day.

You can check out the links below for sources.


Today fm

The Irish Times


Ryan Tubridy

Finally this week a story that in some ways I didn’t expect. It’s official, Ryan Tubridy is not going to be returning to radio 1, at least for now.

The news came on Thursday evening when RTÉs Director general Kevin Bakhurst issued a statement saying he was concluding negotiations. Kevin spoke of a breakdown in trust between the parties, following a statement from Ryan responding to a Grant Thornton report.

Despite having agreed some of the fundamentals, including fee, duration and hours, regretfully, it is my view that trust between the parties has broken down. Public statements made without consultation appear to question the basis for the necessary restatement of fees paid for services for 2020 and 2021.

Section of the statement from Kevin Bakhirst

The debate is now over. Love or hate Ryan, you won’t be hearing him on radio 1. Following the announcement there were some nice tributes to Ryan on the news, which in many ways felt like eulogies to his career. we also had Kevin Bakhurst give an interview to Morning Ireland, confirming that Tubridy is perfectly entitled to head over to Newstalk or virgin now.

Who knows what’s next for Ryan. He could certainly make money with a podcast if he wants to. It’s also unclear what’s going to happen to his slot on radio. It’s the end of an era in some ways, but it can also be seen as an exciting time for change. this might well be the making of Ryan, but perhaps that’s too optimistic. I certainly don’t envy how he feels right now as if you think about it, he’s actually been canceled.

Best wishes to Ryan and RTÉ. Hopefully this relationship can heal in time.

Read the story here

Quick Bits

Liam Thompson is replacing Colm Hayes as PD at Irelands Classic Hits Radio

⁨Sheila Naughton⁩ has started a new job at Newstalk after stepping down as Tipp FMs head of news

The second series of podcasts produced by the Irish Prison Service is out now, well worth a listen

Malachi Cush is hosting a new RTE radio 1 show

The Doc On One podcast is up for sponsorship

BBC are airing a 4 part radio documentary on Seamus Heaney

And that’s the summary for this week. Come back to radio land next week for more radio news📻 and be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more fun from the world of radio.