Lots happens in the radio industry each week so here’s a summary of the week we just enjoyed.
Here’s what happened
The rumours are true! Bauer have agreed a deal to buy Cork’s Red FM.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval, but if everything goes to plan Bauer will then be owners of Red FM, 98FM, Spin 1038, Spin South West, Today FM, and Newstalk.
What does this mean in practice though. There are a number of safe bets, and also lots of things we can have fun speculating about.
- Red FM will become part of Goloud. Goloud is the app housing all of Bauers audio content, so Red FM will certainly become part of that platform.
- Cash machine is on its way. The cash machine is a premium rate text to play game that’s aired across Bauers network of stations. It’s almost certain to make its way to Cork if this deal goes through. This may result in cash amounts up for grabs increasing across the network, but we’ll need to wait and see. The Cork market has previously had a similar format called Cash Call, but that hasn’t really been around since the former UTV network became Wireless Group.
- Red FM sport is about to get the Off The Ball treatment. It will be interesting to see where this leaves brands like The Big Red Bench, It might become part of OTB, it might get sent to the sideline never to be seen again. No matter what though it’s safe to assume Red FM will develope a tighter relationship with OTB.
While obviously all this is speculation, these all seem like relatively obvious things to expect from Bauer in this case.
There are still lots of questions though. Is The Neil Prendeville Show going to face the same treatment as Dublin Talks and just get axed? Will we start seeing networked shows across the station? Could the Red FM brand become an extension of Spin South West? That’s only the start of it. From the Today FM/Newstalk studios in cork to the RedExtra brand, who knows what potentially huge changes might be on the horizon.
No matter what way you look at it, there are some crazy times ahead for a market that really hasn’t changed much in recent years. It’s the biggest change in Cork since KC joined 96FM from Red, and arguably the impact of this Bauer move will be bigger.
What are your thoughts? Is this a good or bad deal? What do you expect to change? Go let us know over on our Instagram story now.
Usually this would be our top story, but it’s just been a crazy week in the radio world. Anyway, New JNLR numbers were released this week, so it’s time to find out who’s going up and down.
As always we don’t have the time to cover all stations, but we’ll include links you can use at the end if you want more details.
In general this wasn’t a great book for Radio 1. Nothing has changed massively at the station, but it seems they are suffering a loss in listeners that until now was only seen in the afternoons.
- 451,000 are listening to Morning Ireland, that’s down a huge 22,000 in a single book
- Tubridy has an audience of 344,000 he’s down from 369,000
- Claire Byrne now sits at 331,000 listeners, she’s down 19,000
- The big news here though is Ray darcy’s show continuing it’s massive decline. the show is down 18,000 to 179,000
It’s unclear what’s going wrong here, but clearly there was either an over estimation in the last book or radio 1 has started to drop listeners.
What’s clear though is Ray Darcy is having trouble, and RTÉ have noticed. The head of RTÉ Radio 1 spoke about the show to the Independant.
“We changed the production team on it in the last while. It has one of the best series producers and also one of the best new producers. We got two new superb researchers so what we would be more looking at is the structure of the programme rather than the content. That’s where we think we probably have to go with it.”head of RTÉ Radio 1 Peter Woods
If this continues for another book some tough decisions will need to be made.
2FM had more of a mixed bag, rather than dropping huge listeners like Radio 1, shows that you might expect to have seen growth have remained the same.
- 2FM breakfast is up 1,000 with listenership of 124,000
- Jennifer Zamparelli has 131,000 listeners, that’s down 7,000
- It’s the same story for Tracey Clifford, she’s now at 120,000 after also dropping 7,000
- The 2 Johnnies have had no change this book staying on 122,000
2FM isn’t facing the same disaster that Radio 1 saw this book, but they would probably have been hoping for better. This isn’t really too bad for now as long as it doesn’t become a trend.
Basically everyone’s down on today FM except relative newcomer Ray Foley
- Breakfast is down 2,000 and now has 199,000
- Dermot & Dave are down 5,000 now slipping beneath 200,000 at 198,000 listeners
- Pamela Joyce has dropped 4,000 and now sits at 130,000
- Matt Cooper has lost a scary 10,000 listeners and now has 164,000
- The big news is Ray though, he’s crushing his slot and is now up 6,000 to 149,000
Fair play Ray, that’s good going
Newstalk also had a mixed bag, but nothing too disastrous. Some shows are up, some are down, so everything all kind of evens out.
- Newstalk Breakfast with Ciara Kelly and Shane Coleman is up 1,000 and now has an audience of 147,000
- 177,000 tune in for Pat Kenny, that’s down 7,000
- Lunchtime Live is down 3,000 to 108,000, so not a massive drop, but a drop all the same.
- Moncrieff now has 90,000, he’s up 3,000.
- The Hard Shoulder is up 1,000 and sits at 156,000.
Really mixed bags for Bauer stations this time, but it could be worse. It’s not a Radio 1 style catastrophe which is a good thing I guess.
It’s hard to know what to think this time around as it really could have gone better if we’re honest. We can only hope for an improvement in the next book.
Check out the links below for more details.
The boss at 2FM has spoken about Eoghan McDermott’s future on the station, as well as a number of recent goings on for station presenters.
Eoghan McDermott left 2FM in February 2021, after aligations were made against him. The person who made those aligations later retracted them in a legal letter, and Eoghan has now began rebuilding his career following the incident.
He has recently returned to naration duties on Love Island Australia, so naturally enough the question came up about a possable return to 2FM. RTÉ 2fm boss Dan Healy spoke about that this week, saying that at least for now the 2FM schedual is locked down.
“His contract ran out with us at that time and the schedule is now locked down. The station is now moving in a certain direction with talent like the 2 Johnnies, the Breakfast Show trio Doireann Garrihy, Donncha O’Callaghan and Carl Mullen alongside Jen Zamparelli and Tracy Clifford. I don’t see this schedule moving. I think we made the right decisions with regards to the talent. We have a really nice, strong daytime schedule,”RTÉ 2fm boss Dan Healy
It will be interesting to see if another station does take Eoghan on in the next while, but it looks like 2FM is out of the picture at least for now.
Dan also addressed other stuff this week including a challenge finding male presenters, as well as Lottie Ryan being disapointed after not getting the hosting job for Dancing With The Stars.
You can read all that below
Production company Turnip + Duck have won the Society Award at the NCBI Vision Awards for their RTEJr Radio podcast Maddie + Triggs. (disclosure, I work for NCBI but had no involvement in any of these projects)