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Radio 1 Prospers in Cold Climate

The latest JNLR figures were released yesterday and they show that the past three months have been good for what people still see as the national broadcaster.

The Hot Press Newsdesk, 15 May 2009

Cork’s RedFM and RTE Radio One emerged among the stars of the class of 09, with good gains in the latest JNLR figures released yesterday

In terms of hard listenership numbers gained, Radio 1 was top of the pile, adding 1% for a 25% national Weekday Reach figure. They also increased their Weekday Market Share figure by .8% to 22.7%. Among the local stations, Shannonside Northern Sound (+4%) and Ocean FM (+2%) both did well in Weekly Reach.

There was little change in Dublin, with FM104 and 2fm holding their Weekday Reach figure well despite increased competition. In Cork, meanwhile, Cork’s RedFM showed improved results on all counts, with their 2% improvement in Weekday Reach bringing them up to an impressive 21%. Otherwise, as in Dublin, there was very little change.

In terms of specific programmes. Radio 1 did well almost across the board. Joe Duffy’s Liveline showed the biggest increase, adding 21,000 to cross the 400,000 threshold for the first time. Morning Ireland, The Tubridy Show and Today With Pat Kenny all showed significant increases. Dave Fanning was another to do well, listenership to The Dave Fanning Show increasing by close to 10%.

Over at 2fm, weekends proved to be the hot spot, with 2fm boss John Clarke’s own Ireland’s Biggest Jukebox show adding 13,000 to hit 156,000 and Ruth Scott also adding 13,000 to comfortably cross the 200,000 threshold. She has 208,000 listeners.

Managing Director of RTÉ Radio, Clare Duignan, says: "I’m hugely pleased for all of RTÉ Radio’s staff; radio has never been more popular and it’s great that RTÉ Radio 1 is proving to be the station of choice for Ireland’s radio listeners. As well as bringing lots of good news, the latest listenership figures show there are some challenges for RTÉ Radio to address. I know that RTÉ Radio’s staff are ready to tackle those challenges head on so that RTÉ Radio’s audience continues to grow."

While over at Newstalk, George Hook is still the the top banana having returned to the over 100,000 listeners threshold by adding 8,000 to bring his total to 103,000 adults, newcomer Tom Dunne, who formerly hosted a show on Today FM, is now averaging 69,000 listeners in his new gig - it's an impressive performance and is sure to hot up talk of his potential to cross over to television. Finally, there's a definitive doff of the cap to the Off The Ball team, who survived the loss of previous anchor Ger Gilroy to the station's morning show, to hit 43,000 listeners.

Of the performance of his two stations in Cork, Kieran McGeary, Chief Executive of Cork’s 96FM and C103, said: "Our figures are hugely impressive. Our programmes are more popular despite growing competition. For example, the Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s 96FM now attracts just under 100,000 listeners per day, which is greater than any other local radio programme. We are also delighted that we have maintained our market leading position at the all important morning and afternoon drivetime slots, with our shows beating all our national and local competitors."

There were slight increases for the youth stations, Spin South West, Beat FM and i-Radio in the North West.

“I think RTE can be very happy with the results,” one media buyer told Hot Press. “I think the cycle of scandals and the collapse of the economy is good for Radio One in that people feel the need to hear the news from what is still perceived as being the national station. But in truth there is nothing especially dramatic here and no reason for anyone to get too excited. One thing to watch out for is if Tom Dunne sustains for the next two books, where he'll be getting a full 12 months of the survey. If he does it'll be a real coup for him and Marconi House's junior partner.

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