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record-breaking Joe Duffy's listenership soars as Liveline records ten-year high in JNLR figures


joe duffy

joe duffy

joe duffy

RTÉ's Liveline has soared to new heights as its listenership has smashed through the 400,000-mark, new JNLR (Joint National Listenership Research) figures show.

The new figures mean RTÉ's Radio One has recorded their best performance figures in a decade.

Overall, the station has gone from a 22.6pc share from this time last year to 24.1pc in overall listeners—that means an increase of approximately 80,000 new listeners a week to the station.

In a year that covered the Covid-19 pandemic and a General Election, it probably comes as little surprise that Morning Ireland enjoyed a significant lift going from 429,000 to 491,000, an increase of 62,000.

For the same time period Ryan Tubridy’s hourly show jumped from 334,000 to 381,000 up 47,000.

The Today programme which was under the stewardship of Sean O'Rourke, Sarah McInerney and Claire Byrne has gone from 315,000 to 369,000, up 54,000.

And whether it was his programme on Normal People or his forcing the Bank of Ireland to refund scammed customers, Joe Duffy and Liveline smashed through the 400,000 mark.

And for the first time in over a decade Joe reached 404,000 listeners which is up 41,000.

"We're privileged to be trusted by so many in these different times. Thanks to the team, listeners and our callers," Joe told the Sunday World.

Ray D’Arcy has gone from 219,000 to 242,000, up 23,000 while Drivetime has gone from 211,000 to 265,000 up 54,000.

Even the weekend saw an increase most notably Miriam O’Callaghan, whose hour-long Sunday morning interview slot jumped a staggering 82,000 listeners, up from 236,000 to 318,000.

Speaking about her record-breaking increase Miriam told the Sunday World: “I am over the moon and it’s a big thank you first and foremost to my former producer Sian O Gorman and my current producers Tom Donnelly and Ciaran O’ Byrne.

“You are always only as good as your team around you. Also a massive thank you to all my listeners - grateful and honoured to you all.

“And to all my great guests for coming on my show,”

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Other notable weekend increases saw The Business on Saturday which went from 301,000 up to 376,000, up 75,000.

Marian Finucane and now Brendan O’Connor’s magazine show went from 343,000 up to 382,000, up 39,000 on Saturday.

While the Sunday edition made an impressive move from 290,000 to 352,000, up 62,000.

Head of RTÉ Radio One Peter Woods paid tribute to the staff behind the scenes who more than contributed to the bumper book.

“I am happy for my production teams and presenters and it a great compliment that people are turning to us for their credible news source,” he told the Sunday World.

“We have lots of people who have come here from around the country and from Today FM and Newstalk and the one thing we have is a public service ethos.

"And part of that is to be trusted and to be central and it is a privilege to have that expectation of us and it is humbling that we have had that effect on the people outside."

But if they were quaffing champagne in Radio One they were drowning their sorrows across the corridors in 2FM as every daily radio show lost listeners.

The exodus started at Breakfast where Eoghan McDermot and Doireann Garrify dropped from 135,000 to 126,000, down 9,000 year on year.

Jennifer Zamparelli, who took over the Gerry Ryan slot, went from 156,000 to 152,000 down just 4,000.

In fact the only positive news came from Tracy Clifford’s music programme which gained 4,000 listeners and was up to 130,000.

The biggest drop of the daily schedule came from Jenny Greene’s drivetime show as she went from 139,000 to 113,000, down 26,000.

There were some green shoots of recovery for the station at the weekend where Dave Fanning’s show, which is now hosted by Louise McSharry recorded an increase of 17,000 jumping from 96,000 to 113,000 listeners.

That was mirrored again on the Sunday as the same slot increased 34,000 up from 63,000 to 97,000 listeners.

Dave Fanning was also doing the business in his new time slot (taking over from Stephen Byrne) up 32,000 to 131,000 on Saturday and up just 2,000 to 91,000 on the Sunday.

Head of 2FM Dan Healy admitted that while the station had taken a dip, it seemed that most of the listeners had stayed in house.

“Look, it is a dip and I ran 98FM during 9/11 so I know what this sort of feeling is like”, he said.

“What appears to have happened is that our listeners have migrated to Radio One which is understandable.

“But the weekends have been strong and there is no need to panic.”

Across the city there was plenty of good news for Communicorp as Today FM was up across the board with a five-year market share high of 7.8 PC.

Ian Dempsey’s Breakfast show registered 179,000 listeners which is up 2,000 on this time last year.

Big winners for the station were Dermot and Dave who hit 183,000 which was an increase of 19,000.

Speaking about the huge boost in figures Dermot Whelan said: “We’re so delighted with these JNLR figures.

"I feel very fortunate to be in a position to connect with so many Irish people on Today FM each day.

“2020 has not been easy for a lot of people and radio has proven to be a place where our listeners can find a much-needed sense of community and reassurance.

“We promise to keep our listeners up to date and entertained and anyone who has heard our show knows we have mighty craic while we’re doing it.”

At lunchtime Mairead Ronan saw an increase of 14,000 listeners with 103,000 tuning in for her second year on air.

While afternoon DJ and interviewer Fergal D'Arcy registered the largest increase for his Off the Charts show adding an impressive 22,000 listeners to his tally of 125,000 for the two and a half hour slot.

While Matt Cooper’s Last Word also recorded a modest increase of 4,000 listeners as he topped 152,000 year on year.

There was mixed successes for Newstalk who have completely rejigged their schedule in recent months.

Breakfast with Ciara Kelly and Shane Coleman recorded a loss of 5,000 down to 120,000.

However, the line-up was changed mid-season win Ciaran Cuddihy moving to the Hard Shoulder slot.

Pat Kenny continues to do the business for the station bringing in 155,000 punters up 14,000 from this time last year.

Lunchtime Live hit 102,000 which is up 10,000 but it is also worth noting that Ciara Kelly was at the helm of this show for the majority of the year.

Sean Moncrieff continues to hold a steady ship with a total of 96,000 loyal listeners, which is an increase of 6,000.

While the Hard Shoulder shipped 5,000 listeners and is down to 177,000 but again that is with a change in presenter, as Ivan Yates retired only to be replaced by Ciaran Cuddihy.

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