While traditional news media has seen a slump in recent years, Irish radio has continued to grow. According to the latest JNLR figures, more than 3.17 million listeners tune in every weekday and for an average of four hours.* Here at MediaHQ, we’ve put together a list of the top five most listened to Irish radio programmes.
RTÉ Radio One dominates the list as every programme bar one from the top twenty are from the station. The only programme to break RTÉ Radio One’s stranglehold on the top twenty is 2FM’s Breakfast Republic which is the seventeenth most listened to radio programme. However, that is not to say the competition is dead and both Newstalk and Today FM made gains on RTÉ with record audience numbers. The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show is Today FM’s most popular programme with an audience of 180,000. On Newstalk, The Hard Shoulder with Ivan Yates is the station’s top performer with 170,000 listeners.
Morning Ireland is RTÉ Radio One’s flagship breakfast news show and Ireland’s most listened-to radio programme. The show is presented by two presenters from the current rota which includes Audrey Carville, Rachael English, Bryan Dobson, Gavin Jennings and Fran McNulty. Government ministers commonly appear on the show to express their views on current affairs. It has been on the air for more than 25 years and is broadcast each weekday morning between 07.00 and 09.00.
While Joe Duffy is at the helm of the ever popular Liveline, the essential ingredient is his audience. Together the Liveline team and its listeners mull over the news headlines and uncover controversies and scandals plaguing Ireland today. Each Friday the show is devoted to ‘Funny Friday’ where a number of comedians join Joe in studio to put politicians and public personalities under the spotlight. Liveline airs Monday to Friday from 1:45 to 3 p.m.
The Marian Finucane Show
The Marian Finucane Show is the most listened to weekend radio show in Ireland. The programme contains interviews, consumer and lifestyle stories, along with panel discussions on the big issues of the week. The show has functioned as a public forum for serious issues such as the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and the Shell to Sea campaign. At the beginning of each show, Marian previews the newspapers of the day. The Marian Finucane Show airs on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 13:00.
News at one
RTÉ News at One is a news and current affairs programme broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1. The programme is presented by Aine Lawlor and Claire Byrne. Dr Gavin Jennings also presents on an intermittent basis. An extended news bulletin takes up the first few minutes of the programme which is then typically followed by a series of interviews. It finishes with sports news, business news, and a summary of regional news from across Ireland. Lengthened editions are also aired on the occasion of major breaking news stories such as general elections or referendums. It airs at 1pm between Monday and Friday for 45 minutes.
The Ryan Tubridy Show
The Ryan Tubridy Show is a fast-paced entertaining and informative sixty minutes of morning radio. The show includes interviews, a news roundup of the day, competitions, and listeners often email into the programme with their stories and concerns. In 2015, Ryan rejoined RTÉ Radio One after five years with 2fm presenting Tubridy; he previously presented The Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 between 2005 and 2010. The show airs each weekday morning on RTÉ Radio 1 from 9am to 10am.
(*Figures are from the latest JNLR/Ipsos MRBI report into Irish radio listening which was published on 07/02/19 and covers the 12-month period from January to December 2018. A media release and summary information tables are available to download here.)