RTÉ Radio 1 has suffered a steep drop in ratings according to the latest JNLR report released today, with a decrease in listeners across all of its flagship programmes. Morning Ireland, the Ryan Tubridy Show, and Today with Clare Byrne are among those to lose a significant number of listeners in the last year.
The joint industry research from the Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR), conducted on behalf of the Irish radio industry, was published today (9 February) covering radio listenership from January to December 2022.
The figures revealed that 3.2 million listeners tune into radio each weekday – meaning 78% of Irish adults listen to the radio every day, while 90% listen to the radio weekly.
While Irish audiences continue to listen to a significant amount of radio daily, and RTÉ Radio 1 remains the most listened to station in the country, the station has suffered a loss in listenership across all of its flagship shows. The fall in listeners is significant compared to the last report released from JNLR in November 2022.
Breakfast news programme Morning Ireland, which remains Ireland’s most listened to radio programme, was the worst hit – losing 17,000 listeners since the last report – with listenership now standing at 433,000.
Veteran broadcasters Ryan Tubridy and Clare Byrne also saw ratings for their shows drop, despite listenership remaining high.
RTÉ favourite Ryan Tubridy has lost 13,000 listeners according to the new figures, with listenership to his programme, the Ryan Tubridy Show, broadcast each morning from 9am, now standing at 331,0000. Today with Clare Byrne also suffered a drop in ratings – down 10,000 listeners in the latest survey, with 321,000 listeners.
News at One has 310,000 listeners according to the newly released statistics – representing an even higher drop of 15,0000. Other shows which have suffered a drop from the last report include LiveLine with Joe Duffy – which has lost 11,000 listeners, standing at 310,000 listeners. Other programmes to take a hit include Ronan Collins’ 12pm music show which has also decreased in listenership by 11,000, and now has 222,000 people listening in.
Meanwhile, the Ray D’Arcy show, broadcast from 3pm to 4.30pm on weekdays, has been less impacted – with a drop of just 2,000 listeners, to hold onto 177,000 listeners. RTÉ Radio One’s current affairs evening show, Drivetime, had a listenership of 208,000, losing 4,000 listeners.
However, RTÉ 2FM fared much better. The station’s breakfast show, hosted by Doireann Garrihy, Donncha O’Callaghan and Carl Mullan, has increased in popularity, with listenership soaring to 129,000, an increase of 5,000 listeners. Jennifer Zamparelli’s show – the most popular on the station – also grew in popularity by 3,000 listeners, to 134,000, meaning it’s not all bad news for the national broadcaster.
Meanwhile, Today FM will be celebrating the new statistics; the rival station saw an increase in listeners across all shows last year. The Last Word with Matt Cooper saw listeners grow by 8,000 to 172,000 listeners, while the Ian Dempsey breakfast show also retained its popularity, and saw listeners jump by 4,000 to 203,000 in the latest survey.
Speaking as the figures were unveiled, head of RTÉ Radio One Peter Woods said there is “probably some element of news fatigue” at play when it comes to understanding the drop. Mr Woods said he was expecting a decrease in listenership, adding that the station may need to go “back to basics”.
Speaking to The Independent, he said: “I was expecting a drop, I think some of this is dissatisfaction with news in general. We also know from the underlying figures that our 20 to 45s in that demographic are way up, so there’s a lot of things happening.
“That’s probably the future and maybe what’s happening is the people we would have seen as our traditional listeners are listening less.
“When something like this happens, we have to look at everything and that’s what we’ll do, maybe we’ll have to go back to basics again.”
As part of the survey, a total of 16,800 people were interviewed by the Ipsos on behalf of JNLR, with results finding that a large majority of adults in Ireland – 78% – listen to the radio on an average day. More than half of Irish adults (51%) tune into their local or regional station, while 42% listen to a national station. Among 15- to 34-year-olds, 68% listen to the radio daily.
JNLR found that across the various regional areas, national radio holds the majority share position in Dublin (56%) and the greater Dublin Commuter belt (55%) while local/regional radio is in the majority in other regions throughout the country, in particular achieving its highest share position in Cork (65%), in the North-West (60%) and in the South-West (58%) regions.