Newstalk boss wants 35,000 more listeners

Newstalk is aiming to be the number one talk radio station in the next five years, according to Station editor Garrett Harte.

In an interview with the Irish Times, Garrett says the ambition for the Communicorp station is to reach 350,000 listeners by the end of this year – 35,000 more than the current 315,000.

The full effect of hiring Pat Kenny will not be known till 12 months after he started, but Garrett is hoping for 150,000 listeners to the show in the long term. It currently sits at 96,000 but the latest JNLRs are out next week.

The Times says revised JNLR targets have been “communicated to all teams” on all Newstalk shows, though because of the vague nature of the JNLR data, it is difficult for producers to know which segments and topics have been successful at pulling in listeners. The station is also concentrating on attracting more listeners outside of Dublin, where the figures are the smallest.

Garrett says one of the problems is the name of the station – it makes people think Newstalk is “Sky News on the Radio” but confirms there are no plans for a rebrand.

In the twelve months to February 2013, Newstalk had a daytime market share of 5.3% (so, between 7.00am and 7.00pm, 5.3% of all radio listening in the area was listening to Newstalk.)

JNLR also report that 9% of people say they tuned in yesterday at some point: where ‘yesterday’ is Monday-Friday. (

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