JNLR wave 1 2017 – what the stations say

Here’s our round-up of what the stations say after the publishing of JNLR figures for the first quarter of 2017.

The latest JNLR figures published today confirm Irish radio’s strong hold on the hearts and the ears of Irish audiences with more than three million people tuning into Irish radio on a daily basis.

Chairperson of the Choose Radio group which represents all of Irelands’ radio stations sales houses, Gabrielle Cummins said: “despite the plethora of audio options and listening choice available, Irish audiences still gravitate towards radio. Even in the younger demographic when the perception is that other audio is more prevalent, the opposite is actually true with 1 million 15-34 year olds choosing radio every day.”

According to Cummins “Irish radio listeners are extremely loyal to the radio with 1.269 million people only listening to one radio station and 744,000 listening to two or more radio stations”.

“Listener loyalty and the strong connection between radio stations and their audiences is something that is not replicated by any other medium. Creating a strong connection between brands and potential buyers is something which every advertiser seeks and this is something that radio offers. The reality is that radio can allow brands to reach consumers in the most effective way possible”, said Cummins. The Choose Radio Group is highlighting that advertisers need to greatly increase their use of radio advertising to make sure their clients are benefiting from the connection between radio stations and their audiences.

For a full sales report, download the JNLR PDF report here.


  • Massive gains in daytime RTÉ Radio 1 schedule
  • Strong book across all RTÉ stations
  • RTÉ Radio 1 continues to hold 19 of the top 20 programmes in Ireland
  • RTÉ 2FM sees strong growth across all daytime programmes

RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ 2FM and RTÉ lyric fm have a combined weekly reach of over half of all of Ireland’s Adult population. Collectively, the three stations have a weekly reach of almost 2 million (1,954,000), or 52% of the Adult 15+ population.

Commenting on the latest radio figures for RTÉ, Jim Jennings, Managing Director, RTÉ Radio says:
“This is a fantastic day in RTÉ as all of our radio stations demonstrate growth. RTÉ Radio 1 remains the market leader by a clear margin with more and more listeners choosing to tune in everyday. The huge growth in share, YoY, for 15-34 year olds on RTÉ 2FM is very encouraging and it further indicates that the re-positioning of the station is proving to be a massive success with the target audience. RTÉ lyric fm had a very impressive book today with large growth on its weekly reach figure and many of its programmes showing notable book on book growth.'”

Radio 1

There have been gains across the majority on Radio 1 weekday programmes with increases (b-o-b) for The Ryan Tubridy Show, Today with Sean O’Rourke, Ronan Collins, News at One , The Ray D’Arcy Show and The John Creedon Show.

On weekends (b-o-b) The Marian Finucane Show, Playback, Saturday with Claire Byrne, This Week, Saturday Sport and Sunday Sport , Sunday with Miriam, Bowman and The Weekend on One all experienced strong growth. It is worth noting that The Marian Finucane Show (Sundays) posted the highest reach 000’s (+28,000) of any programme for this JNLR book.

Tom McGuire, Head of RTÉ Radio 1 says: “These audience figures are the signature tune to what I hope will be a great year for RTÉ Radio 1. In sport, the new and loyal listeners on weekends will enjoy exclusive coverage of the GAA championships. An bigger audience are ‘getting more from the story’ every day on the station. I look forward to a summer where the listener can enjoy the radio while being engaged and entertained.”

  • The Ryan Tubridy Show now has 336,000 listeners, up b-o-b (13,000) and up y-o-y (14,000)
  • Today with Sean O’Rourke increases with a substantial increase of 22,000 b-o-b to 354,000, up 28,000 y-o-y
  • Ronan Collins gains 12,000 listeners (b-o-b) to 229,000
  • The Ray D’Arcy Show is up a notable 13,000 b-o-b and 9,000 y-o-y to 226,000
  • The Marian Finucane Show (Sat) grows 10,000 (b-o-b) to 382,000 and on Sundays to 336,000 up 28,000 (b-o-b)
  • Sunday with Miriam is up 11,000 to 256,000 listeners (b-o-b)


Breakfast Republic remains the number one radio show in Ireland for 15-34s and 2FM has seen book-on-book increases across the weekday (7am-7pm) schedule. The RTÉ 2FM weekday share is up to 6.1% (+0.1 pt)

Commenting today, Head of RTÉ 2FM, Dan Healy says: “2FM was re-imagined so that it would appeal to a younger audience and it is very satisfying to see this age group interacting with the station in such large numbers. The station now has six of the top ten programmes for 15-34 year olds, with Breakfast Republic being the number one show for this age group in Ireland. Although 2FM does not target All Adults, Breakfast Republic has the same number of All Adults tuning in [167,000] every day as the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show. A lot of hard work has gone into 2FM over the past two years and I am very grateful to all my colleagues both on and off air in RTÉ. However, we all know that we are still early on in our journey.

“This period has also been very exciting with our collaboration with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Jenny Greene. Last Friday, for the second time, we took the roof off the 3Arena and now we look forward to bringing this unique, live experience to Cork & Galway. Don’t miss it.”

  • Breakfast Republic gains 13,000 listeners b-o-b to 167,000
  • The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene gains 8,000 139,000 listeners (b-o-b)
  • Tracy Clifford increases by 6,000 listeners b-o-b to 119,000 (b-o-b)
  • Rick O’Shea gains 4,000 on Saturdays b-o-b and up 6,000 on Sundays
  • Weekenders increases b-o-b by 11,000 listeners to 87,000 (Saturday)
  • Weekend Breakfast up 5,000 b-o-b to 53,000 (Saturday)
  • Larry Gogan is up 12,000 b-o-b to 109,000 on Saturdays and up 4,000 b-o-b to 73,000 on Sundays
  • Dave Fanning gains 9,000 b-o-b to 76,000 on Sundays

Today FM

Today FM is celebrating strong results right across its schedule. Today FM’s performance means an increased market share (7.7%) and a weekly audience of now almost 900,000 (863,000).

Dermot & Dave, who moved to mid mornings in January 2017, gained 12,000 new listeners in their 9am-12pm slot bringing their audience up to 176,00.

Ian Dempsey continues to rule the breakfast airwaves, with 167,000 people waking up with Ian for his 7-9am show. Ian’s showbiz queen and Early Breakfast presenter Paula MacSweeney was celebrating an increase of 3,000 listeners bringing her audience to 19,000 from 5-7am every morning.

The station’s newest recruit Al Porter welcomed 7,000 extra listeners to his new lunchtime show (12-2.30pm) bringing his audience to 122,000.

Keith McCormack, CEO of Today said, “It’s been a big first quarter for Today FM with a new schedule and brand identity to boot. Today FM will continue at pace with the launch of a massive brand campaign across TV, digital and outdoor. The 40second TV ad, which airs from Tuesday next (2nd May) will feature popular Today FM faces and marks a big statement of intent from the station”.

Afternoon presenter Fergal D’Arcy celebrated 10,000 new listeners bringing his audience to 113,000, a 5 year high for that timeslot (2.30-4.30pm) on the station. Fergal has been presenting his ‘Off the Charts’ show since last summer.

The Last Word with Matt Cooper now has an audience of 130,000 while Louise Duffy’s ‘Lost in Music’ show attracted an additional 2,000 listeners meaning that evenings on Today FM now enjoys an audience of almost 40,000 (38,000) between Louise and Paul McLoone from 9-midnight.

Limerick’s Live 95FM

Figures show that Limerick’s Live 95FM remains the clear market leader in Limerick City and County, with more than 6 out of 10 Limerick adults tuning-in every week, although the station has lost 12,000 listeners in the last 12 months.

Chief Executive Joe Nash said “Limerick people’s love of radio is remarkable and enduring. It is so much a part of our lives, whether for news, sport, chat, music or entertainment. We strive to deliver to the people of Limerick City and County day in, day out. We are also grateful to our advertisers, who continue to trust us to deliver their message to their Limerick customers.I want to thank the hard working team at Limerick's Live 95FM that you hear on the air and those behind the scenes, for their commitment to what we do, every day of the year. It is a privilege to serve this community and one that we never take for granted.”


In the South East, Beat has 157,000 people listening to the regional station each week. Beat Drive with Andy Mac has just reached a record high – with 50,000 people joining Andy every day.

The station has also seen a record audience for its biggest weekend show, Old Skool Sunday. Pete Windle now has 44,000 people tuning in for their old skool fix each week.

Head of Station Sound with Beat, Niall Power, said “We’re now living in an attention economy where radio is battling new ‘frenemies’ all the time for the attention and time of individuals. To see that Irish people give over four hours of their day on average to radio really reinforces that special connection and highlights the quality content & output of Irish radio every day.”

Classic Hits 4FM

“JNLR 2017/1 sees one of the best survey reports ever for Classic Hits 4FM with growth in audience both on a year on year and a book on book basis. The team here at Classic Hits 4FM are delighted especially given the hard work and dedication that has gone in over the past year.

Year on year Classic Hits 4FM has seen it weekly reach increase by 46,000 listeners and book on book by 32,000 listeners bringing the weekly reach at the station to an all time high of 287,000 listeners.

The 300,000 listenership mark is in clear sight now with the 6 month weekly reach listenership level now at 299,000.

In some major parts of the multi city franchise area Classic Hits 4FM has increased its listenership even further and widened the gap at the expense of major national stations such as RTE 2FM, TodayFm and Newstalk.”

Red FM

Red FM has moved further in front of 96FM by adding 12% or 14,000 listeners this quarter. Red FM has 131,000 listeners compared with Cork’s 96FM’s 112,000.

We’ve reported on the changes in this article because the some of the stations involved have offered a quote to RadioToday. If you’d like to feature here, please email news@radiotoday.ie


iRadio is on the up with a weekly listenership of 377k with a daily reach of 220k. Programme Director with iRadio Mark Cunning says it’s another great book for the station. “We’ve seen a huge increase in both our daily and weekly listening numbers along with a notable increase in the listenership numbers to shows across the schedule; most notably we saw massive jump for ‘The Lift’ which now reaches 120,000 adults every single day which in a such a competitive market is a phenomenal figure.

“Today’s JNLR is a testament to the hard work, the drive, the ambition and the talent we have in iRadio 2017’s going to be a big year for iRadio, and we’re only getting started.”

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