The biggest shows and the highest figures ever in latest JNLR report

The results are out for the latest Joint National Listenership Report (JNLR) for the period October 2020 – October 2021.

They show success for a number of commercial radio stations, whilst overall listening at RTÉ is down.

Across the country, 80% of Irish Adults listen daily, 7 in 10 adults age 15 to 34 listen daily and 450k listen on a digital device daily.

The biggest radio shows in the country are Morning Ireland, with 450,000 people tuning in each morning, The Brendan O’Connor Show on Saturday morning is the second most listened to radio programme in the country, with 366,000 listeners, and 329,000 listeners tuning in to the programme every Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, The Ryan Tubridy Show is the third biggest in Ireland with 359,000 listeners.

Ireland’s Classic Hits has broken through 300,000 for the first time with 309,000 weekly listeners and now has 158,000 daily listeners, with 5.2% market share in the multicity area. It’s the first time the station has broken through the 300,000 weekly listeners and 5% market share levels.

The ratings are the highest the station has achieved in its 12-year history and cover the period October 2020 to October 2021.

CEO Kevin Branigan, said, “We’re delighted by these listenership figures today. We’ve made considerable developments to our programming output over the last 8 months and it is gratifying to see this significant positive response from listeners throughout the multicity area.”

Bauer’s Today FM is celebrating a seven-year high, with over 900,000 listeners weekly (911,000) and recorded a market share of almost 9% (8.9%). Today’s results now position Today FM as the 2nd most listened to station in Ireland on a daily basis.

For comparison, Today FM has 200,000 (211,000) more listeners every week than 2FM.

The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show maintained its leading position as the biggest breakfast show on national commercial radio with an audience of 178,000 (-1,000 YoY).

In mid-morning, Dermot & Dave have smashed the 200,000-mark drawing in a listenership of 205,000, their biggest ever audience. The past year has seen their show welcome 22,000 new listeners making them the most listened to show in that time slot on commercial radio.

Dermot Whelan commented: “We are so excited by these figures that show that more people than ever are enjoying our show. It has been a very tough couple of years, and we try every day to lighten people’s mood and bring them some laughs and support with our show. A heartfelt thank you to all our amazing listeners who make the show the success it is”

Mairead Ronan leaves Today FM on a high as her lunchtime audience grew by 33,000 over the past year to hit a peak of 136,000. Mairead announced recently that she is bidding ‘farewell’ to Today FM at the end of the year to spend more time with her family. Fergal D’Arcy also celebrated a bump in audience figures – up 7,000 to 132,000.

The Last Word with Matt Cooper increased its listenership by 18,000 over the past 12 months, now broadcasting to a drive time audience of 170,000. Matt Cooper said: “The numbers suggest to us that we’ve managed to strike the right tone and balance with our Covid coverage but also that our conscious effort to offer listeners a wide variety of other things on each day’s show that have nothing to do with Covid has really appealed to them.”

James Brownlow, Managing Editor, Music & Entertainment, Bauer Media Audio Ireland commented: “This is a huge result for Today FM and a performance that’s testament to the super content developed by a highly talented and committed team, the best music and the most entertaining personalities on Irish radio.

“Every day on air we say, ‘It all happens here’ and every day we make sure it does. I’m thrilled that our audience chooses to spend more time with us and that we continue to bring in new listeners – everyone’s welcome at Today FM!

“In 2021, we launched our big brand campaign and in 2022 I look forward to announcing a new lunchtime show for Today FM.”

Newstalk has achieved an all-time high national prime-time Market Share of 7.1% in the latest results.

The new figures show the station now has a weekly audience of 767,000 listeners. It is also the number one commercial station in Dublin with a prime-time Market Share figure of 12%.

Newstalk Breakfast with Ciara Kelly and Shane Coleman has achieved an audience of 137,000 – up 17,000. The Pat Kenny Show has grown its audience by 28,000 listeners to 183,000. And Lunchtime Live with Andrea Gilligan has an audience of 112,000 – up 10,000.

Newstalk Managing Editor Patricia Monahan said: “We are delighted to see Newstalk make significant audience gains in the latest results.”

“It clearly shows there is a demand for talk radio that engages, entertains and provides a clear alternative to RTE Radio 1.”

Radio NOVA has scored its highest listenership to date in today’s JNLR survey and shows large increases in all key metrics. The station has scored a 29% increase in ‘Weekly Reach’ to 172,000, 41% increase in ‘Listened Yesterday’ to 82,000 and a 56% increase in market share to 4.7%.

The ratings are the highest ratings the station has achieved in its 11-year history and cover the period October 2020 to October 2021.

Kevin Branigan, also NOVA’s CEO & Programme Director, said, “We’re ecstatic by the listenership figures today. They show that we’ve gained significant ground in the key metrics and that the decisions we’ve made over the last year have been the right ones. We’re working very hard to grow our audience in key demographics and these latest results are a clear sign that we’re advancing steadily in audience terms”.

The latest figures come six months after the arrival of ‘Morning Glory with PJ & Jim’ with hosts PJ Gallagher and Jim McCabe as the station’s new breakfast show, a move that was controversial at the time.

“Our presenter lineup and music output from morning to night is second to none of any radio station and we’re delighted to see this coming through in today’s JNLR. Radio Nova is unique and stands out on the dial as a station worth listening to”, said Branigan.

At Sunshine 106.8, the station reaches 90,000 listeners every day, 148,000 every week (and 199,000 every month!). The market share is now 7.3% for the period 7a-7p (Mon-Fri) and increases to 7.5% when measured in the 7am-12 midnight (Mon-Fri) period.

Beat 102 103’s Dave Cronin thanked his listeners for their loyalty during the pandemic as the latest radio ratings reveal 40,000 listeners for his mid-morning radio show. Dave presents ‘Beat at Work’ weekday mornings at 10am on Beat 102 103.

Dave said: “It’s been an incredibly tough time for everyone over the last 18 months. Each morning you go into work, and you try to strike that delicate balance of entertainment and information, without being tone-deaf to what’s going on in people’s lives.”

He continued; “Making someone smile on a bad day (and there’s been plenty in the last while) is incredibly rewarding, and it justifies all the incredible work that goes on behind the scenes night and day here at Beat.”

Live 95 has 101,000 listeners tuning-in every week, which is 61% of the people of Limerick City and County, or over 6 in 10.

Station Director of Live 95, Joe Nash said: “The power of radio in general is obvious from the official survey, showing that 85% of Limerick people are listening to a radio station every day, which is up from the already very high figure of 12 months ago.”

Tipp FM has has added 9,000 new listeners every day across the premier county with over 78,000 tuning each week.The station has also seen a listenership increase in both daily and weekly listenership with 60,000 people tuning in each day, an increase of 17%.

The latest figures also show that people are staying with Tipp FM for longer periods with ‘Average Quarter Hour’ increasing by over 6%.

Welcoming the JNLR figures Tipp FM’s Programme Director Stephen Keogh said: “This is a fantastic result for Tipp FM. At a time where listeners depend on their local station more than ever, we are extremely grateful to all our listeners for acknowledging the relevance and importance of Tipp FM by turning us on in their thousands.

“To add an extra 9,000 listeners daily is a brilliant achievement, and a credit to the dedication of such a talented and hardworking team. It’s also wonderful news for our advertisers with their messages reaching many more listeners at this tough time.”

At RTÉ, the broadcaster reaches almost 2 million (1,927,000) radio listeners (down from 1,980,000 in Feb 2020) with 48 percent of the Adult 15+ population tuning in every week.

RTÉ Radio 1 remains the only station with a weekly reach of over +1 million at 1,400,000 (up from 1,367,000 in Feb 2020), with 18 of the Top 20 most-listened-to programmes in Ireland (Adults 15+).

RTÉ 2fm has a weekly reach figure of 700,000 (Adults 15+) (down from 823,000 in Feb 2020), while 282,000 (down from 294,000 in Feb 2020) listeners are tuning into RTÉ lyric fm on a weekly basis.

Here are some of the highlights:

RTÉ Radio 1

  • Morning Ireland is the most-listened-to radio programme in the country with 450,000 people tuning in each morning.
  • The Brendan O’Connor Show on Saturday morning is the second most listened to radio programme in the country, with 366,000 listeners, and 329,000 listeners tune in to the programme every Sunday morning.
  • The Ryan Tubridy Show with 359,000 listeners is the third most-listened-to programme in Ireland.
  • 346,000 listeners are tuning in every weekday to Liveline with Joe Duffy, making it the fourth most listened to programme on radio in Ireland.
  • 340,000 listeners tune in to Today with Claire Byrne on weekdays and is in the Top 5 most listened to radio programmes in Ireland at number 5.
  • News at One with Bryan Dobson has an audience of 329,000 listeners every weekday lunchtime.
  • The Ray D’Arcy Show broadcasts to 210,000 listeners each weekday afternoon.
  • Drivetime with Sarah McInerney and Cormac Ó hEadhra has an audience of 224,000 listeners every weekday evening.
  • Sunday with Miriam/The Collins Collection enjoys 322,000 listeners (+4,000 YoY).
  • For the best of the week’s radio, Playback draws 314,000 listeners every Saturday morning.
  • Sunday Miscellany enjoys 290,000 listeners on Sunday mornings (+15,000 YoY).
  • Rising Time across the weekend gained listeners with 87,000 on Saturday mornings (+7,000 Yoy) and 62,000 (+8,000 YoY) on Sunday mornings.
  • World Report/Bowman now has a listenership of 194,000 listeners (+2,000 YoY).
  • This Week has an audience of 163,000 listeners on Sunday lunchtimes.

Peter Woods, Head of RTÉ Radio 1 said: “This is a consolidation for Radio 1. The book reflects how well the changes we made in the schedule last year have played out, with strong performances for Claire Byrne, Sarah McInerney and Cormac Ó hEadhra, Katie Hannon, Brendan O’Connor and Bryan Dobson on the News at One.

There were also gains for our arts and music content with Arena, Sunday Miscellany, Ronan Collins and Miriam O’Callaghan’s Sunday programme – with John Creedon in particular becoming cult listening on weekday evenings.”


  • 2FM Breakfast has 103,000 listeners.
  • Jennifer Zamparelli on 2FM has 140,000 listeners.
  • Tracy Clifford on 2FM has 128,000 listeners.
  • Jenny Greene on 2FM has 122,000 listeners.
  • Weekends on 2FM:
  • Louise McSharry has 104,000 listeners on Saturday mornings with 72,000 tuning in on Sunday mornings.
  • Chris and Ciara has 97,000 listeners on Saturdays, while 84,000 switch on on Sunday mornings.
  • Dave Fanning has 115,000 listeners tuning in on Saturday afternoons and 82,000 on Sundays.

Dan Healy, Head of RTÉ Radio Strategy and RTÉ 2FM said: ” These are early days for our new Breakfast Show and the chemistry between Doireann, Donncha and Carl is infectious, and we are looking forward to seeing their audience grow over the next few months.

I am very proud of how 2FM team and station have performed over the Covid months and we are looking to live music and festivals coming back in 2022 which is the natural home for 2FM.”

RTÉ lyric fm

  • Lorcan Murray’s Classic Drive continues to increase listenership with 62,000 tuning in on weekday afternoons (+4,000 YOY).
  • Marty in the Morning has 42,000 listeners turning on every morning
  • Niall Carroll’s Classical Daytime reaches 31,000 listeners.
  • Liz Nolan’s The Full Score has 43,000 listeners.
  • The Lyric Concert with Paul Heriott/ The Mystery Train with John Kelly (Monday – Thursday) reaches 26,000.
  • Movies and Musicals with Aedín Gormley has 50,000 listening in on the weekends.
  • Weekend Drive with Evelyn Grant has 48,000 listeners on Saturdays (+1,000 YoY) and 43,000 on Sundays (+8,000 YoY).

Sinéad Wylde, Head of RTÉ lyric fm said “I am delighted this book reflects how RTÉ lyric fm continues to grow and sustain listeners in key daytime audiences while confirming its place in the hearts of Irish music lovers across the schedule. This book endorses, once again, the valuable space RTÉ lyric fm creates for our audience where many worlds of music unfold.”

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