As Ryan Tubridy aptly describes them, National Joint Listening Results (JNLRs) are like a learning scorecard for presenters.
Naturally released every three months and based on a survey of approximately 16,500 respondents, they are welcomed and feared to the same extent by even the most seasoned producers and broadcasters of RTÉ.
In addition to playing an important role in helping to plan advertising strategies for radio executives, they also provide valuable insight into listener habits and trends.
One Independent Irish JNLR chronology analysis from 2012 revealed that Liveline with Joe Duffy has attracted nearly 100,000 listeners over the past decade. While it used to be the rival of Irish Morning To hit the big numbers, the most recent figure from July 2022 shows 332,000 listeners, compared with 428,000 in July 2012.
At that time, it was the second most popular show in the country after Irish Morning. Now it’s at number 10 on the list.
In what could be an indication of an overall decline in afternoon listenership, Ray D’Arcy’s 3pm spot fell below 200,000 for the first time, falling to 197,000 last month, hitting The peak during the pandemic was 242,000.
D’Arcy took over Derek Mooney’s spot in 2015 – when it averaged 215,000 listeners – but the slot had 232,000 as of July 2012.
Another drop has occurred for RTÉ’s Driving time the show begins at 4:30 p.m. and has been pre-screened by Mary Wilson. It had 259,000 listeners in 2012 while now it has 216,000 under the management of Sarah McInerney and Cormac Ó hÉadhra.
However, the most recent results show that RTÉ Radio 1 is continuing to stand up to heavy competition from commercial stations, streaming services and podcasts.
Although traditional media faces enormous challenges, the past decade has seen some surprising upheaval.
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The Covid crisis caused a huge increase in listener numbers for most of RTÉ’s Radio 1 news programs in the first post-pandemic survey published in November 2020.
Lockdown means that most people are stuck at home and gobbling up news shows as hard as Irish Morning, attracting a new record high of 491,000 listeners. Joe Duffy’s Liveline has increased to 404,000 while Driving time increased to 265,000.
At the time, RTÉ Radio 1 boss Peter Woods described them as “artificially high” due to the Covid crisis but its shows were doing well and the public’s appetite for the shows. The morning news program is still going strong. Last week’s JNLR saw RTÉ Radio claim a market share of 21.4pc, compared to 23pc in 2012.
It has also kept its top show Irish Morning is the most listened to program in Ireland. Ten years ago, it had 444,000 listeners and a decade later, it had 473,000.
John Murray’s morning interval, taken over by Ryan Tubridy in 2015 as he moved from 2fm, had 327,000 listeners in 2012 and now has 369,000. Late evening the server developed the slot and made it its own. In fact, he has more than twice as many current listeners on RTÉ 1 as 10 years ago, he usurped Gerry Ryan’s 2fm, which in July 2012 had 175,000 listeners.
Sean O’Rourke in the middle of the morning Today slot had 328,000 listeners in the July 2012 survey, and despite changing hands in 2019, Claire Byrne has kept the ship steady and now has 350,000 listeners.
However, RTÉ has retained listeners for its weekend shows, which saw Brendan O’Connor take over the late Marian Finucane in March 2020. She has an average audience of 341,000 for his Sunday show 10 years ago and the latest results show that O’ Connor has an identical figure for his two-hour period.
Miriam O’Callaghan has grown his audience significantly over the past few years, with 271,000 in 2012 and now 339,000 by July 2022.
And the enduring popularity of radio among the Irish public is reflected in the regional and commercial markets as well.
A JNLR report last year Radio and Audio Market found that 80pc or over three million people watch live radio every day compared to 25pc streaming music and 7pc listening to podcasts. “The Irish love radio,” said Scott Williams, chairman of the JNLR Commission.
RTÉ did not respond to a request for comment. But a source said the station was satisfied with Liveline’s display. ‘”It remains an important agenda-setting program that continues to provide the common man with a platform.”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/radio/rtes-joe-duffy-has-lowest-audience-in-10-years-as-jnlr-analysis-reveals-more-people-switching-off-in-the-afternoon-41895843.html RTÉ’s Joe Duffy has the lowest audience in 10 years as JNLR analysis shows more people are shutting down in the afternoon