The JNLR for the period October 2009 to September 2010 has been released.

Before we delve into the figures, these two facts should be considered. In many cases (even the official B.A.I. press release) comparisons are generally made between figures 12 months to the third quarter 2010 and the 12 months to the second quarter 2009. However, we advocate the much vaunted theory of “apples and oranges” and the fact that then cont be counted together. Therefore we analyse the figures 12 months to September 2010, strangely, to the comparable 12 month figures to September 2009, but that’s probably just the anal retention kicking in.

Secondly, the radio business is very fluid and chairs are filled and swapped very rapidly. The untimely demise of G. Ryan threw the whole 2FM/RTE1 morning schedule up in the air in the past twelve months. Tubirdy moved to fill that void, J Creadon moved to fill the Radio 1 spot. Jim Jim left, Colm Hayes fills a spot 11:00 to 1:00 etc. And its not only in the national broadcaster that changes are made. For example, the Newstalk morning slot was amended with I. Yates giving T. Dunne and extra hour in bed. So radio now is a completely different canvas a seen in 2009 and it should be in the back of the mind.       

    Sep 2010 ‘000       Sep 2010 %   Sep 2009 ‘000       Sep 2009 %      +/- 000      +/- %
Any Radio 3011 85% 3067 87% -56 -2%
Any National 1634 46% 1802 51% -168 -5%
Any RTE Radio 1267 36% 1393 39% -126 -3%
Any RTE1/2FM/Lyric 1256 36% 1376 39% -120 -3%
RTE Radio 1 848 24% 901 26% -53 -2%
RTE 2FM 476 14% 549 16% -73 -2%
RTE Lyric FM 111 3% 118 3% -7 0%
Today FM 460 13% 533 15% -73 -2%
Newstalk 269 8% 265 8% 4 0%
Any Region/Local/M-City 2044 58% 2022 57% 22 1%
Home Local Station 1599 45% 1644 47% -45 -2%
Other Regional/Local Station 273 8% 269 8% 4 0%

On the face of it it looks like we as a Nation are not listening to as much radio as we did last year, with listenership falling back by 2% points. The regional stations picked up a few of those deserting the nationals, but certainly not all of them. Even with that, the reach of radio is close to absolute. 87% of the population listening to radio on a “yesterday” basis. In the nationals the heaviest fall was in Today FM. The saw some 14% of their listeners tune in elsewhere over the 12 months in question. The graph below shows the quarter hour segments for Today FM on a weekday basis. The drop cannot be attributed to one particular show/presenter – it looks like that its across the board.    


2FM also managed to loose a few listeners as it has done each quarter of late. You’d have to consider that the station has gone through huge changes of presenters of late but it would be a little too easy to speculate that that’s the reason for this particular decline. One item to focus the attention: In the same survey in 2007, 2FM had 607k listeners or an 18% reach. Bu no means the only station in decline – but their problems seem endemic.

The big station, RTE 1 saw a small decline in their audiences. The really are carried through the day on the back of two/three huge spikes: Morning Ireland, News at One and Liveline. Below are the quarter hour segments for RTE1 showing these figures graphically.