This is a bit of number crunching and speculation around the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk. There are two things we know: we know where they are and we know where they were! Using that, a few sums and a bit of educated guesswork, we’re going to see where Pat Kenny might be hitting audience wise – with a few caveats naturally.

‘Below the fold’ you’ll find an editable spreadsheet which contains the basis of this arguement. So, we know his programme slot has a current audience of 96,000 from this survey – which is already in the calculation below. This number is comprised of four months of Pat Kenny and eight of Tom Dunne.

Plugging some figures into the panels below will allow us to make an educated estimate of what Pat’s audience was in the last four months of the survey. At the bottom of this article is a small editable ‘mathematical model’ in Excel. You can change the figures in red to create different scenarios explained below.

Take note – its not where he’ll end up when his first 12 months are revealed, but it’s the estimated audience from September to December based on the figures we have to hand – and a few variables/imponderables.

Let’s start with our first variable: Tom Dunne’s final figure. In the last few surveys up to September 2013 he was pulling in the following audience:

12Q3: 51; 12Q4: 53; 13Q1: 55; 13Q2: 55

So, our first variable would be an estimate of Tom’s final figure. You can play it safe and plug in 55 (55,000) his last known listenership or you can surmise based on his upward trend. Personally, I’m going for a fairly safe 58,000 which is already in the calculation, but can be overwritten if you think it should be larger or smaller.

Given that number, it would mean, mathematically, that Pat would have to have been averaging 172,000 per month to get the our final twelve month average of 96,000.  But I’d strongly suggest that we’d have to add another variable to the mix and it’s little more subjective. You can change the two figures in red below to your own liking.Just use your mouse to click on the box you want to change.      

Given that Newstalk threw the kitchen sink in terms of marketing at Pat’s first month, it’s reasonable to assume that in his first month on the station he would have had an increased level of listenership in comparison to latter months. A ‘curtain twitchers’ bonus, if you will, based on all the people who tuned in to hear his first month only.

If you don’t make allowances for that uplift you would potentially over inflate the average for the four months as the inflated first month will have a disproportionate influence on the average – lifting the last three months unnaturally.

How much of a lift do you give Pat for his first month is very subjective. None, 10%, 25%, 100%?

If you feel that he enjoyed a 25% uplift in his first month, then stick “25” into the space provided and you’ll get a rebased estimated for the first (September) and subsequent months listenership’s given that variable. Throw in 100 to take it to an extreme if you want and see what difference that makes to Pats final figure. For speed, I’ve extended the graph to take into account all ranges from 0% increase (no lift in September) to 200% (ie three times as many people listened to the first month than subsequent months)

Again, it’s a reasonable expectation that he gets a bounce in the first month, but subjective in its interpretation and quantity. There are probably reasonable and rational boundaries for both variables (Tom’s figure easier to ‘suggest’ I’d argue) but each individual will draw different conclusions. My money is on between 153,000 and 138,000. It’s a cowardly ‘guess’ I appreciate and I couldn’t miss a barn door at this rate. But, draw your own conclusions. I’d be fascinated to know what Newstalk thought his potential audience was and would they be happy with that upper figure of 153,000. 

While I’d be comfortable with offering the model above, I’d run a country mile from guesstimating how that will impact, in the long term, on the Newstalk overall figure.

It’s a guide at worst and a terrible amount of tongue in cheek speculation at best – but enjoy it either way.