The news has done the rounds already (even Aprés Match gave it a mention) but Eamon Dunphy has announced his decision to part ways with Dublin’s Newstalk 106 at the end of his contract.
From OHC PR:
Eamon Dunphy to leave Newstalk
Broadcaster and Journalist Eamon Dunphy announced today that he is leaving Newstalk 106. He has decided not to exercise the option of another year on his contact with the station where he has presented The Breakfast Show for the past two years.
In a statement issued today he said:
“Because of my increased commitment to RTE Television Sports Soccer coverage I have decided not to exercise the option of another year on my contract with Newstalk 106.”
“Over the past two years I have enjoyed the challenge of helping to create the credible morning programme that Newstalk now has. I was fortunate to have worked with an outstanding team and I wish them and the station every success in the future.”
While this would be relatively interesting news under normal circumstances the story gains an added twist in the context of Newstalk’s impending switch to a quasi-national licence; something that Dunphy was to be an important figurehead for.
The rumours say that he was looking for more money, and his excuse of an “increased commitment to RTE Television Sports” is hard to understand, considering that his regular involvement is on a very irregular basis, with only World and European Cup’s providing brief moments of increased demand.
Over on boards.ie the possible replacements are being fielded; David McWilliams gains an honourable mention due to his strong history with the show (but is unlikely due to the subsequent ugly break up two years ago), George Hook has expressed an interest in morning times too (although he’s likely to be kept where he is in order to challenge The Last Word nationally as well as he has locally) and finally Marian Finucane, ex-RTÉ Radio One superstar has been thrown into the mix, probably the safest bet if they want a familiar face (although that doesn’t mean she’ll be easy to sign up).
Interesting times ahead for Newstalk, they have plenty of time to replace Dunphy before the national launch, although I’m sure they would have rather avoided it at such a hectic time.