The news is just doing the rounds now; Eamon Dunphy will take up residence in the studios of RTÉ Radio 1 once his current tenure at Newstalk 106 runs out. The show will be weekly, however all other details (such as content, time slot and day) are currently unknown.
The national radio market; specifically in relation to current affairs and speech-based programming is certain to undergo some interesting changes over the coming months. Newstalk 106 are preparing to launch across the country and RTÉ Radio 1 has been assuming battle-positions in response.
Various newspapers have hinted at a possible defection from RTÉ to Newstalk to fill the gap Dunphy will leave and perhaps this is first blood for the PSB in what could be an ugly media war.
With DAB radio moving from trial to reality there is every possibility that the roles of Radio 1 and 2FM will become more defined and focused, with more general programming from both being shipped into additional digital stations that RTÉ are due to establish, in this case Radio 1 would become a factual and current affairs programme, which is interesting as Newstalk begins to move more into the Arts than ever before.
The next year should prove quite interesting for both RTÉ and Newstalk, let’s hope it’s to the benefit of the listeners too.