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Women On Air

How do Ireland's radio stations fare when it comes to gender balance? We took a look

Let’s just say they can do better…

EARLIER THIS WEEK, Newstalk announced that Ivan Yates would be taking over their drivetime slot from September 4th. Newstalk Drive is currently hosted by Sarah McInerney and Chris Donoghue.

In a statement, the station stated that they were in discussion with McInerney and Donoghue about alternative roles within the Communicorp Group.

As things now stand, there are no women featured on Newstalk’s weekday schedule, which has prompted outcry over the lack of on-air gender balance at the station.

But how do other national and Dublin stations fare by comparison? Is the picture as grim elsewhere? Let’s take a look. (Note: we are only evaluating each station’s weekday schedule.)

RTÉ Radio 1

  • 7am – 9am: Morning Ireland (Rachel English and Audrey Carville)
  • 9am – 10am: Ryan Tubridy
  • 10am – 12pm: Sean O’Rourke
  • 12pm- – 1pm: Ronan Collins
  • 1pm – 1.45pm: News At One (Áine Lawlor)
  • 1.45pm – 3pm: Liveline
  • 3pm – 4.30pm: Ray D’arcy
  • 4.30pm – 7pm: Drivetime with Mary Wilson

Total women: 4

Three out of the eight daytime shows are either hosted or co-hosted by women. It’s also worth noting that Radio 1 boasts significant female representation on the weekend schedule with Miriam O’Callaghan, Claire Byrne, Marian Finucane, Joanne Cantwell and Jacqui Hurley all fronting shows.


  • 6am – 10am: Breakfast Republic (Jennifer Zamparelli, Lottie Ryan)
  • 10am – 1pm: The Nicky Byrne Show (Jenny Greene)
  • 1pm – 4pm: Tracy Clifford
  • 4pm – 7pm: Eoghan McDermott

Total women: 4

2fm has a very balanced daytime lineup and it’s worth noting that Louise McSharry and Ciara King also both host shows outside the 7am – 7pm schedule as well.

Today FM

  • 7am – 9am: Ian Dempsey
  • 9am – 12pm: Dermot & Dave
  • 12pm – 2.30pm: Al Porter
  • 2.30pm – 4.30pm: Off The Charts with Fergal D’Arcy
  • 4.30pm – 7pm: The Last Word with Matt Cooper

Total women: 0

The picture is more grim at Today FM where female broadcasters like Louise Duffy, Alison Curtis, Paula McSweeney, Muireann O’Connell, Kelly Ann Byrne and Nadine O’Regan all relegated to either early morning, evening or weekend slots.


  • 7am – 9am: Newstalk Breakfast
  • 9am – 12pm: The Pat Kenny Show
  • 12pm – 2pm: High Noon with George Hook
  • 2pm – 4pm: Moncrieff
  • 4pm – 7pm: Newstalk Drive with Ivan Yates

Total women: 0

Much like Today FM, Newstalk has no women on its weekday schedule as things stand. Women like Sarah Carey, Orla Barry, Dr. Ciara Kelly, Susan Cahill and Dil Wickremasinghe all have shows on the weekends.

Spin 1038

  • 7am – 10am: Fully Charged
  • 10am – 1pm: Spin Hits with Peter
  • 1pm – 3pm: Spin Talk with Lauren Kelly
  • 3pm – 7pm: Spin Hits with Steve K

Total women: 1


  • 6am – 10pm: 98FM’s Big Breakfast
  • 10pm – 12pm: Dublin Talks with Adrian Kennedy and Jeremy Dixon
  • 12pm – 4pm: Dublin’s Best Music Mix with Barry Dunne
  • 4pm – 7pm: The Big Ride Home with Dara Quilty

Total women: 0


  • 6am – 10am: Strawberry Alarm Clock
  • 10am – 3pm: The 10-3 Show with Andy Preston
  • 3pm – 7pm: The Jam with Ben Murray

Total women: 0

Conclusion? RTÉ is almost certainly leading the way when it comes to gender balance on air, but rival stations are severely lagging behind.

Do better, lads. Women’s voices aren’t so scary. We promise.

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