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RTÉ 2fm

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Title: RTÉ 2fm  
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RTÉ 2fm

RTÉ 2fm
Broadcast area National - Ireland
Slogan Come together
Frequency FM 90-92 MHz(97 in Northeast)
Digital terrestrial television
First air date 31 May 1979 (1979-05-31)
Format Music
Owner Raidió Teilifís Éireann
Sister stations RTÉ 2XM
RTÉ Gold
RTÉ Pulse
Webcast WMA, Real

RTÉ 2fm, or 2FM as it is more commonly referred to, is the second national radio station of Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) in Ireland. It broadcasts popular music programming aimed at a young audience.


  • History 1
    • Radio 2 (1979–1988) 1.1
    • 2FM (1988–1999) 1.2
    • RTÉ 2fm (2000–2009) 1.3
    • The John McMahon years (2009–2013) 1.4
    • The Dan Healy years (2013–present) 1.5
  • Current presenters and shows 2
  • Budget 3
  • Logos 4
  • Digital sister stations 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The station commenced broadcasting in 1979 and has undergone numerous name changes and line-up switches throughout its history.

In 2008, the station captured 17% of the national audience, the second most popular station in Ireland after RTÉ Radio 1 (23%).[1] According to The Irish Times, the 09:00 AM - 12:00 midday slot is "the most critical in the 2fm schedule both in terms of audience figures and advertising revenue".[2] This was presented by Gerry Ryan from 1988 until his sudden death on 30 April 2010. The Gerry Ryan Show was the longest running show in the station's history.

The station is recognised as being the first in the world to play any new single released by U2, due to the band's long-term friendship with Dave Fanning.[3] They celebrated their thirty-year association with each other in September 2009 with the airing of a special weekend of programmes, including U2's Top 30 Moments.[4]

RTÉ 2fm, like RTÉ Radio 1, technically broadcasts 24 hours a day, however weekday programming from 01:00 until 05:00 is replays of programmes from the previous day along with live news updates on the hour, and weekend overnight hours have been home to specialist music recorded shows since 2001. The station regularly broadcasts live from large Irish music festivals, such as Oxegen, Electric Picnic and Life Festival, and latterly has broadcast live music under the title 2fm XtrAlive (formerly 2fm Live), with the most recorded visiting act being Manic Street Preachers.[5] The series of shows entitled the 2fm 2moro 2our maintained the station's reputation for homegrown live performance promotion as well as offering career boosts to artists such as The Immediate, The Flaws, Ham Sandwich, Concerto For Constantine and David Geraghty.

As part of the expansion of RTÉ's young people's music radio output, an all-music (mostly of the rock genre) sister station of 2FM, RTÉ 2XM, designed for students and young adults, now operates on the RTÉ DAB Multiplex.[6]

Radio 2 (1979–1988)

RTÉ Radio 2, as it was originally known, began broadcasting on 31 May 1979.[7] "Like Clockwork" by the Boomtown Rats was the first song on air, played by Larry Gogan. It was developed as a response by RTÉ to the pirate radio craze sweeping Dublin and the rest of the country. Its original slogan was "Radio 2 Comin'atcha" and, as well as broadcasting popular music, it carried a number of other musical strands as well as news and current affairs. Its main inspiration in format was BBC Radio 1. Its original broadcast frequencies were 612 kHz (Athlone/Nationwide) and 1278 kHz (Dublin and Cork) MW (until 2004) and 90-92 MHz FM. Original DJs included some like Larry Gogan, Vincent Hanley and Jimmy Greeley who transferred from RTÉ Radio 1 and Mark Cagney who transferred from RTE Cork Local Radio. Most of the remaining deejays were recruited directly from the pirate stations, such as Michael McNamara, Declan Meehan, Ronan Collins, Gerry Ryan and Dave Fanning.

2FM (1988–1999)

2FM logo used from 1988 to 1999

In 1988 after many years presenting a nightly music show called Lights out for around 6 years previously The Gerry Ryan Show, a morning topical radio show, began broadcasts. Not long afterwards, RTÉ began radical changes to Radio 2's format. Most non-pop music programming was dropped. The station was rebranded as "2FM" in 1988. At this stage the basic schedule for the next decade or so was put in place: Ian Dempsey, Gerry Ryan, Larry Gogan, Gareth O'Callaghan, Tony Fenton, Barry Lang, John Kenny and Dave Fanning were staples of this period. Many of these presenters have stayed with 2FM over the years while others have moved to competing stations. In 1998, after 18 years with the station, drivetime presenter Barry Lang left to become an airline pilot, in the Middle East.

From RTÉ Radio 2.ogg (1988)

Problems playing this file? See .

2FM in this era was at its most popular. Its mobile broadcasting unit, the Electric Eddie, Doug Murray, introducing the stations DJs to the vast crowds which gathered at events throughout Ireland and "Lark in the Park". New bands would often get their "big break" by being featured on the Dave Fanning Show. Gerry Ryan's radio show became a national institution.

RTÉ 2fm (2000–2009)

By the year 2000, the 1990s schedule was looking very stale. In addition, 2FM suffered the high profile departure of Ian Dempsey to the newly established commercial national radio station Today FM. Both Today FM and the emerging independent local radio sector had eroded 2FM's once unassailable listenership base. Tony Fenton was the most recent departure to Today FM in September 2004. 2FM in turn raided Phantom FM for Cormac Battle, Jenny Huston and Dan Hegarty, while Colm & Jim-Jim were poached from FM104. Old stalwarts such as Dave Fanning and Larry Gogan were moved to the weekend to make way for the likes of Rick O'Shea and Nikki Hayes. The Gerry Ryan Show continued to be the most popular programme on the station and one of the top-rated radio programmes in the country.

In 1999, veteran producer and disc jockey John Clarke was made Head of 2FM. Unlike the previous people in that position, John had worked his way through a number of pirate stations before joining RTÉ in the late eighties.[8] He rebranded 2FM with a new blue and red logo (as "RTÉ 2fm") and re-arranged the schedule. During this period (Late 90s/Early 00s) long serving station names such as Andy Ruane, Lorcan Murray, Michael McNamara, Mike Ryan, Suzanne Duffy, Peter Collins, Bob Conway, Simon Young and Gerry Wison disappeared from the schedule.

In 2003, Ryan Tubridy was poached from RTÉ Radio 1 to present The Full Irish breakfast programme; however in 2005 he returned to Radio 1 for a number of years, heralding an era of instability in breakfast broadcasting as first Ruth Scott and Rick O'Shea took charge of The Rick and Ruth Breakfast Show, before being replaced 5 months later by Marty Whelan in September 2005. DJ Mark McCabe and John Power arrived to present dance music shows at weekends. Later, more changes saw Larry Gogan being moved from his lunchtime slot to "drive time". A news programme, Newsbeat, was added to the schedules in response to criticisms that RTÉ 2fm was not fulfilling its remit as a public service broadcaster. Newer alternative DJs such as the "Phantom 3",[9] Canadian Jenny Huston, Dan Hegarty and Kerbdog front-man Cormac Battle also joined the line-up, as did Jennifer Greene.

From 1999 – 2007 Will Leahy presented the most popular weekend show in the station’s history, 'The Saturday Show'. It was broadcast live from Limerick each Saturday. This programme ended its run in 2007 with a record 252,000 listeners, the station's second most successful show in its history after only The Gerry Ryan Show.[10]

On 12 January 2007 RTÉ announced a major revamp of 2fm with the axing of Marty Whelan's breakfast show[11] to make way for The Colm & Jim-Jim Breakfast Show as 2fm engaged in a spot of poaching for once in persuading Colm Hayes and Jim-Jim Nugent to leave FM104.[12] As FM104 continues to broadcast its breakfast show under The Strawberry Alarm Clock title, the 2fm version was known as the Colm and Jim-Jim Breakfast Show (initially referred to in pre-publicity as the 2fm Alarm Clock, however the name was changed after FM104 threatened legal action). During this 2007 revamp Will Leahy formerly of the Saturday Show was promoted to the weekday Drivetime slot, which he broadcast from his base at the RTÉ Limerick studios on the fifth floor of the Cornmarket.[13][14] Larry Gogan was moved to the weekend and Dave Fanning moved to Radio 1 for a period (though he still presented a weekend programme on 2fm). The new schedule launched on 5 March 2007.

John Clarke resigned unexpectedly his position as Head of RTÉ 2fm on 14 August 2009.[15][16] Four days later, and after spending some time presenting on RTÉ Radio 1, it was announced that Dave Fanning would be returning to RTÉ 2fm to present his evening weekday show in his old 19:00 slot.[17][18]

The John McMahon years (2009–2013)

Clarke was replaced by John McMahon the following month.[19] The return of Fanning followed the failure by RTÉ 2fm in its attempts to target teenagers, while Larry Gogan also returned to weekday lunch-times.[20] There was comment within the Irish media when, despite electing to target a middle-aged audience, the radio station opted in September 2009 not to playlist David Gray, an English singer-songwriter who is popular with that age group in Ireland.[21] Gray's music is played on Today FM and other stations.[21] In spite of this arrangement, Gray has since turned up on Celebrity Sunday, a program featuring celebrities and which, when it featured Nicky Byrne from Westlife, became Twitter's third favourite trending topic.[22] McMahon began his reign by bringing in several schedule changes from early 2010, new additions to the station included the arrivals of Hector Ó hEochagáin and Tommy Tiernan live from Galway, and 'Celebrity Sunday' which included guest presenters such as Louis Walsh, Neil Hannon, Thomas Walsh, Mike Scott and Nicky Byrne.

In the aftermath of the sudden death of Gerry Ryan in 2010, a number of changes were made to the schedule. Hector Ó hEochagáin headed a successful breakfast show called ‘Breakfast with Hector’ which broadcast live from Galway each morning. Ryan Tubridy took over the 9am – 11am slot, with Rick O’Shea the main afternoon anchor. Will Leahy presented the drive time slot, a show which he broadcast live from Limerick for seven years.

The Dan Healy years (2013–present)

In 2014 following the appointment of Dan Healy as head of 2fm, the schedule was revamped. On 17 December 2013 RTÉ announced that Hector Ó hEochagáin would finish presenting the breakfast show.[23] He was replaced by Jennifer Maguire, Bernard O'Shea and Keith Walsh. The regionally produced breakfast and drive time shows were axed, and all weekday shows were centralised to Dublin. An online campaign protested at the removal of Will Leahy and Hector Ó hEochagáin from their regionally produced shows.[24] Larry Gogan, Dave Fanning and Will Leahy were moved to the weekend. Nicky Byrne from Westlife took over the 11am – 2pm slot.[25]

Current presenters and shows

This is the current RTÉ 2fm Schedule as of September 2015.[26][27]

Time Monday - Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
06:00 Bernard O'Shea, Jennifer Maguire and Keith Walsh
(Breakfast Republic)
Early Early Breakfast Show with Lottie Ryan
07:00 Weekend Breakfast with Colm Hayes
09:00 Dave Fanning
10:00 Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene
11:00 Rick O'Shea
13:00 Tracy Clifford Larry Gogan
15:00 Ruth Scott
(Weekenders with Ruth Scott)
16:00 Eoghan McDermott
18:00 Will Leahy
(The Will Leahy Show)
19:00 Game On
20:00 Louise McSharry Show The National Chart show with Mark McCabe
(Top 30 Irish Singles Chart compiled by IRMA)
Jenny Greene
(Electric Disco)
Louise McSharry Show
22:00 Chris Greene & Ciara King
(Chris and Ciara)
Cormac Battle The Spring Sessions Chris Greene & Ciara King
(Chris and Ciara)
00:00 Mo-K White Noise
01:00 Dan Hegarty
(The Alternative)
The Late Night Sessions Ferry Corsten's Countdown
02:00 The Late Night Sessions The Mainstage Radio Show
with W and W
03:00 2fm Overnight
04:00 2fm Overnight
05:00 2fm Overnight 2fm Overnight



The following figures were issued by RTÉ as part of their Annual report 2012[28]


Income Type 2012
Licence Fee €5,439,000
Commercial Income €5,452,000
Total Income €10,891,000

Total Costs

Cost Type 2012
Network and other related costs €1,235,000
Sales Costs not given
Acquired Programming n/a
Irish Productions €10,253,000
Total Costs €11,488,000

Profit and Loss


Breakdown of Irish Productions

Production House 2012
RTÉ €10,250,000
Independent Producers €3,000
Total €10,253,000

The table below outlines RTÉ 2fm's total in-house and commissioned programming by genre in 2008 and 2012:

Genre 2012
Factual €6,000
Drama n/a
Entertainment €3,563,000
Music €4,252,000
News,Current Affairs and Weather €2,091,000
Sport €341,000
Young Peoples Programming n/a
Total €10,253,000


Digital sister stations

The launch of digital radio into Ireland has allowed RTÉ to expand their music radio operation. Whereas 2fm has to play a mix of genres of pop, the digital stations can play a wider range of music and focus more tightly on a particular format. RTÉ operates three music-led digital stations, which could be described as sister stations to 2fm:

  • RTÉ 2XM, a station playing new and alternative music;
  • RTÉ Gold, a station playing solely golden oldies; and
  • RTÉ Pulse, a station playing dance and electronic music.

There is also a chill out music service, RTÉ Chill, which shares a broadcast slot with children station RTÉ Junior.


  1. ^ Bray, Allison (2008-11-14). "Tubridy rides crest of airwaves".  
  2. ^ McGreevy, Ronan (8 May 2010). "Stand-in presenters to replace Ryan show".  
  3. ^ "World premiere for new U2 on RTÉ 2fm".  
  4. ^ "30 years of U2 on RTÉ this weekend".  
  5. ^ "MANIC STREET PREACHERS LIVE AT OXEGEN O8 - SUNDAY FEB 8 @ 9.30". Official site of  
  6. ^ RTÉ Digital Radio Press Release. RTÉ. Accessed 19 October 2008.
  7. ^ RTE: History Of 2FM
  8. ^ Jackie Hayden and Chris Donovan (2000-06-08). "2FM Comes Of Age".  
  9. ^ "Three times lucky?".  
  10. ^ 
  11. ^ O'Brien, Jason (2007-01-13). Alarmed' RTÉ radio axes Marty's show"'".  
  12. ^ "Don't move the dial . . . you might miss 2fm's next line-up change".  
  13. ^ Leahy, William. The Will Leahy Show. 14 November 2008.
  14. ^ "RTÉ 2fm announce New Year schedule changes".  
  15. ^ "John Clarke stands down as head of RTÉ 2fm".  
  16. ^ "John Clarke to quit as Head of 2fm".  
  17. ^ "Fanning moves back to 2FM".  
  18. ^ "Fanning moves back to 2fm".  
  19. ^ "RTÉ announce new Head of 2fm".  
  20. ^ Stephen O'Farrell and Laura Noonan (2009-08-18). "Why Miriam is primed to do more on radio".  
  21. ^ a b Ken Sweeney (2009-09-20). "No Gray area for 2FM playlists".  
  22. ^ "David Gray showcasing music favourites on RTÉ 2FM".  
  23. ^ Hector Ó hEochagáin
  24. ^ 
  25. ^ 
  26. ^ "RTÉ 2fm Schedule". RTÉ News. 
  27. ^ "RTÉ 2fm New Schedule" (PDF). RTÉ News. 
  28. ^ RTÉ News (PDF) 

External links

  • Official website
  • RTÉ 2fm — Listen Live

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