Finucane goes in RTE radio shake-up

RTE Radio one presenter Marian Finucane is to be replaced by rising star Ryan Tubridy in a major shake-up of the station, it emerged tonight.

The 54-year-old, who has spent almost three decades working with the national broadcaster, will move to present a two-hour magazine programme on Saturdays and Sundays.

Despite her early morning show on RTE Radio One attracting audiences of up to 400,000, reports of her possible replacement with 2FM breakfast show presenter Tubridy had been circulating for more than a year.

Finucane will continue to present her morning show until the summer and will then begin her new weekend show in September.

“I’m really looking forward to it. A whole new challenge, delivering to a new weekend audience,” she said.

The Marian Finucane show’s most famous moment came in September 2001, when its presenter dealt a serious blow to the political career of Fianna Fail minister Joe Jacobs.

In the face of persistent questioning, he struggled to explain what people should do in the event of a nuclear explosion at Sellafield – except that they should “shelter” indoors and take iodine tablets.

Finucane first achieved fame with RTE as a presenter of Liveline and won the radio journalist of the year award in 1988.

In 1999, she took over the early morning radio slot vacated by Gay Byrne on his retirement, while Joe Duffy became the new presenter of Liveline.

The morning show on RTE will be extended by an extra hour for new presenter Tubridy, who will move from the Full Irish breakfast show on 2FM.

“I’ve had a great three years on RTE 2FM and have had a great reaction from the audience,” he said. “I’m very excited about returning to RTÉ Radio One.

“The timing is right and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”

RTE attempted to recruit former employee Ian Dempsey, now a breakfast presenter with Today FM, but he turned down the offer.

However, RTE said it believed the shake-up would be a success for Radio One and 2FM.

“We’re confident both channels are making the right moves at the right time. Marian’s style and rapport with the audience will attract listeners to a new kind of weekend radio,” said director of radio Adrian Moynes.

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