Dunphy to leave NewsTalk 106

Controversial broadcaster Eamon Dunphy is to leave Dublin-based radio station NewsTalk 106 just before it takes to the national stage, it was confirmed tonight.

Dunphy, who presented The Breakfast Show on the station for the past two-years, said the decision had been a lifestyle choice.

“Because of my increased commitment to RTÉ television sports soccer coverage, I have decided not to exercise the option of another year on my contract with NewsTalk 106,” said Dunphy.

“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.”

Dunphy had been battling against RTÉ’s Morning Ireland for listeners in the 7am-9am slot.

This will be seen as a major blow to NewsTalk 106 which has been granted a 10-year licence to begin providing extensive news programmes to 80% of the country from later this year.

The station’s listenership was expected to receive a major boost with its high-profile presenters, Dunphy, rugby pundit George Hook and Sean Moncrieff all attracting a wider audience.

The station has been serving the Dublin region since 2002. It has been predicting taking a 4% share of Ireland’s radio market in the first year of the extended licence before the defection of Dunphy was announced.

Dunphy joined NewsTalk 106 in 2004 after leaving his acclaimed show The Last Word on Today FM in 2002 – where his programme had a daily audience of more than 177,000 people.

He also took on the established Late Late Show with a short-lived talk show on TV3.

The broadcaster has written several biographies including Roy Keane’s, another sporting book, 'Only a Game’, and a U2 biography ’The Unforgettable fire: The Definitive Biography of U2’.

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