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Dumbing down Radio 1

August 28th, 2011 · 8 Comments · MSM, Newstalk

Today’s Irish Mail on Sunday reports that RTE Radio 1’s Saturday View programme is to be dumped in favour of a satire show featuring Nob Nation’s Oliver Callan and a weekly one hour programme hosted by Charlie Bird.

RTE’s Press Office could not confirm the Mail on Sunday’s story but did confirm to me that at 1pm each Saturday there would be a new series of Green Tea, hosted by Oliver Callan.

At 1.30 each Saturday Charlie Bird will present a new one hour Saturday show which will ‘follow the big stories around the country’ and ‘report on the big issues as they happen’.

Rachel English who has presented Saturday View since Rodney Rice retired is joining the Morning Ireland team on a permanent basis, 5 days a week. She is an excellent presenter and a great addition to the team with Aine Lawlor and Aoife Kavanagh and Cathal McCoille – great to see women dominating the presenting in primetime.

Despite the fact that Saturday View was one of the few RTE Radio 1 programmes that had gained listeners this year (up 4,000 in the last JNLR’s) it seems that the station decided the programme had to go.

Oliver Callan is no Dermot Morgan.  RTE seem desperate to have some satire on the station no matter how terrible it might be.   Nob Nation is not Scrap Saturday and in my opinion the writing on the first series of Green Tea was poor. We already suffer John Murray’s efforts five days a week.  And then there’s the Charlie Bird problem, RTE does not seem to know what to do with him since he came back from America.

Saturday View was intelligent radio, bringing politicians, economists, policy makers and commentators together in a fast paced debate on the issues of the week and able to react to breaking issues as they happened also.  Both Rodney Rice and Rachel English never let the programme be about them.  This won’t be able to be said about Charlie Bird.

The new schedule will be launched on Tuesday.  I think there will be more than a bit of a protest at this news.  Unfortunately there is nowhere else to turn to for intelligent debate and analysis on Irish radio as NewsFox or ManTalk has completely gone to pot.

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8 Comments so far

  • denis Crowley

    Have to agree all round with the above. IMO Charlie Bird is surplus to requirements if he feels he is gone too old or above investigative Journalism. Why cannot he be left go.
    Also I understand Marian Funicane is contract only. IMO there is no difference between herself and Claire Byrne. There is a half Million saved right there of taxpayers money

  • Frances

    So unbelievably stupid of RTE. Other words fail me.

  • Oireachtas Retort

    Bad news.
    Agree 100% re the rest of the FM dial. Perhaps that’s why Montrose can get away with stuff like this. Don’t know how they manage it but they always find a way.

    I just hope people will know when the satire finishes and Charlie begins.

  • Sally

    I couldn’t agree more. Saturday View has been excellent listening over the past few months & the female representation was very positive. Nob nation is neither satire nor comedy. Indeed it is frequently offensive. The only decent satire on the radio over the past few years was The Emergency, which naturally Newstalk were too right wing & self absorbed to appreciate. Newstalk has Sean Moncrieff, Off the Ball, Talking History & Futureproof, the rest if it is pretty appalling.

  • SeanR

    I get my news from Jon Stewart, his truthiness is the best source of news-ish coverage…

    RTE has been a zombie tv station for years tbh.

  • Peter

    I agree with Dennis regarding Marian Funicane and Claire Byrne. There is no real difference.

    Sally. I am not sure I agree with you about Newstalk. In fact I think RTE in my opinion have become extremely right wing over the years. At least TV3 gave Vincent Browne a slot. And I have began to listen to Ivan Yeats on the the Breakfast Show rather than Morning Ireland.

    The same could be said for George Lee as for Charlie Bird. There is sheltered employment for people with disabilities as well. Unfortunately, the pay is not as good as in RTE

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    […] Dumbing down Radio 1 Today’s Irish Mail on Sunday reports that RTE Radio 1′s Saturday View programme is to be dumped in favour of a satire show featuring Nob Nation’s Oliver Callan and a weekly one hour programme hosted by Charlie Bird. RTE’s Press Office could not confirm the Mail on Sunday’s story but did confirm to me that […] Uncategorized Facebookfacebook TwitterTwitter stumbleuponstumbleupon del.icio.usdel.icio.us Buzz […]

  • squidlimerick

    Hold the phone here a second

    “great to see women dominating the presenting in primetime.”

    Dominating? Surely when it was men dominating something there was no end to the moaning and groaning. but if women dominate something oh it is brilliant. did I read that right?

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