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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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