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Newstalk Prepares for Major Schedule Revamp

Shane Coleman, Alan Quinlan, Collette Fitzpatrick, Sarah McInerney and Paul Williams at the Newstalk autmn launch. Photo: Tony Gavin 28/6/2016
Shane Coleman, Alan Quinlan, Collette Fitzpatrick, Sarah McInerney and Paul Williams at the Newstalk autumn launch

Newstalk 106-108FM is planning a major revamp to its Autumn scheduling with the introduction of four new prime time presenters joining the station from September onwards.

Colette Fitzpatrick, Paul Williams, Sarah McInerney and Alan Quinlan will join the station in what is the biggest shake-up of the stations’ programming since it was launched.

Following the departure of Ivan Yates from the early morning slot, existing Newstalk presenter Shane Coleman, TV3 news broadcaster Colette Fitzpatrick and crime correspondent Paul Williams, will anchor Newstalk’s new Breakfast Show.

The team will work on a rotating schedule, “bringing extensive media experience and a compelling mix of opinions, wit and insights to Ireland’s current affairs issues.”

Business Editor Vincent Wall, meanwhile, will continue his 6.30am – 7am show as well as providing business updates throughout the day. In addition, one of Ireland’s most popular sports personalities, Alan Quinlan will enhance the station’s already strong sports coverage throughout the morning schedule with regular sports updates and reports.

Elsewhere, veteran broadcaster Pat Kenny will start his show at 9am, going on air with a longer programme until 12pm, reflecting what the station says is a “listener demand for a move from the current affairs breakfast format to a talk show at an earlier time.

Newstalk stalwart George Hook, meanwhile, will take on a new lunchtime slot, from 12-2pm, with a brand new midday show offering a unique point of difference for lunchtime listeners. The Moncrieff show, meanwhile, will move to a new afternoon slot, anchored by Sean Moncrieff.

The key evening drive-time slot will see former Breakfast presenter Chris Donoghue anchoring a brand new Drive programme where he’ll be joined by Sarah McInerney, political correspondent with The Sunday Times with contributions from Newstalk’s Tom Dunne and Henry McKean. The Off the Ball team will join the new Drive duo from 6.30pm and regularly feed in before the programme starts at its usual time of 7pm slot.

Commenting on the new schedule, Tim Collins, station CEO said: “This is an important milestone in the evolution of Newstalk as a major media brand. Our strategy is to become the country’s leading talk station for 25-55 year olds and our new schedule reflects the tastes and interests of this younger audience. In the past year we have also made a significant investment in our digital platforms in order to grow our total audience on www.newstalk.com, on the Radio Player and on social platforms. These changes announced will add further momentum to Newstalk as one of Ireland’s leading multi-platform media businesses.”