Neil Prendeville – Game Changer for Who?

Neil Prendeville - 96FM, Redfm

When your main rival steals your prize asset it will no doubt be a Game Changer – for who depends on yourself.

This week we saw Cork’s Red FM, the second most popular radio station in the city make a bold, brave move by securing the services of popular and often controversial DJ Neil Prendeville from their local dominant rival, 96FM.

Neil is extremely popular because he is a brave DJ who isn’t afraid to take on issues and give his opinion. Many love him, many will tell you they hate him but most importantly for Red FM, many many listen to him. In terms of radio shows it is by far the most popular outside of  some shows on the national radio stations.

This was a huge move as Neil Prendeville, who has been with the station for 25 years has a large and loyal following, 116,000 listeners according to the latest JNLR figures.

While the move is an obvious game changer I wonder is it a game winner?

The listener profile of RedFM is much younger than it’s local rival and this move will certainly bring an audience that are not a natural fit for the current profile of the station.

Stevie G - Red FM Stephen GraingerUnfortunately this move meant that some great and very popular DJs in RedFM lost their contracts including the Cork music legend Stephen Grainger or Stevie G as he is known. Stevie G would have had a good following but unfortunately for him, nothing to match the pulling power of Neil’s show.

While the change will bring new listeners who will “move the dial”?- will it work overall for the station?

It is understood that Neil will operate his usual morning time slot, which will attract his loyal listeners but where will the younger RedFM listeners go to? I can’t really see them staying with the station as Neil’s show is quite different.

Ironically the success of this game changer depends on how 96FM react – will they try to find a like for like replacement, who I doubt will be able to compete with Neil or should they grab the opportunity to do something new, challenging and totally different and inject fresh energy to morning radio in Cork?

When a competitor grabs your prize asset it’s up to you to make sure the change works in your favour and not the other way around.

96FM, it’s up to you!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

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6 Responses to “Neil Prendeville – Game Changer for Who?”

  1. Denis Says:

    What concerns me is how we could see an unchallenged local media agenda. From the pasting our local papers gave Neil at the time of his ‘problem’ to being one of the few publishers to pay no reference it in their extensive coverage of his move to Red FM is I feel a worrying development.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      You make a good point but I did see some of the media referring to that past incident in their coverage. Is it time to forget that stuff I wonder?

      • Denis Says:

        I agree that all that stuff should be forgotten about but not just conveniently forgotten when it suits an agenda. If I am right in believing that Red FM and Landmark are closely connected, I think it’s all a bit too cosy and now even Neil Prendeville won’t be a thorn in their side. Whatever way 96fm decide to ‘rock on’ I hope they continue to give a voice to the people.

      • Greg Canty Says:

        Denis – who are Landmark?

  2. presstmc Says:

    Greg – this is Landmark Media – http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/irish-examiner-and-associated-media-acquired-by-landmark-media-investments-through-a-financial-restructuring-587142.html

    Good post, it seems like a decent chunk of audience are without a home. Don’t rule out outside possibility of a third station entering frame to soak up the wounded.

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