Long-awaited JNLR radio results reveal record-breaking figures for WLR

Following on from being crowned Ireland’s local station of the year for the last three years, WLR has announced major increases in its ratings since Covid-19. It now accounts for the highest amount of listening across Waterford, with 72% of all adults tuning in each week.

Listening hours across WLR's daily schedule grew year on year, and there are now 13,000 people tuning in every 15 minutes of the day.

Digital growth

The new JNLR figures also confirm the importance of digital listening and digital platforms, which now account for a major percentage of all radio listening. WLR, which operates as a full-service station, is reporting major increases in the 15-24 demographic and is the market leader in the 20-44 demographic.

These improved figures combined with the loyal 45+ aged listenership, puts the station ahead of all others on the dial. These new younger listeners are consuming WLR in a multi-platform space and engaging more and more with the station.


A recent website and APP upgrade has also played its part and the station is on target to deliver two million page impressions per month.

Great results for shows on WLR

The Big Breakfast Blaa increased its listenership this year, while Deise Today with Damien Tiernan is reporting an average quarter hour of 25% which is a record score for any station in Waterford.

Jennifer Long, Editor of Deise Today, says they are delighted with the results for the programme.

With all things Covid this past year, there has been a huge reliance on news and current affairs to keep people informed. This has been a key focus of Deise Today in 2021 but it’s been important also to give people a distraction from time to time! Both Damien and I are so pleased that these figures seem to indicate we got that balance right.


The Saturday Café with Maria McCann, along with WLR’s news bulletins have been a key driver in the latest results also. The mix of this content, quality music programmes and excellent sports coverage has contributed to the success.

Covid and radio listening

The latest results are unusual in that they are the first since Covid interrupted the face-to-face radio listening data gathering. The online digital listening is growing quicker than predicted due to more people working from home more. The smart speaker skill has proven to be a major contributor to the increase in listening hours to WLR.

Michael Byrne ‘Operations Manager’ with WLR says: “The results confirm what we knew. WLR has always had a loyal listening in the traditional way but we have also seen increases in social and website numbers as well as increases in WhatsApp and text messages in recent months.”

“Our daily digital listening and app users are growing way quicker than predicted. This has expedited our plans. WLR will be here long after we’re all gone and it’s great to see the new younger WLR listener tuning in. Granted they are coming through social media and the smart speaker platforms, but in a world where the likes of Spotify rules, trusted local news and information from WLR and local newspapers is still important to all demographics.”