‘Some things would have to change if we came back’ – The 2 Johnnies talk about sudden departure from RTÉ 2FM

The Tipperary comedy duo of Johnny ‘Smacks’ McMahon and Johnny ‘B’ O’Brien, who were the station’s most listened to presenters, will end 2FM on Friday, following Montrose’s Doireann Garrihy and Jennifer Zamparelli.

“Something would have to change if we went back,” Brendan O’Connor was told in RTÉ Radio 1 this morning, adding that their contracts ended in February and that negotiations had taken place.

When asked if the contract had been correct, if they would have signed it, they responded: “I wouldn’t go that far. “There’s a lot on our part in being really too busy.”

“Something had to go. We could have stopped making TV but that is very sporadic. If we ever wanted to get our lives back, unfortunately radio is the one that had to go,” said Johnny B.

On whether they would have considered a new contract if they were offered more money, the couple said: “No, the money was agreed a long time ago.”

“We’re not influencers… It’s always been the case that when you sign an RTÉ contract you have to get permission to work outside, so that’s always happened anyway,” Johnny Smacks said.

He highlighted that all his agreements and sponsorships are visible on his Instagram accounts and on his podcast.

“It is no secret to us and this register of interests was not something that crossed our minds when making this decision.

“We would tell them the truth. We have nothing to hide,” he added.

Johnny B said the door would “always be open for us to come back,” however the couple, who have other business interests including a podcast, a new music album and an upcoming three-country tour starting next month, would need “additional support.” day of the week” in time

He also alluded to the increase in ratings for his show. Drive with the 2 Johnnies which has grown from the station’s lowest level of 122,000 in 2022, to its highest level of 151,000 listeners per day, according to JNLR figures.

“We came to do a job, which was to increase ratings, and we have done that. What else can we do in the next two or three years if we sign a contract? “said Johnny Smacks.

Johnny B added “we don’t want to get burned” and that the couple will “quit while we’re ahead.”

He noted that neither of them went to college for broadcasting or media and were simply two men who “broke the mold.”

“Radio wasn’t really on our radar,” she said, recalling that after the couple covered Jennifer Zamparelli for a week in May 2022, they “had a lot of fun” and “loved it.”

“I’m sad for us, sad for the team and sad for the listeners,” of whom, he said, are made up of a “mixed demographic,” primarily a “massive rural audience,” including men in agriculture, construction and those who carry out apprenticeships.

“We feel like we represent them. They were really what the show was about, that’s what sets them apart from the podcast. It’s just that you get that immediate reaction on the radio,” Johnny Smacks said.

However, they highlighted that their Tthe 2 johnnies podcast, which they described as their “mothership” is a “safe space” for young men to talk about topics such as catfishing and sextortion.

“Young people are not good at talking, they are not good at expressing their feelings. If we can give them a platform to do that…then that’s really important to us.

“We’re talking about some of those issues that you don’t hear about,” Johnny Smacks said.

Johnny B said that “that’s part of the job of podcasting, which is being a lot closer to the edge than radio,” adding that radio is “not frustrating,” but it is “a more different job” than podcasting.

The 2 Johnnies will end RTÉ 2FM on Friday, which coincides with the release of a new album titled small town heroes which is dedicated to characters from his hometown of Cahir.

The couple met there and moved in together after hosting a local GAA gala. At the time, Johnny B was working as a wedding band singer and hurley maker, while Johnny Smacks was a butcher. They first started with a Facebook page and comedy sketches before moving into radio.

After parting ways with the national broadcaster next week, they plan to embark on a world tour with their album, visiting three countries, including the United States, before returning to play in their Junior B hurling championship in the summer.

Regarding their future, they added that they are leaving RTÉ on “good terms”.

“The door is always open. You never know what will happen. I think one day we will return to the radio,” they said, adding that, in the meantime, they will appear on the station’s television programs.