I am a long time listener to newstalk and was critical of the former incarnations of the breakfast show (Claire Byrne and her stilted 'banter' with Ger Gilroy) - all light years away from the days of McWilliams and Dunphy (who could admittedly get repetitive with the same guests on ad nauseum - but give me Robert Fisk or Anthony Cronin any day over the contributors now).
I found Ivan Yeats to be sometimes interesting (COD 'banter' and rent a controversial opinion aside) but at least there were some considered/experienced views expressed from time to time and there was a vague sense of the inside track on political matters.
What we have now is forced bonhomie between 2 people who, while admittedly good natured, lack the personality to make up for the dearth of insightful contributors to the program. What we get is COD/SC's opinion about every aspect of the news - do I want to hear this I frequently ask myself as I turn off and listen to a podcast or (shudder) a piece about the tidy towns in Belturbet over on Morning Ireland.
We have COD/SC and their opinion on the newspaper headlines, a bit of banter, maybe a contributor sandwiched in between a competition and their views on something else. It's not all bad and sometimes a section can be interesting but it's the exception rather than the rule. I'm sure it's a tricky thing to get the balance right on a show but I don't think the current structure works, for me anyway. You'd have to wonder who else they could get to do it - after all they seem to run with about 2 overflow presenters who fill in for every other show (and one of them is SC). Anton Savage would be annoying, Fergus Finlay is doing a good job on Sunday (is he filling in for SC?)
How about Sile Seioge in the morning - now there's someone who would hasten the switch to Morning Ireland's Tidy Towns in Belturbet piece....