Still there: Ivan Yates

WHEN Newstalk's Claire Byrne left the station last week "with tears in her eyes" it was the latest in a string of high profile departures. Her co-presenter on her last show on Friday, Conor Brophy, is also on his way to RTÉ.

Brophy, who sources say was due to play a more significant role in the station's new breakfast slot alongside newcomer presenter Chris O'Donoghue and Ivan Yates, is now working out his notice.

"It's really disappointing but that is life. We wish him very well," said station chief executive Frank Cronin.

Despite murmurings of a fresh star signing for the station coming down the line, the latest departures have helped significantly change the public face of the broadcaster.

Eamon Keane quit the station last May amongst speculation that he was to join the national broadcaster although this never came to pass.

He too had enjoyed an increase in listenership in the run up to his departure and there was considerable speculation as to exactly why he chose to move.

Jerry O'Sullivan, the former head of sport and weekend sports anchor, also packed his bags earlier this year to return to his native Kerry.

Despite successful efforts to capture the services of Eamon Dunphy, the popular pundit was barely in before being out on an extended holiday.

It is also understood that at least one other well known figure at the station has been making noises about leaving.