CBC (Clonmel Broadcasting Corporation) were based at Westgate, Clonmel in Co Tipperary and the station launched at noon on November 14th 1981 in the presence of invited guests, including the mayor of Clonmel, Alderman Seán Lyons.
The MD of the station was Gerry Gannon, who had founded Radio Carrick. Thanks to him the station was kitted out with top of the range equipment which he had picked up from various stations in Britain.
A local carpenter was hired to purpose-build the studio and partitions for two offices off reception.
It was a ‘community’-style station which played a good mixture of Irish, Folk, Classical and Celtic rock and had various programme strands such as movie reviews, legal advice, politics, religious and gardening.
Over 100 volunteers, along with a handful of part-time and full-time staff, contributed on the air.
TIMES AND PLACE
At the start, CBC broadcast from 6.30am to 7pm on weekdays and 8am-7pm at weekends. Later the times changed to 8am to midnight all week and weekends
Broadcasting frequencies were 362m MW (828kHz) and 104FM.
In Carrick-on-Suir they were 199m MW and 99.5MHz.
The main transmitter site was at Tim Cooney’s house in Glenconner, which is on high ground over Clonmel.
The antenna cable for the MW was stretched from a 100-foot mast to a 100-foot pole at the end of the garden.
The FM antenna was attached to the roof of the house.
The MW was a mark five 250kw p.e.p. The MW aerial was mounted on a 100-foot pole.
The 104FM transmitter from the West Gate to feed the main site was originally putting out 50 watts but this was increased to 100.
The dual turntables in the main on-air studio stood over 3 feet tall and were approx 4 feet wide. It had two Gerard transcription motor-driven turntables. The main mixer was a Studiomaster 8 into 4 mixing desk, which had been modified by the makers for broadcasting purposes.
In-studio monitoring was via two Alice 100 watt speakers.
The outside broadcasting unit was the end half of a 55 seater bus. This had a studio at one end and seating at the front. Again the main studio mixer was a studio master 8 into 4.
From day one the station paid income tax for its staff and sent vat to revenue.
CBC’s service during a severe snowstorm in 1982 engrained it into the heart of the community
During 1983, the station was managed by Tony Brook – drummer with Gina Dale Haze and the Champions and now the long-time radio presenter of Shades of Green on Tipp FM. Tony was standing in for Gerry Gannon who had flown to Australia to search out a new life for his family.
In 1987 the decision was made to do a separate show each afternoon from Carrick-on-Suir. This was presented by local man Liam O’Doherty and was very popular in the town. Specific advertisements were recorded to tape each day for the following day’s shows and were brought to Carrick by Peg Power.
By December 1988, CBC had several full-time staff:
Peg Power – Station manager and programming;
Jonathan Ryan = Advertising manager and production;
Jimmy Williams – Production, sport and news;
Patricia Corbett – Accounts and secretarial.
Each presenter had free-rein over their choice of music to play – there was no playlist.
Monday to Friday schedule:
8am Jonathan Ryan
11am Peg Power
12pm Jimmy Williams
2pm Patricia Cantwell
3pm Brendan O’Driscoll
5pm Tony Campbell
7pm Various specialist shows
9pm Timmy Cooney
All photos courtesy Jonathan Ryan / Jimmy Williams / CBC Facebook page
Station history compiled with the help of Jonathan Ryan and also Dave Fogarty