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Highland Radio Mourns The Death of Country Music Presenter

Highland Radio presenter Pio McCann died peacefully at his home this morning surrounded by his family.

Highland Radio presenter Pio McCann died peacefully at his home this morning surrounded by his family.

Pio was an ex-showband member who joined Erneside Radio in Cavan in 1987 after hearing an advertisement seeking presenters. He also worked on Radio Star Country before joining Highland Radio.

In 2008 Pio was honoured with the CMA International Broadcaster Award in Nashville. This award recognised the outstanding achievement by a radio broadcaster outside the United States for their important contributions towards the development of Country Music in their country.

Pio is survived by his wife Rae, six children and eleven grandchildren.

Highland Radio, which broadcasts to Donegal, will run a special programme celebrating Pio’s life on his show tomorrow, Saturday from 12noon – 2pm.

100 to Come from BCR FM

BCR FM has been awarded a second 100 day licence which will come into effect from tomorrow, September 26th.
The station will broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays only which means the licence will run until September 5th next year.
They will be available on 101.9MHz FM, throughout Ballina and its surrounding areas and will also continue to stream all shows online at bcrfm.ie, as well as on the TuneIn app for smart devices and phones.

Easy Return

Easy Radio have returned to FM in Dublin. Back on air on 94.3MHz, the station have said that it will just be weekends only for the present.

Wild Country Have Been Tamed

Wild Country, the station broadcasting from Louth on 103.6MHz, today had their transmission site raided by officials from ComReg and An Garda Síochána.

The site, located at Edentupper, received the visit at around 11.30am. Transmissions ceased minutes later. Equipment valued at €16,000 was taken.

The station have since issued a statement:-
“While we fully acknowledge that our station was operating without a licence, it has filled a valuable void which has been left for local radio, particularly in the South Armagh and Down areas since the departure of Q radio from their Newry Studio.

“We had been broadcasting the public health advisories on Covid-19 twice an hour for both North and South and if the reaction to our station over the lockdown is anything to go by, we feel we have made this difficult period easier for our listeners by providing Irish and American country music around the clock.

“Alas, this came to an end today. Why it took 6 members of ComReg, together with Gardai to do this we will never understand, when a simple phone call to us from the authorities would have sufficed.

“We would like to thank our many listeners and assure them that our station will continue online via the radiogarden app.”

VIP Birthday Greetings for Radio Kerry

Radio Kerry today celebrated 30 years on the airwaves. The station launched on July 14th 1990 and was today congratulated for the achievement by President Michael D Higgins

Higgins said that over the past three decades Radio Kerry has given a voice to the people of Kerry and provided an important platform for discussion. He added that the current pandemic shows the need for independent and high-quality journalism.

Meanwhile, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin also congratulated Radio Kerry on its landmark birthday.

The Fianna Fáil leader pledged to support independent broadcasting saying that local radio can be an antidote to fake and distorted news on social media by providing information in an objective way.

Mr Martin also said that local radio has been a powerful resource to deal with the global pandemic.

An Taoiseach believes that local radio stations, such as Radio Kerry, make politicians more accountable to the public:

1 Music One

A new internet only station has come under fire for their choice of name. Launched on Sunday, Musc One has a very strong line up and is already proving very popular with listeners.

However, the station has been accused of stealing the name from 1Music in order to piggyback on the success of that name, which has been established since 2016.

In a hard-hitting post on social media, 1Music founder Frankie Beats said:-

“This is not a reflection on the presenters on MusicOne. As you know an ex-2FM presenter has started a radio station called MusicOne.ie in Ireland, which is a blatant copy of my 1Music.ie name, which is registered as a business name since 2016.
Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve worked hard for 5yrs to build my brand, it was all I had to show the world and 1MUSIC went on to win global awards in 2018 and recognition in the music industry.
Today i see that 1MUSIC.ie is now gone from Google page 1 listings for the first time since 2016 and replaced by MusicOne.ie.
Weeks before the other station launched I contacted the owner and his response was: “Contact my solicitor” and the launch went ahead and today I have received some nasty messages from one of its presenters who has started to defame me publicly over the name.
Irish Radio has always been a hard place and this shows how unoriginal and nasty some people can be. MusicOne has already had issues with its previous incarnation and now it’s destroying my hard work.”

Panic Stations for Dublin’s Pirates

Pirate FM, who have been on the air on FM in Dublin since January 1st, are presently off the air following a phone call on Sunday advising them that a raid was imminent. This led the station to strip out their studios.

Word spread to the rest of Dublin’s unlicensed stations by Monday leading them to cease FM broadcasts.

Some, like Club FM who are usually on 107.1MHz and Easy FM, who are usually on 105.2MHz have publicly stated that this is to facilitate ‘technical adjustments’.
One operator told Radiowaves News, however, that they were off FM for precautionary reasons.

Many continue to broadcast online.

Club Closed Temporarily

Club FM say they are shutting off their FM service temporarily in order to carry out upgrades and maintenance at their existing transmission sites.
The Dublin dance music station usually broadcasts on 107.1MHz in Dubin but will continue to be available online.

It’s Not Easy to Stay Awake

At midnight last night / this morning Easy Radio presenter Paul Wilson joined the rest of the nation and put his head down for some shuteye. What made Paul’s situation different was that he hadn’t slept in at least 48 hours.

At midnight on Friday night, Paul pledged to continue broadcasting live across Dublin on 105.2MHz, and to the world on easyradio.ie, for 48 hours in order to raise funds for Temple Street Childrens’ Hospital in Dublin’s city centre.

Paul at the start of the broadcast

The target wasn’t an ‘Easy’ one, he hoped to raise at least €1,000. Donations were understandably a little slow during the first night but as the day began and the rest of the nation rose from sleep, the station’s listeners started rallying to the cause.

According to a spokesperson for the long-running Dublin pirate station: “It was just as Paul’s voice started to get sore and he had finished his 50th cup of coffee, that the target was reached – at 4.30pm on Sunday afternoon.”

Paul stayed on air for the remainder of the evening and by the deadline on Sunday the donation amount had reached €1,120 euro.

“Overwhelming,” was the word Paul used. It was probably all he could manage to say at the time!

This morning the station were inundated with messages of support and people still looking to donate – the link button will remain active at the link below until Friday to facilitate this.

Easy Radio have been broadcasting easy listening music and love songs to Dublin since 2001.

Easy Radio Facebook page

Leinster & Snowflake to close

Two Irish-based online stations, Radio Leinster and Radio Snowflake, are to close with immediate effect.

Stations owner David Baker said today:- “I’ve decided to close both Radio Leinster and Radio Snowflake completely. The reasons behind this sudden decision is to protect Chelmer Radio going forward. My workload with Chelmer Radio has increased and I need to focus on that going forward with no other distractions.”

Both Radio Leinster and Radio Snowflake were nostalgic recreations of 1980s pirate stations.

iRadio Launches the Corona Hour

Regional broadcasters i102-104 and i105-107 have just agreed a major sponsorship deal with Corona Beer to launch the sponsor titled ‘Corona Hour’.

The new programme will run for an hour from 2pm every Saturday on both stations.

The Corona Hour will be commercial free (apart from the sponsor’s name) and aims to play “feel-good music designed to put the smile on your face and energise you to get the party started”.

Hosted by Ezeke Gray, a native of Jamaica, iRadio will be supporting the sponsorship with sampling of Limes and other Corona merchandise every week and they will also be doing Corona Hour events at venues across the two franchise areas.

Neither party would discuss the value of the deal which gives Corona full brand ownership of the hour and also includes sampling, promos advertising the programme midweek, online support on both iRadio websites and social media involvement.

iRadio CEO Rena Maycock says that Corona is a perfect partner in this initiative: “We had an idea to have one hour of completely ad-free fun and happiness on the stations each Saturday that would help listeners get into the party mood and we looked for a brand partner that would help us to achieve that. Corona is a natural brand fit and they could see our vision for the potential impact this programme could have on the mood of the two regions by creating a 15 county party that you can attend without leaving your living room. In addition we have also found that there is a huge audience out there that don’t want to listen to sports programming at weekends and we want to provide those listeners with a super quality alternative.”

iRadio is also on the eve of launching the O2 sponsorship of its’ text-lines across both stations.

i102-104, which covers the west and north-west, launched in February 2008. This was closely followed by its sister station i105-107, which covers the midlands and north-east, in November of the same year.

The Corona hour launches on both i102-104 and i105-107 on Saturday 2 April 2011

Nova Celebrates First Survey Figures

Dublin’s newest radio station, Nova 100, are attracting 120,000 people weekly according to today’s JNLR figures release.

Nova CEO Kevin Branigan said: “We are absolutely blown away by how fantastic these first figures are. They are even better than expected. With Radio Nova on in practically every shop and taxi in town, over a third of all iPhones having the Radio Nova app, and more Facebook fans than some stations that have been established for more than twenty years, the loyal listenership we have built up in these 18 short weeks is incredible and humbling. We’re delighted with our set of figures and we’ll continue to work hard to grow our listenership even more during 2011.”

Nova launched on September 1st and broadcasts to Dublin city, county and commuter belt on 100.3MHz FM & 100.5MHz FM. The station employs a team of 25 and operates from Dublin’s docklands.

RTÉ Radio 1 Ahead of its National Rivals

RTÉ Radio 1 is still Ireland’s most-listened-to radio station, with reach jumping from 24% to 25%. While competitors have seen losses to key breakfast and daytime slots, RTÉ Radio 1 has recorded strong book-on-book gains for ‘Morning Ireland’, and ‘The John Murray Show’ has made its JNLR debut with an additional 2,000 listeners. Most other RTÉ Radio 1 daytime shows recorded gains.

At weekends, gains continued for The Marian Finucane Show (Sunday), This Week, Saturday Sport, Countrywide, The Business and John Bowman.

RTÉ Radio 1 occupied every slot in the top ten most-listened-to programmes in Ireland. RTÉ Radio overall has claimed 19 of the top 20 most-listened-to programmes in the country, up from 18 this time last year.

Jim Jennings, Head of Radio 1, says: “The latest figures for RTÉ Radio 1 tell us we are the first choice for the majority of radio listeners in Ireland. Listeners choose Radio 1 time and again thanks to the high standard of award-winning, impartial and entertaining coverage that only Radio 1 can deliver. We have had much talk about the migration to and from current-affairs coverage across the stations. Our competitors have lost out in this book not because listeners are tuning out of the national discussion, but because the conversation is now firmly on RTÉ Radio 1.”

RTÉ 2FM has maintained its seven-day reach lead on its commercial competitors, while it has also remained neck-and-neck with Today FM with weekday reach at 13%. Hector Ó hEochagáin’s new breakfast show debuted with an encouraging 133,000 listeners. Ryan Tubridy’s new 2FM show, with 216,000 listeners, is almost neck and neck with Ray D’Arcy, despite being an hour shorter. 2FM has seen strong gains on Sundays.

John McMahon, Head of RTÉ 2FM, says: “The new 2FM schedule was just launched in September. The reduction in timeslots of key shows from three to two hours was always going to impact figures. Our aim was to hold stable, and this we have done. I’m delighted that ‘Breakfast with Hector’ has got off to a strong start, and it’s all to play for now with Tubridy and Colm Hayes. The figures for the afternoon shows are a real cause for optimism, as are the gains on Sundays. The new 2FM TV ad is still on air, and it has been hugely well received. The next two JNLR books will offer conclusive indications for 2FM, and we’re determined to attract more listeners to what is a brilliant new schedule.”

RTÉ Lyric FM’s Marty Whelan has made a strong debut in his new breakfast slot, with 19,000 listeners. Lyric has seen continued growth at weekends, with book-on-book growth also recorded on weekdays. Lyric’s Liz Nolan, Niall Carroll, George Hamilton, Lorcan Murray (Saturday), Gay Byrne and Rachel Blech all recorded gains book-on-book, while there was also good news for lyric year-on-year, with gains for ‘Movies and Musicals’ and ‘Niall Carroll’s Classic Drive’.

Clare Duignan, Managing Director of RTÉ Radio, commented: “There had been some slippage recently on RTÉ Radio 1 but those slippages have been dramatically reversed with these figures. We have seen a decisive move by listeners back to RTÉ Radio 1. This tells me that RTÉ Radio delivered: through the extreme weather events of late last year, and the even more extreme developments in the political and economic arena, RTÉ Radio 1 was the clear leader for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. This is a clear endorsement of RTÉ Radio’s Public Service Broadcasting and we are hugely grateful to the listeners for their loyalty. This was another good book for lyric with growth returning to week days and growth also for key programmes. Marty Whelan has made a strong debut at breakfast. As for 2FM: we made our own predictions for this book and I’m happy that we’ve landed exactly where we knew we would. The new schedule was launched last September; it informs only three months of the 12-month research period, and so we will have to wait for the next two books to get a clearer picture of where we are. We wanted breakfast to hold steady: it has. We wanted Tubridy to stay neck-and-neck with his nearest rival, who has over 10 year’s heritage in his slot. Tubridy has met that challenge. Crucially, 2FM remains the second-most-listened to radio station. It’s a good start to 2011.”

Main points for RTÉ Radio 1:
it is the only national station with a weekly reach of over 1 million listeners. Radio 1’s listenership is up 9,000 to 1.313, million
its weekday reach is up a point to 25% (+21,000 to 869,000) and weekday share up a point to 22.7%
gains at weekends with 690,000 listeners on Saturdays and 635,000 on Sundays
Morning Ireland is Ireland’s number 1 programme with Adults 15+: 449,000 listeners, up 23,000 listeners
Marian Finucane holds number 2 and number 4 position with 400,000 on Saturday and 369,000 on Sundays
Liveline is number 3 in Top 10 Adults 15+ with 392,000 listeners
The Business is number 5 in Top 10, up 4,000 listeners to 351,000
The John Murray Show debuts at No.7 in Top 10 with 332,000 listeners, up 2,000
Pat Kenny up 4,000 to 324,000
News at One up 2,000 to 335,000
Drivetime, Ireland’s most popular drivetime show, up 5,000 to 234,000
Ronan Collins, up 10,000 to 223,000
Mooney up 4,000 to 211,000
This Week up 5,000 to 201,000
Saturday Sport up 5,000 to 192,000
Miriam Meets up 36,000 year on year to 262,000

Main points for RTÉ 2FM:
it is the second most listened to station in the country with 26% (931,000 listeners) 7 day reach and 44,000 more listeners than its nearest competitor
its reach is up 11,000 to 276,000 on Sundays
The Tubridy Show debuts with 216,000 listeners – number 2 amongst 20 to 44 year olds – and in at number 15 in the Top 20 all week national radio programmes (Adults 15+)
Hector’s Breakfast Show debuts with 133,000 listeners
Ireland’s Biggest Jukebox up 9,000 to 127,000
Michael Cahill up 7,000 to 52,000
Baz and Lucy on Sundays, up 6,000 to 56,000

Main points for RTÉ Lyric FM:
it has over a quarter of a million listeners (259,000) with 7 day reach at 7%
its reach is up on weekdays (up 4,000 to 115,000) and Saturdays (up 5,000 to 99,000)
Marty in the Morning performing strongly in new breakfast slot with 19,000 listeners
Liz Nolan’s Lunchtime Classics up 2,000 to 30,000
Niall Carroll’s Classic Drive up 2,000 to 50,000
The Hamilton Scores up 2,000 to 27,000
Lorcan Murray’s Classic Drive up 2,000 to 49,000
Sunday with Gay Byrne up 2,000 to 46,000
The John Kelly Ensemble up 1,000 to 30,000

JNLR Figures for January – December 2010 Released

The latest results from the Ipsos MRBI JNLR survey covering the period January 2010 – December 2010 were released today. The survey results indicate that 85% (same) of the adult population was listening daily to a mix of national, regional, multi-city and local radio throughout the country. For the purposes of comparison, figures for this survey period are compared with the October 2009- September 2010 figures. The main changes and highlights are as follows:

National Reach and Market Share
Listenership of 57% (-1) was recorded to any multi-city/regional/local radio service.
The weekday reach figures for RTÉ Radio 1 increased to 25% (+1) while figures remained unchanged for Today FM (13%), Newstalk (8%) and RTÉ Lyric FM (3%). RTÉ 2FM recorded a figure of 13% (-1).
With regard to market share, a figure of 53.6% (-0.2) was recorded for any multi-city/regional/local station in the 7am-7pm period.
RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ Lyric FM recorded slight increases in market share at 22.7% (+0.6) and 1.7% (+0.1) respectively. Today FM retained a market share figure of 9.3%. Decreases were recorded for RTÉ 2FM at 8.2% (-0.5) and Newstalk at 4.0% (-0.1).

Weekday Reach Figures
Any Regional/Local 57% (-1)
RTÉ Radio 1 25% (+1)
RTÉ 2FM 13% (-1)
Today FM 13% (same)
Newstalk 106-108 8% (same)
RTÉ Lyric FM 3% (Same)

Weekday Market Share Figures 7am-7pm
Any Regional/Local 53.6% (-0.2)
RTÉ Radio 1 22.7% (+0.6)
Today FM 9.3% (same)
RTÉ 2FM 8.2% (-0.5)
Newstalk 106-108 4.0% (-0.1)
RTÉ Lyric FM 1.7% (+0.1)

National (excluding Dublin and Cork)
Weekday Reach Figures
Any Regional/Local 60% (same)
RTÉ Radio 1 23% (+1)
RTÉ 2FM 15% (-1)
Today FM 14% (-1)
Newstalk 106-108 6% (same)
RTÉ Lyric FM 2% (same)

Weekday Market Share Figures 7am-7pm
Any Regional/Local 56% (-0.1)
RTÉ Radio 1 19.2% (+0.7)
Today FM 10.8% (+0.1)
RTÉ 2FM 9.2% (-0.8)
Newstalk 106-108 3.1% (-0.2)
RTÉ Lyric FM 1.0% (+0.1)

National (excluding Dublin and Cork) – local stations
Changes in both reach and market share were recorded for almost all local stations in the current survey period.

The figures for the survey period with regards to Reach were as follows:
Highland Radio 67% (-2);
Shannonside 53%;
Radio Kerry 51% (same);
Limerick’s Live 95FM 50% (-1);
Midwest Radio 49% (-1);
WLR FM 48% (same);
Shannonside Northern Sound 47% (+1)
Clare FM 46% (+3);
Tipp FM 45% (+1);
Ocean FM 42% (+1);
Galway Bay FM 41% (same);
Northern Sound 41%
KCLR 96FM 39% (-1);
South East Radio 36% (same);
Midlands 103FM 36% (-3);
LMFM 28% (same);
East Coast FM 28% (+2);
KFM 27% (+3);

The figures for the survey period with regards to Market Share were as follows:
Highland Radio 62.3% (-1.1);
Radio Kerry 57% (+0.7);
Tipp FM 55.7% (+1.4);
Shannonside 49%;
Midwest Radio 48.9% (-0.7);
Shannonside Northern Sound 47.0% (+0.8)
Clare FM 45.6% (+3.0)
WLR FM 45.1% (-0.5)
Northern Sound 44.4%
KCLR 96FM 36.5% (-0.1)
Limerick’s Live 95FM 34.6% (-1.4)
KFM 29.5% (+2.7)
South East Radio 29.1% (+0.1)
LMFM 29.1% (+0.6)
Midlands 103FM 28.2% (-2.1)
Galway Bay FM 28.2% (same)
Ocean FM 26.6% (-0.5)
East Coast FM 25.1% (+3.7)

Regional stations
4FM, the multi-city service, maintained a weekday reach figure of 3% (same) and recorded a market share figure of 1.8% (-0.1).
In terms of regional services; in the north-east/midlands region, i105-107FM increased its weekday reach figure to 9% (+2) and recorded a market share figure of 7% (+1.9).
In the south-west region, Spin South West maintained its weekday reach figure of 21% and increased its market share figure to 11% (+0.1).
In the north-west region, i102-104FM maintained its weekday reach figure of 20% and recored a market share figure of 14% (-0.7).
Beat 102-103FM, serving the south-east region, recorded a weekday reach figure of 19% (-1.0) and recorded an increase in market share to 13.1% (+0.8).

Weekday Reach Figures
Spin South West 21% (same)
i102-104 20% (same)
Beat 102-103 19% (-1)
i105-107 9% (+2)
4FM 3% (same)

Weekday Market Share Figures 7am-7pm
i102-104 14.0% (-0.7)
Beat 102-103 13.1% (+0.8)
Spin South West 11.0% (+0.1)
i105-107 7.0% (+1.9)
4FM 1.8% (-0.1)

Dublin – local stations
In Dublin, FM104 increased its weekday reach figure to 20% (+1.0).
The remaining Dublin stations all retained weekday reach figures with: 98FM at 14%, Spin 1038 at 14% and Dublin’s Q102 at 13%, Country Mix/ Sunshine 106.8 FM at 3% and Phantom 105.2 at 2%.
In terms of market share figures, increases were recorded for a number of stations; 98FM at 11.6% (+0.3), Spin 1038 at 6.6% (+0.1) and Country Mix/Sunshine 106.8FM at 3.2% (+0.1). The remaining stations recorded figures of: FM104 11.2% (-0.3), Q102 at 11.1% (-0.1%) and Phantom 105.2 0.8% (-0.1).

Dublin

Weekday Reach Figures
RTÉ Radio 1 29% (+1)
FM104 20% (+1)
Dublin’s 98FM 14% (same)
Spin 1038 14% (same)
Q102 13% (same)
Newstalk 106-108 10% (same)
RTÉ 2FM 10% (same)
Today FM 9% (same)
RTÉ Lyric FM 5% (same)
Sunshine 106.8 3% (same)
Phantom 105.2 2% (same)
4FM 2% (same)

Weekday Market Share Figures 7am-7pm
RTÉ Radio 1 30.5% (-0.4)
Dublin’s 98FM 11.6% (+0.3)
FM104 11.2% (-0.3)
Q102 11.1% (-0.1)
RTÉ 2FM 7.0% (-0.5)
Spin 1038 6.6% (+0.1)
Newstalk 106-108 5.9% (same)
Today FM 5.8% (same)
RTÉ Lyric FM 3.2% (+0.2)
Sunshine 106.8 3.2% (+0.1)
4FM 1.3% (-0.4)
Phantom 105.2 0.8% (-0.1)

Cork – local stations
Red FM achieved a reach figure of 19% (-2) and recorded a market share figure of 10.6% (-0.7).
The combined reach of Cork’s 96FM/C103 was 46% (-2.0) while a share figure of 41.6% (-1.9) was recorded.

Cork

Weekday Reach Figures
Cork’s 96FM 35% (-1)
RTÉ Radio 1 26% (+1)
Red FM 19% (-2)
Today FM 15% (same)
C103 14% (same)
RTÉ 2FM 9% (same)
Newstalk 106-108 9% (same)
RTÉ Lyric FM 4% (same)
4FM 4% (same)

Weekday Market Share Figures 7am-7pm
Cork’s 96FM 30.3% (-2.1)
RTÉ Radio 1 22.3% (+1.7)
C103 11.4% (+0.3)
Red FM 10.6% (-0.7)
Today FM 9.7% (-0.4)
RTÉ 2FM 9.7% (-0.4)
Newstalk 106-108 4.7% (+0.9)
4FM 3.4% (+0.5)
RTÉ Lyric FM 2.0% (+0.1)

Green Tea for Saturday Mornings On RTÉ Radio 1

From tomorrow morning RTÉ Radio 1 will broadcast a dedicated political satire show in a popular Saturday morning slot for the fist time in ten years. ‘Green Tea’, a new series from the makers of ‘Nob Nation’, will air at 10.30am for the duration of Election 2011.

Mimic and satirist Oliver Callan (pictured), one of the show’s scriptwriters, says: “We are delighted that RTÉ Radio 1 will broadcast Green Tea in the old ‘Scrap Saturday’ slot because there’s no doubt that satirical commentary on the changing face of Irish society is needed at the moment. We’re going to take a look at politics, the banking sector, the judiciary, the GAA, the media, the arty set and the various characters that make Ireland so interesting.”

Green Tea will follow various political heavyweights, including Eamon Gilbore, Moan Burton, the Baron of Northstead (aka Gerry Adams) and new characters such as Richard-Boyd-Gladstone-Tudor-Barrett. Micky Martin from Fianna Fáil will be joined on the election campaign trail by veteran politicians such as Mammy O’Rourke.

The show will also feature well-known Irish broadcasters and media personalities including Marian Finucane, Séan O’Rourke, Vincent Browne, footballer Paul Galvin and showbiz impresario Louis Walsh, who will be joined by his show band side-kick Albert Reynolds.

Green Tea debuted with two episodes on RTÉ Radio 1 in December 2010.

Spooky Goings-On at Wicklow’s East Coast FM

East Coast FM will be getting into the spirit of Hallowe’en by sending some of its presenters to Wicklow Gaol for a very special night-time radio broadcast called ‘The Gates Of Hell’.

East Coast FM will be getting into the spirit of Hallowe'en by sending some of its presenters to Wicklow Gaol for a very special night-time radio broadcast called 'The Gates Of Hell'.
Rob G, Ryan O' Neill, Gareth Farrell, Tommy Greene and Mathieu Norry are the brave station presenters who will be joined by mediums Angie & Keith Freeland and paranormal investigators to try and communicate with the spirits that lurk in Wicklow's Historic Gaol.

Rob G, Ryan O’ Neill, Gareth Farrell, Tommy Greene and Mathieu Norry are the brave station presenters who will be joined by mediums Angie & Keith Freeland and paranormal investigators to try and communicate with the spirits that lurk in Wicklow’s Historic Gaol.

Speaking about the show, East Coast FM presenter Ryan O’ Neill said: “I’ve never done anything like this before but I’m really looking forward to it. Wicklow Gaol has a long history of paranormal activity so we’re hoping to pick something up on the night. I am a little nervous though!”

The show will include the history of Wicklow Gaol and will be broadcast on Sunday October 31st at 11pm on East Coast FM.

Ana Leddy Resigns as Head of RTÉ Radio 1

RTÉ have announced that Ana Leddy has decided to stand down as head of RTÉ Radio 1 when her contract expires next year. Commenting on her decision, Leddy said: “After five years at the helm of the station, it is time for a change.”

RTÉ have announced that Ana Leddy has decided to stand down as head of RTÉ Radio 1 when her contract expires next year. Commenting on her decision, Leddy said: "After five years at the helm of the station, it is time for a change."
Courtesy Irish Independent

During Ms Leddy’s time as Station Head, RTÉ Radio 1 successfully battled a long-term share decline, consolidating its position as the most-listened to station. Ms Leddy also oversaw significant changes in weekend listening, with nine of the country’s Top 20 programmes now broadcast at weekends.

She says: “I came to RTÉ Radio 1 with a mission and it has been an incredibly satisfying five years as I have worked with colleagues to make RTÉ Radio 1 the best radio station in Ireland. It has been both challenging and exhilarating. As I prepare to hand on the role, I look at my schedule with a sense of pride, the result of some bold and indeed controversial programming decisions. It has been a privilege to be able to make these decisions and, having achieved what I want to achieve for RTÉ Radio 1, I’m now looking for a new challenge. It’s time to reconnect with my creative roots in production. I want to pay tribute to my colleagues: their work has filled our schedules with top-rating, award-winning and critically acclaimed radio, and I look forward to joining them, and making great radio.”

Speaking about Ms Leddy’s decision, RTÉ Radio MD Clare Duignan said: “Ana Leddy did that rare thing in broadcasting: she reinvigorated a station in decline. In her approach to programming and scheduling, she always put the listener first and this approach delivered results in spades. Her legacy is that she leaves Radio 1 stronger, more audience-focused and more competitive than when she arrived. I am hugely grateful to Ana for her enormous energy and commitment during her time as Head of Radio 1. As programme-makers, we all share that itch to get back to the mixing-desk. Ana is making that leap and management’s loss is programming’s gain. Listeners have a lot to look forward to once Ana Leddy returns to the talk-back.”

Ana Leddy joined RTÉ Radio 1 in 2006, having previously worked for the BBC. RTÉ will announce a competition for the position of Head of RTÉ Radio 1 in the coming weeks. Ana Leddy will continue as Head of RTÉ Radio 1 until a successor is in place, after which she will work at a senior level in programme production on Radio 1.

Dublin’s Country Set to Bathe in Sunshine

Dublin’s Country Mix 106.8 have announced that that it will be re-branding to Dublin’s Sunshine 106.8. The re-branding of the station has been approved by the BAI and will commence this weekend through the use of on-air promos announcing the change.

From early next week the new brand will be introduced in on-air programming (initially alongside the existing identification). The re-branding will be complete by year-end. No programming changes are planned by the station as the re-branding process gets underway.

Seán Ashmore, the station’s CEO, says: “We’ve decided on a re-brand because our research has confirmed that the phrase ‘Country’ means different things to different people. People’s perception about what the station has to offer was not in line with the scope of the music played on-air. Today our playlist covers a wide range of artists from The Eagles to Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum to Ronan Keating and classics from the likes of Glen Campbell to Dolly Parton.”

A completely new logo and brand mark to reflect the station’s new name has been developed by Pat Kinsley of Neworld Design in Dublin (see below).

Robbie Robinson, the founder of the original Sunshine Radio in Dublin in 1980, is happy to see the name back in use in Dublin and wishes the station the best of luck with the re-brand.

Country Mix 106.8 was launched in 2001 and currently has a daily reach of 4% of all adults in the Dublin market and a market share of 3.3%.

i102-104FM Gives Axl the Axe After O2 Concert

i102104, the regional station for the west and north-west, has banned Guns ‘N’ Roses from its airwaves following Wednesday’s shambolic concert by the band at Dublin’s O2 venue. The band’s lead vocalist Axl Rose stormed off the stage after being attacked by missiles thrown from the crowd who were angry that the band arrived on stage late.

i102-104 say that they have been inundated with complaints from their listeners. A press release says: “The station received hundreds of text messages and phone calls from enraged listeners yesterday morning following the show.

Leigh Doyle, i102-104’s Programme Director, said that the station had decided to support the fans by banning Guns ‘N Roses from the station permanently. “We can’t ignore the hundreds of texts and phone calls from irate fans complaining about the gig,” he continued. “Many had asked us never to play Guns ‘N’ Roses again so we’ve listened to them and decided they won’t be played on the i102-104 airwaves.”

New Temporary Station Hots Up the Airwaves

RealRadio 100.3, Dublin’s newest temporarily licensed radio station, today revealed the real Mike Moloney live on air. The former RTÉ 2FM presenter revealed that he had planned his own suicide for over a month but changed his mind at the last minute.

Mike Moloney (right) presents the “Moloney after Midday” show on the ‘Hot Talk’ experimental station which is on air every day for the next month. On Mike’s show today there was an intense conversation about teenage suicide and the presenter revealed that he once contemplated suicide in his teens.
Although at first reluctant to tell his story on air Mike says: “Something just clicked with me and I felt I would tell my story.”
Mike went on to detail his life as a teenager and the fact that he planned in detail his own suicide for over a month and only at the last minute changed his mind. He told listeners about his state of mind in that period in his life and why he felt that way.
Listener texts poured into the station wishing Mike well.

Station Boss Niall Boylan said: “I wanted the station to be different and the presenters to be real people and Mike certainly knows the meaning of the words ‘real radio’. We received so many calls about the show, all wishing Mike the best and congratulating him on his bravery and honesty, and I feel that Real Radio will be something people can associate with. We are not a big corporation and have no hidden agendas, we just want give the listeners a taste of American ‘Hot Talk’, better known as Real Radio.”

Real Radio broadcasts to the Dublin area and surrounds on 100.3MHz FM from a studio base in Swords in north Co Dublin. It launched on Monday morning at 8am. Presenters are giving their time on a voluntary basis and all profits will go to the DSPCA.

 RealRadio 100.3, Dublin's newest temporarily licensed radio station, today revealed the real Mike Moloney live on air. The former RTÉ 2FM presenter revealed that he had planned his own suicide for over a month but changed his mind at the last minute.

WLR FM Named Local PPI Station of the Year

Just weeks after celebrating 20 years on air WLR FM have been awarded the title ‘PPI Local Station of the Year’. The station also finished as runners-up in the ‘Sports Story’ category for their coverage of the run-up to the 2008 All Ireland Hurling final, while the station’s imaging picked up a bronze award.

The PPI Radio Award 2009 winners were announced at a gala ceremony in The Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny on Friday evening.

Dick Doyle, Chief Executive of PPI, congratulated WLR FM for their outstanding contribution in informing, educating and entertaining listeners throughout Waterford.

WLR FM’s Managing Director Des Whelan said that it was an award for everyone involved in the radio station. He continued: “I am delighted that WLR FM was chosen as number one from stations from all 32 counties and particularly as this award is judged by our peers in the radio sector.”

Other winners on the night included Newstalk 106, who scooped ‘Full Service Station of the Year’, and Ryan Tubridy, who was named ‘Speech Broadcaster of the Year’. RTE Radio 1’s Sean O’Rourke was awarded ‘News Broadcaster of the Year’ and Gay Byrne won the ‘Outstanding Achievement PPI Radio’ award.

The PPI Awards salute the best writers, broadcasters, producers, reporters, presenters and technicians in radio. Now in its ninth year PPI Radio Awards is considered the Oscars of the radio industry calendar celebrates the art and skill of radio production and programming.

WLR FM From left: Kevin Casey – Sports Editor, Pat Maher – Chief Engineer, Aoibhin Fallon – Breakfast Presenter, Wayne Brown – Production Engineer, Michael Byrne -  Assistant Programme Controller, Timmy Ryan – Breakfast Presenter, Liz Reddy – Head Of News, Des Whelan – Managing Director and Roddy Cleere – Presenter
From left: Kevin Casey – Sports Editor, Pat Maher – Chief Engineer, Aoibhin Fallon – Breakfast Presenter, Wayne Brown – Production Engineer, Michael Byrne – Assistant Programme Controller, Timmy Ryan – Breakfast Presenter, Liz Reddy – Head Of News, Des Whelan – Managing Director and Roddy Cleere – Presenter

Martin Block Let Go by 4FM Board

4FM, the station serving Ireland’s major cities, has terminated the employment of Chief Executive Martin Block. Sales and Marketing Director Dave Hammond has taken temporary control of the company.

 4FM, the station serving Ireland's major cities, has terminated the employment of Chief Executive Martin Block. Sales and Marketing Director Dave Hammond has taken temporary control of the company.

Martin, who was thanked by the board of the station for his commitment and efforts during its start-up phase, will remain as a director and shareholder through Fox Radio.

No reason has been given for the board’s decision to let Block go.

4FM launched in February and broadcasts to Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Clare.

John McMahon Named 2FM’s New Station Head

Following an internal competition, RTÉ Radio have announced that John McMahon has been appointed as the new Head of RTÉ 2FM. The appointment follows John Clarke’s earlier decision not to renew his contract as Head of the station. The news comes on foot of the announcement that RTÉ 2FM’s core target audience would be re-positioned in 2010 from 15-34 years to 25-44 years.

2FM

Clare Duignan, RTÉ Radio MD, said: “John McMahon is a true radiohead who migrated to RTÉ Television but is now coming home to Radio. As RTÉ 2FM faces into a challenging 2010, I am confident that John has both the skills and the vision to steer Ireland’s second most-listened-to radio station in a confident new direction. I would also like to take this opportunity to, once again, acknowledge the huge contribution by the outgoing Head John Clarke over his 11 years at the helm of RTÉ 2FM.”

John McMahon said: “After years behind the producer’s desk it’s great to now be getting behind a desk of a different sort at RTÉ 2FM. I look forward to returning to my natural home in radio and tackling the challenges ahead. RTÉ 2FM is Ireland’s most-listened-to music station. I look forward to working with the hugely talented 2FM team to build on this unquestionably solid foundation to re-shape the station for a new generation.”

38 year old John has a Post-graduate in broadcast journalism. He joined RTÉ in 1994, working in RTÉ Aertel, before becoming RTÉ’s first webmaster and launching RTÉ Online in 1996. He moved to RTÉ Radio in 1998 where over the years he worked as a series producer on RTÉ Radio 1’s ‘Today with Pat Kenny’, ‘5 7 Live’, ‘The Sunday Show’ and ‘The Vinyl Curtain’. From 2002 until 2004 he was series producer of RTÉ 2FM’s ‘Full Irish with Ryan Tubridy’. In 2004 he became Editor of Current Affairs and Daily Talk Shows on RTÉ Radio 1. John moved to RTÉ Television in 2006 when he was appointed Deputy Head of Schedule Planning. John has won several awards as a programme maker, including PPI, Justice Media and Meteor Music Awards. He will take up the post later in the year.

Rumours of Country’s Death are Premature

Rumours that Dublin’s Country Mix 106.8 are to close are premature. So says the station’s Chief Executive Seán Ashmore.

Speaking to The Irish Times Seán admits that the station are facing difficult times and that four staff members have been let go but he denies that the station have discussed handing back their licence to the BCI.

Dublin Prepares for a Decade in Rewind

A brand new station launches in Dublin this evening. The 90s Network will appear for the first time ever on 99.5MHz FM at midnight. The station is operating under a temporary licence from the BCI and will be on air on weekends through to January 2009.

The 90s Network embraces “a decade in rewind” with news, features and music totally focusing on the 90s.

Some of the presenters on air over the coming weekends are Enda Caldwell, Brian Butterly, Ralph McGarry, Robbie Dunbar, Mike O’Brien, Louise Phelan, Jason Dee and Wayne Scales.

Kiss FM of Life for Dead European Language

Berlin radio station Kiss FM have promised that they will broadcast its entire morning show in Latin on September 26. The unique idea is to mark the European day of languages. Trailers, news and weather will be translated into Latin for the show which has a listenership of over 4m. A station member of staff has also written a Latin rap song!

Midlands 103 Move to New State of the Art Studios

Midlands 103 Headquarters, Axis Business Park, Tullamore
Midlands 103 Headquarters, Axis Business Park, Tullamore

Midlands 103 have this week moved its 50 full and part-time staff to a new state-of-the-art headquarters. The new 5,500 square foot complex at the Axis Business Park in Tullamore comprises new studio facilities, finance, administration and general office areas. It forms part of a strategic three million euro investment by the company. The radio station, which serves Laois, Offaly and Westmeath, is also conducting a multi-phase enhancement of its transmission network.

Leading consultants from West Country Broadcast in the UK and Radio Computer Systems in the US were employed to work on the project, together with top Irish firms in the construction and electrical trade. The studios utilise the latest digital sound technology coupled with touchscreen playout systems and other facilities to improve the broadcast experience for presenters and guests. It is the only broadcast project in Ireland where these leading companies have worked collaboratively and they have produced results to envy any radio station in the country.

Broadcaster Will Faulkner in Studio One during 'The Midlands Today
 Show'
Broadcaster Will Faulkner in Studio One during ‘The Midlands Today
Show’

Midlands 103’s Managing Director Albert Fitzgerald says: “‘Tindle House’ represents a huge vote of confidence in the local economy and the strength of the Midlands 103 brand. We’re extremely excited about the opportunities it affords us to produce better programming, improve the quality of workplace for our staff and diversify our business. This surpasses any radio facility in the country and people living in the Midlands can truly be proud of their local station.

“In addition two of the station’s leading presenters have been nominated for prestigious national awards. Will Faulkner’s ‘Midlands Today Show’ (left) is on a shortlist for ‘Current Affairs Programme of the Year’, alongside RTE’s Pat Kenny, while Ricey Scully could receive an award for his touching tribute to singing legend Joe Dolan.

News journalist Bernard O'Farrell delivering an update
News journalist Bernard O’Farrell delivering an update

Radio 1 Says Goodbye to MW with Brendan Balfe

Brendan Balfe, Larry Gogan and Mike Murphy (1974)

To mark Monday’s closedown of RTÉ Radio 1’s Medium Wave service Brendan Balfe will present ‘Medium Wave Goodbye’ from 1.30pm. Brendan will countdown to the switch off at 3pm with a personal choice of rare, medium and well-done moments from the Irish airwaves.

RTÉ’s broadcasts began life on medium wave as 2RN, later known as Radio Athlone, Raidió Éireann and in more recent times as RTÉ Radio 1. RTÉ introduced the FM service in 1966 to counteract interference and poor reception on the MW band.

For Medium Wave Goodbye, which will be broadcast on all wavelengths, on the internet and on RTÉ’s digital radio trial service, Brendan has assembled a nostalgic programme highlighting some of his favourite moments on Irish radio. Brendan promises an entertaining and fascinating 90 minutes of memories of a service which has brought the world into homes all over the country since 1926, capturing moments of history and life through decades of news, sport, features and entertainment. The programme includes archive audio of request programmes, pop and trad music, features, documentaries and commentaries.

After March 24th listeners can only tune into conventional RTÉ Radio 1 broadcasts on FM, 252kHz LW, and also via cable television, satellite, the internet and in pilot areas on RTÉ’s DAB digital radio trial service.

Listeners who tune into MW specifically for extra RTÉ Radio 1 programmes, including weekday sports broadcasts and Sunday religious services, will find those programmes on long wave, cable television and the internet.

For an alternative to sports broadcasts on Saturdays and Sundays listeners will find a selection of RTÉ Radio 1 arts, features and drama on RTÉ’s digital radio test station, RTÉ Choice, and as downloadable podcasts from www.rte.ie/radio1.

BRMB Rapped for Misleading ‘Athens’ Competition

A UK radio station has fallen foul of the authorities after running a competition last May in which they gave away 100 prizes ‘to go to Athens and watch the Champions League final’.

What BRMB, who are based in England’s midlands, failed to mention was that the ‘Athens’ in question was a Greek restaurant in Birmingham rather than the city where the match was taking place.

This led to complaints from three of the winners who felt they were unfairly misled. Ofcom ruled that the competition had breached rules on fairness and had been executed “in a manner designed to obscure the true nature of the prize”.

BRMB’s owners, GCap Radio, claim that they had given clues to listeners to indicate that the prize was not a trip to Greece.
“The fact the radio station advised people to arrive at BRMB for 1500 BST on the day of the match (taking into account the time difference and flight time to Greece from the UK) should have alerted participants to the fact something was amiss.”

However, the first of these ‘clues’ was not given until a full week after listeners had been encouraged to enter the competition.

The watchdog said it would not take action against the station as it was the first breach recorded against them. The cost of entry to the competition – ran by SMS – was refunded to the complainants.

The competition was broadcast on the station’s Drivetime show.

Jack from Oxfordshire is Live and Testing

In preparation for Jack FM’s launch on October 18th, Oxfordshire’s newest radio station has started carrying out test transmissions. From last Monday the people of Oxfordshire have been getting a taste of what to expect when the station launches.

Ian Walker, Jack FM’s General Manager, says: “We’re on the brink of a radio revolution in Oxfordshire. We’ve been incredibly busy building Jack’s playlist over the past few months and now we finally get to play a few of our favourite records to make sure there’s no scratches on our best vinyl.”

Jack FM has called upon the services of many local Oxfordshire businesses in getting their North Oxford Broadcast Centre refitted and ready for broadcasting. Absolute Radio International (ARI), Jack’s owner, has invested a significant sum in new facilities there, including studios, office space and the latest broadcast and IT technology.

Orla Teams Up With Hayes for FM Broadcasts

Radio Orla, the internet-based Anglo-Polish radio station, and Hayes FM, a brand-new multi-lingual FM broadcaster in west London which launched on Saturday, have teamed up to reach the Polish community in the FM station’s catchment area. It marks the first time that a Polish-language commercial broadcaster has gone FM in the United Kingdom and underlines the interest not only from the large Polish community in the UK for such content but also the appetite from a British audience to learn about Polish culture. Radio Orla will be providing Lukasz Foster’s bi-lingual shows to listeners of Hayes FM 91.8.

Hayes FM 91.8 will broadcast a range of local radio programmes for the whole area, including targeted music and community programmes for the Irish, Polish, South Asian, African and Caribbean populations in West London.

George Matlock, managing director of Radio Orla, says: “Radio Orla is very pleased to have been approached with this proposal as it is an endorsement of our content and established position in the market for Polish programming. We are especially keen to foster stronger and positive ties with other communities. In fact, we already provide knowledge to other East European communities about how to broadcast online. I know Lukasz will be a fine bi-lingual entertainer for the Hayes-based community.”

Sutish Sharma, managing editor of Hayes FM, says: “Hayes FM offers a format that cannot be found anywhere in the world, and the partnership with Radio Orla not only adds great value to our output, but continues our commitment to bring communities together and bring about positive change for our area through solidarity.”

Galway Station Flirting with a New Frequency

Flirt FM, Galway’s student radio station since 1995, are now broadcasting on 101.3MHz FM. The station previously broadcast on 105.6MHz.

Encompassing the campuses of NUI, Galway and GMIT Flirt FM broadcasts weekdays year round, with an abridged summer schedule outside of term-time. The station is operated by two full-time staff and up to 120 student volunteers.

A new station website will be launched next week at flirtfm.ie and a freshly designed logo (below) has been released.

RLO on Test as Serenity Licence Bid Denied

An audacious plan to fill the void left following the pre-Christmas raid and closedown of pirate station Radio Limerick One has been denied by ComReg. The idea was to broadcast a new station, Serenity Radio, using multiple ‘readily-available’ WPAS licenses to provide a non-commercial community-based service. These licenses are issued by ComReg for €100 each under a licensing scheme planned to allow the retransmission of religious services and other community events for the benefit of people in local communities throughout the country.

Serenity Radio, to be run by Fr. Joe Young and Gerry Hannan, was denied the licences because the submission made (a sixty page document outlining the plans) was too broad and did not fit the criteria as laid out for securing the licences.

Gerry Hannan, who intends to run in the forthcoming General Election on broadcast issues, says that the refusal came as no surprise to him: “I have been dealing with broadcasting authorities in Ireland now for over a decade and I am convinced that I may as well be talking to a stone wall.”

Fr. Joe Young has also expressed disappointment and bewilderment.
“The application was intended to do something good for the housebound, the elderly and physically and mentally challenged in the region,” he says”

Serenity Radio is no more which means that Gerry Hannon will now go to an alternative plan to restore Radio Limerick One, legally, to the airwaves and confirmed that this can be done in a matter of days.

Gerry explains: “I have washed my hands of illegal broadcasting but will not let my loyal listeners down. I have spent the last month negotiating deals to legally allow the restoration of RLO to the airwaves. I can now confirm that Radio Limerick One is already legally test broadcasting on WiFi Radio and will be relaunched as a full legal service in a few days.”

No licence is required for the service now being proposed and, according to Gerry, this guarantees the uninterrupted future of the station.

RLO have struck a deal with a UK-based company to become a main supplier of low cost WiFi Radio units in Limerick and they will be for sale from his store, Filmdrome in William Street, from this week. He has invited his listeners to call to his store to get full details as to how they can tune into Radio Limerick One.

New Station for Limerick to be On Air Within Ten Days

A new station, Serenity Radio, will be broadcasting in the Limerick area within ten days. That is the confident prediction made by Gerry Hannon, the former Radio Limerick One (RLO) presenter and owner, when speaking to Radiowaves News this morning.

RLO was raided by Comeg just before Christmas, a blow that has put the final nail in the coffin of the infamous pirate station which was renowned for its very public stance against radio regulation.
Gerry insists that RLO should have been allowed to continue. “It was not competing with the county’s only commercial station, in fact RLO’s average listener would be everything that Live 95’s wasn’t,” he says defiantly.

According to Hannon, Serenity Radio will effectively operate on a five year community licence, likely to broadcast in the lower end of the FM band.
He says: “We will be using a series of the new low-power ‘church licences’ to cover the Limerick area, with the construction and erection of transmitters and aerials in six different locations. Although these licences were not intended for the FM band, there is a clause that allows the Minister of Communications to change the details ‘at his discretion’. These are the details we are presently ironing out but I am confident we will be on air very shortly.”

None of the transmitters will be allowed to operate at higher than 4 watts but their planned locations should allow for full coverage of the Limerick area.

Meanwhile Gerry confirmed that he will be running in the upcoming election with the primary objective of “opening up Limerick’s airwaves & advocating greater freedom of expression”.
Gerry contends that: “…for far too long the people of Ireland have been deceived by the lies, misinformation, dishonesty and lack of information from our so-called leading politicians.”
He doesn’t mince his words and his distaste for the controlling excesses of authority continues unabated: “The purpose of my candidacy is to highlight the frightening new trend of reallocation of decision-making power to independent authorities such as the BCI and ComReg. Elected representatives have run for cover from issues such as this and protected themselves by blaming the unpopular decisions on these quasi non-governmental organizations; such organizations are financed by the government yet act independently of the government. Meanwhile, the politicians pay themselves exaggerated salaries for merely reassigning their power over to non-elected bureaucrats. The time has come for a change in Irish politics and for the reintroduction of truth, decency and justice. The only way to really achieve this is by permanently replacing the corruption and arrogance, which seems to have become the norm of Irish political life, with new, younger and less traditional politicians with new fresh approaches and attitudes toward contemporary issues.”

Strong words, and anybody who would treat his election campaign lightly should be warned that in his last Euro election campaign he gained enough votes to represent Limerick if the numbers were transferred across.

With just one commercially-licensed station available in the Limerick area, one of the largest population centres in the country, Hannan’s anger at the way the radio industry has been subjected to government interference and control shows no signs of dying down, despite the fact that he has now spent 25 years broadcasting to his listenership.

He says: “The existence of the BCI has stunted the growth of the national airwaves by not only restricting the amount of licences issued, but also the manner in which they are issued.”

There is a sense that his election promises are not empty ones, unlike the ones that voters the world over have become all too familiar with.
Gerry says: “It is time to convince the electorate, with actions rather than words, that there is still truth and honesty in Irish politics. I will demonstrate this, if elected, by showing other politicians, by clear example, how to restore faith. I have pledged to donate my salary to pay for the upkeep of Serenity Radio as a free and legal service to the thousands of people who support me. I have no interest in the ‘gravy train’ and by donating my salary I will continue to live my life like the people who have elected me.”

Even if elected, Gerry’s trademark and outspoken late-night show will continue. He plans to use it to educate his constituents on the workings of the Dail, and to communicate directly with them on the issues that matter to them.
He says: “I will consult with them on all matters put before me and will further allow them to have their say on the open airwaves with regard to every single solitary decision I have to make. The entire purpose of my tenure in Dail Éireann will be to act exclusively on behalf of my constituents and the power they bestow on me will be to do their bidding and not my own.”

Love or loathe his show, and anybody who’s heard it certainly has a strong opinion of it, there is no doubt that it has a huge audience of listeners who are not catered for by any other station. Gerry told me a story of a funeral of a listener he attended recently, a woman he had never met, and on the coffin was placed a picture of him and a radio. You sense that it’s moments like those that convince him that his fight is one that is worthy.

Ghosts of the Past Return for Hallowe’en Launch

Phantom 105.2, Dublin’s new licensed alternative rock music station, have announced its launch schedule. The station will begin broadcasting at noon on Hallowe’en with a mix of new voices and old favourites.
New to the station is Edel Coffey, a former journalist, who will be on air daily at 10am. Other presenters include, Peter Vamos, Neill Austin Simon Maher, John Caddell and Jack Hyland.

Phantom's weekday line-up: L-R (back) Sinister Pete, John Caddell, Jack Hyland; (front) Edel Coffey, Simon Maher, Neill Austin.
Phantom’s weekday line-up: L-R (back) Sinister Pete, John Caddell, Jack Hyland; (front) Edel Coffey, Simon Maher, Neill Austin.

Ger Roe, the station’s Managing Director, said today: “We are delighted to reveal a very strong line-up with a great mix of old favourites and new voices in our presenters. Our new schedule also reflects a refreshing new mix of old and new. We aim to give alternative rock fans something that is not currently available on the Irish airwaves and we’re confident that’s what we’ve revealed today. We will continue to promote the Irish music scene and we place a particular emphasis on promoting unsigned Irish bands and we’re looking forward to providing Dublin with a new and very different sound.”
Key features of the new schedule include themed evenings with each night dedicated to a different genre of music. These include heavy metal, new Irish and international music, goth, industrial and dark wave. The weekends will host a general arts and entertainment show and a broadcast media show.
Phantom 105.2 will be an aimed at 18-34 year olds and anyone else with an interest in Alternative Rock and new Irish music in the Dublin City and County area. The station will, as part of its remit, promote new and unsigned Irish and International artists as well as providing opportunities for new broadcasting talent. Phantom 105.2 will build on the solid foundation and reputation that it has developed to date and will provide diversity through the provision of quality Alternative Rock music and speech-based programming.
The full weekday schedule (with weekends still be announced) is as follows:
7am Pure Morning with Sinister Pete
10am Access All Areas with Edel Coffey
Midday Out to Lunch with Neill Austin
2pm Phantom Daily with Simon Maher
5pm Heavy Traffic with Jack Hyland
8pm Specialist programming
10pm Bedrock with John Caddell.
News will run on the half-hour and the station will provide an overnight automated music service.

ABC Stop Broadcasting In Shock

Dublin oldies pirate ABC 876 have ceased broadcasting following a public row about the use of the frequency they use. With available outlets on the FM dial at a premium, a new pirate dance music station calling itself Shock FM announced a short time ago that they would start broadcasting on 87.6MHz FM. This enraged ABC who claimed that they have been using the frequency regularly. However Shock claim that ABC’s low-powered transmissions could barely be heard and that ABC were not on often enough to lay claim to 87.6FM. Bizarrely, one of the arguments put forward by a Shock FM station spokesman against ABC using 87.6MHz was that they “aren’t legal”.
ABC is the same station that broadcast to Dublin in the ’90s and early ’00s.

Gabrielle Cummins Appointed as Beat Interim CEO

Beat 102-103, Ireland’s only regional radio station which broadcasts to five counties in the south east, has appointed Gabrielle Cummins as their Interim Chief Executive Officer. Gabrielle was a member of the original team which successfully presented an application for the regional radio licence to the BCI in 2002 and she has held the position of Head of News and Sport with Beat 102-103 since the radio station went on air in July 2003.

Beat 102-103, Ireland’s only regional radio station which broadcasts to five counties in the south east, has appointed Gabrielle Cummins as their Interim Chief Executive Officer. Gabrielle was a member of the original team which successfully presented an application for the regional radio licence to the BCI in 2002 and she has held the position of Head of News and Sport with Beat 102-103 since the radio station went on air in July 2003.

In her new role as Interim Chief Executive, Gabrielle will be responsible for strategic planning for Beat 102-103. This will include building an audience, driving revenue, recruitment and building the profile of the company.
Prior to her appointment at Beat 102-103, Gabrielle was TV manager of Waterford’s local television station Waterford @ 8 and she also worked for two years as a journalist with local Waterford radio station WLR FM. Gabrielle also holds an honours Arts Degree in Media Communications and English from the University of Limerick.

Des Whelan, Director of Beat 102-103, says: “Gabrielle (pictured) has been with Beat 102-103 from the start and the board has every confidence that she has the drive, energy and experience to ensure the continued success of the radio station.”
Gabrielle says that she is very much looking forward to her new position with Beat 102-103. She continues: “The main challenges moving forward involve the continual growth of our listenership figures and also increasing revenue. I have worked very closely with a great team at Beat 102-103 for the last three and a half years and I know I have their full support in working to build on the success the radio station has achieved to date.”
Beat 102-103 broadcasts to counties Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow and South Tipperary. Recent figures issued by the Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) show that 115,000 adults in the southeast region now tune into Beat 102-103 each week.

An Taoiseach’s Choice of Music and Sport

Easy-listening Choice FM, which broadcasts across the country, have announced that An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD, will make a special guest appearance on the station on Friday 13th October. During a one-hour programme, An Taoiseach will play a mixture of his favourite songs and will discuss his love of sport and reminisce on the sporting glories of his favourite teams – Dublin and Manchester United. He will also talk about growing up in Dublin during the 1950s and how music and sport have influenced his life.
Speaking to Radiowaves News this evening, Choice FM station manager Kevin Branigan, said: “Obviously we are delighted that An Taoiseach is able to make the time to appear on Ireland’s Choice FM. The programme will be exciting for our listeners as it will show a more human side to him, as opposed to the public persona that we would all be more aware of.”
The programme will be broadcast from Government Buildings between 6pm and 7pm and is part of a series of weekly shows, presented by Joe Harrington, that feature the music and interests of well-known individuals from Irish life.
Choice FM broadasts on AM and FM to Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The station has been granted a temporary broadcasting licence to operate until November 12th and is expected to apply for a full-time licence during 2007.

TV3 Get Their Fingers Byrned

TV3 have gone to court in order to force newsreader Claire Byrne to honour her contract with the station. Claire was part of former Dublin-only radio station NewsTalk’s national launch team last Friday. She co-hosted the station’s new-look breakfast show with Ger Gilroy and continued her late-night newsreading duties with the television station. TV3 have secured an interim injunction in the High Court which temporarily prevents Byrne from broadcasting on the radio station. TV3 says that Byrne’s contract does not allow her to perform duties with any other broadcast station without their prior consent. The case continues tomorrow.

10th for Citybeat

CityBeat, Belfast city’s dedicated commercial radio station, celebrated its tenth birthday yesterday. As part of the celebrations Stuart Robinson, who is the station’s Head of Music and only on-air presenter to have lasted the ten years, compiled the station’s top 100 songs of the last decade as voted for by CityBeat listeners.

CityBeat, Belfast city's dedicated commercial radio station, celebrated its tenth birthday yesterday. As part of the celebrations Stuart Robinson, who is the station's Head of Music and only on-air presenter to have lasted the ten years, compiled the station's top 100 songs of the last decade as voted for by CityBeat listeners.
CityBeat’s only surviving presenter from 1996, Stuart Robinson, with Station Director Richard Collett.

Stuart said: “For the last week we have been asking our listeners to email us their top ten songs of the last decade to coincide with our 10th birthday and we have been absolutely inundated with suggestions. Everything from ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ to ‘Barbie Girl’ have been on peoples’ list but the final 100 shows a vast array of Irish, UK and international artists such as Brian Kennedy, The Corrs, U2, Britney, Westlife, Christina Aguilera, Lonestar, Robbie Williams, Shania Twain, Savage Garden and Boyzone. I think the most surprising results are the fact that Take That and the Spice Girls haven’t made it into the top ten yet Emma Bunton and Robbie Williams have.”
Last week Belfast singer Brian Kennedy officially opened CityBeat’s new state-of-the-art station and studios.
He said: “CityBeat have always supported me, ever since the first single. I think any radio station has to be the heartbeat of the city and CityBeat is that – it’s one of those stations that people just love to listen to, I’m not just saying this but when I am back in Belfast I always tune into CityBeat.”
Commenting on the tenth birthday Station Director Richard Collett added: “We are delighted to celebrate this important milestone in CityBeat’s history. Over the last ten years CityBeat has become an integral part in the lives of our listeners in Belfast and beyond. Looking ahead the station is dedicated now more than ever to providing the kind of broadcasting Belfast expects and delivering the kind of results our advertisers deserve.”

Awesome! Aidan to Present ’80s Show

Aidan Cooney, the well-known tv and radio presenter, has been signed up to present 'The Awesome '80s Show' on Dublin station Q102. Broadcasting weekdays for two hours from 7pm, the show aims to play the very best music from the 1980s and will also be fully interactive, with the chance for listeners to request their favourite songs.

Aidan Cooney, the well-known tv and radio presenter, has been signed up to present ‘The Awesome ’80s Show’ on Dublin station Q102. Broadcasting weekdays for two hours from 7pm, the show aims to play the very best music from the 1980s and will also be fully interactive, with the chance for listeners to request their favourite songs.
The Awesome ’80s Show will target the 35+ demographic and will also feature a variety of competitions.
Aidan (pictured) has previously presented the Saturday sport show on Dublin’s Q102 but says that he is delighted to be returning to his first love, music: “Radio presenting has always been a passion of mine and I am delighted with this opportunity to present The Awesome ’80s Show on Dublin’s Q102. I hope that playing such classics as Adam and The Ants, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran and The Cure will brighten up the long winter evenings and help listeners unwind after their day.”

Formalities Out of the Way, Friday Launch for Talk Alternative

NewsTalk 106-108 will launch their national service this Friday following a contract signing today which sees them enter an agreement with the BCI to provide a service for ten years.
Newstalk 106-108 will offer speech-driven content for over-25s, with a primary audience of 25-44 year olds and a secondary audience of 45-55 year old adults. The station will broadcast 24 hours per day with over 120 hours of live programming per week.
Speaking at the contract signing, the BCI Chairman Conor J. Maguire said: “We are delighted to sign today’s contract with Newstalk 106-108. In now broadcasting to a national audience, the service will mark a new era in Irish broadcasting. We are confident that the service will add significantly to news and speech-based radio in Ireland and will provide Irish listeners with a vibrant alternative.”

Possible Early National Launch for Newstalk

NewsTalk 106-108 say they are ready to launch on a national basis and will do so this Friday if given a BCI nod of approval. The four year old Dublin station were awarded the national licence earlier this year and had set October 2nd as the date when the rest of the country could tune in to its unique blend of news and talk. They will also introduce music to the schedules for the first time when they go national and there will be a schedule shake-up. NewsTalk is marketing itself as a younger alternative to RTÉ Radio 1 and have employed a number of correspondents from outside Dublin.

Claire FM

Claire Byrne is leaving TV Three to join NewsTalk FM, the Dublin news station which is about to go national. NewsTalk have been desperate to sign a big name ever since the high-profile departure of Eamon Dunphy and sources suggest that Claire will join Ger Gilroy on a double-headed breakfast show.
Tests are now starting on the new national frequencies, and the relaunch is set to happen on October 2nd with a release outlining the station’s new schedule due tomorrow.

Ministry FM Closes

Long-running pirate station Ministry FM has ceased broadcasting following representations made to them by ComReg. The dance music station, who had been broadcasting on 93.2MHz FM, were informed that they would be raided unless they closed down: they complied with this request.
All of Ministry’s equipment is now being offered for sale amidst rumours that station personnel are planning on bringing it back.
Ministry started life as Mad Radio with a low-powered signal covering Dublin’s city centre. They changed name to Ministry at the end of 2002 and went from strength to strength. They have closed in the past thanks to official activity, but later returned.
Another dance music station, Flash FM, has now appeared on 93.2MHz FM.

Absolute & Dowse launch in the States

As the global Reality TV phenomenon continues its juggernaut into the lives of billions across the globe, American radio has now also joined the party with ‘reality radio’ being introduced by the newly-created US based consultancy Absolute & Dowse (A&D).

America’s initial introduction to reality radio was via 95.5 KLOS – Los Angeles and 95.5 WPLJ – New York with the globally successful “2 Strangers & a Wedding” in which the audience select a bride and her groom from self-nominated candidates, then tune in as the couple literally meet for the first time just before walking down the aisle to say “I do”. This so-called ‘matrimonial social experiment’ was also a hit in Ireland, through Dublin’s 98FM, as well as the UK, New Zealand, Eastern Europe and Australia where reality radio is almost as prevalent as reality TV.

Clive Dickens, Programme & Operations Director of ARI, says: “Absolute & Dowse is proud to have successfully brought its global experience to North America and to work in the world’s biggest media market. We look forward to developing our relationships with more broadcasters in other US markets soon.”

A&D comprises of partners from two globally successful consulting companies who execute and create the properties they promote.

No Charges for Pirate Broadcasts

A man who allowed two unlicensed stations to broadcast from his premises has had the charges against him dismissed in Dublin’s District Court.

Anthony Hogarty, who is unemployed at the age of 60, allowed Sun FM and Jack FM to send a signal to his Sandyford-based premises where he used his own apparatus to re-broadcast their signals over the city. He had been warned to stop by ComReg but continued to broadcast despite claiming he received no money for doing so.

Judge Anne Watkin, after hearing he had no previous convictions and that he had a number of medical problems, dismissed the charges under the Probation Act. 

Ros for 30

Roscommon’s community radio station Ros FM, who broadcast on 94.6MHz FM, are today embarking on a live, non-stop, 30-hour broadcast as part of a joint fundraiser in aid of the Friends of St Lukes Hospital and Ros FM itself. John Crean, Liam Sherringham and Finbar Spellman are presenting a mixture of music, chat, sport news and views with a selection of special guests joining them over the course of the marathon broadcast, which finishes tomorrow evening.

First for Seven

Northern Ireland’s newest radio station, Seven FM, will launch in Ballymena, Co Antrim at 6.30am on Tuesday, November 1st, and is set to deliver a seven-day local and province news service. The station have announced a dynamic newsteam in Colm McAlinden (formerly of Q network), Rita McNutly (ex-BBC Radio Ulster) and Sharon Jennings (ex-Downtown Radio).
Seven FM’s Managing Director Robert Walshe says: “Our emphasis is to provide a comprehensive news, sport and obituary service seven days a week”.
Seven Sports
There will also be a major sports focus across the entire schedule with key programmes running at weekends, including ‘The Final Whistle’ on Friday nights at 7pm – Northern Irish sports heroes David Humphries and Pat Jennings will be regular guests. Seven FM will also support and broadcast full match commentaries from the world of rugby, soccer, hockey and GAA in Co. Antrim.

Northern Ireland's newest radio station, Seven FM, will launch in Ballymena, Co Antrim at 6.30am on Tuesday, November 1st, and is set to deliver a seven-day local and province news service. The station have announced a dynamic newsteam in Colm McAlinden (formerly of Q network), Rita McNutly (ex-BBC Radio Ulster) and Sharon Jennings (ex-Downtown Radio).
 Seven FM's Managing Director Robert Walshe says: "Our emphasis is to provide a comprehensive news, sport and obituary service seven days a week".
 Seven Sports
 There will also be a major sports focus across the entire schedule with key programmes running at weekends, including 'The Final Whistle' on Friday nights at 7pm - Northern Irish sports heroes David Humphries and Pat Jennings will be regular guests. Seven FM will also support and broadcast full match commentaries from the world of rugby, soccer, hockey and GAA in Co. Antrim.

Launch Team
A number of key radio personalities from across the province are set to be part of the launch team. Neil McClelland (left), formerly of Glengormley and now living in Ballyclare, will be the station’s Head of Production and key anchor Drivetime presenter. His radio resume boasts key shows with Cool FM, Citybeat and Mid FM.
Former Q102 Drivetime presenter Maurice Taggart will be the man charged with waking the region up on weekday mornings from 6.30am with ‘Seven Sunrise’. The show, according to the Carrickfergus man, “will pick you up and make you feel good”. The music mix will be “motivational” and Seven FM News will transmit on the hour and half hour with Belfast Commuter Traffic every 20 minutes.
Seven FM will dim the lights at 11pm weeknights for ‘Seven Love’, Johnny Glover – the former Citybeat presenter from Lisburn – will become “Dr Love” and prescribe three hours of Co Antrim’s favourite love songs. Johnny will also co-ordinate Seven FM’s promotional team. He will be out-and-about with the Seven FM “Boogey Bus” attending openings, visiting schools and bringing Seven FM to the people in the streets everyday.
Seven 4 Youths
Seven FM will also have a selection of youth-focused programmes. Former Q97 presenter Natasha Miller will anchor ‘Seven NRG’ Monday to Friday from 9-11pm. The show will be text and email driven and will showcase the hottest hits of today, with regular features like the ‘Club Classic’ and ‘Teen Scene Showbiz News’. Cullybackey native Tony Rogers “Sheep T” will mix ‘Seven Sessions’ every Saturday night for two hours from 2am. The output will be hard-dance, funky house, hip-hop with two 60 minute sessions. Guest DJs from across Northern Ireland and beyond will also be regular guests in studio.
Emma Fitzpatrick presents ‘Seven Sounds’ on Saturday evenings between 6 and 7pm. The main emphasis will be on showcasing the best of talent from across the Province, the island of Ireland and beyond. The playlist will boast live interviews from the likes of Westlife to Divine Comedy and from Van Morrison to Simply Red. Emma Fitzpatrick will also freelance for UTV and the Seven FM promotions department.
Religion on Seven
Ballymena native Rev Alan Mitchell, now based in Sligo and co-ordinator of local radio station Ocean FM’s religious programming, has also been heading up Seven FM’s religious commitments. A weekly service which covers all the religious denominations will broadcast weekly at 10.30am from across the region. Ballymena man Ronnie Geary will anchor ‘Sunday Miscellany’ from 7am – 10am. The music output will be largely country, gospel and appropriate music. On Sunday nights at 7pm Evan Connolly will present ‘Sunday Reflections’ an in-profile ‘Desert Island Ddiscs’ style show featuring people of note and achievement in all walks of life in the region.
Special Seven
The station will also carry a number of special interest programmes ranging from ‘Check-Up’ (a health programme) on Monday nights to ‘Arts House’ on Thursdays. Ballymena Guardian journalist Damien McGinley will present ‘Agri Week’ and ‘Seven Agenda’. Ocean FM Sligo presenter Paul Scanlon presents an album track show at weekends whilst Dublin’s Q102 Movie Man Shane Smyth presents ‘Seven Movie Magic’ on Saturday mornings at 9am. A dedicated Education Show presented by former Downtown radio anchor Sharon Jennings will be on the air on Thursday nights at 7.30pm.
Robert Walshe says that he is very proud of the main launch team, adding that the entire programming schedule was a reflection of Northern Ireland’s ability to produce top broadcast talent.

Launch Team
A number of key radio personalities from across the province are set to be part of the launch team. Neil McClelland (left), formerly of Glengormley and now living in Ballyclare, will be the station's Head of Production and key anchor Drivetime presenter. His radio resume boasts key shows with Cool FM, Citybeat and Mid FM.
Former Q102 Drivetime presenter Maurice Taggart will be the man charged with waking the region up on weekday mornings from 6.30am with 'Seven Sunrise'. The show, according to the Carrickfergus man, "will pick you up and make you feel good". The music mix will be "motivational" and Seven FM News will transmit on the hour and half hour with Belfast Commuter Traffic every 20 minutes.
Seven FM will dim the lights at 11pm weeknights for 'Seven Love', Johnny Glover - the former Citybeat presenter from Lisburn - will become "Dr Love" and prescribe three hours of Co Antrim's favourite love songs. Johnny will also co-ordinate Seven FM's promotional team. He will be out-and-about with the Seven FM "Boogey Bus" attending openings, visiting schools and bringing Seven FM to the people in the streets everyday.
Seven 4 Youths
Seven FM will also have a selection of youth-focused programmes. Former Q97 presenter Natasha Miller will anchor 'Seven NRG' Monday to Friday from 9-11pm. The show will be text and email driven and will showcase the hottest hits of today, with regular features like the 'Club Classic' and 'Teen Scene Showbiz News'. Cullybackey native Tony Rogers "Sheep T" will mix 'Seven Sessions' every Saturday night for two hours from 2am. The output will be hard-dance, funky house, hip-hop with two 60 minute sessions. Guest DJs from across Northern Ireland and beyond will also be regular guests in studio.
Emma Fitzpatrick presents 'Seven Sounds' on Saturday evenings between 6 and 7pm. The main emphasis will be on showcasing the best of talent from across the Province, the island of Ireland and beyond. The playlist will boast live interviews from the likes of Westlife to Divine Comedy and from Van Morrison to Simply Red. Emma Fitzpatrick will also freelance for UTV and the Seven FM promotions department.
Religion on Seven
Ballymena native Rev Alan Mitchell, now based in Sligo and co-ordinator of local radio station Ocean FM's religious programming, has also been heading up Seven FM's religious commitments. A weekly service which covers all the religious denominations will broadcast weekly at 10.30am from across the region. Ballymena man Ronnie Geary will anchor 'Sunday Miscellany' from 7am - 10am. The music output will be largely country, gospel and appropriate music. On Sunday nights at 7pm Evan Connolly will present 'Sunday Reflections' an in-profile 'Desert Island Ddiscs' style show featuring people of note and achievement in all walks of life in the region.
Special Seven
The station will also carry a number of special interest programmes ranging from 'Check-Up' (a health programme) on Monday nights to 'Arts House' on Thursdays. Ballymena Guardian journalist Damien McGinley will present 'Agri Week' and 'Seven Agenda'. Ocean FM Sligo presenter Paul Scanlon presents an album track show at weekends whilst Dublin's Q102 Movie Man Shane Smyth presents 'Seven Movie Magic' on Saturday mornings at 9am. A dedicated Education Show presented by former Downtown radio anchor Sharon Jennings will be on the air on Thursday nights at 7.30pm.
Robert Walshe says that he is very proud of the main launch team, adding that the entire programming schedule was a reflection of Northern Ireland's ability to produce top broadcast talent.
Seven FM’s promotional team

Splash FM Shut by Gardaí

Pirate radio station Splash FM has been shut down by the Gardaí. The station, based in Finglas in north Dublin, was broadcasting on 93.8MHz FM and had earned a reputation for broadcasting material which caused offence to anybody who may have stumbled upon their transmissions. Members of Dublin’s unlicensed community had expressed concern that the material being broadcast by Splash FM would be just the ammunition needed for the government regulatory body ComReg to launch another offensive against unlicensed stations which have established a pattern of coming on air at night and weekends only in hopes of thwarting any action against them.

According to the Gardaí, Splash FM was operated by members of the criminal fraternity, in particular an armed robber and drug dealer who is known as Mr Fatpuss. The station offered on-air tips on how to steal cars and also featured live broadcasts of joyriding gangs in action. Splash FM have also been accused of broadcasting racially offensive material.

IMR Look to the Future

We’re going off air tonight but we won’t be going away because we don’t know the meaning of the words ‘going away’.” These were the words of Irish Music Radio’s CEO Joe Doyle this evening as he prepared to close the Dublin station following fifteen weekends on air broadcasting under their second temporary licence from the BCI. Although Irish Music Radio will continue to stream live online after tonight’s closedown, Joe was referring to plans to apply for a full-time licence in the future. Irish Music Radio will be going for a regional Country and Irish licence due to be offered by the BCI towards the end of next year, a service that Dublin’s Country Mix 106.8FM have also expressed an interest in applying for. Perhaps surprisingly, the competition has been welcomed by Joe who feels that IMR’s “record in the provision of such a service speaks for itself”. The new licence will be based outside Dublin but will be for an AM channel.
The station’s ‘Meltdown’ included a live broadcast from the Steering Wheel pub in Clondalkin, although this was not without its teething problems which led to Joe giving the studio microphones a different sort of meltdown thanks to a foul-mouthed rant which accidentally went out live on air.

New Choice of Presenters

Dublin’s easy-listening weekend station Choice FM, which broadcasts on 92.1MHz FM, have added more presenters to their line-up. John Power, who previously worked at Q102, Magic 103 and Energy 103 in the ’80s and FM104 in the ’90s, will join the team on October 1st. He most recently presented the Saturday afternoon slot at East Coast FM.
Meanwhile, Liza Jolie has also joined the station as a presenter and can be heard on Saturdays and Sundays from midnight to 3am. Liza currently works as a newsreader at East Coast FM.
Choice FM operates under temporary licence from the BCI.

U105 Announce Breakfast Line Up

Ivan Martin and Richard Young are set to make a comeback on UTV’s new radio station for Belfast, U105, which will broadcast on the newly-announced 105.8MHz FM.
From the station’s launch day on November 14th at 6am, Ivan and Richard will present the 105 Breakfast. The show will run for three hours each weekday with a mixture of music, news, the talking points of the day, traffic and travel information, sport, business, what’s on and a review of the papers.
U105’s Managing Director John Rosborough said: “For many people Ivan and Richard were absolutely synonymous with breakfast time. They’ve enjoyed a well deserved lie-in for the last seven years and now they’re ready to come back, better than ever before, to send U105 listeners out to face the day well informed with a smile on their faces.”
Ivan Martin said: “I am excited by the prospect of being in at the start of something new with U105. I feel that it fills a big gap in the market and I am also delighted to be working with Richard again. We never took ourselves too seriously before and that will not have changed. We are looking forward to reacquainting ourselves with the audience again. This time around, with the advent of e-mail and texts, we will have greater and more immediate access to them. That promises to be good craic.”
Richard Young said: “I’m really looking forward to the new show and can promise listeners radio for grown-ups! I can honestly say Ivan’s one of the few people who doesn’t make me grumpy at 6am, and that’s quite a feat! But then, as he says, we have never taken ourselves very seriously, and that helps when you’re trying to prise your eyelids open. Mind you, getting up at ‘early o’clock’ again every morning will probably come as a bit of a shock at first.”
U105 will be aimed primarily at listeners aged 45 plus.

New Studios for WDAR

West Dublin Access Radio, which broadcasts on 96.0MHz FM, has relaunched from new state-of-the-art studios based in the Ballyfermot Community Civic Centre. The refurbishment took ten weeks to complete.
The station started a five year licence run in September 2004 following a successful temporary licence run.

Marty Promises ‘Personality’ Breakfast

Marty Whelan has said that his new breakfast show, starting at 7am on RTÉ 2FM on Monday morning, will focus mainly on his own personality rather than relying on gags or sketches. Speaking to tonight’s Evening Herald the popular presenter promises listeners a fun-filled show that will offer something different to humour-based shows on offer on Today FM and FM104. Marty also promises more (and a wider wariety of) music than other shows available at the same hour.

Change of Name for 106.8

Dublin’s Country are, since this morning, now identifying on-air as Dublin’s Country Mix 106.8, having finally been given the go-ahead for a name-change by the BCI. The station’s website also relaunched yesterday with a slick new look at perfectstation.com.

Medium Jack

Dublin oldies station Jack FM can now be heard on 1395kHz on the medium wave band in addition to their 88.1MHz FM outlet. 

Anna Livia Get Ten

The special interest licence for the Dublin City area has been awarded in principle to the incumbent Dublin City Anna Livia 103.2 FM. The award is subject to the receipt of clarification on a number of matters within the application and the successful conclusion of contract negotiations.

Speaking today, the BCI’s Chief Executive Michael O’Keeffe said: “With regard to Dublin City Anna Livia FM, the Commission is delighted to offer a ten-year licence to the station and is confident that it will continue with its wide-ranging programme service over the coming years.”

Tests on 828kHz

Energy Power AM, who also broadcast on 1593kHz, have launched a test channel at 828kHz medium wave. At present the output consists solely of automated music.

Three Complaints Against Radio Stations Upheld

The Board of the BCC considered and/or adjudicated upon 37 complaints at a recent meeting. Three of these complaints were found to be frivolous and vexatious under Section 24(14) of the Broadcasting Act, 2001 and were therefore closed without further investigation. Six complaints were deferred to the next meeting of the Board for further consideration. Of the remaining 28, four were upheld – three of these were concerned with radio programmes and included complaints against FM104’s late-night ‘Adrian Kennedy Phone Show’ on the grounds of taste & decency; Cork 96FM & 103FM’s ‘Opinion Line’ on the grounds of privacy; and Spin 1038’s afternoon show ‘Spin Talk’ on the grounds of taste & decency.

The complaint against Adrian Kennedy’s Phone Show relates to a sexually explicit discussion and the complainant found the programme extremely offensive, calling the broadcast ‘way out of line’ and unsuitable for her two teenage daughters and her concern is on behalf of all teenagers being influenced by what they hear.
In response to the complaint FM104 say that the Adrian Kennedy Phone Show features a sex and relationship presenter, Sophie Hegarty.
“This part of the phone show is called ‘sex talk’ and it has been part of the show for some eight months now,” the station says. “Each night one topic relating to relationships or sex is dealt with. It should be noted that every Adrian Kennedy Phone Show is preceded with a warning that the show may contain some strong language and that the material is of an adult nature.”
The station goes on to say that the topics discussed are usually relationship-type topics. “However from time to time the topics discussed can be of a more sexual nature,” they continue. “Listeners who are offended by such content do have a choice in the matter and can elect to listen to another station. This is why the station gives a warning at the beginning of and at intervals throughout the show.”
This is the only complaint ever made in relation to this particular broadcast.
Despite the station’s claims the complaint was upheld by the BCC. The Commission was of the view that FM104 infringed Section 24(2)(b)(taste & decency). The manner in which the sexual content of the programme was presented and dealt with was considered by the BCC to be offensive. The Commission noted that the station did broadcast warnings that the content of the programme was of an adult nature and in their summary also noted that they are aware that addressing sexual issues is important and is appropriate content for a programme broadcast late in the evening. “However, the tone and manner in which this programme dealt with sexual issues was considered to be flippant and gratuitous,” the summary continues. “Airing warnings does not circumvent the broadcaster’s editorial responsibility. The programme was sensationalist in style and offensive.”

The complaint against Cork stations 96/103FM was made by Mr Richard McCarthy under Section 24(2)(c) (privacy of an individual) of the Broadcasting Act 2001 and refers to ‘The Opinion Line’ – a show presented by Neil Prenderville. The complaint concerns the presenter’s decision to put McCarthy on-air without his permission. The item being discussed on the show was in connection with long delays for motorists trying to leave the multi-storey car park where McCarthy works. He states that he received a ‘phone call from a man who claimed he was a motorist who had been delayed for a long period of time when leaving the car park on 1st July’. Road works and a broken barrier caused delays to traffic leaving the car park on that day. After some time, a colleague working in the car park informed McCarthy that he was live on-air. This was the first McCarthy knew of the broadcast and he ended the call immediately. McCarthy states that the caller did not identify himself nor did he inform him the call was going out live on-air. He was never asked if he was prepared to have his response broadcast live. McCarthy believes this was a serious breach of his rights and a serious invasion of privacy. He says he felt humiliated, embarrassed and upset at the way he was treated. Many of the people he comes into contact with on a daily basis heard the broadcast and mentioned this to him. He found this highly embarrassing. McCarthy complains that Cork’s 96/103FM acted in an unethical and underhand manner. He also states that he received a call earlier that morning from an employee of Cork’s 96/103FM regarding this topic. He pointed out to her that employees of Cork City Council were not permitted to discuss work/policy matters with the press. He informed her she would have to contact City Hall. Despite being aware of this, the call was still made. McCarthy believes the broadcast breached the Broadcasting Act, 2001 under privacy of the individual.
In response the station states that the lead up to this phone call was as a result of calls received at the station regarding long delays by motorists exiting the car park at Paul Street on Thursday 1st July. In following up on this story, researchers at the station tried to obtain a response from Cork City Council, the operator of the car park. However, it was the following Monday before they received a response. Cork City Council’s response was that the delays were not caused by the car park itself but were due to traffic problems on the adjoining quays. They also stated that the car park personnel had opened the car park barrier to speed things up. While this was being aired, numerous calls were received at the station stating that the second barrier was not working and this caused delays. At this point, the researcher tried to contact the City Council again to get a response but without success. Presenter, Neil Prenderville, then decided to contact the car park directly as he could not understand the ongoing difficulty in receiving an accurate statement from the City Council. Cork’s 96/103FM admit Mr Prenderville did telephone the car park directly and spoke on-air to an individual. However, this person remained unnamed at all times. The station further claim the call was a genuine attempt to clarify the reason for the delays for a large number of listeners who contacted the show. Normal procedure was departed from on this occasion due to the trivial nature of the item and the genuine desire to get a simple answer to a simple question.
In summary, the BCC say they upheld the complaint as they were of the view that Cork’s 96/103FM did infringe Section 24(c)(privacy of an individual). The presenter posed as a member of the public who had been caught up in the delays in getting out of a car park on 1st July and broadcast live, surreptitiously, the subsequent discussion with the complainant who did not have the authority to speak on behalf of his employer. The BCC note that the broadcaster had been instructed that they should contact City Hall for comment and not the car park staff. Therefore the station were aware that the car park staff were not in a position to speak on behalf of the Council. The Commission were of the opinion that Prenderville dealt with this matter in an unfair and deceitful manner and in so doing, infringed the rights of McCarthy.

The complaint made against Spin 1038’s ‘Spin Talk’ was under Section 24(2)(b)(taste & decency) of the Broadcasting Act 2001. Every Friday Spin Talk deals with sex issues. The station does advise that parental guidance may be necessary. The complainant states that this is not always possible with young teenagers listening to radio. On the day in question the presenters, Jack and Ali, were discussing ‘hand jobs’. They read out 10 different ways of giving a hand job. The complainant called the item ‘outrageous’ and points out that many teenagers listen to this programme, including her 13 year old.
Spin 1038 state in their response that the subject of the programme centered on male masturbation. The ‘Gender Agenda’ is a regular feature on Friday’s Spin Talk programme. This section is heavily promoted as a Sex & Relationship feature. Warning messages are consistently broadcast around this section, which alert listeners to an open and frank discussion on sex and sexuality. The feature was based around an interview with a sex and relationship expert, Melissa Ulto and also featured calls and text messages from the show’s listeners recounting their experiences. Although Spin 1038 accept masturbation is a taboo topic, many major studies by leading experts suggest that a very clear majority of males engage in masturbation. This makes it a common practice, but one which is rarely covered on radio. As a news and current affairs show, Spin Talk has a brief to challenge boundaries and break down traditional taboos. On occasion, this requires the programme to cover topics that more traditional broadcasters would avoid at any time of the day. Spin 1038 state it was not their intention to offend and their coverage of similar items tends to be scheduled within the Friday segment of the show – which is clearly and repeatedly flagged as dealing with sex and relationship issues. They apologise for giving offence but feel they do offer adequate warnings and advice during the programme.
The BCC was of the view that Spin 1038 did infringe Section 24(2)(a)(taste & decency) as the programme contained an explicit discussion on masturbation which was dealt with in a gratuitous manner. The BCC felt that the broadcast was in poor taste, particularly given the time of day of the broadcast and also given the quite cynical presentation of the sexual content and the inappropriate time of broadcast.

A further 24 complaints were rejected.

Broadcast Legend John Peel Has Passed Away

John Peel is dead at the age of 65. The legendary Liverpool-born broadcaster died last night after suffering from a heart attack. He was on a working holiday in South America when the tragedy struck. The radio and music world is in a state of shock today as everybody he ever touched tries to come to terms with the news.
Tributes have been received from far and wide for one of the original voices of BBC Radio 1. Even in his latter years John retained an infectious enthusiasm for new sounds, and new talent. His dry wit has caused many a smile, his endorsement has launched many a career. Although he’d reached retirement age, only his passing away could force his retirement from the airwaves. John’s late night shows on BBC Radio 1 were compulsive listening for fans worldwide. They also attracted the station’s largest percentage of under 15 years of age listenership. Peel was so highly thought of at the BBC that he virtually just had to ask and his show-times were changed to suit his lifestyle.
Andy Parfitt, BBC Radio 1’s controller, has called Peel’s contribution to modern music and culture ‘immeasurable’.
He added: “John Peel was a broadcasting legend. I am deeply saddened by his death as are all who work at Radio 1. Hopeful bands all over the world sent their demo tapes to John knowing that he really cared. His commitment and passion for new music only grew stronger over the years. In fact, when I last saw him he was engaged in a lively debate with his fellow DJs over the state of new music today. He will be hugely missed.”
Peel was admired and loved by his peers. BBC Radio 2 presenter Mark Radcliffe says that Peel inspired him to become a dj.
“He was someone with a warmth and honesty who really loved music, rather than someone who wanted to be a famous DJ,” Radcliffe said. “John showed that it was possible to be a broadcaster on a national radio station and still be yourself. He was a maverick and a peer, and a role model for so many of us.”
Fellow Radio 1 presenter Jo Whiley continued a theme: “John was simply one of my favourite men in the whole world – as a music fan and presenter he was simply an inspiration.”
BBC Director of Radio & Music Jenny Abramsky said: “John Peel was a unique broadcaster whose influence on Radio 1 could be felt from its very first days. He nurtured musicians and listeners alike introducing them to new sounds. His open-minded approach to music was mirrored by his equally generous approach to his audience when he went to Radio 4 to present Home Truths. He had a remarkable rapport with all his listeners. Everyone at BBC Radio is devasted by the news. John is simply irreplaceable.”
The BBC’s Director-General Mark Thompson said: “We are all very shocked and saddened by the news of John’s death. He was one of the giants of radio and will be missed, not just by everyone at the BBC, but by millions of listeners of all ages.”
John Peel also presented shows for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service in recent times, and worked on US radio in the ’60s. John’s death has left a huge void in broadcasting which will never again be filled. The world is a sadder place today.
Note: BBC Radio 1 will run the following tribute programmes…
Tonight Steve Lamacq will celebrate John’s life from 11pm to 1am.
Tomorrow night Mary Anne Hobbs will continue the tribute from 11pm to 1am.
And on Thursday, also from 11pm to 1am, Steve Lamacq will look back at John’s life and talk to people he has influenced over the years.

Former Jazz FM Presenter Crosses The Line

A former presenter with Dublin pirate station Jazz FM has joined the team at BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Across the Line’ as the programme’s Dublin correspondent. Jenny Wren, who was the voice of Jazz FM’s Friday drivetime show ‘Naked Radio’ for nearly two years, will be covering Dublin’s clubnights, gathering interviews, and anything else of interest within the Dublin clubbing scene.

96 Under Fire

A Cork radio station has come under fire following allegations that it broadcast live from the site of a gang war and gave one of the combatants airtime. 96FM’s Neil Prenderville was focusing on the scene of a full-scale riot taking place between traveller groups in Cork on Thursday morning and allowed one participant to state that “heads would be severed from bodies”.
A police officer says that he received a complaint that the riot was ‘being thrashed out on local radio’ and a District Judge has condemned the broadcast, calling for an investigation by the DPP and the broadcasting authorities. Neil has admitted on air that he is likely to be prosecuted over the item, but defends the decision to broadcast the piece. “I think we actually helped to defuse the situation,” he claimed.

Spaced Out

Space FM returned to the air tonight with live programming. The Dublin dance station, who were warned to cease broadcasting by ComReg last month, have been back on air on a sporadic basis over the past few days, usually in the very early hours of the morning. However, they were on air this evening on 99.4MHz FM, although it is unclear whether broadcasts will be more regular.

BCI Find Appeals Body Unappealing

The BCI have once again expressed their concern at a proposal contained in the government-commissioned Ox Report which recommends the setting up of an appeals body for radio licensing decisions. In a detailed document containing their response to the Report, the Commission say that they consider the idea of an appeals body neither workable nor appropriate. They feel that an appeals system would effectively second-guess their deliberations and, given that there are a number of subjective elements in determining applicants, consistency in decision-making would become difficult. Furthermore, a danger would exist that every licence decision would be referred to the Appeals Board thereby potentially undermining and questioning the necessity for the BCI Board in the first place.

In response to other issues contained in the Ox Report, the BCI also maintain that the current licence application process has not acted as a barrier to entry for lower-level players. Citing their recent decision to refund most of the application fee to unsuccessful bidders, the Commission feels that an auction process would be more likely to lead to exclusion. “Auctions may favour those with the deepest pockets but may not take account of other important considerations such as issues of concentration, programming diversity, etc,” the report says.

On the issue of automatic renewal of licences, the BCI is not in favour of such a concept and questions whether it would be in the interests of plurality and diversity. The Commission feels that automatic renewal would clearly favour the licensee, however a re-advertisement process allows the Board to re-evaluate and build on existing commitments. The BCI feels that this is in the public interest.

The idea of a penalty-points system for licence breaches is one that is supported by the BCI, although they do feel that the present system has been successful. The Commission also stand by their programming content regulation in relation to the likes of news and Irish music output, believing these to have been to the benefit of the sector and to listeners. However they accept that it may be appropriate to review their effectiveness as more services come on stream.

Marian to Give Up Morning Programme

Marian Finucane is giving up her morning programme with RTÉ Radio 1. Marian has revealed that her hour-long morning show will cease when it stops for next year’s summer break. This will give her the freedom to pursue other radio projects for the station. She has given no details of this new arrangement, except to say that there have been ideas in her head for eleven years.
Recent speculation suggested that RTÉ would be dropping her show in the new year, whilst other reports suggested that she would be moving to Dublin station NewsTalk 106FM.

Old Branding for Brand New Station

The new licensed station for the north-west is now on air. Ocean FM launched on Saturday morning with a host of familiar names – not least of them was Gay Byrne, the main guest interviewee. Local listeners will have recognised some of the staff, a few of them have spent time working with North West Radio, the former licence-holder for the area whose death throes were painfully broadcast on Friday afternoon. Other on-air names, such as Mike Maloney & Alan Corcoran, will be familiar to national audiences. But for a small number of observant radio enthusiasts, the familiarity doesn’t stop with the station’s staff. It actually extends to a small Dublin-based Irish language community radio station.
So, what connection could a small station which relies solely on volunteers, have with a new, slick, commercial giant who broadcast to the other end of the country? Apart from Ocean FM’s Irish language programme ‘Cois na Tine’, the answer lies in the imaging, or more specifically, the stations’ logos. Considering that they are named after the river which bisects the capital, it would surprise nobody to learn that Raidió na Life use a water-based theme in their logo. There would also be be no shock in learning, considering their name and location, that Ocean FM also use a water-based theme for their logo. But, what has amazed some – including one ‘astonished’ Raidió na Life researcher who spoke to Radiowaves News this evening – is the fact that Ocean FM have come up with a logo which is an almost exact replica of the one which has been used by the Dublin station for most of their eleven years on air.
Raidió na Life’s station manager Fionnuala Mac Aodha is also taken aback by the similarity. “Ocean’s logo certainly bears a striking resemblance to ours,” she said tonight.

Raidió na Life's good old brand
Raidió na Life’s good old brand
The brand new Ocean FM
The brand new Ocean FM

A ‘special’ Line-up for Ocean FM

Ocean FM, the new station for the north-west franchise area which launches this Saturday at 9am, has announced a number of its key ‘special interest’ and weekend programmes.
At 7pm on Monday nights, ‘Bluestack to Benbulban’ is a one-hour window on tourism, and related-issues, and is presented by ex-Irish Times journalist and Sligo native Sorcha Crowley.

Also on Monday nights, Brendan Tierney – an ex students’ union president at Sligo IT – presents ‘Ocean Campus’ at 9.30pm.
On Tuesdays at 7pm former Raidió na Gaeltachta presenter Anna Ní Bhroin anchors ‘Cois na Tine’, a bi-lingual programme featuring Irish traditional music.
‘Arts House’ airs on Wednesdays, also at 7pm.
‘Ocean Catch’ on Thursdays at 7pm will be local radio’s first ever fisheries programme in Ireland and will be broadcast from the Ocean FM Broadcast Centre in Donegal town. Tony O’Callaghan, a Killybegs-based journalist, will be the programme’s producer and presenter.
Also on Thursdays, Barry Caslan of Teagasc in the north-west, will be anchoring ‘Agri Week’ at 7.30pm.
Alan Corcoran, formerly of RTÉ Radio 1, will be presenting ‘Corcoran’s Country’ on Fridays at 8pm.

According to the station’s General Manager Robert Walshe, the weekends will see Ocean FM providing a mix of ‘special interest’ programmes to suit all tastes.
‘Sunday Sentiments’ is a new weekly series which will feature classical, gospel, and legendery music genres. The shows will be presented by ex-Highland Radio founder Michael O’Donnell, together with Marion Fitzgerald and Fr Eddie Moore.
‘Mike Moloneys Irish Album’ on Sundays at 8pm will feature Ireland’s crème de la crème, while Bundoran’s Shane Smyth presents ‘Movie Magic’ at 9pm.
‘Indie Wave’ will be on air on Sundays at 10pm. Sligo’s Mark Foley promises an eclectic mix of music from both at home and abroad.
Fr Eddie Moore, a former Vatican radio presenter, joins Marion Fitzgerald on Sundays at 7pm for ‘Young at Heart’.
Seamus McManus returns to the airwaves after a long spell to present Ocean FM’s ‘Weekend Breakfast Club’ while Daniel Browne of the ‘Donegal Democrat’ anchors ‘Ocean Current’, also on Saturday mornings at 10am. He will be assisted by Leitrim native and award-winning Sunday World journalist Paul Williams.
Noel Burke and Paul Gallagher present ‘Ocean Weekend Café’ at 11am from both the Sligo and Donegal studios respectively.

Ocean FM say that they are passionate about sport and they claim that the station’s commitment in this regard will be second to none. The legendary Packie Bonner, along with GAA allstar Eamon O Hara, will be the chief analysts on Friday night’s ‘The Final Whistle’ at 7pm. John Behan will anchor ‘Saturday Sports Beat’, while a similar programme on Sundays will be a window on all sporting disciplines.

Other weekend highlights include ‘Solid Gold Sunday’ in Sligo with Rory O Brien (ex-2FM) and in Donegal with John Logue (formerly Highland Radio).
One of the region’s most popular nightclub djs Ciaran Carty will anchor ‘Ocean NRG’ on Friday nights and ‘Ocean Weekend Party’ on Saturdays at 6pm.

Ocean FM Talk Show ‘ups the ante’ on Local Rivals

The producer of a new talk-show for the north-west region has promised to ‘up the ante’ on neighbouring rival services. North West Today will be Ocean FM’s flagship show and it makes its debut next Monday at 9am.
“The programme will be vibrant, modern, inclusive, and exclusively local for Sligo, Leitrim, and South Donegal” according to the show’s producer Margaret Carr Flynn, who plans a number of ‘one off specials’ which promise to set the news agenda.
North West Today presenter Robert Walshe says: “Finally the people of this region will be free of a repetitive, old, played-out presentation style”.

The outgoing franchise holder for the area – North West Radio – relay a similar daily programme which originates from Mid West Radio’s studios in Mayo and is presented by Paul Claffey. Neither Margaret or Robert refer to Claffey’s show directly, but Mid West Radio’s show will still be available over much of Ocean FM’s franchise area despite North West Radio’s closedown on Friday.

Ocean FM’s ‘North West Today’ will be generated by local people, for local people, and the programme promises national issues with a local perspective together with celebrity guests and easy-listening music at all times. The station’s extensive news network will feed into North West Today ensuring that the programme will be able to bring stories to air live and immediately. The programme will be unique, broadcasting on location from Ocean FM’s high-tech broadcast centres in all three counties in the franchise area.
Robert Walshe, who is also the station’s General Manager, has had extensive experience in radio having presented similar programmes in both the Cork and Dublin markets.
Margaret Carr Flynn is a former producer with outgoing franchise operator North West Radio and has won numerous awards for her professionalism and expertise.

Kiss, Wild Raided

North-east stations Kiss FM and Wild Country were both raided by ComReg this afternoon. The regulators took thousands of euro worth of equipment, forcing both stations off the air. Both Kiss FM and Wild Country are operated by the same group.
Other unlicensed stations in the area switched off as a precaution against raids.
According to eye-witness accounts, ComReg also paid a visit to Clanrye FM’s site. The station’s elderly operator had taken his gear out of his hut – which is in the field next to Kiss FM’s site – during the Kiss raid and hid the transmitter in some gorse bushes. This was taken following a search by the ComReg officials. Although no search warrant was produced, they also took a Denon tuner from Clanrye’s hut.
Clanrye had only returned to air last Thursday following a theft two weeks ago in which they lost a brand new 300w rig.

NewsTalk’s Celtic Coverage Ruled Offside

NewsTalk 106 have been told that their live coverage of Glasgow Celtic’s football matches are in breach of contract rights. The station were broadcasting the Scottish team’s Saturday afternoon matches based on an agreement with the club itself. However, the broadcast rights for individual clubs are held collectively by the game’s governing body, who contacted the Dublin station and advised them to stop. This was based on a complaint from another radio station.
NewsTalk 106 have been brought to task in the past for unofficial coverage of Irish league matches. Their Sunday and Monday night coverage of The Premiership remains unaffected. This agreement allows NewsTalk 106 to relay BBC Radio 5 Live’s match coverage to Dublin FM audiences. Unfortunately for NewsTalk, Five Live’s comprehensive sporting coverage leads to many broken points in the live commentary when the BBC goes elsewhere for updates or live broadcasts of other events.

Award-winning Journalist Joins Ocean FM Line-up

A recipient of six National Journalism Awards has been appointed Group News and Sports Editor at new station Ocean FM. Niall Delaney (right) will have editorial responsibility for Ocean FM’s news teams in their franchise counties of Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim. He says he is looking forward to delivering a comprehensive news and sports service seven days a week – something the region has been lacking up to now.
The station’s General Manager and Programme Director Robert Walshe says: “Niall’s involvement with Ocean FM reflects the company’s commitment to ensuring an exceptionally high journalistic standard and ethic for the radio station going forward.”
Ocean FM’s news service will be on the air weekdays from 7am, and on weekends from 9am.
Meanwhile, the station are insisting that they will be on air on October 1st, despite North West Radio’s legal challenge against the loss of the licence which Ocean will operate under. Ocean FM have also announced their full weekday schedule, with details of their weekend line-up and specialist shows to follow shortly. The station’s weekdays will see a mix of former national favourites blend with a selection of local presenters.
“Ocean FM will change the sound of radio on the Western seaboard and move it to a new level of excellence,” Robert Walshe enthuses. “The Ocean FM team across all disciplines would be one of the most experienced and talented in the radio industry…outside Dublin.

Ocean's 'Breakfast Club' with Brendan Magee will start each day at 6.30am. This will be followed at 9am by 'Northwest Today' - the station's current affairs and magazine show. This will be presented by Robert himself. Two former RTÉ 2FM presenters take the station from midday through to early evening. First Paul Scanlon presents 'Ocean Breeze' and Mike Maloney will follow with 'Ocean Drive' from 3pm. This will include 'Maloney After 6', a magazine-style show which will feature a number of high profile guests and celebrities.
 Each night at 8pm, Mike Ryan will present 'Ocean Country' live from Ocean FM's Donegal studios. The show will include regular updates from local country music expert Eamon McPhilomey. On Friday nights, former RTÉ Radio 1 presenter Alan Corcoran anchors 'Corcoran's Country' - a ninety minute showcase of Ireland's top country music stars.
 'Ocean NRG' will air each night from 9.30pm and presenting duties will be rotated between Leitrim's Kevin Blessing, Donegal's Gavin McDaid, and Sligo's Ciaran Carty. The show will be broadcast on location from Ocean FM's three studios in the franchise area and will feature hot hits, text, and email requests.

The challenge of merging national broadcasters with key local presenters will ensure that Ocean FM will quickly impress the franchise area – and further afield.”
Ocean’s ‘Breakfast Club’ with Brendan Magee will start each day at 6.30am. This will be followed at 9am by ‘Northwest Today’ – the station’s current affairs and magazine show. This will be presented by Robert himself. Two former RTÉ 2FM presenters take the station from midday through to early evening. First Paul Scanlon presents ‘Ocean Breeze’ and Mike Maloney will follow with ‘Ocean Drive’ from 3pm. This will include ‘Maloney After 6’, a magazine-style show which will feature a number of high profile guests and celebrities.
Each night at 8pm, Mike Ryan will present ‘Ocean Country’ live from Ocean FM’s Donegal studios. The show will include regular updates from local country music expert Eamon McPhilomey. On Friday nights, former RTÉ Radio 1 presenter Alan Corcoran anchors ‘Corcoran’s Country’ – a ninety minute showcase of Ireland’s top country music stars.
‘Ocean NRG’ will air each night from 9.30pm and presenting duties will be rotated between Leitrim’s Kevin Blessing, Donegal’s Gavin McDaid, and Sligo’s Ciaran Carty. The show will be broadcast on location from Ocean FM’s three studios in the franchise area and will feature hot hits, text, and email requests.
Finally Lynsey Dolan will wind down the North West with ‘Ocean Love Cruise’ each night from 11pm. This show will feature three hours of the region’s all-time favourite love songs.
Michelle Guildea will travel the region in the Ocean Cruisers on “sticker and traffic patrol”.
Ocean FM will commence ‘dummy’ programme rehearsals from tomorrow.

Dublin FM Warming Up Again

Dublin’s FM band is warming up again with the addition of two aptly-named stations. Now broadcasting on 94.3MHz FM, dance music station Hot FM have also been on extremely low power on 102.9MHz in recent weeks. Despite using the same jingle package, this is not the same Hot FM as operated by Frank Kennedy. Meanwhile, the station broadcasting dance music on 105.7MHz FM have finally identified as The Heat.
Other pirate stations on air in the capital this weekend include: the rock and pop oldies station on test broadcast on 88.1MHz; Nova 946; Sun FM on 101.3MHz; The Zone on 102.5MHz; & Passion FM on 105.3MHz.

Big Ron is Hooked on Newstalk

‘Big Ron’ Atkinson has signed up as a football pundit on ‘The Right Hook’ for NewsTalk 106. Atkinson is one of English football’s more colourful characters, but it was an unfortunate incident relating to colour that lost him his similar, mega-bucks job with ITV Sport. Atkinson was overheard referring to a Chelsea player as a ‘f**king lazy, thick ni**er’ when he thought his comments were not being broadcast. Unfortunately for him, the mic was still open and the comments were carried live by several tv stations around the world who were relying on ITV for their pictures. Atkinson has since apologised, but was widely condemned for the remarks, and led to him resigning his post at ITV, as well as a columnist job with The Guardian newspaper.
Atkinson will be employed as a stand-in for Eamon Dunphy when the station’s breakfast presenter is not available.

Legal Problems for RLO

Radio Limerick One owner Ger Madden has explained why Gerry Hannon has not been on the station for a number of weeks.
On Friday evening, Madden explained on air that this was due to a court case being taken against the broadcaster, as well as Madden himself, by the Limerick TD Willie O’Dea following comments made on Hannon’s show in July in which it was alleged by Fianna Fail’s Tim Long that O’Dea had approached him during an election campaign and asked him to disconnect the telephone of a rival candidate. Long was an Eircom employee at the time.
Report: Lez Ferguson

Charleville Radio Gets Go-ahead

A public meeting was held in Charleville, Co Cork on Wednesday night in order to gain a mandate from the people to go ahead with a plan to establish a community radio station in the town. The idea was met with approval and the group are to begin planning their proposal for submission to the BCI for an initial temporary licence.

Report: Liamo

Baker’s Back

David Baker is returning to Dublin’s airwaves. He will be on air locally next weekend when Premier FM returns with a temporary licence on 94.9MHz FM. David will broadcast on the station’s launch day – 18th September – between midday and 2pm.
David’s permanent home is with the UK’s Classic Gold Network, but being back on air in Ireland always gets him excited. He explains: “Dublin is my home. It’s where I learnt everything, and I’m looking forward to doing a show, albeit a one-off next weekend.”
David is a big fan of Premier FM’s output: “This station will show Dubliners what they’re missing and hopefully in the long term a station like this can get a full-time licence and be successful. There is currently no full-time oldies station in the capital, that may all change soon.”
Premier FM have been awarded a 30-day temporary licence and will utilise it across 14 weekends from next Saturday until December 19th.

Ocean Sign Local Men

Brendan Magee has been named as the presenter of Ocean FM’s breakfast show. The station’s ‘Breakfast Club’ will broadcast daily from 6.30am to 9am and they promise a show that will be lively, engaging, and local in feel. News, sport and weather will air on the hour, and there’ll be headline news updates every twenty minutes. The surf report, obituaries, and financial reports will also feature.

Ocean's round: (L-R) Kevin Blessing, Robert Walshe, Brendan Magee, Mike Moloney
Ocean’s round: (L-R) Kevin Blessing, Robert Walshe, Brendan Magee, Mike Moloney

Brendan Magee’s broadcasting career spans eleven years with North West Radio, and he is also well known in the music scene across the region. He says he is “relishing” the opportunity to work alongside some of “Ireland’s most talented presenters”. He is a native of Garrison in Co Fermanagh and lives in Strandhill, Co Sligo.
Meanwhile, Leitrim man Kevin Blessing has been appointed Ocean FM’s Production Manager and Deputy Programme Controller. Kevin will play an active role in the day-to-day running of the service and, although generally recognized as one of Dublin’s more popular night-club disc-jockeys in recent years, he will also be the joint presenter of the station’s night-time ‘Ocean Energy’ programme from 9.30pm to 11pm.
After completing his broadcasting studies with Liberties College in Dublin, Kevin worked for a period with Shannonside Northern Sound, before his full-time appointment to Dublin’s Country, where he worked alongside one of the station’s co-founders – Senator Paschal Mooney.

Ocean FM’s General Manager Robert Walshe welcomed Kevin’s appointment, stating that his abilities, talents, and superb work ethic would be a huge asset to the new service. He continued: “Ocean FM’s commitment to Leitrim is further enhanced by the involvement of the award-winning Sunday World journalist Paul Williams, who will co-present the station’s Saturday morning current affairs show. Ocean FM will also give Leitrim its first ever state of the art studio with a new hi-tech facility at Library Corner, Manorhamilton.”
Ocean FM’s headquarters will be based at Collooney, Sligo and they will also have a full office and studio complex in Donegal Town.
The announcement follows the recent news that Ocean FM have recruited former 2FM star Mike Moloney to present ‘Ocean Drive’ daily from 3-7pm. Also confirmed is that the station’s General Manager, Robert Walshe, will anchor ‘North West Today’, Ocean FM’s daily current affairs and magazine programme from 9am to midday.
Ocean FM will launch on October 1st from studios and offices based in Northwest Business Park, Collooney, Co Sligo; Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim; and in Donegal Town.

A new radio competition: Spot the Difference

Radio listeners in Dublin, already bombarded with competitions on their commercial stations, have a new game they can play: Spot the Difference. The only problem is there is no cash incentive, but it could be fun.

According to today’s Sunday Times FM104, one of the capital’s top stations, have accused Spin 1038, one of the capital’s youngest stations, of ripping off their playlist to the tune of up to an overlap of 48% on some days. It is a strange complaint from a station which sounds almost identical to just about every other contemporary station in every major city across the world, and it is a complaint which Spin actually find complimentary! In a statement to the BCI, Spin chief Liam Thompson reckoned that the similar playlists show that his station has a ‘good understanding’ of their relative position in the marketplace considering that both stations are licensed to serve the 15-34 market.

The complaint, which was made last year, was dismissed by the BCI after an analysis of the output from both stations. The BCI did, however, admit that Spin 1038 were not playing enough dance music.

FM104 claim that the similarity in playlists is ‘doing considerable damage’ to their business and also found the BCI’s response ‘insulting and dismissive’.

Although content on the two stations is bound to be similar, Spin’s approach and deliverance is radically different. In that respect they are, indeed, offering an alternative to Dublin listeners, who had little choice when FM104 & 98FM were the only stations serving the capital on a commercial basis. It could be argued that the introduction of Spin, along with other commercial stations, has shaken the top two from their relative positions of comfort.

A ‘Grey Wednesday’ for Dublin’s Pirates

Dublin’s FM band was totally clear of unlicensed activity today for the first time since last year’s May ‘Black Tuesday’ raids. Every Dublin-based pirate station was off the air, the vast majority for precautionary reasons.

The unlicensed community have been fearing the worst for the past couple of weeks, and most stations decided not to take the chance of having their equipment confiscated.

ComReg visited some mountain sites today, but it is thought that this was simply to warn landowners of the possible threat of court action for allowing unlicensed broadcasts to originate from their property. However, they have been seen taking photographs of station’s sites in the recent past – usually a precursor to obtaining court warrants in order to enter the property – and this has sent panic through the radio community.

Dance music station Club FM were the last pirate broadcaster on air today. They stopped transmissions at just after 1pm this afternoon. At this stage, every other station had already turned off.

Rhythm FM, who broadcast on 105.7MHz FM, switched off their transmitter last night, as did those behind the carrier on 88.1MHz FM. Other stations had already switched off in the past few days, and those that were left turned off their equipment this morning.

Amongst the stations off the air are: UCB relay on 87.6MHz FM; Jazz FM (90.3MHz); Sugar FM (91.0MHz); the unidentified station on 91.6MHz FM; Ministry FM (93.2MHz); Hot FM (94.1MHz); Nova 947; Gem Radio (97.8MHz); The Vibe (99.4MHz); & Sun FM (101.3MHz).

Today, the only pirate station audible around Dublin city was Passion FM, beaming in on 91.6MHz FM from Kildare. However, by this evening, the usual batch of low-powered stations were back on the air from various locations around the city. Included were: Galaxy 105.3, who have been running live programming tonight; Energy, running automated dance music on 107.6MHz FM; and XFM, the long-term alternative music station who were broadcasting on their usual 107.9MHz.

ComReg have been very active in other parts of the country recently. However, Dublin’s pirates have been relatively free from Comreg interference since the massive attacks of May 20th last year – commonly referred to as ‘Black Tuesday’. Many feel that ComReg are preparing to strike again whilst the memory of last year’s actions are still fresh in the minds.

An Automated Station With a Twist

Twist FM is an automated station with a difference. Whereas with the majority of computerised stations you’ll hear the same songs over and over, Twist FM guarantee that you won’t hear the same song twice in a week.
It’s a proud boast and it comes from the station’s operator who is fed up with the same old bland radio pumping out across the capital: “I wanted something different,” he told Radiowaves News today.
“On Twist FM there are no competitions, no giveaways. You don’t have to stay tuned for hours on end to hear the next clue in a giveaway. With Twist FM you can tune in and out whenever you fancy hearing something different.”

In many other ways the station is very different. Twist FM first appeared on 93.8MHz FM in Dublin last weekend…and, where most stations start with a whimper, Twist FM appeared with a bang – a strong signal, RDS, jingles, all were already in place.
The playlist is as irregular as they come. Apart from the non-stop dance music at weekends, any genre from any era can be expected at any time, although there are plans to offer a more regimented playlist at particular times in future.
“I’m tired of hearing the same links at the same time every single day on regular radio stations,” the station manager continued. “Twist FM is a jukebox – no djs wrecking your head.”

The station will develop over the coming weeks. There are plans that have still to be put in place, ideas which haven’t yet been tried on radio in Dublin.

Twist FM, the radio station with a difference and not stifled by regulation, may develop a new exciting radio vibe.

Wolf Leaves Red for Marital Bed

Charlie Wolf has presented his last show for Red FM. The controversial jock said goodbye to his listeners on this morning’s ‘Red Rooster’ Breakfast Show on the Cork youth station. He announced his departure only in the past few days.
Wolf has been with the station since its launch in January 2002. He originally presented a late-night talk-show – ‘Cork Talks Back’ – before moving to the breakfast slot. He always claimed that he was only with the station to ‘help out a friend’ (Chief Executive Henry Condon) and would leave when it suited him.
Before joining Red FM, Charlie was with TalkSport in the UK, but is most famous for his time on Laser 558 in the mid-80s.
Charlie plans to marry his fiancee in August.

Doing the Twist

A new music station is on air in Dublin. With an RDS displaying ‘TWIST FM’, the new signal is broadcasting on 93.8MHz FM and declaring itself as ‘the future sound of radio’. Passion FM’s relay ino Dublin on this frequency has ceased.

Raids Silence Border Pirates

The north-eastern based border pirates were all off the air last night following a raid on Alien Mountain which targeted Magic 105, Energy 106 & Choice 107.7FM. It is thought that the other stations – such as Kiss FM (rebranded as a Country station) & Storm 106.2FM – all went off for precautionary reasons, as Kiss FM & Storm 106.2 were back on air this afternoon. Tonight Magic 105 have also returned despite having most of their equipment taken.

The border pirates are a special breed of stations that broadcast from the more relaxed Republic into Northern Ireland, which falls under the remit of the UK authorities who are less tolerant of unlicensed broadcasts.

KCLR finally make it to air

KCLR 96FM, the new radio service for Carlow & Kilkenny, went live on-air for the first time at 11am today. The first presenter to be heard on the broadcast was Alan Swan, who presented a special two-hour introduction to the new station.

KCLR 96FM Chief Executive John Purcell expressed his delight that the station had finally hit the airwaves: “We applied for this new licence two years ago and it has been a long road to reach this point. The setup of the station was very challenging with preparations delayed by the legal challenges to the decision to award the licence to us. However, we are delighted to at last be on-air and are looking forward to a very positive future.”

According to Purcell, KCLR 96FM will be a fresh, local, and contemporary voice that connects with listeners across the two counties.
He said: “We are placing a huge emphasis on local events with news and sport seven days a week to ensure our listeners receive the best possible coverage of all that is happening throughout Kilkenny and Carlow. Current affairs and community interest programming are also a priority as well as quality music and entertainment shows featuring requests, competitions, and fantastic prizes.”

Purcell acknowledged that one of the main challenges for KCLR 96FM is broadcasting to two counties and said that county-specific programming is being delivered where appropriate. “We are very mindful of the fact that we are catering for two counties with diverse needs and interests and KCLR 96FM will be providing dedicated news and sports services for Carlow and Kilkenny,” he promises.

A huge amount of work had gone in to putting the station on-air and Purcell was feeling very positive about how the new service would be received.

“There has been a huge amount of interest in the new station from people throughout Carlow Kilkenny. We are determined that KCLR 96FM will be a station local people can be proud of and I am confident listeners are going to like what they hear,” he concluded.

KCLR 96FM is available in Kilkenny on 96.6MHz FM, 96.0MHz FM and 96.2MHz FM and in Carlow on 96.9MHz FM and 94.6MHz FM.

Medium wave lives again

An automated station which has been broadcasting on medium wave from Dublin’s southside for a number of months has gone live and identified for the first time last weekend as Energy Power 1593AM.

This weekend they are only broadcasting on 1593kHz AM, although they have also been available on 1278kHz AM since RTÉ 2FM’s departure from that channel.

Playing a mixture of music old and new, the station’s powerful signal should breathe life into the ailing MW band.

Presenter Escorted From Dublin City

A Dublin City Anna Livia FM presenter was dragged out of the station’s studio live on air by Gardaí when he refused to accept a change in timeslot for his programme.
Eduardo Castillo had been informed that his show had been switched from Fridays to Thursdays on the special interest station, but he still turned up on Friday February 13th. After just a few minutes on air, four Gardaí had to remove him from the studio.
Castillo was protesting the decision of the management and claims that there was very little consultation with him over the change. He has now been sacked.

Report by Pat; John Fleming

Dublin Radio News Snippets for February 7th

Gem Radio have shifted frequency to 97.8MHz from 96.0MHz – it is unclear whether this is temporary or permanent.

Religious temporary station Spirit FM is now on air on 89.9FM and will be every weekend until April with RDS reading ‘ SPIRIT ‘.

Sugar FM are operating on much-reduced power at present.

Lyrical Changes

National arts station Lyric FM have announced some changes to their schedule. The RTÉ-run station which is based in Limerick are introducing new programmes, new faces, and are changing presenters on established programmes starting from tomorrow.
At 10am on Saturdays the first of the new faces, Ian Fox, presents The Lyric Collection in which he helps listeners assemble a classical library collection to suit their own interests.
Later at 11am, another new presenter to Lyric FM George Hamilton brings you his selection of the classics with a new programme called The Hamilton Scores George’s Selections.
Sound FX on a Saturday morning becomes Soundings on a Sunday evening, presented by Bernard Clarke at 8pm.
Horizons returns at a new time of 9.30pm each Sunday evening when Bernard Clarke will be looking at New Music stories from home and abroad.
Presenters on the move include:- Seán Rocks to Lunchtime Choice (Mon-Sat, 12.30pm); Evelyn Grant is the new presenter of Sunday’s Lunchtime Choice (12.30pm); Liz Nolan is the new presenter of the Lyric Pitch (Saturday, 4pm); Eamonn Lenihan is the new presenter of Jazz Alley on Sunday (7pm); Carl Corcoran is the new presenter of Lyric Breakfast (Mon-Fri, 7am); Niall Carroll is the new presenter of Drivetime Classics (Mon-Fri, 5pm); Denis Costello is the new presenter of the Lyric Concerts (Mon-Thurs, 9pm).

Sex on the Beat

Beat 102-103, Ireland’s first regional radio station, is to distribute 30,000 free branded condoms in nightclubs around the South-East as part of a sexual health awareness campaign aimed at promoting sexual responsibility amongst young people in the region.

Pictured launching the distribution of 30,000 condoms as part of the Beat 102-103 sexual health campaign is model Caoimhe Moran (l), Beat 102-103 DJ Leigh Doyle, and model Rosemary Doody (r)
Pictured launching the distribution of 30,000 condoms as part of the Beat 102-103 sexual health campaign is model Caoimhe Moran (l), Beat 102-103 DJ Leigh Doyle, and model Rosemary Doody (r)

The station’s Chief Executive Kieran McGeary said that given the age group of the Beat 102-103’s target market, he felt that the station was ideally placed to inform listeners about relevant and important topics such as sexual health.
He continued: “The target market for Beat 102-103 is 18-35 year olds and we cannot ignore the fact that the majority of our listeners will be sexually active, as it is a subject our programmes deal with regularly. As Beat 102-103 is a medium which is effectively reaching the young people of the South-East, we feel it’s an ideal forum to get the message across that if you are going to have sex, take responsibility for your actions and ensure it’s safe.”
The branded condoms will be distributed at Beat 102-103 promotional events and selected nightclubs throughout the region.
McGeary stressed that the campaign was not in any way encouraging sexual promiscuity or underage sex amongst young people. He said: “We are not in anyway trivializing the subject or encouraging promiscuous sexual activity amongst young people – quite the opposite in fact. Condoms will not be given to under-18’s and will only be distributed in nightclubs where the proprietors have given their approval.”
The campaign is being run in association with Lee Jeans.

Phantom On Course For Licensed Launch

Phantom 97.3FM are on course for their midnight launch as a licensed station tomorrow evening. This will be the first in a series of weekend broadcasts from the station that recently secured a Temporary Radio Licence from the BCI allowing it to broadcast for 14 consecutive weekends, as well as Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day. The rock music station with an alternative edge will be welcomed back on air by thousands of Dublin listeners who have felt disenfranchised since their disappearance from FM back in May of this year.

Phantom 97.3FM are on course for their midnight launch as a licensed station tomorrow evening. This will be the first in a series of weekend broadcasts from the station that recently secured a Temporary Radio Licence from the BCI allowing it to broadcast for 14 consecutive weekends, as well as Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day. The rock music station with an alternative edge will be welcomed back on air by thousands of Dublin listeners who have felt disenfranchised since their disappearance from FM back in May of this year.

“The station will afford Dubliners a new listening choice at the weekends, and has an active policy of devoting airtime to young up and coming bands”, said Programme Director, Peter Vamos.
He continues: “There is a very healthy music scene in Dublin, people are going to gigs and buying CDs by local artists yet they are getting no airplay on commercial radio. We know there is a huge demand to hear local music on the radio. Listeners can also expect to hear interviews and in studio sessions with local and international artists visiting the city.”
Station Manager Simon Maher adds that there has been a substantial amount of interest from advertising agencies and media buyers in the new service.
He says: “The speed at which this project has evolved has surprised many in the advertising community but the level of interest that we have had in our radio sponsorship has been very satisfactory.”
The station expects to have a mix of local businesses primarily from the live entertainment sector – along with national brands – by the time the temporarily licensed project ends in mid-January. Then Wireless Media Ltd (the company behind Phantom FM) intends to apply for a full-time broadcasting licence when they are advertised in Spring 2004.

Jackie Returns

An ’80s pirate station is about to make a return to London’s airwaves, this time with a licence. On Sunday, for the first time since Radio Jackie’s famous closedown in February 1985, listeners across south-west London and north Surrey will be able to tune in once more to ‘The Sound of South West London’ on 107.8MHz. The opportunity has arisen because the original management team behind Radio Jackie purchased the loss-making Thames Radio back in March and then began the task of revamping the whole operation in order to prepare for a re-launch. The team had applied for the licence back in 1996, but lost out to Thames radio.

Cary Expresses Interest in Dublin Licence

Chris Cary has revealed that he plans to apply for one of the new Dublin licences which will be announced next year. He will be presenting the case for a format of ‘Hits, favourites, and comedy’ and says that the proposed station would also run a Radio Training Academy to develop new talent.

Chris Cary has revealed that he plans to apply for one of the new Dublin licences which will be announced next year. He will be presenting the case for a format of 'Hits, favourites, and comedy' and says that the proposed station would also run a Radio Training Academy to develop new talent.

Cary operated the extremely successful 80s pirate Radio Nova, but failed when bidding for the national licence that was offered in 1989. He also negotiated with RTÉ for the use of the long wave 252 transmitter, but was ultimately rejected.
He says: “This time it should be a level playing field – as we now understand why we were never seriously in contention for the National Licence! The fierce competition in Dublin will be something to be reckoned with. But a challenge is always a positive thing. Maybe the Radio Nova audience has grown up and matured, but maybe we can give them back what they had in the ’80s. Only this time, legally. It’s now in the lap of the Gods.”

FM104 Sale Approved

The BCI has, ‘in principal’, approved the sale of local Dublin station FM104 to Today FM owners Scottish Radio Holdings for close to €30m.

The BCI has, 'in principal', approved the sale of local Dublin station FM104 to Today FM owners Scottish Radio Holdings for close to €30m. This is despite a BCI-imposed moratorium on the sale of a newly-licensed station for two years. FM104's licence was renewed recently, however the Commission took into account that there were no challengers for the licence, as well as an undertaking by Scottish Radio Holdings that they would adhere to the conditions of the licence.

This is despite a BCI-imposed moratorium on the sale of a newly-licensed station for two years. FM104’s licence was renewed recently, however the Commission took into account that there were no challengers for the licence, as well as an undertaking by Scottish Radio Holdings that they would adhere to the conditions of the licence.

Moyles to Take Over BBC Radio 1 Breakfast

Chris Moyles will take over BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show from early next year. Current presenter Sara Cox will be shifted to Moyles’ afternoon slot in the wake of disastrous ratings. Andy Parfitt, the station’s Controller, expressed his delight that Moyles has agreed to present the show, adding that the controversial presenter was the first – and only – choice.

FM104 Sale Finalised

An agreement has been finalised to sell Dublin station FM104 to Scottish Radio Holdings for a figure of around €30m. It is expected to be discussed by the BCI this week. However, only last year the Commission prevented UTV from buying FM104 due to an imposed two year moratorium following the award, or renewal, of a station’s licence – and FM104’s two years have yet to elapse following the recent local radio licensing renewals. Scottish Radio Holdings already own national station Today FM.

Phantom FM Get a Licence

Dublin indie rock station Phantom FM have been granted a 30 day temporary licence to broadcast on the FM band by the BCI. The station, who have in the past applied twice for a permanent licence but been turned down, plan to spread the 30 days over 14 weekends running from 18th October until early next year – and will also include broadcasts on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day. They will continue to use the name Phantom FM.

The return of the influential station will be welcomed by thousands of musically disenfranchised young Dubliners in a city where a licensed specialist modern rock service has so far been lacking.
Phantom FM will continue to offer a “modern rock” programme schedule consisting of Irish and international indie/alternative rock artists with a heavy emphasis on emerging talent from the Dublin scene that are under represented on the playlists of existing commercial stations. Live interviews and in studio sessions will be a regular feature of programming that will be presented by enthusiastic and informed presenters. A measure of the calibre of the new broadcasting talent nurtured by Phantom FM is the fact that key music programmes on Today FM, 2FM and FM104 are all presented by ex-Phantom DJs. The station also plans to host number of live concerts in Dublin venues that will be broadcast live along with a series of music workshops for new bands and artists.

“We will be championing the local music scene and are proud to do so,” says Simon Maher, Phantom’s station manager. “There is a wealth of local bands and artists who are recording music, filling venues and have healthy CD sales yet are rarely heard on local or national radio. Radio airplay is crucial to nurturing this talent who are a valuable micro-economy in themselves. We’re grateful to the BCI for giving us this opportunity.”
Maher cites the thousands of survey forms received from online listeners who want to hear new Irish music on the air and broad support from the music industry.

Phantom FM will broadcast on 97.3 MHz FM across Dublin city every weekend commencing on October 18th right through until the final broadcast in the series on January 18th, 2004. Programming will run each weekend from midnight Friday until midnight Sunday. Outside of these hours the station will continue to transmit via the web at www.phantomfm.com. The station will be funded by revenues generated by programme sponsorship.

Wireless Media Ltd., the promoters of Phantom FM have recently made a submission of interest to the BCI to operate a similar radio service on a permanent basis in Dublin. The station twice applied in the past for a Special Interest Radio licence, narrowly losing out to Country 106.8FM in 2001. In its current submission to the BCI, Phantom FM has emphasised the need for a medium sized station that would provide a specialist modern rock music with a low cost base and that would be independently owned. The promoters are undeterred by the many larger radio interests who have become suddenly interested in operating a Phantom FM style service.

Adrian Kennedy Threatened with Death

Dublin’s FM104 Phoneshow host Adrian Kennedy has been issued with death threats following an interview with a well-known American racist during the week, according to today’s Sunday World. Kennedy told the white supremacist exactly what he thought of him at the end of a lively debate. The show was bombarded with threatening phone calls and emails by neo-nazis in the immediate aftermath, and these have been reported to Gardaí.

Funds for Newstalk

NewsTalk 106FM have announced that they will raise €2.5m from the station’s shareholders over the next few months. This is expected to fund a new marketing drive as well as ongoing operational costs.