History repeats itself for Lawrence John

On this very day in 1985, Lawrence John introduced Dubliners to a brand new station, one which was designed to create a storm – albeit a quiet one. Q102 was born in an era when stations came and went as often as the tide in Dublin bay so it would need to be quite special to not only attract listeners, but also to keep them – especially at a time when two of the biggest and most popular stations we’ve ever known, Radio Nova and Sunshine Radio, ruled Dublin’s roost.

Thirty six years later and the Belfast native is about to announce an exciting new project, also based in the capital. Less about that later!

Eternally enthusiastic, LJ’s love of radio has not been dampened by time. This despite being involved in one way or another for more than four decades.
Although his lips are sealed on exactly what his new project entails, Lawrence happily spoke to Radiowaves News about the background to the launch of what quickly became Dublin’s third superpirate.

Having already been on air on a number of stations, for Lawence John it was his time at Radio Nova that set his pulses racing more than any other. Having already fallen in love with Dublin, her most popular and biggest radio station proved to be the perfect complement for the affable presenter. So, how did he end up launching another station in competition with the one that meant so much to him?

During LJ’s time at Nova it became beset with problems, not least an NUJ picket on the station.

Lawrence takes up the story…
“I was reluctantly forced to leave Radio Nova because I was pressured by the NUJ to stop crossing the union picket line. I joined Sunshine – a great station – but my heart was still with Radio Nova so I came up with the idea of creating a new station, similar to Nova but not identical. A kind of ‘smooth’ Nova which I eventually named Q102.”

Radiowaves: How did it feel to go against Radio Nova as a direct competitor?
“I didn’t like the idea of going against my former friends and colleagues so I had to think of it as friendly rivalry. That’s the main reason I didn’t want to go head to head with the same format.”

Radiowaves: What were the origins of Q102?
“I approached my friend Pierre Doyle about funding and he liked the idea, bringing a few fellow nightclub owners on board in order to spread the risk. I was the creator and so became managing director, responsible for everything including programming, marketing and promotions, as well as being a deejay on the station.”

Radiowaves: Where were the transmitters sourced?
“I know nothing about the transmitters, or their location, I left this to the original engineer John Thewlis, although he was replaced by Joe King, I think it was. I always left engineering to the specialists. “

So, with everything in place and some strategic publicity in the newspapers, the test transmissions ran up until 7pm on Wednesday, January 23rd 1985 – the time of the station’s launch.

Looking back LJ believes that January 23rd was an ‘odd date’ on which to start up but it was one of the more memorable station launches, fusing humour and some of the major international stories of the time, all emanating from LJ’s creative mind.

I never had any doubt Q102 would be successful, I have always approached everything I do with the idea that failure is not an option

He explains:
“The aim was to capture listeners’ imagination and create a sense of fun. All the humorous promos were my idea but I invited input from Chris Barry and Martin Block, with Roland Burke putting his usual spin on production.”

Although it took another four years to become a reality, a new regime for licensing always seemed to be ‘imminent’ at the time of Q102’s launch. A lot was made of the fact that Q102 was wholly Irish-owned, a deliberate ploy which was hoped would see any licence application looked upon favourably. Obviously, the station would also need to be successful to be in with a chance of a licence but thanks to the recruitment of some very high profile presenters, aided with the financial backing of top local businessmen, failure was not being entertained from within.

“I never had any doubt Q102 would be successful, I have always approached everything I do with the idea that failure is not an option,” Lawrence confirms.

Radiowaves: How did your involvement with the station end?

“I didn’t realize how competitive Pierre was…he mentioned he would like to go head to head with Radio Nova but I suggested I would prefer not to deliberately compete with my former friends and colleagues and he never pressed me or mentioned the idea again. So it was quite a surprise, indeed a shock, to find Mike Hogan in the MD’s chair one afternoon. I don’t know how this came about. Whether it was Pierre who approached Mike or the other way round, but it was a good idea and one I would’ve welcomed myself, knowing Mike’s previous experience with Radio Nova.”

Ultimately, LJ’s love affair with Radio Nova caused him to sacrifice the hard work he’d put into the younger rival.

“I met Pierre a few years after my departure and there were no hard feelings,” says Lawrence. “Same goes for Mike Hogan, whom I met a couple of years ago at the annual Radio Nova alumni dinner. However, it was a lesson learned. I made sure I had 100% control of my next big station, the cross-border super pirate Energy 106. If there was ever any doubt that I would make a success of Q102, I think the success of Energy 106 in capturing 250,000 listeners with no one but myself and an engineer speaks volumes. Now… for my next big radio adventure, coming soon to a radio or smart speaker near you.”

Lawrence John

Despite much pleading on our part LJ’s lips remain sealed about his new venture but we can reveal that it will be Dublin-based. We should learn more in the next few days and preview programming will also be aired very soon.

Will it be as successful as the station he launched all those years ago. Time will tell but with Lawrence’s talent and enthusiasm anything is possible. Stay tuned to Radiowaves.fm to keep abreast of developments.

We thank Lawrence John for taking the time to answer our questions.

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.

Spirit Radio’s full line-up revealed

Spirit Radio, the new quasi-national religious station who will launch on Thursday, have announced their full schedule today.

Spirit Radio, the new quasi-national religious station who will launch on Thursday, have announced their full schedule today.

Former 2FM presenter Dave Redmond, along with Bernie Jameson (formerly Today FM & 4FM) and David Baker (best known for being part of some revolutionary '80s community stations), make up the heart of the weekday line-up.

Starting each weekday at 7am, former RTÉ presenter RoJo hosts the station's breakfast show. Bernie Jameson follows at 11am and she, in turn, will be followed by Dave Redmond from 3pm. David Baker hosts the evening 7pm slot.

Spirit Radio will initially be available on FM in selected areas only but will cover most of the country via medium wave from mid-2012.

The full line-up is as follows:-
Weekdays:
7am RoJo in the Mornings
11am Middays with Bernie Jameson
3pm Afternoons with Dave Redmond
7pm Evenings with David Baker
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Wendy Grace
10pm-Midnight (Fridays) Nights with Olga Kaye

Saturday:-
7am Family Breakfast with Dave Hynes
9am Magazine Plus with Noel Shannon
12pm Afternoons with Jacki Ascough
4pm Evenings with Ollie Clarke
8pm Sound Of Praise with Niall Redmond and guests
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Olga Kaye

Sunday
7am Dóchas an Domhnach le Séamus Ó Feithcheallaigh.
9am Focus On The Family (Family show with advice on marriage, parenting and other topics)
10am On Our Way with Brendan Flanagan
1pm Afternoons with Ollie Clarke
5pm The Top 40 Countdown (The top 40 positive hits of the week)
8pm Acoustic Sunday with RoJo
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Chris Youn

Former 2FM presenter Dave Redmond, along with Bernie Jameson (formerly Today FM & 4FM) and David Baker (best known for being part of some revolutionary ’80s community stations), make up the heart of the weekday line-up.

Starting each weekday at 7am, former RTÉ presenter RoJo hosts the station’s breakfast show. Bernie Jameson follows at 11am and she, in turn, will be followed by Dave Redmond from 3pm. David Baker hosts the evening 7pm slot.

Spirit Radio will initially be available on FM in selected areas only but will cover most of the country via medium wave from mid-2012.

The full line-up is as follows:-
Weekdays:
7am RoJo in the Mornings
11am Middays with Bernie Jameson
3pm Afternoons with Dave Redmond
7pm Evenings with David Baker
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Wendy Grace
10pm-Midnight (Fridays) Nights with Olga Kaye

Saturday:-
7am Family Breakfast with Dave Hynes
9am Magazine Plus with Noel Shannon
12pm Afternoons with Jacki Ascough
4pm Evenings with Ollie Clarke
8pm Sound Of Praise with Niall Redmond and guests
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Olga Kaye

Sunday
7am Dóchas an Domhnach le Séamus Ó Feithcheallaigh.
9am Focus On The Family (Family show with advice on marriage, parenting and other topics)
10am On Our Way with Brendan Flanagan
1pm Afternoons with Ollie Clarke
5pm The Top 40 Countdown (The top 40 positive hits of the week)
8pm Acoustic Sunday with RoJo
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Chris Youn

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Eleven RTÉ broadcasts nominated for Celtic awards

Eleven RTÉ Television and Radio broadcasts have been shortlisted for the 2011 Celtic Media Awards across 10 different categories. There are seven RTÉ Television programmes, three RTÉ Radio programmes and one RTÉ Radio personality nominated. RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta has been shortlisted for ‘Station of the Year’. The station previously won the award in 2009 and was shortlisted in 2010.

Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí, presenter of Rónán Beo @3 on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, is nominated for Radio Personality of the Year

Three RTÉ Radio documentaries are nominated in the Radio Documentary category. “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Mad About Ned”, both broadcast in the RTÉ Radio 1 Documentary on One slot, are nominated. I Could Have Danced All Night traces the path of well-known Ennis character, Michael Tierney, who before his time, wore make-up and had a large collection of wigs, some blonde with pigtails and others jet-black like Elvis, and Mad about Ned tells the story of 80 year old Traveller man Ned McDonagh, whose passion for singing lifts spirits wherever he goes.

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta documentary, “Athrú Saoil – An tSiúr Mairéad Mic Dhonnchadha”, tells the story of Sister Máiréad Nic Dhonnchadha from Spiddal who made the decision to become a nun at 50 years of age, having spent most of her life until then working in the Central Bank.

The Celtic Media Festival’s aim is to promote the languages and cultures of the Celtic countries on screen and in broadcasting. The 2011 Celitc Media Festival takes place from 13th to 15th April in the Western Isles, Scotland

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BAI Sign Contract With Athlone Community Radio

The BAI have signed a ten year Community Sound Broadcasting Contract with Athlone Community Radio Limited, on-air name Athlone Community Radio.

The service is expected to launch in mid-January 2011 and will broadcast on 88.4MHz FM to Athlone town and environs. It will initially broadcast for four hours on weekday evenings and for eight hours at weekends.

Speaking at the signing of the contract, BAI Chief Executive Michael O’Keeffe said: “I would like to congratulate Athlone Community Radio on their contract signing today. The Authority considers that community radio plays a vital role in ensuring that a diverse mix of services exist to serve the listening needs of the people of Ireland. We wish Athlone Community Radio every success over the term of their licence.”

Secretary, Athlone Community Radio, Denise Hughes and Director, Noel Breslin. The BAI was represented by Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive and Michael Moriarty, Authority Member.
Secretary, Athlone Community Radio, Denise Hughes and Director, Noel Breslin. The BAI was represented by Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive and Michael Moriarty, Authority Member.

Christmas FM to Return With Expanded Broadcast Area

Seasonal radio station Christmas FM have announced that the EBS Building Society and the Irish Daily Mail will co-sponsor the station’s 2010 broadcast, helping to cover the necessary running costs and promotion of the station.

Christmas Fm will be on air 24 hours a day from November 28th to December 27th and this year will add Galway, Limerick and the south-east to their Dublin and Cork multi-city schedule.

The station is Ireland’s only dedicated Christmas radio station and hopes to raise over €100,000 for Barnardos, its dedicated charity partner for 2010.

Seasonal radio station Christmas FM have announced that the EBS Building Society and the Irish Daily Mail will co-sponsor the station’s 2010 broadcast, helping to cover the necessary running costs and promotion of the station

Speaking regarding the sponsorship announcement, Walter Hegarty, Technical Director for Christmas FM said: “Christmas FM is delighted to welcome back the EBS and Irish Daily Mail as our chief sponsors for 2010 as we look to continue to spread some Christmas cheer. The reaction to the station has been fantastic, and last year we were listened to by over a third of our target audience of 15 – 44 year olds. The station has proven a very effective medium for not only generating donations, but also heightening awareness and the profile of our charity partner.”

Christmas FM will once again feature a continuous mix of classic Christmas music and chat. Well-known current and ex-radio personalities will volunteer their time to fill the presenting roles.

Last year’s broadcast raised €70,000 for the station’s charity partner. Research carried out independently of Christmas FM found that recognition of the Christmas FM brand increased from 33% to 47% amongst 15 – 44 yr olds from the 2008 to the 2009 broadcast, while listenership increased from 25% to 38% for the same age group. The number of texts received by the station in 2009 was also up 50% on the number received in 2008.

The station’s proposed frequencies are 89.9MHz in Dublin, 106.7MHz in Cork, 89.5MHz in Galway, 105.5MHz in Limerick and 103.8MHz in the south-east (covering parts of Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Tipperary).

Future FM Win CRAOL Achievement Award

Future FM have been awarded a distinction under the social benefit category of the Community Radio Forum of Ireland (CRAOL) Achievement Awards 2010.

Future FM was a temporary licensed FM radio station, produced and presented by young people from the TAD group (Teenagers About Discussion) at Tallaght Youth Service. The station broadcast live from Rua Red from the 27th – 30th July and worked with 53 young people who presented and produced their own radio programmes. They interviewed 40 guests and had live musical sessions with 6 local bands. Most of the staff were on radio for the very first time.

Patricia Baker, Creative Producer for Future FM, said: “Future FM was an incredible project that enabled young people to have their own radio station that was dedicated to their voice, concerns and celebrations. It supported young people to engage in active citizenship, and share their experiences and expertise with each other, through a structured peer to peer workshop programme. Future FM built a fantastic creative team, who by working collaboratively produced engaging, thought-provoking and fun radio programmes. Receiving the CRAOL Award is a great honour and validation of the hard work the Future FM team did, it is also an encouragement for us to work on Future broadcasts.”

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.”

Shannonside Northern Sound launch 2010 challenge

Presenters and listeners to Shannonside Northern Sound are facing four weeks of training, hard work and dedication as the station launched ‘Twenty Ten – The challenge’ this week. Four of the station’s best-known Presenters were tasked to recruit a dedicated listener from their programme to join them in completing a challenge but neither presenter nor listener had any idea what the challenge might be until they signed up!

On Monday morning all four presenters, plus volunteers, joined Shannonside Northern Sound’s presenter Joe Finnegan in studio to dip into the challenge drum and find out what lay in store. A variety of possible challenges awaited, including show jumping, tight rope walking, learning a foreign language or even jumping out of an aeroplane!

John Lee, partnered by Michelle, discovered that he must learn to sing before completing the task in front of a live audience.

Sean McCaffrey will be joined by Dylan in hopes of becoming a magician. The duo must bring their magic show on the road performing for the school children of counties Cavan and Monaghan.

Pete Casey and listener Vincent must learn an entire dance routine before performing at a popular dance school show while Johnny O Keefe and volunteer Shane will acquire all the skills needed to woo a lovely lady in the kitchen by learning how to cook a romantic meal just in time for Valentines Day.

Each challenge was chosen at random, and while some teams were initially pleased with their pick, the reality of training, homework and public performances are only just becoming a reality.

Teams will be mentored by expert trainers in their chosen field and regular updates on how they’re doing are available throughout the day on Shannonside Northern Sound.

Speaking about the innovative promotion, programme co-ordinator Eithne Kelly explains: “We appreciate that many of our listeners make resolutions in the New Year and as the local station we wanted to support and encourage them by setting our own challenge for the new decade 2010.”

Phantom Now Available on Blackberry Devices

Phantom 105.2 has announced that it is now streaming live on Blackberry mobile devices via the Nobex radio Companion application. Users can download the free application and stream the station live to their device. This new departure means that the Phantom is now available on the three major smartphone brands – Nokia, Blackberry (RIM) and Apple. Late last year Phantom launched its own iPhone application that has achieved Top 10 status in the iTunes App store.

“Mobile devices offer a new and exciting means to access radio and Phantom is leading the field in terms of availability,” said Brian Daly, Phantom’s marketing manager. “It offers us an opportunity to offer enhanced services for our listeners and advertisers including track information, brand information and additional text and multimedia services. It emphasises that radio is adapting perfectly to digital and is still the ultimate portable medium.”

Phantom 105.2 is also available on 105.2MHz FM in Dublin, UPC channel 935 and online at phantom.ie

4FM Appoints Jim Miley as Chief Executive

4FM has today appointed Jim Miley as Chief Executive Officer (designate). Jim will take up his position on January 18th and in his new role he will be responsible for the strategic planning and overall management of 4FM. This will include building audience, driving revenue, recruitment and enhancing the overall profile of the company. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

4FM has today appointed Jim Miley as Chief Executive Officer (designate). Jim will take up his position on January 18th and in his new role he will be responsible for the strategic planning and overall management of 4FM. This will include building audience, driving revenue, recruitment and enhancing the overall profile of the company. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Prior to his appointment at 4FM, Jim Miley was the co-founder and CEO of MyHome.ie from 2000 to 2009. He is a former Chief Executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce and was General Secretary of Fine Gael from 1995 to 1999. Before this, Jim Miley worked for almost a decade in broadcasting at RTÉ as a producer/reporter on radio and television. He started his career as an aid worker in Africa and maintains his interest in that area as non-executive Chairman of Concern.

Kevin Branigan, on behalf of the 4FM board of directors, says: “Jim Miley brings over 25 years of broadcasting and corporate experience to 4FM and the board has every confidence that he has the drive, energy and experience to ensure the continued success of the radio station.”

Jim Miley says he is very much looking forward to taking up the position with the station: “4FM has achieved significant success in its first year in a very difficult economic environment. I look forward to working with the entire team at 4FM to build on the initial success and to continue to increase listenership and secure the commercial success of the station.”

A native of Co. Roscommon, Jim Miley now lives in Glasnevin, Dublin and is married with two children.

4FM broadcasts across Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Clare and surrounding commuter areas.

High Listener Satisfaction for RTÉ RnaG

60% of people in the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta targeted areas in Donegal, Galway and Kerry are listening to the Irish language station. This is according to a listenership poll carried out by TNS mrbi on behalf of RnaG and is the highest reach figure for the station since surveys began. The previous highest reach figure was recorded at 41% in 2000.

60% of people in the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta targeted areas in Donegal, Galway and Kerry are listening to the Irish language station. This is according to a listenership poll carried out by TNS mrbi on behalf of RnaG and is the highest reach figure for the station since surveys began. The previous highest reach figure was recorded at 41% in 2000.

The new poll offers the first new findings for RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta since the last specific research was delivered in 2006. The report also indicated a 91% total satisfaction rating for RnaG in the specific areas which indicates that the station is serving its audience well.

53% of those surveyed listen to RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta every day, as opposed to 48% in the previous survey – recorded in 2006. 75% of respondents listen at least once a week.

Responding to the results of the survey, Ceannaire of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Edel Ní Chuireáin, said: “We are extremely pleased with the results of this survey. It indicates that RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta is performing exceptionally well in both reach and share despite strong competition. Current economic conditions mean these are difficult times for many, perhaps none more so than the rural communities on the western seaboard – key audiences for RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta. It is therefore particularly gratifying that this poll suggests such high levels of listener satisfaction with the service – an indication of the relevance and the importance of the service provided by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta to those communities.”

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta is a national radio station broadcasting from its studios in Casla, Co. Galway, in Doirí Beaga, Co. Donegal, in Baile na nGall, Co. Kerry, in Castlebar, Co. Mayo and in Donnybrook, Dublin. This survey was commissioned by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and was carried out by TNS mrbi between May 21st and July 9th in the Gaeltacht areas of Kerry, Galway and Donegal, based on a sample of 511 people aged 15+ years. Previous surveys were carried out in 1988, 1995, 2000/2001 and 2006. The results of this survey of Gaeltacht areas are not comparable with the national JNLR survey.

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.

Newstalk become main sponsor for local football

The Football Association of Ireland have unveiled Newstalk 106-108FM, Ireland’s independent national talk radio broadcaster, as top tier sponsor of the League of Ireland in an agreement that will last three years starting in March 2009. Under the agreement, Newstalk will also become title sponsor of the Newstalk A Championship which is played by 16 clubs countrywide under the Premier and First divisions.

From next season, the League of Ireland is being offered to the market under a new multi-sponsor format, and with today’s three year deal, Newstalk will benefit from signage, marketing and promotional rights associated with the League of Ireland and the Newstalk A Championship. With the addition of Newstalk as a top tier sponsor, the FAI will now be in a position to provide an increase in prize funding for League of Ireland clubs next year.

Announcing Newstalk’s sponsorship deal, Chief Executive Elaine Geraghty said: “Newstalk is delighted to announce our sponsorship of the League of Ireland. The partnership of Ireland’s national commercial talk radio station with the League reflects Newstalk’s commitment to the sport and our commitment to provide unrivalled coverage of Irish sport at both national and local level. The sports team at Newstalk, delivering over 26 hours of sport weekly, are dedicated to providing coverage that entertains and informs our listeners all over the country. We are confident that this new sponsorship with the League of Ireland and the Newstalk A championship will help build domestic soccer and ensure both Newstalk and the FAI build their presence among new and existing supporters.”

Welcoming the announcement, John Delaney Chief Executive of the FAI said: “I am very happy that Newstalk will be one of the League of Ireland’s top tier sponsors in 2009. Under next season’s multi-sponsor format, the League and its clubs will benefit from increased prize funding. The quality of football played by Irish clubs has improved consistently and with Newstalk’s proven record for quality sports broadcasting, they will be an excellent partner who will assist us in showcasing the quality and drama of League of Ireland football.”

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Back to the future for Dublin temp 90s Network

On Sunday, January 11th one of Dublin’s more unique stations closed down, hopefully not for the last time. The 90s Network was granted a temporary licence by the BCI to broadcast over thirty days. The station chose to break this up into fifteen weekends to prolong their presence on air.

 On Sunday, January 11th one of Dublin's more unique stations closed down, hopefully not for the first time. The 90s Network was granted a temporary licence by the BCI to broadcast over thirty days. The station chose to break this up into fifteen weekends to prolong their presence on air.
Mike O’Brien and Paul Duffy sign BCI contract

The 90s Network focused on the 1990s with the strapline ‘A Decade in Rewind’. They added to the feel of the decade by filling their news broadcasts with stories from the 90s. They have carried on streaming from their website the90snetwork.com and they plan to keep the website updated with ’90s-related video, trivia and station photos.

Radiowaves News caught up with station chief Mike O’Brien following the station’s closedown and posed a few questions.

Tell us a little about The 90s Network from conception through to launch?
The original concept came from an unlicensed station which I operated in 2003 called Breeze FM. It was a small station but received great feedback so I knew there was a market for a station playing something other than the top 40.
In November 2007 I pitched the idea of operating a temp station to a good friend of mine, Paul Duffy. The original idea was to have the station as an automated one called Splash FM but as we met with Ralph McGarry, whom we worked with on Freedom 92FM, we decided to go all out and have presenters on air.
Ralph did most of the paperwork that is involved with an application for a temp licence and the date was set for a launch of 4th October 2008!

How did it feel to broadcast ‘legally’ considering your unlicensed past?
The feeling was fantastic. The work that goes into the preparation for a temp is huge, far more than I had anticipated. The organising of the presenters, the special themed weekends, the news bulletins right down to getting the logger tapes in order is hugely time-consuming but worth it. That feeling of when the tx goes on for the first time is a huge sense of achievement.

What was the listener response like? Did many listeners discover you?
Listener response for the first few weekends was quite small but as the weeks went by we steadily grew our listener base through our text line and also through our website.
We also set up a Facebook page which has over 70 fans from all parts of the world.

Did you get much response from outside Dublin’s confines (overspill/net)?
We got a huge response from our website and the online feed.
We got 67 hits from the feed from New York for some strange reason and about 20 odd hits from Australia.
As for response outside Dublin we got some response from the commuter towns around Dublin.

 L to R: Brian Buterly, Paul Duffy, Mike O' Brien, Robbie Dunbar, Liam Tutty, Wayne Scales and Ralph McGarry on the first meeting of the presenters in August '08
L to R: Brian Buterly, Paul Duffy, Mike O’ Brien, Robbie Dunbar, Liam Tutty, Wayne Scales and Ralph McGarry on the first meeting of the presenters in August ’08

You chose to split up your 30 day term into weekends. Do you feel this was the right decision considering listeners had to ‘remember’ to retune each weekend? Or would a straight 30 days have finished far too soon and seen you out of the public consciousness too quickly?
Yes, we do feel it was the right decision to have it spread over 15 weekends, we felt that the market we were aiming at would love to listen to the songs they grew up with at the weekend.
On reflection and possibly for our next licence run we would spread it over ten weekends.

Your policy was to focus on the ’90s. Why choose the 90s? Would this change if you’re still around in – say – ten years?
We chose the 90s because we felt that the 80s was done to death and now was the time to move up a decade and tap in to the generation that grew up with Sonic the Hedgehog and Green Buses!
I don’t think we would change from the 90s in ten years IF we were still about because it was a fun decade and one that is not catered for on the Dublin radio dial.

Mike O'Brien
Mike O’Brien

Do you think such a station would be viable on a full-time basis? Are you, or have you applied for, another licence and if so what are the indications?
As for a full-time service of 90s I personally would love to see it happen but at the moment we are quite happy to apply again for a temp licence. Our intention is to apply again, with finances permitting, over a ten-week period sometime this year.

Where was your studio and mast situated? Tell us a little about the studio set-up?
Our studio was based in a purpose-built studio in Donaghmede with a link being used to our mountain site on Three Rock in Rathfarnham. We employed the services of Stephen Foley to service our transmission setup. The studio contained an Airmate desk, 2 PCs, Denon CD decks, 2 minidisc players, 2 Rode Broadcast mics.

Ralph McGarry
Ralph McGarry

Unlike other ‘oldies’ stations and/or programmes, your station went beyond the usual 30 or 40 records from a particular era. If you had two records in front of you and one was a well-played classic that gives 99% listener satisfaction, and the other was a rarely-heard obscurity to 99% of listeners, which would you choose to play? Was this a general station policy? Was there a playlist? How much input did the jocks have?
We gave our presenters full control over their own output for the simple reason that we felt that our presenters were experienced enough to rotate their music so that it wasn’t repetitive but we did have a ‘Music clock’ in the studio to guide the presenters and to give the station some conformity. We did encourage the presenters to play the more unheard of stuff though.
As for playing the 2 records I would play both!!! For the simple reason that the listeners pay your bills but if a presenter is allowed to play the more unheard of stuff it makes him enjoy his gig more and that comes out on air.

Any amusing anecdotes from the few weeks of live broadcast?
Apart from electrocuting myself on the first weekend or letting in the presenters to the studio in my underwear??? Not really, I have enjoyed teaming up with old pals with this venture and have loved every minute of it. It was an experience to say the least! I hope the anoraks enjoyed the station and we hope to be back this year sometime.

New station to change name already – but just for a day

Ireland’s newest radio station is to change its name for just one day on Monday. To celebrate Ireland’s connection to US President Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on the 20th of January i105107, the radio station that covers the midlands and north east of Ireland, will become Obama FM in anticipation of this historical event.

 Ireland's newest radio station is to change its name for just one day on Monday. To celebrate Ireland's connection to US President Elect Barack Obama's inauguration on the 20th of January i105107, the radio station that covers the midlands and north east of Ireland, will become Obama FM in anticipation of this historical event.

On the day Obama FM will be broadcasting all day from Moneygall in Co. Offaly, the ancesteral home of Barack Obama’s great-great-great-grandfather. The station’s website, on-air imaging and content will all reflect the US President Elect’s Inauguration on January 20th.

The i105107 Obama FM bus (pictured below) is already travelling around the region spreading the word of the big day and Pat the Baker bread makers has also got in on the fun and agreed to create a new product called Barack’s brack.

i105107 Programme Director Alan Swan said the Obama bus was attracting a lot of attention: “We just thought we should do something to celebrate Barack Obama’s Irish roots. It will be such a historical occasion we had to mark it some way, and we are doing it in typical iRadio fashion!”

Aimed at 15-34 year olds i105107 covers the counties of Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Kildare, Offaly, Westmeath and North-East Laois.

 Ireland's newest radio station is to change its name for just one day on Monday. To celebrate Ireland's connection to US President Elect Barack Obama's inauguration on the 20th of January i105107, the radio station that covers the midlands and north east of Ireland, will become Obama FM in anticipation of this historical event.

Breakfast Presenter Keith Walsh shows off the i105107 Obama FM Bus

New station for Tallaght launches this weekend

A new temporary licensed station Radio Tallaght, which is a project by Tallaght Community Arts and Tallaght Radio Forum, will broadcast on 99.1MHz FM from this weekend. The new station will be on air between 11am and 6pm from Rua Red, the new South Dublin County Arts Centre, over six weekends in 2009 and will feature programmes created and presented by people from the many diverse communities of Tallaght, many sitting behind a microphone for the first time.

A new temporary licensed station Radio Tallaght, which is a project by Tallaght Community Arts and Tallaght Radio Forum, will broadcast on 99.1MHz FM from this weekend. The new station will be on air between 11am and 6pm from Rua Red, the new South Dublin County Arts Centre, over six weekends in 2009 and will feature programmes created and presented by people from the many diverse communities of Tallaght, many sitting behind a microphone for the first time.
The launch poster

The wide variety of programming and the perspectives covered over the six weekends of broadcasting include ‘My Story’, personal stories narrated by Tallaght people from various cultures, race and age; ‘DJ Challenge’, where a senior citizen and a young person play their individual music choices and exchange musical stories; ‘Sounds of Tallaght’, an audio tour of Tallaght with local historian Tomás Maher, and much much more.

The station is currently being programmed by Artist and Creative Producer, Patricia Baker, who has previously set up and operated Radio On, a temporary arts-focused radio station in Cork City in 2007, and Ralph McGarry. This project is the seventh temporary station he has set up/programmed.

Patricia Baker noted: “Radio Tallaght’s aim is to be a voice for the many diverse communities of Tallaght, to celebrate, explore and connect Tallaght’s rich diversity of environment, culture and people, through the medium of community radio. Tallaght Community Arts is delighted to partner with Tallaght Radio Forum on this exciting project and we look forward to all six broadcasts this year.”

Radio Tallaght will work within a critically-engaged community arts practice context and provide a facility for cultural democracy. It will make a significant contribution to reviving the democratic imagination by identifying work that supports citizens as engaged and collectively organised producers rather than passive, individualised consumers.

Tallaght Radio Forum is a group of community enthusiasts who have an interest in radio as a means of community development. It was set up in 2008, initially to bring together interested individuals and groups to explore the concept of community radio.

Radio Tallaght will broadcast on 99.1MHz FM, from 11am to 6pm, on the following dates: January 17th and 18th, March 21st and 22nd, June 20th and 21st, September 19th and 20th, October 17th and 18th, and December 19th and 20th.

Old Fogey Warns Young Fogey to Earn His Spurs

Ryan Tubridy has been warned by broadcasting rival Pat Kenny to slow down and earn his spurs. That’s according to today’s Sunday Tribune. Kenny’s tirade comes after Tubridy voiced his opinion that his morning show on RTÉ Radio 1 should be extended. This, of course, would eat into Pat Kenny’s own programme on the station. In addition, Tubridy said he’d like to see his Saturday night TV show moved to Friday nights, the night when Kenny presents ‘The Late Late Show’.

“There’s a new boss (Clare Duignan) in radio and she could put Ryan Tubridy on 2FM for all I know,” says Pat. “I have no interest in what might be good for Ryan to be honest…he’s doing all sorts of things. He’s only 35, he’s a young man in a terrible hurry to do everything that everyone before him has done.”

Kenny revealed that he has just signed a contract to do a two hour primetime show on radio every day.

Festive Station Christmas FM Raised €30,000 For ISPCC

Christmas FM, the temporary radio station which broadcast for a month leading to St Stephen’s Day, raised over €30,000 for their charity partner the ISPCC. The station broadcast live in Dublin on 89.9MHz FM and across the world via the internet on a voluntary basis playing non-stop Christmas tunes. Texts to the station cost €1 and proceeds went to the charity.

A statement from the station’s management reads: “Christmas FM would like to thank everybody who supported the station during our recent temporary licence. We would like to say a sincere thank you and well done to the many djs and presenters from radio stations all over Leinster and beyond whose dedication made the station the success that it was. Credit is also due to the management of those stations who readily agreed to allow their staff to participate in the project. In common with most temporary stations there were very little resources available for pre-launch publicity. We were also conscious of the economic downturn and the fact that a charity-oriented service was a new concept. Despite all this the station literally hit the ground running and remained in full throttle mode for the duration. From the very early stages it became apparent that the impact of the station was going to be a lot bigger than we had dared hope. Over the course of the 30 days we received over 10,500 text messages. The website, christmasfm.ie had almost 4 million hits during the same period. Our online listenership averaged 1,500 per day. Given that the station came from nowhere on November 28th we are extremely pleased with what was achieved and are delighted that the listening public seem to have taken the station and its ethos to heart.”

The station have indicated that they hope to return for next Christmas.

4FM Appoints Dave Hammond as Marketing Director

4FM, the new multi-city radio station due to go on air early this year, has appointed Dave Hammond as Director of Sales and Marketing. Dave will manage the sales and marketing departments of the radio station and implement a strategy to drive overall business growth.

4FM, the new multi-city radio station due to go on air early this year, has appointed Dave Hammond as Director of Sales and Marketing. Dave will manage the sales and marketing departments of the radio station and implement a strategy to drive overall business growth.

4FM will offer a brand new choice in music and entertainment for adult radio listeners in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Clare. The station, which will employ 44 full and part-time staff, will broadcast a wide repertoire of speech and music programmes designed to engage listeners.

Dave Hammond has an impressive track record in the radio industry. He began his career in 1986 with Sunshine 101FM in Dublin, where he held the role of Sales Manager, and in 1989 he went on to become a member of the original management team which founded Dublin’s 98FM.

In 1994, Dave joined the radio division of Scandinavian Broadcasting Systems (a Disney /ABC venture) as European Sales Director where he was responsible for the commercial development of 15 radio stations in multiple countries. In 1997, he was appointed Sales and Marketing Director of Radio Ireland Ltd and later went on to become General Manager of Today FM, leading the station to profitability.

During his career, Dave has also held the position of Advertising Manager with the Sunday Independent and Commercial Manager with 96FM Cork. Dave also spent eight years as a representative on the JNLR committee and served on the organising committee responsible for the inaugural Radio Awards for Ireland. He is also a member of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and holds an MBA from Smurfit Business School U.C.D.

Marian Finucane Gets Pro-Active at the Weekends

RTÉ Radio have announced Flora Pro-active as the new twelve month sponsor of ‘The Marian Finucane Show’. The deal commenced at the weekend.

Following more than 23 years broadcasting on RTÉ Radio 1, Marian Finucane has now positioned both her Saturday and Sunday shows as essential weekend listening. Recent JNLR figures show Marian’s Saturday show as the third most listened to radio programme in Ireland with 347,000 listeners and her Sunday show is the eighth most listened to, delivering 281,000 listeners every week. Recent guests have included: Nuala O’Faoláin, Brian O’Driscoll, Louis Walsh, Daniel Day Lewis, President Mary McAleese, Ronnie Drew, Kim Cattrell, Chef Dylan McGrath, Minister Mary Harney, Tommy Tiernan, American Ambassador Thomas C Foley, Sean Fitzpatrick and Professor Brendan Drumm.

RTÉ Radio Sponsorship Manager, Tara Farrell said: “In what has been a very strong year for RTÉ Radio Sales, Flora pro-active is without doubt the perfect sponsorship fit for Ireland’s number one weekend radio show and an excellent start to 2009.”

The 12 month sponsorship package includes four sponsor credited stings per show on both Saturday & Sunday plus pre-promotional spots in Joe Duffy’s ‘Liveline’, ‘Conversations with Eamon Dunphy’ and ‘The Business’.

Other recent deals for RTÉ Radio include Ladbroke’s sponsorship of the Weekend Sport on RTÉ Radio 1; Centra’s sponsorship of RTÉ 2FM’s timechecks; Benecol have signed up to a second year of ‘The Tubridy Show’ and AIB have also renewed their sponsorship of ‘Drivetime Sport with Des Cahill’ for a second year.

Marian Finucane was honoured earlier this year with PPI Lifetime Achievement Award.

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.

New north west youth station to launch on February 7th

i102-104 have announced that it will now begin broadcasting across the north-west on February 7th. The first voices that will be heard on air will be Tommy Tiernan and Hector Ó hEochagáin.

i102-104 have announced that it will now begin broadcasting across the north-west on February 7th. The first voices that will be heard on air will be Tommy Tiernan and Hector Ó hEochagáin.

The brand new station will be the first dedicated radio station for young people in the north-west region and will broadcast to Galway, Sligo, Mayo, Leitrim, Longford, Roscommon and Donegal. The station will be music-driven and will focus heavily on listener interactivity.

Highlights of the schedule include Ireland’s first daily bilingual radio show "Ar Éileamh and iWitness News", which will champion i102-104’s aim of encouraging listeners to participate in the station’s programming through polls, vox-pops and giving them with the opportunity to comment on news and current affairs.

Comics Tommy Tiernan and Hector Ó hEochagáin will team up to present a weekly show every Friday. Other on-air talent was discovered through iRadio’s extensive talent search in the north-west region. Ten of the 32 staff in the station are new talent to the radio business.

From 6.20am every weekday morning the north-west will wake up to new presenters Wes O'Duinn and Louise McSharry and the "iWake Up Breakfast" team. From 9.30am "iWork with Dave O'Connor" will feature music and chat with workplace requests and dedications throughout. "iWitness News with Grainne McMahon" will be a 'no nonsense' round up of the day’s big stories. Then Mark Cunning continues with "iWork" from 12:45 while Fergal D'Arcy will present i102104's drivetime show and Barbara NicDhonnacha will present Ireland’s first daily bilingual radio show Ar Éileamh.

Evening time will combine a mixture of music and chat. iTalk with Chris Greene will air each Monday through Thursday at 10pm.

Commenting on the newest addition to the Irish radio market, Dave Harland, CEO of OMD one of Ireland’s biggest media buying agencies, said: "The regional revenue model proposed by i102-104 is innovative and creates a much needed platform to reach young people in the north west region. We believe that agencies and clients will recognise the value of this platform from the outset for reaching the covetable youth market."

The new station General Manager, Rena Maycock, added: "The whole team has worked tirelessly to ensure that i102-104 has the best possible radio offering for listeners in the north west. We believe we have achieved that and would like to thank everyone for their hard work over the last few months as we have prepared to go on-air. We have also been greatly encouraged by the level of agency support we have received to date."

Dan Healy, CEO of Wilton Radio, commented: "We are genuinely excited by the team of people we have on board and I have been blown away by the ‘as live’ broadcasts we have been doing for the last number of weeks. We have a hugely talented team on board and I feel that i102-104 can really invigorate the media offering for young people in the north west."

Deborah Fagan, Financial Director of Wilton Radio added: "I would like to thank the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland for awarding us this wonderful opportunity to deliver relevant radio to 15 to 34 year olds in the north west and to our shareholders for their unwavering support."

i102-104 is operated by Wilton Radio, which has also been awarded a youth radio license by the BCI for a youth radio station in the north-east, which will go on air later this year.

The brand new station will be the first dedicated radio station for young people in the north-west region and will broadcast to Galway, Sligo, Mayo, Leitrim, Longford, Roscommon and Donegal. The station will be music-driven and will focus heavily on listener interactivity.

Highlights of the schedule include Ireland’s first daily bilingual radio show “Ar Éileamh and iWitness News”, which will champion i102-104’s aim of encouraging listeners to participate in the station’s programming through polls, vox-pops and giving them with the opportunity to comment on news and current affairs.

Comics Tommy Tiernan and Hector Ó hEochagáin will team up to present a weekly show every Friday. Other on-air talent was discovered through iRadio’s extensive talent search in the north-west region. Ten of the 32 staff in the station are new talent to the radio business.

From 6.20am every weekday morning the north-west will wake up to new presenters Wes O’Duinn and Louise McSharry and the “iWake Up Breakfast” team. From 9.30am “iWork with Dave O’Connor” will feature music and chat with workplace requests and dedications throughout. “iWitness News with Grainne McMahon” will be a ‘no nonsense’ round up of the day’s big stories. Then Mark Cunning continues with “iWork” from 12:45 while Fergal D’Arcy will present i102104’s drivetime show and Barbara NicDhonnacha will present Ireland’s first daily bilingual radio show Ar Éileamh.

Evening time will combine a mixture of music and chat. iTalk with Chris Greene will air each Monday through Thursday at 10pm.

Commenting on the newest addition to the Irish radio market, Dave Harland, CEO of OMD one of Ireland’s biggest media buying agencies, said: “The regional revenue model proposed by i102-104 is innovative and creates a much needed platform to reach young people in the north west region. We believe that agencies and clients will recognise the value of this platform from the outset for reaching the covetable youth market.”

The new station General Manager, Rena Maycock, added: “The whole team has worked tirelessly to ensure that i102-104 has the best possible radio offering for listeners in the north west. We believe we have achieved that and would like to thank everyone for their hard work over the last few months as we have prepared to go on-air. We have also been greatly encouraged by the level of agency support we have received to date.”

Dan Healy, CEO of Wilton Radio, commented: “We are genuinely excited by the team of people we have on board and I have been blown away by the ‘as live’ broadcasts we have been doing for the last number of weeks. We have a hugely talented team on board and I feel that i102-104 can really invigorate the media offering for young people in the north west.”

Deborah Fagan, Financial Director of Wilton Radio added: “I would like to thank the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland for awarding us this wonderful opportunity to deliver relevant radio to 15 to 34 year olds in the north west and to our shareholders for their unwavering support.”

i102-104 is operated by Wilton Radio, which has also been awarded a youth radio licence by the BCI for a youth radio station in the north-east, which will go on air later this year

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Radio Kilkenny in talks about possible relaunch

Radio Kilkenny, which closed down in January 2004, are in discussion with the BCI with a view to relaunching as a community service. The station lost its commercial broadcast licence when the BCI realigned the franchise borders but Radio Kilkenny’s studios are still in situ meaning they could be on air within days if the BCI was agreeable .

RTÉ Radio 1 to close its medium wave service

RTÉ have announced that it will close its RTÉ Radio 1 Medium Wave service on March 24th. The company says that the medium wave service offers poor value for money, is environmentally unsound and is out of date. It also cites poor quality reception and audio as reasons for the cessation. The closure will not affect RTÉ Radio 1’s existing FM or Long Wave services.

RTÉ’s MW service was launched in 1926 but listeners gradually migrated to the superior sound quality of FM when it was introduced in the 1970s. Today, more than 90% of RTÉ Radio 1 listening is via its FM service. In addition the growth of new platforms such as podcasting, mobile phones and digital radio, mean that radio audiences have a much wider choice of when and how to listen.

JP Coakley, Head of Operations at RTÉ Radio says: “Our audience research tells us that MW listening is largely based on habit rather than necessity. Our job now is to convince MW listeners that there are other ways to listen that are as good as, if not better, than Medium Wave.”

Once the MW transmission service is switched off in March, listeners who tune into MW specifically for additional RTÉ Radio 1 programming, such as weekday sports broadcasts and religious services, will find those programmes on 252LW and on a range of digital platforms.

RTÉ Radio 1’s LW service was introduced in 2004 and was upgraded in 2007. The signal carries throughout Ireland and into Britain.

RTÉ will launch a public information campaign for MW listeners next Friday. The campaign includes on-air MW announcements, newsletters and press releases for listeners, representative bodies and stakeholder groups; an information number to call for assistance on tuning to FM and a voucher scheme providing half-price FM/LW radios for those most in need

New series for schools starts on na Life

A  brand new radio series for primary school children commences today at 6pm on Raidió na Life 106.4FM, Dublin’s Irish Language radio station. Raidió na nÓg is hosted by TG4 television personality Niall MacDonagh and will be available to almost 470 schools around Dublin city and county. Each week Raidió na nÓg profiles a different primary school, where the kids get the opportunity to introduce us to their own school from their own unique perspective. The show will feature special guests, reviews, comedy scetches and competitions. One of the main aims of the series is to encourage children between the ages of seven and twelve to listen to radio in a fun and educational way. The shows will also be available online as podcasts from the station’s website, allowing teachers to play it back in the classroom.

Featuring uniquely commissioned music from Stellarsound, Raidió na nÓg is produced by Fíbín Teo for Raidió na Life 106.4FM, and is part-funded by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (www.bci.ie)

Galway Bay FM to put their listeners in the know

Galway Bay FM are about to introduce a unique new feature by offering competition text alerts to listeners. From February 4th, the station will send out weekly texts with information on competitions and prizes that will be featured on Galway Bay FM shows the following week.

The station will also keep listeners updated with what is happening on “The Keith Finnegan Show” with daily text alerts about topics that will be featured on the show before it goes to air.

Galway Bay FM CEO Keith Finnegan is excited about this new interactive text facility. He says: “It’s yet another first for Galway Bay FM; it puts us in direct contact with our listeners and gives them the information before anyone else as to what is on your radio station and when. This is just another example of how modern radio is going direct to the listeners.”

Galway Bay FM Promotions Co-ordinator Padraic Flaherty adds: “This service is for people who want more from radio, which is what we are providing. E-technology coupled with radio will be a winning combination and we are confident that our listeners will embrace this service.”

Heart to take control of East Coast

Heart Media, owned by Seán Ashmore, will buy a majority stake in Wicklow station East Coast FM at an EGM today. Heart is set to buy out a number of investors, including Communicorp’s 27% share. This will give Ashmore, a director with the station, around 75% control of East Coast, which also holds shares in Dublin’s Country Mix 106.8FM and Kildare’s KFM.

iRadio Complete Signing, Ready to Broadcast

The BCI have signed a contract with i Radio Limited (trading as i102-104) to broadcast a regional youth radio service for the north-west of Ireland. Aimed at 15-34 year olds, the service will cover the counties of Galway, Mayo, Longford, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.
i102-104 will broadcast in the north-west 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The station’s music output will be predominantly centred on contemporary hits and will also give prominence to new music and more specialist genres such as alternative rock and RnB/urban sounds.

The BCI have signed a contract with i Radio Limited (trading as i102-104) to broadcast a regional youth radio service for the north-west of Ireland. Aimed at 15-34 year olds, the service will cover the counties of Galway, Mayo, Longford, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.
i102-104 will broadcast in the north-west 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The station’s music output will be predominantly centred on contemporary hits and will also give prominence to new music and more specialist genres such as alternative rock and RnB/urban sounds.

i102-104 will have a strong emphasis on interactivity with its listeners and is committed to providing relevant engaging news and current affairs programming for 15-34 year olds.

Speaking at today’s contract signing, the BCI’s Chief Executive Michael O’Keeffe said: “We are delighted to sign this contract with i Radio Limited, which is the third regional youth radio service to have been licensed by the Commission. We have every confidence that i102-104 will bring freshness, energy and diversity to the mix of services available in the north-west. I would like to wish the team of people involved every success in the years ahead”.

i102-104 will commence broadcasting on January 23rd next, a week later than recently announced. i Radio Limited were awarded the licence in principle for the north-west regional service at the BCI Board meeting in November 2006. There were five applications for the licence, an oral hearing for which was held in Galway in October 2006.

New North West Regional to Start on Monday Week

i102-104, the new youth regional station for the north-west, have finally announced a launch date of January 14th. Broadcasting to to a potential audience of 185,000, the station will offer an alternative to the existing local stations in Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Longford, Roscommon and Galway.

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.

New Westmeath Schedule for 103

Midlands 103 is announcing a brand new schedule for its Westmeath service which will include former Shannonside Northern Sound presenter Seamus Duke. This is in tandem with a major investment in modern broadcast equipment, including software upgrades and enhancements to sound processor quality. The station’s name wil lalso change from Midlands Gold.

Midlands 103 Westmeath provides a dedicated output for the county from its studios in Mullingar and Athlone, while offering the primary station format to the three counties of Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.

Albert Fitzgerald, the station’s Managing Director, says: “Midlands 103 Westmeath aims to provide an alternative to the main service – intensely local output at specific times. We broadcast to three counties so it’s a constant battle to be ‘local’ to people of Finea in North Westmeath, and also be relevant to a listener in Graigecullen in South Laois. We’re fortunate to be in a position to provide two options for people in Westmeath.”

The company, which employs 50 full- and part-time staff, is increasing its investment in Midlands 103 Westmeath. This is not only reflected in the technical upgrades but also in the big-name broadcasters who have signed up for the new schedule: Seamus Duke is one of the best-known local radio broadcasters in the country, having drawn over 40,000 listeners to his hourly programme on Shannonside FM. His well-publicised departure from that station in the autumn presented Midlands 103 with what they call a golden opportunity.

Will Faulkner, Midlands 103’s Director of Programming, has been working closely with Mr Duke to prepare a three hour community programme for Westmeath, which will run from 2pm-5pm weekdays.
“I’m delighted to be working with a presenter of the calibre of Seamus Duke,” Will says. “He’s a former Head of News and Sport with Shannonside FM and he also worked with Radio Ireland (now Today FM.) He has an intricate knowledge of politicians and personalities in the Lake County – more importantly, he knows the local people and issues that affect them.”
The show, which is entitled ‘Good Afternoon Westmeath’, will be listener-driven and Seamus is anxious to get local people involved with the programme. It will compliment ‘The Afternoon Show with Roy Jennings’, which offers a music alternative on the main 103.5 frequency. The show will also feature hourly news bulletins from the dedicated Westmeath News Centre.

From 4.30pm, Midlands 103 provides a mix of ’70s, ’80s and ’90s music with regular news and traffic updates.
Will Faulkner comments: “We’ve received a huge amount of positive feedback to Carl James’ programme, but a sizeable number of listeners in Athlone, Kilbeggan, Mullingar – all areas of Westmeath, in fact – also contacted us to compliment Joe Cooney’s ‘Country Roads’ evening show. It convinced us that it makes sense to offer a country and Irish alternative to Drivetime in Westmeath.”

The station launched an extensive recruitment campaign to find a presenter for the new programme, interviewing over 40 applicants. Once again, a long established and hugely popular name emerged as the successful candidate – Ricey Scully.
Will Faulkner describes Ricey Scully as a broadcasting and music legend in the Midlands: “He’s done it all! He featured on pirate radio in Athlone and Mullingar before the inception of commercial radio in 1989. He has played music with all of the biggest names and he has a connection with ordinary people unlike anybody else in the business. We’re thrilled he has accepted the role of country music presenter on the new Midlands 103 Westmeath schedule.”

‘Teatime with Ricey Scully’ goes to air from December 4th as part of the revised schedule. It will feature a blend of artists from the Lake County such as Joe Dolan and TR Dallas, while also offering a flavour of Irish music talent from across the Midlands region.

In addition, a full schedule of specialist programming is being busily prepared for Midlands 103 Westmeath. They include ‘The Best Rock ‘n’ Roll memories with Billy Mc’, ‘Westmeath Showcase with Davy Hynes’ on Thursday evenings, and the dedicated Westmeath ‘Sports Diary’ with Willie Geraghty and Ned Flynn caps off the week.

The students of Athlone Institute of Technology will also showcase their talents with a one-hour programme. These shows will run opposite ‘Country Roads with Joe Cooney’ on the main station output. A further series of programmes to run at a later time is also being considered.

Midlands 103 Managing Director Albert Fitzgerald believes diversity is the key to being a successful radio station. He says: “Our ethos is to provide a service by local people, for local people. The people of Westmeath have two choices on their dial. They can tune to 95.4FM in Athlone, or 96.5FM in Mullingar, and hear specific content for their county. They also have the option of staying with the main service on 103.5FM.”

The company is investing €250,000 in its transmission network. Mr Fitzgerald went on to say: “We realise some listeners may have had difficulty receiving Midlands 103 during our upgrade work. I’d like to thank them for their loyal support and patience. I’m delighted to announce that a stronger, crisper, clearer signal will be beaming through their radios very soon. I hope you enjoy Midlands 103, be it our main service or dedicated Westmeath programming. Roll on December 4th!”

98 Bribe Allegations Untrue

Denis O’Brien has begun libel proceedings against the Irish Mirror over an article which appeared in the newspaper in June 1998. The article suggested that O’Brien had given a £30,000 bribe to former Minister Ray Burke for Dublin station 98FM’s broadcast licence when Burke was awarding local radio licences. The newspaper have admitted that there was no truth in the articles, which also suggested wrong-doing on O’Brien’s part in the acquiring of the second mobile telephone licence.
The case is before a jury for assessment of damages only and continues tomorrow.

End of the Road for Choice

Ireland’s easy-listening radio station, Choice FM, will reach the end of its second temporary licence term at midnight tonight. The station has broadcast each Friday, Saturday and Sunday since September 8th.
To mark the final day of broadcasting, Choice FM will broadcast ‘The Top 100 Easy Listening Songs of all Time’ between 10am and 6pm. The chart has been compiled by votes from the station’s listeners in their service areas.
Choice FM first appeared on a 30 day temporary licence last year. At that point the station broadcast to Dublin only but the service was extended this year to cover other major population centres Cork, Galway & Limerick. The station’s management intend to apply for the full-time multi-city licence which will be advertised next year.

A Choice of Programming on MW

This Saturday Choice FM will present a day of special programming as a medium wave opt-out for Dublin listeners. From 11am, on the station’s 1278kHz AM frequency, there will be a selection of special broadcasts which will include general music programming, as well as general information and chat, aimed at what Choice call the “more discerning listener”. The broadcasts run until 6pm when the MW transmitter will rejoin Choice’s FM network for ‘Best of’ with broadcaster Shay Healy.
Speaking about the opt-out programming, Choice FM’s station manager Kevin Branigan, said: “We are enthused by the opportunity to provide separate programming on our MW transmitter. The huge feedback from our ‘Retro Romance’ programmes demonstrates to us that there is a huge market for the crooners and million-seller artists that is not being catered for by existing radio stations – and we would like to gauge the response to it on Saturday.
Choice broadcasts to the major cities around Ireland on FM and AM and will complete its current ten-week temporary licence this weekend.

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. 

The Freaks have Departed the Airwaves

Freak FM has closed down. Cork’s long-running alternative rock music station, which broadcast on 105.2MHz FM, went off air in the early hours of this morning following a recent raid by ComReg. A series of foul-mouthed tirades against the authorities marked Freak FM’s final countdown during which station personnel broadcast a defiant message telling ComReg (at the end of a Rage Against the Machine track with a similar line): “F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me”. This was just minutes before they closed – just as they were told to.

The Freaks have Departed the airwaves

The station feel aggrieved that a licence to broadcast to Cork has been awarded by the BCI to Life FM, a station broadcasting religious programming, yet their audience remains disenfranchised by the present licensing set-up. According to a station presenter, the BCI do not believe that there is a need for a station like Freak FM in Cork and he is calling on their listeners to “annoy them” until they get the message.

Station First for Bahrain

Bahrain is set to have its first private radio station. Sawt al-Ghad (Voice of Tomorrow) has already gone on the air on a trial basis on 98.4MHz FM. The station is expected to launch officially in a few weeks and will focus on music, sports, culture and the stock market but avoid news and politics.

Major Crackdown on London Pirates

Many of London’s estimated 80 pirate stations have been shut in a series of raids which started last Saturday and ended midweek. Ofcom, with police help, removed 53 radio transmitters, putting 44 stations involved in illegal broadcasting out of business. Stations affected include Afrique FM in Tottenham, Lush FM in Acton, Whoa FM in Elephant & Castle, Baseline FM in Lewisham, Powerjam in Battersea, Ragga FM in Edmonton and Have It FM in Bow. The operation was carried out because many of the stations are believed to be linked to criminal gangs. The raids also uncovered drugs and weapons, including firearms.

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.”

Duffy Criticises Bono’s Radio Skills

RTÉ’s Joe Duffy has criticised Bono’s performance as guest editor of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme earlier this week. The presenter of Radio 1’s Liveline programme called the U2 lead singer “boring” and “too wrapped up in himself” in his Ireland on Sunday column published today. Duffy feels that Bono made a ‘dog’s dinner’ of producing the programme, which went out just two days after the tsunami disaster which struck South-East Asia last weekend. He claims that Bono allowed his ‘old-pals club’ to spend time offering devotion to Bono and themselves, rather than devoting time to dealing with the disaster which has laid the planet’s population grief-stricken.
Duffy was also critical of an item Bono produced suggesting that the Irish are descended from Arabs rather than the Celts. Considering the events in Asia, Duffy questions whether anyone cares whether Bono is a Celt or an Arab.
At the same time Duffy was full of praise for Pat Kenny, his colleague at Radio 1, for his treatment of the tsunami disaster. He called Kenny’s show “a masterclass of sensitivity and production”.