The BCI today announced the decisions relating to licences for the Carlow/Kilkenny and County Kildare franchise areas. The licences have been awarded in principle subject to the successful conclusion of contract negotiations.
CK Broadcasting Ltd, who will operate KCLR – the Heart of The Two Counties, have been awarded the licence for the Carlow/Kilkenny franchise.
County Kildare FM Radio Ltd have been awarded the Kildare franchise. Their station will be known as Kfm.
The BCI’s chairman Conor J. Maguire explains: “The contracts were awarded in principle subject to the relevant clarifications/responses pertaining to the applications being addressed to the satisfaction of the Commission. Once the contract negotiations have been completed with the successful applicants further details will be announced.”
The fallout from today’s BCI’s announcement of new licensees for the Carlow/Kilkenny and Kildare franchises is that two long-serving stations will stop broadcasting next year. Radio Kilkenny and CKR FM will become memories once the new licence-holders – KCLR in Carlow/Kilkenny & Kfm in Kildare – take to the air.
Radio Kilkenny’s franchise has been revamped to include the Carlow area, and although the station were shortlisted to be reawarded the new licence, they were ultimately unsuccessful. They will cease broadcasting next October after twelve years on air.
CKR FM served the old franchise of Carlow and Kildare. The BCI now feel that Co Kildare is justified in having a station serving its needs solely, resulting in CKR FM’s demise. CKR FM consistently registered bad JNLRs. They will also cease broadcasting next October.
The Board and Shareholders of CK Broadcasting Limited (including Irish Radio & Media Holdings, People Newspapers Ltd, and Setanta Media Holdings) are delighted with the decision of the BCI to accept their application for a licence to operate a radio station for the new Carlow/Kilkenny franchise. The new station, which will commence broadcasting in October 2003, will be known as KCLR – the Heart of The Two Counties and will be a broad-based local service with special emphasis on covering news, current affairs, sport, special interest and community access programming from the two counties.
In a statement issued this afternoon to Radiowaves News, the company say they would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the public and the many voluntary, community, statutory and commercial organisations in both Carlow and Kilkenny who have assisted in the development of the project to this stage.
“CK Broadcasting looks forward to continuing to work with these people and to developing further close links with individuals and organisations in Carlow and Kilkenny in the years ahead. Work has already commenced on the establishment of the station’s Community Forum – a consultative structure in which community, voluntary and sporting organisations in Carlow and Kilkenny will be invited to participate and which will be given Board representation in the new company,” the statement continues.
Speaking to Radiowaves News today, the station’s chairman John Purcell said: “We would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the other two consortia – namely KCR FM and CKR FM – who were competing for the new licence. We look forward to working with them both in the transition to the new service and to exploring opportunities with the many fine broadcasters and staff in each station.” John is a former Radio Kilkenny general manager.
Realising the responsibilities that goes with the licence, John continues: “We are deeply grateful to have been given this opportunity by the BCI and we would like to assure the Commission and the people of Kilkenny and Carlow of our total and unswerving commitment to providing quality local radio and to creating a service which will be a cornerstone of community life in the years ahead.”
The company hope to offer a true local service. John Purcell was born and reared in the area and he has been deeply involved in the radio industry since the early 1990s. For him, today is an immensely proud day. “It has been my privilege to lead a consortium of people who have a tremendous track record of success in broadcasting and other industries and who are now 100% committed to the success of this new project,” he said. “Today marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in local broadcasting in Carlow and Kilkenny”.