Dublin’s FM104 were off air last night for a period following a break-in at their transmitter site which necessitated broadcasting from a standby transmitter in Hume House for a period. They are now back on from 3 Rock following a temporary repair job, although there was thousands of pounds worth of equipment ruined.
NEAR FM and FM104 have had their stolen equipment recovered by police after official pirate radio detection experts managed to locate station broadcasts in Rathfarnham, Dublin.
Other equipment relating to recent thefts at East Coast Radio and CKR FM was also discovered.
FM104’s R&B specialist Tony Dixon was attacked at the weekend in a pub in Castleknock. He was 15 minutes into his set when he was struck over the head with a bottle by a man who had repeatedly requested songs which the he refused to play. The attack has left the dj badly scarred.
RTÉ Radio, Today FM and just about every other station in the country are claiming that more and more people are tuning their way. It can only mean today’s release of the JNLR figures covering the period July 99 – June 2000. Countrywide, yesterday RTÉ Radio 1 are getting 30%, 2FM 28% and Today FM 14%. In Dublin RTÉ Radio 1 are pulling in 40% of listeners with 16% each for 2FM, FM104 and 98FM. Overall the RTÉ stations are getting a 49% share and the independents 51%.
Comment: Such a shame that the pirates aren’t included. It would be nice to have a true reflection of who’s listening to what and it might also put an end to the whole ESG v Hot debate currently boring everyone to tears on bulletin boards.
Dublin’s FM104 are shortly to introduce their own version of the hit UK television show ‘Big Brother’. Details to be released soon. FM104 are tunable at 104.4MHz in Dublin city and county.
A rolling 24-hour Dublin news radio station will start broadcasting on the internet from the beginning of October at Dublinradionews.com. The service will be provided by Flycatcher.ie who are a sister-company of FM104 and those behind the dance internet station Wod1.com. Staff will consist of the existing FM104 news team plus some new recruits.
Source: Brian Greene
FM104 have released details of their version of the successful UK television show ‘Big Brother’. It is entitled “Big Rover” and the prize will be a Rover 25 which will be parked off Grafton St in Dublin’s city centre from October 31st. The four contestants will be expected to live inside with a ten minute break every two hours. The person who manages to stay in the car the longest gets to drive it away. The car will be constantly monitored by microphones with regular updates on air and the public are also invited to drop by to take a look. Qualifiers will be chosen from next Monday. FM104 can be found on 104.4MHz in Dublin city and surrounding counties.
A controversial billboard ad campaign run by FM104 has been pulled following complaints. The ads, which also appeared in bus and rail stations, made clever use of what appeared to be advertising space which was too small for the full-sized poster. This resulted in the slogan “HIT HOT MUSIC” appearing with part of an assumed letter ‘S’ before it. Another ad ran with what appeared to be part of the letter ‘C’ before the slogan “KING BRILLIANT MUSIC”, leaving no doubt to the intent.
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld the complaints and ordered the Dublin station to take down the offensive posters.
The chief executives of two of the country’s top radio stations have spoken out against EMI/Virgin Records for their part in releasing an album in association with Dublin pirate station Phantom FM.
The Dublin rock station recently released ‘Phantom Vol 1’ but in the current issue of Hot Press, Willie O’Reilly of Today FM expresses his disappointment that the record company would become associated with an illegal broadcaster.
He says: “I wonder how the artists feel about copyright infringement. We pay about 15% of our gross income to record companies for the use of their stuff. Phantom pay nothing.”
Although O’Reilly admits that [Phantom] should be licensed, he states that that isn’t the issue here. “The issue is that they aren’t licensed. They have pretty dirty hands because they came off the air to apply for a licence and when they didn’t get it, they went back on.”
FM104’s Dermot Hanrahan is even more scathing in his criticism. Directly addressing the record company, he says: “You’ve no moral authority to be dealing with piracy of music if you support criminal broadcasters.”
He suggests that artists involved with the album would not receive future airplay on FM104. “I don’t see that bands can still expect me to play their music if they associate themselves with criminal broadcasters.”
There are suggestions that the ODTR could come down heavy on EMI for their involvement, but in their defence, a spokesperson for the record company says that Phantom FM is not mentioned anywhere on the sleeve. Although the sleeve does refer to the station’s website phantomfm.com, “that is an internet station which is not illegal”, the spokesperson says.
Dublin’s FM104 Phoneshow host Adrian Kennedy has been issued with death threats following an interview with a well-known American racist during the week, according to today’s Sunday World. Kennedy told the white supremacist exactly what he thought of him at the end of a lively debate. The show was bombarded with threatening phone calls and emails by neo-nazis in the immediate aftermath, and these have been reported to Gardaí.
Dublin indie rock station Phantom FM have been granted a 30 day temporary licence to broadcast on the FM band by the BCI. The station, who have in the past applied twice for a permanent licence but been turned down, plan to spread the 30 days over 14 weekends running from 18th October until early next year – and will also include broadcasts on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day. They will continue to use the name Phantom FM.
The return of the influential station will be welcomed by thousands of musically disenfranchised young Dubliners in a city where a licensed specialist modern rock service has so far been lacking.
Phantom FM will continue to offer a “modern rock” programme schedule consisting of Irish and international indie/alternative rock artists with a heavy emphasis on emerging talent from the Dublin scene that are under represented on the playlists of existing commercial stations. Live interviews and in studio sessions will be a regular feature of programming that will be presented by enthusiastic and informed presenters. A measure of the calibre of the new broadcasting talent nurtured by Phantom FM is the fact that key music programmes on Today FM, 2FM and FM104 are all presented by ex-Phantom DJs. The station also plans to host number of live concerts in Dublin venues that will be broadcast live along with a series of music workshops for new bands and artists.
“We will be championing the local music scene and are proud to do so,” says Simon Maher, Phantom’s station manager. “There is a wealth of local bands and artists who are recording music, filling venues and have healthy CD sales yet are rarely heard on local or national radio. Radio airplay is crucial to nurturing this talent who are a valuable micro-economy in themselves. We’re grateful to the BCI for giving us this opportunity.”
Maher cites the thousands of survey forms received from online listeners who want to hear new Irish music on the air and broad support from the music industry.
Phantom FM will broadcast on 97.3 MHz FM across Dublin city every weekend commencing on October 18th right through until the final broadcast in the series on January 18th, 2004. Programming will run each weekend from midnight Friday until midnight Sunday. Outside of these hours the station will continue to transmit via the web at www.phantomfm.com. The station will be funded by revenues generated by programme sponsorship.
Wireless Media Ltd., the promoters of Phantom FM have recently made a submission of interest to the BCI to operate a similar radio service on a permanent basis in Dublin. The station twice applied in the past for a Special Interest Radio licence, narrowly losing out to Country 106.8FM in 2001. In its current submission to the BCI, Phantom FM has emphasised the need for a medium sized station that would provide a specialist modern rock music with a low cost base and that would be independently owned. The promoters are undeterred by the many larger radio interests who have become suddenly interested in operating a Phantom FM style service.
An agreement has been finalised to sell Dublin station FM104 to Scottish Radio Holdings for a figure of around €30m. It is expected to be discussed by the BCI this week. However, only last year the Commission prevented UTV from buying FM104 due to an imposed two year moratorium following the award, or renewal, of a station’s licence – and FM104’s two years have yet to elapse following the recent local radio licensing renewals. Scottish Radio Holdings already own national station Today FM.
The BCI has, ‘in principal’, approved the sale of local Dublin station FM104 to Today FM owners Scottish Radio Holdings for close to €30m.
This is despite a BCI-imposed moratorium on the sale of a newly-licensed station for two years. FM104’s licence was renewed recently, however the Commission took into account that there were no challengers for the licence, as well as an undertaking by Scottish Radio Holdings that they would adhere to the conditions of the licence.
Radio listeners in Dublin, already bombarded with competitions on their commercial stations, have a new game they can play: Spot the Difference. The only problem is there is no cash incentive, but it could be fun.
According to today’s Sunday Times FM104, one of the capital’s top stations, have accused Spin 1038, one of the capital’s youngest stations, of ripping off their playlist to the tune of up to an overlap of 48% on some days. It is a strange complaint from a station which sounds almost identical to just about every other contemporary station in every major city across the world, and it is a complaint which Spin actually find complimentary! In a statement to the BCI, Spin chief Liam Thompson reckoned that the similar playlists show that his station has a ‘good understanding’ of their relative position in the marketplace considering that both stations are licensed to serve the 15-34 market.
The complaint, which was made last year, was dismissed by the BCI after an analysis of the output from both stations. The BCI did, however, admit that Spin 1038 were not playing enough dance music.
FM104 claim that the similarity in playlists is ‘doing considerable damage’ to their business and also found the BCI’s response ‘insulting and dismissive’.
Although content on the two stations is bound to be similar, Spin’s approach and deliverance is radically different. In that respect they are, indeed, offering an alternative to Dublin listeners, who had little choice when FM104 & 98FM were the only stations serving the capital on a commercial basis. It could be argued that the introduction of Spin, along with other commercial stations, has shaken the top two from their relative positions of comfort.