Pulse FM have reluctantly abandoned its case seeking a judicial review into the awarding of the youth licence for Dublin. Pulse FM, who lost out to Spin FM, would have been required to lodge £100,000 as security for costs, which Pulse claimed in a statement is “nothing short of a gagging order”.
“It should be a matter of public concern, in particular in the current climate, that a body, all of whose members are appointed by the politicians of the day, can decide who has a right to broadcast in this country without any obligations to state reasons for its decision,” Pulse FM said.
Storm FM’s challenge against the IRTC’s award of the youth licence for Dublin to Spin FM has failed. The court has upheld the decision to award to Spin FM and not accepted the claim that there was bias from the IRTC against Storm FM’s John Reynolds due to allegations that his night club “The Pod” was involved in drug dealing.
There has, as of yet, been no frequency allocated to Spin FM according to a spokesperson for the IRTC.
Spin FM – the newly licensed youth service for Dublin – face further launch delays after unsuccessful licence applicant John Reynolds of the Storm FM consortium appealed the recent court decision that there was no bias on the part of the IRTC in awarding the license to Spin FM. The case now must go back to the Supreme Court for a full appeal hearing which will not take place until next Autumn at the earliest.
Spin FM are now indicating that they will be on air by Christmas, despite an announcement earlier in the year that it would be October. This emerged at a meeting with the BCI earlier this week. The exact launch date will be agreed later this month.
It was also revealed that Cork’s new station Red FM should be on air by November.
Sun FM, the non-stop 80’s Dublin station, is off air today because of technical problems. Station source 80s Bloke told Radiowaves News this afternoon that it may take a few days before the station returns. “It’s a pity the technical problems didn’t happen in the last 2 weeks while we were off air – that’s Murphy’s Law!!” he concluded. Sun FM usually broadcast on 101.3MHz.
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.