RTÉ Radio 1

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 The company says that the medium wave service offers poor value for money, is environmentally unsound and is out of date.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

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.

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.

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