Today FM, Ireland’s independent national radio service, want to sign Ray D’Arcy to present a morning programme on the station.
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.
Today FM introduced a ‘new face on the radio’ today in the form of Ray D’Arcy (but no Zig and Zag!) presenting the first of his daily shows at 10am. A slight reshuffle sees Tim Kelly moved to the afternoon slot while Philip Cawley is on holidays, and with Ian Dempsey back from his latest vacation, Today FM are hoping that the new look schedule will grab them a further increase in audience share on the back of the recent JNLR figures.
Eamon Dunphy has announced that he is to quit his Today FM show ‘The Last Word’.
It is believed that Dunphy will continue to present the show until the end of November. Although he has stated that he will be leaving Today FM on good terms, insiders suggest that Dunphy was not happy that approaches were made to Charlie Bird of RTÉ to front the show before the station agreed to a new €400,000 per year contract in the summer. It is most likely, however, that his punishing work schedule contributed to the decision. Dunphy is said to be in talks with TV Three about presenting a new Friday night chat show.
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.
Today FM bosses have axed Ian Noctor’s Sunday night Dad Rock show. Dad Rock features classic rock tunes from the ’60s and ’70s but station bosses are said to be unhappy with the size of the niche audience it attracts, and will launch an indie rock show in its place to regain listeners lost to pirate stations like Phantom FM and XFM.
Dad Rock has been on air since 1999. Ian Noctor has been presenting the show for just over a year, Marty Miller presented it previously. Ian Noctor is said to be so devastated with the news that he opted out of presenting the final two shows, the first of which was last Sunday. Cliff Walker has taken Ian’s place and will present a special finale this Sunday evening.