Northern Ireland Stations


The latest independent audience figures (RAJAR) released today show that an extra 17,000 listeners are tuning in every week to the Belfast-based Citybeat 96.7FM. This gives Citybeat the largest increase in audience of any local station within its transmission area. Overall 135,000 listeners are now tuning into the station each week.

Commenting on the figures, the Station Director Richard Collett said: “We are delighted that so many new listeners are now enjoying Citybeat. We believe in providing the music people want coupled with the news they need – all delivered by great presenters. It is particularly pleasing for us to see such substantial growth in our audience at a time when the Northern Ireland radio market has undergone significant changes with the launch of high profile competition. We believe these figures are also great news for all our advertisers, giving them an even greater platform to reach their customers.”

Citybeat launches 102.5FM in addition to 96.7

CityBeat have announced the launch of an additional FM frequency which will give the Belfast radio station a potential extra 80,000 listeners within the Greater Belfast area.

The new frequency of 102.5MHz FM will bring Citybeat to those living in North Belfast, Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus from midnight tomorrow, and will complement the existing 96.7 FM frequency.

Broadcast industry regulators, Ofcom have given the go-ahead for the repeater signal to run off the Carnmoney Hill transmitter at Glengormley, boosting CityBeat’s current output from Black Mountain further into Greater Belfast.

CityBeat Station Director Richard Collett said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be able to launch this additional frequency. We have had difficulty reaching certain districts within the whole of our transmission service area on 96.7FM due to topography in relation to the Black Mountain transmitter. 102.5 will effectively fill in the gaps in those areas to the north of the city, and beyond up to Carrick. It will be great to welcome many new listeners to CityBeat and to improve the quality of our service to our existing ones. It’s also great news for our advertisers who will now get effective brand exposure to a wider audience.”

CityBeat presenters (l-r) Mark Lima, David Gordon, Lisa McCormick, Stuart Robinson, Dave McGeagh and Suzy Caddell go in search of 80,000 potential new listeners – making sure they know the new 102.5 frequency.
CityBeat presenters (l-r) Mark Lima, David Gordon, Lisa McCormick, Stuart Robinson, Dave McGeagh and Suzy Caddell go in search of 80,000 potential new listeners – making sure they know the new 102.5 frequency.

Northern Media Group performs well in latest RAJARs

Stations within the Northern Media Group have performed exceptionally well in the latest RAJAR listener figures released yesterday.

In the last quarter of 2007, the Q Network was the only commercial radio station in Northern Ireland to increase its listeners. The Q Network includes Q102 in Derry, Q97 in Coleraine and Q101 in Omagh and Enniskillen. The station increased its weekly reach by 2,000 listeners, from 85,000 to 87,000. Weekly reach is the amount of people who listen to a radio station over the course of a week and is one of the most important measurements for advertisers. The Q Network also has 13.7% of the potential audience listening every week.

Seven FM has been broadcasting for two years and this is the first official listener figures the station has received. Each week, 18,000 people tune in to Seven FM in the Ballymena and Antrim areas.

“This is a great first result for Seven FM,” said Robert Walshe, Chief Executive of Northern Media Group. “Having 18,000 listeners each week puts Seven FM on a par with much more established radio stations. To get to that stage while the station is so young is a massive achievement. We now have a very firm foundation to build on and I am extremely confident we can do that. The result today is a credit to all the staff at Seven FM and I would like to thank them for their dedication and hard work. And I would also like to thank the advertisers who have been a great support to Seven FM in its formative years. I look forward to continuing to build those relationships.”

That is something Mr Walshe re-iterated for advertisers to the whole Northern Media Group. Five of the six stations in the group have received official listener figures for the last quarter of 2007. The figures show that over 125,000 people tune in to a Northern Media Group station every week.

Robert continued: “This is a superb result for the group. The Q Network has performed exceptionally well, being the only radio stations in Northern Ireland to increase the amount of listeners. The Q Network is also incredibly popular in its area, with almost 14% of the population tuning in at some stage throughout the week. Our other stations also performed well. Six FM remains very popular in mid-Ulster and while we don’t yet have official figures for our newest station, Five FM, the indications are good. We are getting great feedback from our listeners in the Newry and Mourne area and we are looking forward to the results for Five FM, which we expect later this year. Thank you again to our listeners – and tell your friends about us. We have some great shows, features and competitions coming up in 2008.


BBC Radio Ulster remains North’s most listened-to station

BBC Radio Ulster remains the number one listened to radio station in Northern Ireland with an average weekly audience of 517,000 listeners tuning in each week – according to the latest RAJAR figures just released.

The figures for quarter four 2008 show that Radio Ulster has had an increase of 7,000 listeners compared to the same period last year and an increase of 39,000 listeners from the last RAJAR period.

The top-performing Radio Ulster programmes include: The Stephen Nolan Show with 153,000 listeners; Gardeners’ Corner with 115,000 listeners; Good Morning Ulster with 110,000 listeners; On Your Behalf with 108,000 listeners; Talkback with 100,000 listeners.

BBC Radio Foyle, meanwhile, has an average weekly audience of 28,000 listeners




Today’s Newspapers: February 20th 2009

Derry Journal – Derry-based radio station breached industry rules

Derry-based radio station breached industry rules

A Derry based radio station has admitted misleading listeners by inviting them to contact a show that had been pre-recorded.

The Saturday Night Warm Up was broadcast across all six of Northern Media Group’s (NMG) stations – including Derry’s Q102 – on September 6 of last year.

During the programme, portrayed as being broadcast live but in reality having been pre-recorded, listeners were encouraged to contact the show on a number of occasions.

At one point the presenter even thanked listeners for their contributions saying ” Thanks for all your texts tonight – a lot of texts requesting that one from Underworld, ‘Born Slippy’.”

Industry watchdog Ofcom investigated the show after receiving a complaint from a listener.

Ofcom found NMG to be in serious breach of the broadcasting code in relation to the programme. The industry regulator said: “Ofcom is extremely concerned that the broadcaster failed to have sufficient procedures in place to prevent the deception of its audience. In this case the presenter not only pre-recorded ‘calls to action’ that stated or implied the possibility of immediate audience interaction with the programme but also reported on fictitious messages, which the presenter claimed to have received during the programme. This was unacceptable and in breach of the Code.”

Ofcom accepted NMG had made no commercial gain from inviting listeners to contact the show but found they had deceived their audience.

“As the programme progressed, the audience would have believed that some listeners had interacted with it.

Listener trust

“The presenter appeared to intend deliberately to deceive listeners, in a serious breach of listener trust.”

Responding to Ofcom’s concerns NMG said messages that were sent to the broadcaster during the pre-recorded programme were checked in the days that followed and the presenter was encouraged to use them in the next available programme.

NMG said that the practice resulted from deficiencies in its policies and procedures. Those procedures have since been amended and NMG has apologised for the breach.

Audience interaction no longer features in pre-recorded editions of the Saturday Night Warm Up.

Citybeat enjoy RAJAR increase

In the latest RAJAR listenership figures release Belfast radio station Citybeat, quarter on quarter, is the only commercial station within its coverage area to have increased in both average hours and Market Share.

The figures show Citybeat’s year on year average listening hours have increased by 3.2 to 9.2 giving an additional total listening increase of 383,000 total hours.

Citybeat has also seen significant growth in its market share over the same period with an increase of 3.4% taking it to an overall share of 11.2%.

Citybeat’s Managing Director Dorothy Nixon said: “We would like to thank all our 128,000 weekly listeners who are clearly enjoying our personality led line-up, music variety, great chat and local news. It is evident from the latest figures that our listeners like what they hear and are consequently listening for longer enjoying what Citybeat has to offer.”

NMG listener figures continue to rise

Stations within the Northern Media Group in Northern Ireland have continued to increase their listenership figures in the latest official RAJAR release. The results show that over 141,000 people tune in to a Northern Media Group station every week, an increase on the last quarter of 137,000. Northern Media Group’s station network is also the only radio group in Northern Ireland to increase weekly audience in this survey period.

Chief Executive and Programme Director Robert Walshe said: “The figures show Northern Media Group to have a very strong proposition for potential advertisers. We are clearly a very real alternative. The local approach to our news, sport and programming, and our out-and-about policy in recent months, are all indicators of the power of local radio.”

The Q Network continues to dominate the north and west of the region, with 92,000 people listening weekly. Q102 in Derry, Q97 in Coleraine and Q101 in Omagh are all heritage stations in their respective areas and a key aspect of Northern Media Group’s latest listenership success. Newry and Mourne’s Five FM, Six FM in mid-Ulster and Ballymena-based Seven FM remain popular.

A number of new programmes across the schedule – including Laurence John’s ‘Country Collection’ and Kevin Mc Alister’s ‘Sunday Café’ on Five FM – form part of a fresh line-up for the radio network in Spring 2010.

U105 records listenership increase

U105 has recorded another rise in their weekly reach, to 136,000 listeners, according to the latest industry ratings just released. The number tuning in to U105.8FM has grown by 28,000 listeners (26%) compared to the same period last year.

Peter McVerry, U105’s Station Manager, said: “We’re delighted with our growth across the past 12 months with more and more people enjoying our superb mix of music, news and chat. After just over four years on air, we’ve gone from being a new entrant in the market to being a major player on the Northern Ireland radio scene. Our fantastic line-up including Maurice Jay, Frank Mitchell, Carolyn Stewart, George Jones and Jerry Lang produce an eclectic mix of music and talk every day with Frank’s phone-in show from 9 to 12 every weekday morning proving particularly popular. We have exciting plans for further growth for the station this year including some major promotions that build on our success to date. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our listeners, advertisers and the team here at U105 for their support.”

U105 broadcasts to the Greater Belfast area, including Lisburn, Antrim, Bangor, Dungannon, Banbridge and Carrickfergus.

Open FM will bring gay issues to Dublin listeners

A new station aimed at celebrating gay culture and diversity will launch in Dublin in June. Running from the 17th until the 27th, Open FM will broadcast across the greater Dublin area.

A new station aimed at celebrating gay culture and diversity will launch in Dublin in June. Running from the 17th until the 27th, Open FM will broadcast across the greater Dublin area.

Open FM will be Ireland’s first radio station to solely focus on gay issues. It will highlight the gay cultures of Dublin in an effort to educate, entertain and inform its listeners – opening peoples minds to things they may fear or just don’t understand.

The station will include a variety of programmes that will showcase the different tastes and interests of Dublin’s LGBTQ community. Leading up to, and during, the Dublin Pride week Open FM will run features from the many events happening across Dublin and provide a guide to what’s on. On the day of the Dublin Pride Parade the station will dedicate its broadcast to the event. With on-location live coverage throughout the parade which will culminate at the post-parade show.

Liam Cahill, Deputy Head of OpenFM, said: “Open FM aims to provide the LGBTQ community, and beyond, with a station that isn’t afraid to counter perceptions about what gay people may be like. I firmly believe Open FM will rattle the airwaves and give people something they haven’t heard anywhere else.”

Open FM is an independent, not-for-profit, organisation. Established by Liam Cahill, Sam Lyons and Emma Carroll out of a passion for both radio and a sense of equality, it is overseen by an independent board of nine who have a variety of experience work in media, public relations and alongside young people. Open FM will also work with charities in Dublin in an effort to help raise their awareness and hopefully gather funds.

The station will provide a range of programmes, from music, to talk, to current affairs.

River Radio awarded DAB licence

A former FM pirate radio station has been granted a CDSP DAB licence by Ofcom. The Derry-based service are the first station in Northern Ireland, and one of the first in the UK, to have received a Community DAB licence.

A former FM pirate radio station has been granted a CDSP DAB licence by Ofcom. The Derry-based service are the first station in Northern Ireland, and one of the first in the UK, to have received a Community DAB licence.
River Radio hope to be available to DAB listeners shortly. They will target youth listeners in the Derry/Strabane area.