Radiowaves.FM - Irish Radio News

Competition Winners Get Laid with Paulina

Listeners of Radio Paulina in Santiago, Chile, are given the chance to win one hour with a male or female escort in a love motel every night. Competitors have to call the station to have their names entered into the nightly draw on the show ‘The Frack’. The winner can choose the form of ‘entertainment’ they wish to indulge in.

Happy Birthday from Alice to XFM

Dublin alternative music station XFM celebrates its 12th birthday today. The station first appeared back in 1991 at a time when there was a dearth of their unique style of music radio broadcasting in the city. It started out as Alice’s Restaurant on 106.4MHz.

Dublin alternative music station XFM celebrates its 12th birthday today. The station first appeared back in 1991 at a time when there was a dearth of their unique style of music radio broadcasting in the city. It started out as Alice's Restaurant on 106.4MHz.

The station proudly boasts of being the first Irish radio station to have a web presence – their first website appeared in 1992. They also lay claim to being the first Irish station to have a live stream webcasting to the world. This appeared in 1996, but prior to that, they changed their name to XFM in 1994, prompted when the closure of another extreme station – RadioActive – led to some of that station’s staff to join up with Alice’s Restaurant.
XFM’s station manager David, speaking to Radiowaves News today, says that the station’s aims today are pretty similar to when they first started out all those years ago: “Our aim is to keep the format alt. The current interpretation of alt on the radio scene is very tired and dated. Alt radio shouldn’t be just about jangly guitars, rehashed white stripes wannabees and Nuevo Irish Indie groups looking for a space with the hacks. Everybody now seems to be playing the same stuff and the fear of experimentation with music format is rendering the whole scene drab. That’s where – as in the past – we come in, trying to do something different! Xfm’s format, much like Alice’s before it, is to introduce new alternative music types and styles from the mundane to the brilliant to the obscure. Groups like Orbital, The Breeders and Stereolab fitted that bill perfectly back in 1991. Just like 12 years ago the audience is small but seriously dedicated and support is 100%.”

David says that the station are happy as they exist at present. “Its just a big hobby,” he insists. Despite the flippancy, he has serious views on the issue of applying for a licence. “Under the current system, where a pre-determined group are almost sure of the outcome [of the licencing process] it is a waste of time. If a fairer system like, perhaps, the Specialist Radio Association proposals were envisaged, then not just XFM but a whole host of independent groups and media interests could apply in the knowledge that at least they would get a fair hearing and that their applications would be judged not only on a business platform merit, but on their ability to deliver a service to niche audiences successfully.”
David is optimistic about the future though, not just for XFM but for radio in general. He says: “Webcasting developments now and future versions of WiFi will render the FM band and the elusive DAB to where LW and MW is now…in another 12 years that’s where it’ll be at!”
XFM presently broadcasts at weekends only on 107.9MHz.

Jamming With a Passion

Kildare-based dance music station Passion FM have accused the operators of a blank carrier in Dublin of attempting to jam their signal. Passion FM launched their main transmitter on 91.6MHz last week, with a secondary signal still appearing on 107.7MHz. However, last night what appeared to be a new blank carrier originating in Dublin appeared on 91.6MHz, leading to fears from the Passion FM camp that this is an attempt to hijack the frequency.
However, speaking to Radiowaves News this afternoon, a spokesman for the station who are operating the blank carrier denies the accusation point blank. They say they have been on this frequency since the weekend before last, and whilst they were off the air due to a power cut at their mountain site, Passion FM launched on 91.6MHz. However, Passion FM claim that anybody could have been behind the blank carrier, and when it disappeared, they assumed it had gone for good.
Both stations are willing to enter negotiations about the situation in a hope that a compromise can be reached.

Former Nova Jock Quits The Country

Seán McCarthy has quit Dublin’s Country 106.8FM after just two months on-air with the Bray-based station. McCarthy had been working in the 1-4pm ‘Lazy Afternoon’ weekday slot but was moved to ‘The Home Drive’ 4-7pm show today, after which he tendered his resignation – effective “immediately”.

Seán McCarthy has quit Dublin's Country 106.8FM after just two months on-air with the Bray-based station. McCarthy had been working in the 1-4pm 'Lazy Afternoon' weekday slot but was moved to 'The Home Drive' 4-7pm show today, after which he tendered his resignation - effective "immediately".

Speaking to Radiowaves News this evening, Seán (pictured) said that he never wanted the Drivetime slot. “From the start of being offered it, I didn’t ‘want’ the Home Drive. Sure, most jocks would jump at the opportunity, but I was quite content presenting afternoons, where I had no conflicts with other broadcasting engagements. When I discovered the option to ‘remain’ on afternoons was not ‘open’ to me, I was very surprised.”

Previously working under the alias Gary Hamill, Seán’s broadcasting career spans 22 years and has seen him work for top stations such as Radio Nova, Energy 103, Q102, and 98FM here in Ireland, as well as a host of stations in the United States. In effect, he has a few ideas about what works and doesn’t work in the radio world.

Of his treatment at Dublin’s Country, he says: “None of it made much sense to me, to be honest. If you have a presenter [who is] ‘engaging’ enough for you as a station to want to move him/her to a prime-time slot like Drive, what then could he/she possibly achieve for the station on a ‘lesser-profile’ slot like the afternoon? In my experience in radio, it is the ‘weaker’ slots you focus on, and not those like Morning or Drive which already have the upper-hand, being that they are so highly listened to.”

With the recent decent rise in listenership for Dublin’s Country in the JNLR ratings, from the outset of being offered Drive Seán felt that ‘if it’s not broken, why fix it?’
“Or even: ‘if we’re doing well now, why start changing the scenario?'” He continues: “I am proud of my contribution, in such a short time, to a station with great potential, if finely ‘tuned’.”

Seán also works as a journalist, actor and voice-over artist and is credited with introducing Spin 1038’s ‘Story’ news format to the station when he worked there just before joining Dublin’s Country.

Nikki Cruises Over to 2FM

Another young talent will shortly be introduced to listeners of RTÉ’s national music station 2FM. Nikki Hayes has been lined up to present ‘The Cruise’ for eight weeks starting from 9th November. The show runs from 6-8pm each Sunday and has, until now, been presented by Aidan Leonard who is on the move to RTÉ Radio 1.
Nikki’s shows on 2FM will not affect her present slot on Dublin youth station Spin 1038 where she appears nightly with Spin Shift.
Excited by the chance to broadcast to a national audience, Nikki told Radiowaves News today that this is a dream come true for her.
The Cruise will be of a similar laid-back style to her offering on Spin 1038.
2FM’s schedule has undergone a total revamp in recent months, and in tandem with a shift in broadcast times for a lot of the station’s established stars, many young newly-signed presenters are slowly establishing themselves on the station.

Lyrical Changes

National arts station Lyric FM have announced some changes to their schedule. The RTÉ-run station which is based in Limerick are introducing new programmes, new faces, and are changing presenters on established programmes starting from tomorrow.
At 10am on Saturdays the first of the new faces, Ian Fox, presents The Lyric Collection in which he helps listeners assemble a classical library collection to suit their own interests.
Later at 11am, another new presenter to Lyric FM George Hamilton brings you his selection of the classics with a new programme called The Hamilton Scores George’s Selections.
Sound FX on a Saturday morning becomes Soundings on a Sunday evening, presented by Bernard Clarke at 8pm.
Horizons returns at a new time of 9.30pm each Sunday evening when Bernard Clarke will be looking at New Music stories from home and abroad.
Presenters on the move include:- Seán Rocks to Lunchtime Choice (Mon-Sat, 12.30pm); Evelyn Grant is the new presenter of Sunday’s Lunchtime Choice (12.30pm); Liz Nolan is the new presenter of the Lyric Pitch (Saturday, 4pm); Eamonn Lenihan is the new presenter of Jazz Alley on Sunday (7pm); Carl Corcoran is the new presenter of Lyric Breakfast (Mon-Fri, 7am); Niall Carroll is the new presenter of Drivetime Classics (Mon-Fri, 5pm); Denis Costello is the new presenter of the Lyric Concerts (Mon-Thurs, 9pm).

Sex on the Beat

Beat 102-103, Ireland’s first regional radio station, is to distribute 30,000 free branded condoms in nightclubs around the South-East as part of a sexual health awareness campaign aimed at promoting sexual responsibility amongst young people in the region.

Pictured launching the distribution of 30,000 condoms as part of the Beat 102-103 sexual health campaign is model Caoimhe Moran (l), Beat 102-103 DJ Leigh Doyle, and model Rosemary Doody (r)
Pictured launching the distribution of 30,000 condoms as part of the Beat 102-103 sexual health campaign is model Caoimhe Moran (l), Beat 102-103 DJ Leigh Doyle, and model Rosemary Doody (r)

The station’s Chief Executive Kieran McGeary said that given the age group of the Beat 102-103’s target market, he felt that the station was ideally placed to inform listeners about relevant and important topics such as sexual health.
He continued: “The target market for Beat 102-103 is 18-35 year olds and we cannot ignore the fact that the majority of our listeners will be sexually active, as it is a subject our programmes deal with regularly. As Beat 102-103 is a medium which is effectively reaching the young people of the South-East, we feel it’s an ideal forum to get the message across that if you are going to have sex, take responsibility for your actions and ensure it’s safe.”
The branded condoms will be distributed at Beat 102-103 promotional events and selected nightclubs throughout the region.
McGeary stressed that the campaign was not in any way encouraging sexual promiscuity or underage sex amongst young people. He said: “We are not in anyway trivializing the subject or encouraging promiscuous sexual activity amongst young people – quite the opposite in fact. Condoms will not be given to under-18’s and will only be distributed in nightclubs where the proprietors have given their approval.”
The campaign is being run in association with Lee Jeans.

Phantom On Course For Licensed Launch

Phantom 97.3FM are on course for their midnight launch as a licensed station tomorrow evening. This will be the first in a series of weekend broadcasts from the station that recently secured a Temporary Radio Licence from the BCI allowing it to broadcast for 14 consecutive weekends, as well as Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day. The rock music station with an alternative edge will be welcomed back on air by thousands of Dublin listeners who have felt disenfranchised since their disappearance from FM back in May of this year.

Phantom 97.3FM are on course for their midnight launch as a licensed station tomorrow evening. This will be the first in a series of weekend broadcasts from the station that recently secured a Temporary Radio Licence from the BCI allowing it to broadcast for 14 consecutive weekends, as well as Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day. The rock music station with an alternative edge will be welcomed back on air by thousands of Dublin listeners who have felt disenfranchised since their disappearance from FM back in May of this year.

“The station will afford Dubliners a new listening choice at the weekends, and has an active policy of devoting airtime to young up and coming bands”, said Programme Director, Peter Vamos.
He continues: “There is a very healthy music scene in Dublin, people are going to gigs and buying CDs by local artists yet they are getting no airplay on commercial radio. We know there is a huge demand to hear local music on the radio. Listeners can also expect to hear interviews and in studio sessions with local and international artists visiting the city.”
Station Manager Simon Maher adds that there has been a substantial amount of interest from advertising agencies and media buyers in the new service.
He says: “The speed at which this project has evolved has surprised many in the advertising community but the level of interest that we have had in our radio sponsorship has been very satisfactory.”
The station expects to have a mix of local businesses primarily from the live entertainment sector – along with national brands – by the time the temporarily licensed project ends in mid-January. Then Wireless Media Ltd (the company behind Phantom FM) intends to apply for a full-time broadcasting licence when they are advertised in Spring 2004.

Jackie Returns

An ’80s pirate station is about to make a return to London’s airwaves, this time with a licence. On Sunday, for the first time since Radio Jackie’s famous closedown in February 1985, listeners across south-west London and north Surrey will be able to tune in once more to ‘The Sound of South West London’ on 107.8MHz. The opportunity has arisen because the original management team behind Radio Jackie purchased the loss-making Thames Radio back in March and then began the task of revamping the whole operation in order to prepare for a re-launch. The team had applied for the licence back in 1996, but lost out to Thames radio.

Cary Expresses Interest in Dublin Licence

Chris Cary has revealed that he plans to apply for one of the new Dublin licences which will be announced next year. He will be presenting the case for a format of ‘Hits, favourites, and comedy’ and says that the proposed station would also run a Radio Training Academy to develop new talent.

Chris Cary has revealed that he plans to apply for one of the new Dublin licences which will be announced next year. He will be presenting the case for a format of 'Hits, favourites, and comedy' and says that the proposed station would also run a Radio Training Academy to develop new talent.

Cary operated the extremely successful 80s pirate Radio Nova, but failed when bidding for the national licence that was offered in 1989. He also negotiated with RTÉ for the use of the long wave 252 transmitter, but was ultimately rejected.
He says: “This time it should be a level playing field – as we now understand why we were never seriously in contention for the National Licence! The fierce competition in Dublin will be something to be reckoned with. But a challenge is always a positive thing. Maybe the Radio Nova audience has grown up and matured, but maybe we can give them back what they had in the ’80s. Only this time, legally. It’s now in the lap of the Gods.”

FM104 Sale Approved

The BCI has, ‘in principal’, approved the sale of local Dublin station FM104 to Today FM owners Scottish Radio Holdings for close to €30m.

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.

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.

Moyles to Take Over BBC Radio 1 Breakfast

Chris Moyles will take over BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show from early next year. Current presenter Sara Cox will be shifted to Moyles’ afternoon slot in the wake of disastrous ratings. Andy Parfitt, the station’s Controller, expressed his delight that Moyles has agreed to present the show, adding that the controversial presenter was the first – and only – choice.

FM104 Sale Finalised

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.

Phantom FM Get a Licence

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.

Adrian Kennedy Threatened with Death

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.

Funds for Newstalk

NewsTalk 106FM have announced that they will raise €2.5m from the station’s shareholders over the next few months. This is expected to fund a new marketing drive as well as ongoing operational costs.

Dan’s The Newstalk Man

Aidan Dunne has resigned as Chief Executive at NewsTalk 106FM. This is the second Chief Executive the Dublin talk station have lost in their 17 months on air. 98FM chief Dan Healy will take over the role with almost inmmediate effect. He will be replaced at 98FM by the station’s marketing manager Ciaran Davis.

Radio Kilkenny Take Extension

Radio Kilkenny, due to close next week, have at the last minute accepted the BCI’s offer of a two month extension. They will now close on the 30th November. At its meeting on the 8th September, the Commission approved an application from Radio Kilkenny to extend their contract. A conditional offer was made by the BCI to the station, the terms of which have finally been accepted by the directors of Radio Kilkenny.
The BCI’s Chief Executive, Michael O’Keeffe, said: “I am pleased that the terms and conditions of the extension were accepted. The primary aim of the Commission in granting this extension was to ensure the continued provision of a broad-based dedicated local radio service for listeners in the Kilkenny area.”
Radio Kilkenny is appealing the BCI decision not to award the station the licence for the newly created Carlow/Kilkenny franchise area at the Supreme Court and it is in relation to the station’s coverage of this that special conditions were introduced.

Nova Call it a Day

Radio Nova in Navan have ceased broadcasting once more. The station have been on and off for over two years, but major problems with their computer set-up has led them to finally make the decision to cease.
Speaking to Radiowaves News, the station’s owner Paul Healy said: “We have gone as far as we can go. It has cost us a lot of money and we had to stop somewhere. We may be back, but are not hopeful. We all enjoyed it very much.”

Out of The Zone

The Zone’s weekend rock service has temporarily ceased broadcasting on 102.5MHz in Dublin. This follows the station’s submission of an expression of interest in a new Dublin licence to the BCI. The automated service is still streaming on the net at rtsp://www.thezone1025.com/the zone.sdp using Quicktime.

Extensions Given

The BCI have given both CKR FM & Radio Kilkenny two month extensions to their contracts. Both stations lost their licences during the recent BCI relicensing process with CKR due to close next Monday, and Radio Kilkenny scheduled to cease on September 30th. This means that CKR, who broadcast to Carlow and Kildare, will now cease broadcasting on November 15th, and Radio Kilkenny will now cease on November 30th.

In considering the request for extensions, the BCI were mindful of the fact that there would be no broad-based dedicated local radio services for the Carlow, Kildare or Kilkenny areas following the expiry of the contracts of CKR FM and Radio Kilkenny. This is notwithstanding the fact that there are other licensed stations available in these areas. The Board also took into consideration the fact that, while the BCI is currently negotiating contracts with both the stations’ replacements – KFM (Co Kildare) and KCLR (Carlow/Kilkenny) – these have not been concluded to date.

The BCI’s Chief Executive Michael O’Keeffe said: “The Commission’s primary concern in offering contract extensions to both stations is to ensure that listeners in Kildare, Carlow and Kilkenny will continue to receive a dedicated local radio service.”

He went on to stress that the contract extensions offered to CKR FM and Radio Kilkenny were contingent upon receipt of confirmation from both stations of their acceptance of a range of conditions. “In our correspondence with both stations, we have outlined the conditions required for the continued operation of the licences”, O’Keeffe said. “In the event that these conditions are not adhered to the Commission will not proceed with the extension of contracts and the licences of CKR and Radio Kilkenny will therefore expire on September 15th and September 30th respectively.”

The conditions are that any on-air arguments or discussions about new franchises must be presented in a fair and balanced way. It is understood that the BCI have expressed dissatisfaction with the way Radio Kilkenny have carried debates in the past.

British Invasion Set to Continue

British takeovers of Irish radio stations look set to continue, according to a report in today’s Sunday Times. Scottish Radio Holdings, UTV, and Capital Radio (London) have all entered bids to buy popular Dublin station FM104, which has been on air since 1989. UTV tried to buy the station last year, but BCI rules prevented the sale from going ahead and they instead purchased Lite FM. The paper reveals that a number of venture capital groups are also interested in buying the station.

LMFM Announces New Loose Talk Presenter

LMFM Radio has announced that ‘Loose Talk’, which is a former winner of the PPI Local Radio Programme Of The Year, will return to the air next Monday with a new presenter, Michael Reade, at the helm.
Announcing the return of the Current Affairs programme to the autumn schedule, the station’s Programme Controller, Eamonn Doyle said: “Following the departure of Paul McGuire to RTÉ, we were determined to find a presenter who would be capable of taking on local, national, and international issues in the pulsating manner which our audience has become accustomed to.”
Reade, formerly of Midlands Radio 3, Tipp FM, and Independent Network News, is a native of Dublin and has over twenty-year’s experience on-air on both Irish and European radio stations. The appointment follows much speculation over who would get the position, and Doyle continued by saying: “Michael is a polished broadcaster and a talented interviewer. The research team have been in place on this programme for several years and we believe our listeners will be pleasantly surprised with the fresh approach that Michael is taking with the programme.”
On taking up his new position with LMFM Radio, Reade said: “I look forward to working with the talented ‘Loose Talk’ team. We will continue to provide a platform for debate and we will facilitate the views of local people on local and global issues. Loose Talk will be unique in Louth/Meath as our brief is to cover the matters of importance to our local audience. In time people will judge my own performance and I hope they will see me as inquisitive and intent on getting answers.”

More Gem

Automated oldies station Gem FM is now operating all day, every day on 96.0MHz in Dublin. After the Black Tuesday raids in May, the station originally returned on weekends only before introducing a weekday nighttime service.

Anna Livia Get Jazzed Up

Jazz FM listeners would be forgiven for thinking that the station is back on the air if they tuned to Dublin City’s Anna Livia FM on Saturdays. Although Jazz FM have been off the air following the recent ‘Black Tuesday’ purges against Dublin’s unlicensed community, three former presenters with the specialist station are now part of the Saturday line-up on Anna Livia – the licensed special interest station which broadcasts to Dublin on 103.2MHz.

From 3pm Chris Maher presents Soul Kitchen – his show on Jazz FM was called Sunny Side Up. And later in the day, two other former Jazz FM djs go back-to-back between 8 and 10pm. First there’s Black Echoes with John Public, which used to go out on Sunday afternoons on 89.8FM – Jazz FM’s frequency.

Then Seán Brophy, formerly of Sunrise on Sunday mornings on Jazz FM, is on air with his show Jazzorama.

Each of the three presenters are particularly interested in hearing from former listeners to their Jazz FM shows.

Return of a Gem

Gem Radio has returned to air on 96.0MHz in Dublin. The automated oldies station happened to be off the air at the time of the ‘Black Tuesday’ raids in order to accommodate a station who were temporarily-licensed for the 96FM frequency.

Dad let go from Today FM

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.

Gem to stop on 96

Gem FM will be off the air on 96.0MHz from April 28th until June 1st to accommodate the temporarily licenced station from Ballyfermot which will run for the month of May. At present they have no plans to use another channel for the period, and according to sources close to the station, they will use the break to work on improvements to their audio, adding new music etc.

Dublin’s Country On The Move

Dublin’s Country are planning to uproot from their Dublin premises and relocate to East Coast FM’s studios, which are based outside of its franchise area in Bray, Co Wicklow. They will share resources with the Wicklow station in a cost-cutting plan designed to save a fortune on rents and commercial rates. Although the special interest station will no longer be based in Dublin, the service will still be transmitted from Three Rock Mountain. The idea has still to be formally approved by the BCI, although they have agreed in principle.

X-Gate at UCD

Student station Belfield FM, last on air for a week at the end of September, has been branded a disgrace, according to today’s Ireland on Sunday. The station ran two competitions which saw close friends of the station’s management team take the expensive prizes.
An inquiry has been launched by UCD authorities after an X-Box games console worth €300 and a top cosmetics hamper were won by people close to both the station’s manager Colman MacShealaigh, and assistant manager Louise McSharry. According to the UCD Students Union, who operate Belfield FM, there was only one entrant for the cosmetics hamper. However, the person named on air as the winner of the other prize – the X-Box – doesn’t exist.

Fresh Feel to New Dance Station

From the ashes of the old Wicklow pirate, Raid 105, Flash 105FM is a new, dance music station operating on 30W power in West Wicklow. Its first test broadcast took place in Blessington on October 17th, but the studio has since been moved to a new location. The new station can be heard on 105.2MHz, which was previously occupied by Storm FM.
Flash FM’s station manager Liam Tutty is a Radio Production student, as are the majority of the presenters. Although there are commercials, these are aired without charge.
The station’s website can be viewed at flash105FM.freeservers.com.

Tipp FM Have It All

Tipp FM’s Board of Directors have welcomed the BCI decision to award them the licence for the modified Co Tipperary franchise.
“This has been a major goal for the people working in Tipp FM, to broadcast across the entire county to a population of 135,000. In order to achieve this, our application included a number of new initiatives,” said a delighted Paul Byrne, who is CEO. “First we looked forward to the next ten years of broadcasting and the needs of the listeners and secondly the integration of the additional area to our modified franchise area. I believe this is a great day for local radio.”
Paul continues: “Tipperary will now be united, which is something many listeners told us they wanted. I believe that we can continue to achieve great local support for great local radio no matter what part of the county you are from. We won’t let the listeners down and appreciate their support,” he concluded.

EMI/Virgin Attacked for Association with Phantom

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 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.

Jason Cruises to Freedom

Jason Dee will be the new Drivetime presenter on Freedom 92FM from next week. This follows the departure of Mike O’Brien. Jason will be on air Mondays through Thursdays from 3pm – 6pm. He has been working on Energy 94FM, but regards his new position with excited anticipation.
Speaking to Radiowaves News he says: “I had a great month at Energy but I’d like to work with a more open-minded music mix.”
Jokingly, he warns not to expect too much at first: “The first week of The Cruise will be a disaster with all the wrong buttons being pushed and lots of ‘erms’ and ‘errrs’ so don’t tune in! After that though, you can expect a laid-back way to drive home with lots of brand new music first, entertainment news, features, text-in agendas, and lots more besides. I’m looking forward to working with what is, without a doubt, the most listened-to pirate station in Dublin – and a nice bunch of peeps besides!”

Wicklow’s Bliss FM to Close

Dance station Bliss FM are closing down tonight. The station received a phone-call from the ODTR who ordered them to cease by midnight. No reason was given. Bliss FM intend to comply. The station have been broadcasting on and off on 105.0MHz to the Wicklow area for two years.

BCI Give CKR Reasons for Refusal

Carlow Kilkenny Radio have been informed by the BCI why they failed in their application for a licence to cover the new franchise area covering counties Carlow & Kilkenny.
The Commission considered that their application was weaker ‘in all respects’ than the other two applications received.
At ownership level, the station’s board was not considered to be as representative of both counties as that of the winning applicant.
In considering the relationship between Carlow Kildare Radio Ltd and Carlow Kilkenny Radio Ltd, CKR’s long-term ownership and control difficulties were viewed negatively.
Programming in the application was judged to be more ‘aspirational’ than realistic and the company’s financial proposals were considered by the Commission to be considerably weaker than the successful applicant.

BCI’s Verdict is Bias

The Kilkenny Community Communications Co-op Society, who have operated Radio Kilkenny for twelve years, have been informed by the BCI that they were not awarded the licence for their restructured franchise (which now includes Carlow) because the board and programming of the station is heavily biased towards Kilkenny. 14 of the 15 board members listed in the station’s application are from Kilkenny, the other member is from Waterford.
The application did state that the station would develop to include members from Carlow, but – in an explanatory note – the BCI wondered “why the station’s plans had not been more adequately progressed prior to the making of the application…”
Radio Kilkenny are holding a board meeting this evening to discuss these developments, and any possible action that may be taken.

Anna Livia Hope For Speedy Return

Dublin City Anna Livia FM hope to be back on air very shortly. Some equipment was lost in Saturday’s fire at the Liffey Trust Centre in the heart of Dublin, where the station’s studios are located. They have had offers of help from other radio stations which has put them in a position of a speedy return. Anna Livia broadcast specialist programming to the Dublin area on 103.2MHz.

Moyles Rapped

Chris Moyles has been rapped by his BBC Radio 1 bosses for threatening a rival presenter on his afternoon show. Moyles called Capital FM’s Neil Fox an “ego on legs” and warned: “I’m going to rip that guy a brand new hole. I’m gonna tear his head off and poo down his neck.”
The outburst was a reaction to an article in The Sun where Fox said he would love to get into a ‘Celebrity Boxing’ ring with Moyles and ‘knock his fat face off’.
Although BBC bosses accepted that the item was humourous, they believed Moyles had gone too far.

RTÉ Radio 1 Taking the Piss

A news item on RTÉ Radio 1’s flagship Five Seven Live news programme threw the studio into chaos when the newsreader told listeners that she had almost said a rude word during the piece – and then went on to tell listeners what the word was!
Traffic chaos caused by a sheep and horse fair in Connemara was the subject of a report by newsreader Frances Shanaghan. Connemara is so remote it is not usually in the news as a result of traffic. So Frances felt she should inform listeners that the item was genuine. She said: “Before you think i’m taking the …”, but realising she was live on air, she stopped herself just before finishing the sentence. However, she then went on to say: “I was going to say ‘taking the piss’ but I won’t.” Main presenter Rachael English collapsed in a fit of giggles and the sports reporter who was on next had trouble delivering his bulletin.

Loss of Energy

Energy FM in Wexford have closed due to ODTR activity. This follows closely from the recent shutdown of Kiss FM, another pirate station in the area.

BCI to Face Dáil Committee

The BCI have been called before the Dáil Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources where they will be asked to explain the process by which they took away Radio Kilkenny’s licence, and gave it to a newcomer. Noel Flynn, the chairman of the committee, has said that the issue is of great concern and that a legislature change may be needed to prevent other small local stations from also being disenfranchised.

Radio Kilkenny is a community-run radio station with a vast listenership in their present franchise area. However, earlier this year, the BCI announced that the boundaries of their franchise were to be realigned to include Carlow as well as Kilkenny, and applications for the franchise were invited. The station’s staff and shareholders were shocked recently when it was announced that the licence for the new franchise would be granted to KCLR – The Heart of the Two Counties, whose largest shareholder is a former CEO for Radio Kilkenny.

Dublin’s Country Still For Sale

Troubled station Dublin’s Country 106.8FM have resumed negotiations with other possible buyers following the collapse of talks with Scottish Radio Holdings, according to today’s Sunday Tribune. SRH pulled out of the deal as a result of a number of unresolved issues.
Dublin’s Country have been on air for just over a year and have continuously hemorrhaged cash, not to mention staff, in that period. Although station owner David Harvey feels that the station will be able to keep going until a buyer is found, he is far from convincing. Indeed, staff at the station have expressed concern about their futures to today’s Ireland on Sunday newspaper.

RLO Court Action

Liam Woulfe, the chairman of the Board of Directors of Radio Limerick One Ltd, has taken High Court proceedings against the company, and its chief executive – Ger Madden. In proceedings under the Companies Acts, Woulfe is seeking a court order compelling Madden to buy out his 24% shareholding at a price to be determined by the court. He is also seeking damages for alleged breach of duties owed to him by Mr Madden. Woulfe claims that affairs of the company have – and are – been run in a manner which is oppressive to him. One of those claims is that, at the behest of and under the control of Mr Madden, Radio Limerick One Limited committed serious breaches of its obligations under a licence contract between it and the IRTC, and that the company adopted a ‘confrontational’ attitude towards the IRTC and its concerns. Radio Limerick One operated a licensed service from 1989 until 1996, when the licence was terminated.

A Late Night Drunken Kiss

Robin Banks is back on his drivetime show at London dance station Kiss 100 following suspension. Banks was suspended after he invaded the studios in a drunken state in the early hours of the morning and took the pre-recorded programming off the air. Worse was to follow as he launched into a live session full of swearing which led listeners to ring the station and complain.
Banks has a history of causing offence. Four years ago, whilst with Virgin Radio, the Radio Authority upheld a serious complaint over a ‘deeply offensive’ comment made by the presenter. Banks said on air, after he’d heard a story about a man who choked to death: “Too bad he wasn’t a woman or gay.”
He was eventually fired by Virgin Radio following his announcement that Chris Evans was dead.

A Welcome Licence for Fáilte FM

Fáilte FM, the Irish-language radio station who have been broadcasting illegally to Belfast since February of this year, have been granted a temporary licence to operate for four weeks over the Christmas period.
The station, who operate with the help of Sinn Féin, hope to be awarded one of the new community access licences which should be available in the UK from next year, following a trial period.

Competition for Limerick’s Medium Wave Licence

Two applicants for a newly-created specialist medium wave licence for Limerick presented their case at the BCI meeting in the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise last Monday.
Speaking for North Munster Radio, the country-and-Irish service, Billy Donegan said that the station would create nine full-time jobs with at least six part-timers also employed.
Speaking on behalf of Limerick Family Radio, the Christian service, Stephen Cardy said that their station’s main focus would be on supporting the family unit. The station plans to run on donations rather than advertising.

Legal Battle Looms for RLO

Radio Limerick One are seeking a judicial review of the reasons why they were not granted a hearing at this week’s oral presentations for Limerick’s new medium wave licence. Two applicants presented their cases to the BCI at Monday’s meeting in Portlaoise, and RLO are angry that they weren’t also invited to make their case.
RLO’s application was rejected by the BCI on the basis that the station had previously lost a licence. The Commission also cited their belief that a mainly talk station would not be financially viable. But both reasons are rejected by station boss Ger Madden, who says that if the judicial review fails, they will seek a high court injunction preventing the BCI from awarding the licence to anyone.

Virgin on Racism?

National UK station Virgin Radio has been accused of racism. Following a recent decision to omit manufactured pop bands from their playlist, Virgin have added the R’n’B and rap genres to the ‘banned’ list of ‘processed crap’. According to the station’s website, Virgin’s boss “has [also] had enough of ‘any R’n’B or rap act'”.
The station’s policy has been condemned as ‘verging on racism’ by industry insiders. R ‘n’ B and Rap music is made by predominently black artists. Virgin Radio claim that it is all just a bit of fun.

Red November

Red FM will launch in Cork city and county on November 21st. A spokesperson told Radiowaves News that the station are not disclosing their marketing campaign and launch details yet.

O KFM

Kfm, which was today awarded the licence for the Co Kildare franchise by the BCI, includes backing from East Coast Radio & Midland Radio Group Ltd (owners of Shannonside Northern Sound). The station will launch next Autumn and will be based in a purpose-built broadcast centre situated just outside Naas.

KCLR Express Delight at Today’s BCI Decision

The Board and Shareholders of CK Broadcasting Limited (including Irish Radio & Media Holdings, People Newspapers Ltd, and Setanta Media Holdings) are delighted with the decision of the BCI to accept their application for a licence to operate a radio station for the new Carlow/Kilkenny franchise. The new station, which will commence broadcasting in October 2003, will be known as KCLR – the Heart of The Two Counties and will be a broad-based local service with special emphasis on covering news, current affairs, sport, special interest and community access programming from the two counties.
In a statement issued this afternoon to Radiowaves News, the company say they would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the public and the many voluntary, community, statutory and commercial organisations in both Carlow and Kilkenny who have assisted in the development of the project to this stage.
“CK Broadcasting looks forward to continuing to work with these people and to developing further close links with individuals and organisations in Carlow and Kilkenny in the years ahead. Work has already commenced on the establishment of the station’s Community Forum – a consultative structure in which community, voluntary and sporting organisations in Carlow and Kilkenny will be invited to participate and which will be given Board representation in the new company,” the statement continues.
Speaking to Radiowaves News today, the station’s chairman John Purcell said: “We would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the other two consortia – namely KCR FM and CKR FM – who were competing for the new licence. We look forward to working with them both in the transition to the new service and to exploring opportunities with the many fine broadcasters and staff in each station.” John is a former Radio Kilkenny general manager.
Realising the responsibilities that goes with the licence, John continues: “We are deeply grateful to have been given this opportunity by the BCI and we would like to assure the Commission and the people of Kilkenny and Carlow of our total and unswerving commitment to providing quality local radio and to creating a service which will be a cornerstone of community life in the years ahead.”
The company hope to offer a true local service. John Purcell was born and reared in the area and he has been deeply involved in the radio industry since the early 1990s. For him, today is an immensely proud day. “It has been my privilege to lead a consortium of people who have a tremendous track record of success in broadcasting and other industries and who are now 100% committed to the success of this new project,” he said. “Today marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in local broadcasting in Carlow and Kilkenny”.

The End is Near

The fallout from today’s BCI’s announcement of new licensees for the Carlow/Kilkenny and Kildare franchises is that two long-serving stations will stop broadcasting next year. Radio Kilkenny and CKR FM will become memories once the new licence-holders – KCLR in Carlow/Kilkenny & Kfm in Kildare – take to the air.

Radio Kilkenny’s franchise has been revamped to include the Carlow area, and although the station were shortlisted to be reawarded the new licence, they were ultimately unsuccessful. They will cease broadcasting next October after twelve years on air.

CKR FM served the old franchise of Carlow and Kildare. The BCI now feel that Co Kildare is justified in having a station serving its needs solely, resulting in CKR FM’s demise. CKR FM consistently registered bad JNLRs. They will also cease broadcasting next October.

BCI Award Carlow, Kilkenny & Kildare Licences

The BCI today announced the decisions relating to licences for the Carlow/Kilkenny and County Kildare franchise areas. The licences have been awarded in principle subject to the successful conclusion of contract negotiations.
CK Broadcasting Ltd, who will operate KCLR – the Heart of The Two Counties, have been awarded the licence for the Carlow/Kilkenny franchise.
County Kildare FM Radio Ltd have been awarded the Kildare franchise. Their station will be known as Kfm.
The BCI’s chairman Conor J. Maguire explains: “The contracts were awarded in principle subject to the relevant clarifications/responses pertaining to the applications being addressed to the satisfaction of the Commission. Once the contract negotiations have been completed with the successful applicants further details will be announced.”

Dunphy to Have His Last Word

Eamon Dunphy has announced that he is to quit his Today FM show ‘The Last Word’.

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.
Courtesy Times Newspapers

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.

No to Nova 252

Chris Cary has announced that RTÉ have turned down his proposal to relaunch Radio Nova on their 252 long wave frequency.
 Speaking today, he says: "At last a response and it’s a resounding 'no'! It clearly is 40 years too late."
 Explaining why he thinks he was turned down, he says: "20 Years ago I severely embarrassed RTÉ and 20 years later they will not let it happen again."
Cary revealed that he was ready to pump £5m into the project and had already got the station's schedule in mind.

Chris Cary has announced that RTÉ have turned down his proposal to relaunch Radio Nova on their 252 long wave frequency.
Speaking today, he says: “At last a response and it’s a resounding ‘no’! It clearly is 40 years too late.”
Explaining why he thinks he was turned down, he says: “20 Years ago I severely embarrassed RTÉ and 20 years later they will not let it happen again.”
Cary revealed that he was ready to pump £5m into the project and had already got the station’s schedule in mind.

105.7 is Pulsing Again

Pulse FM now have music programming again on 105.7MHz in Dublin. The station previously launched on the frequency when it was occupied by Breeze FM causing major interference to NewsTalk 106. Forced to vacate the frequency, they moved to 102.5MHz, which was already home to rock station ‘The Zone’. They now claim that they have come to a financial agreement with Breeze FM over use of 105.7FM – but, according to Breeze FM’s station manager, they have failed to honour that agreement.

Lighting a Fuse

A new station by the name of Fuse FM will be on air from Friday. Operating from the North Co Meath area, the station’s policy will be ‘No automation’ and they will be testing for two weeks before launching.
Speaking to Radiowaves News this evening, a spokesman for Fuse FM said: “We will be operating with a power of 4watts on 107.2MHz. Our music format will feature recent dance and chart hits.”
Tests for the station will operate at varying times before a new launch schedule is announced.
The spokesman concluded by saying: “We will be different than anything else on air in the north-east of the country.”
Fuse FM can be contacted at fuse1072@radio.fm.

€10,000 Squared

Hot on the heels of last week’s Survive It To Drive It competition, Cork’s 96FM & 103FM have announced another giveaway which will take place on the airwaves of Cork City and County.
From October 14th next, 96FM & 103FM will qualify 100 finalists through a series of on-air games to take part in the ‘€10,000 cash drop’, which the stations claim is Cork’s biggest ever cash giveaway. The final will take place on November 6th at Cork Racecourse in Mallow. One listener will walk away €10,000 richer, with the money literally falling from the sky.
Each of the 100 qualifiers will be allocated a number and on November 6th, this number will correspond to a square of ground at the Racecourse. All of the qualifiers will watch a helicopter take to the air over the ground. At some point that morning, a bag containing €10,000 will be dropped from the helicopter to the ground onto the 100 squares. Whoever has the square where the money lands will walk away €10,000 richer.

Pulse FM is on 105.7

Pulse FM are now claiming that the blank carrier on 105.7MHz in Dublin belongs to them.
Speaking to Radiowaves News, station owner Ben Murray says: “The signal on 105.7 will get more powerful as of Wednesday and an audio loop will be put through it.”
Future FM had also claimed that they would be moving onto the frequency, but that is no longer the case according to Murray: “Future FM will not be going on the frequency after all as they didn’t know we were on 105.7.”
The station have been plagued with technical problems since they launched last February, but Murray says that the problems have now been sorted and “105.7 will be our home from now on”.

Kiss FM in Wexford Has Been Raided

Kiss FM in Wexford were raided this morning by the ODTR, accompanied by the Gardai. Visits were made to both the studio and transmitter sites, and every piece of equipment was taken, including a laptop pc.
Station manager Leigh Doyle contacted Radiowaves News this evening in a state of shock. He claims that the station were raided – at least in part – as a result of their popularity. “A recent door-to-door poll in the area showed Kiss FM’s popularity,” Leigh says. “The surveyors had to create a special column for Kiss FM, we were getting so many votes.”
Leigh was informed by the ODTR that they had received complaints from legal stations: “I was told that it wasn’t because of interference, and I feel that it was made from within the area rather than outside Wexford. I was also told that a complaint by a local teacher lead to the raid. This was as a result of a text poll broadcast on the station in which she was voted most hated teacher.”
The station’s advertising was also alluded to by the officials.
Kiss FM were broadcasting on 102.0MHz.

Chaos Looming Again on 105.7FM?

Two stations claim that they are planning to broadcast on 105.7MHz in Dublin in the near future.
Pulse FM, who have recently been guilty of jumping on frequencies already occupied by other stations, are now claiming in contact with The Anorak Hour that they will relaunch from a new transmission site in the next few weeks. However, the station have made similar claims to Radiowaves News on a number of occasions since they first appeared on air at the start of the year.
Meanwhile, Future FM have also claimed that they will be moving to this frequency soon. The underground dance station presently broadcasts on 93.8MHz.
A strong blank carrier appeared on 105.7MHz during the week but has been off the air today.

Lite for Sale

Dublin station Lite FM is for sale. On air since May 2000, the easy-listening station is seeking either part investors or an outright buyer. Three shareholders are said to be looking for someone to buy their holding.
Lite FM have been involved in talks to buy other radio stations in the past few months and is also part of a consortium bidding for the new Kildare licence.

Horizon Over

Following a visit from the ODTR tonight, along with representation from north Co Dublin community station Phoenix FM, Horizon FM have switched off their transmitter.
The dance music station have been broadcasting from south Dublin on 105.3MHz for the past few weeks and were recently reported to be causing severe interference to the community station based in Dublin 15.

Survive It To Drive It

A survival competition is underway on Cork’s 96/103FM with four people now living in a Volkswagon Beetle in Douglas Village Shopping Centre.

At 9am this morning, four contestants waved goodbye to their loved ones for at least two nights. The carmates, who in a cruel twist have been forbidden from brushing their hair, washing their teeth and using deodorant for the duration of their stay in the car, will be eliminated one by one by the stations’ listeners. The first eviction will take place on Wednesday morning.

On Friday morning, with two finalists remaining inside the car, the final eviction will be made live on the Neil Prendeville show on 96FM. Neil will link up with Patricia Messenger in North Cork and John Greene in West Cork – the two local services from 103FM County Sound.

Cork’s 96 & 103FM are keeping a constant eye on the contestants by webcam and by live feeds from the car to the station, which can be accessed at random.

Tipp Mid West Accuse

A spokesman for Tipp Mid-West Radio has accused the BCI of rearranging the licence arrangements for the Tipperary area in order to suit bigger interests.

Speaking in today’s Sunday Business Post, John Hassett claims that the new licence terms “seem to have been carefully crafted to suit Tipp FM and the Irish Press [who are shareholders in the station].”

Both Tipp FM and Tipp Mid-West Radio presently broadcast in the Tipperary area but the BCI have changed the conditions so that only one licence will cover the entire county in the future. During the re-licensing process, Tipp Mid-West Radio opted not to apply for the new county-wide licence because they claim that they would not be able to take on the extra expense.

Although Tipp FM is a local station, the output is heavily-commercialised. Tipp Mid-West Radio have a greater integration with the local community but claim the alternative – applying for a community licence – would kill off the station.

Bigger Midlands Split

Midlands Radio 3’s Westmeath opt-out service is to be greatly increased from tomorrow. It will form part of the Midlands Gold service as proposed in the station’s recent submission to the BCI for the licence renewal in their franchise area.
Broadcasting on 102.1MHz in Athlone and 96.5MHz in Mullingar, the frequencies will still unite for some programmes. In preparation for the split, the Athlone studio facilities have been revamped.

Corrupt Corrupt Corrupt

After five years, the Flood Tribunal has released its interim report. There were a number of key points concerning Century Radio, the national station which was awarded a licence in 1989 but lasted only two years on air.

Justice Flood has found that a £35,000 payment to then minister for communications Ray Burke by Century Radio owner Oliver Barry on 26th May 1989, was a corrupt payment and was not intended by Barry to be a political donation to Burke or to Fianna Fáil. This followed the award of the new national licence to Century.

It was also found that a ministerial directive obliging RTÉ to provide its facilities to Century, issued by Burke on March 14th, 1989, was issued to advance the private interests of the promoters of Century and not to serve the public interest.

Further, in proposing legislation which would have had the effect of curbing RTÉ’s advertising, altering the format of 2FM, and diverting broadcasting licence fee income from RTÉ to independent broadcasters, Burke was acting in response to demands made of him by the promoters of Century and was not serving the public interest.

The payment of £35,000 to Ray Burke by Oliver Barry ensured that he was available to serve the interests of Century’s promoters, as is evidenced by his willingness to meet with their bankers and to give them assurances that he would take steps, including, if necessary, the introduction of legislation which would be to Century’s financial benefit.

Out of their Zone

Dublin station Pulse FM are back on air again, and are once again broadcasting on a frequency already used by another station. Now operating on 102.5MHz, this frequency has been occupied by weekend rock service ‘The Zone’ since March of last year.

Dublin station Pulse FM are back on air again, and are once again broadcasting on a frequency already used by another station. Now operating on 102.5MHz, this frequency has been occupied by weekend rock service 'The Zone' since March of last year.

Speaking to Radiowaves News this evening, The Zone’s station manager expressed his disappointment at these latest developments: “Without any regard to the station already broadcasting on this frequency, the operators of Pulse FM believe they can just occupy the frequency and cause severe interference with the Zone’s weekend service. While we are acutely conscious that no illegal operator owns any frequency, one would like to hope that even in a competitive environment, no one station would run rough-shot over another.”

Pulse FM first started in February of this year and have already been involved in a few frequency disputes, the most recent being a very public falling out with Breeze FM over the use of 105.7MHz.

Nearly a Blood Red Sky

A Brazilian dj has been held at gunpoint on air and forced to play tracks from a particular album. Marcos Vinicius dos Santos, who is a member of the band Beyond the Grey Sky, managed to get into Atlantida radio station in Porto Alegre. He forced the dj to tell the listening audience that there was a gun trained on him and over the next hour made him play tracks from the band’s album and ordered him to tell listeners where they could buy it. The singer eventually gave himself up.

Maintaining X

XFM, who started life as Alice’s Restaurant in the early 90s, will be off air over the weekend due to scheduled maintenance. The alternative station were also off last night on their 107.9FM Dublin frequency.

Midlands RDS Change

Midlands Radio 3 is displaying a new RDS reading of ‘MID.GOLD’ on their 102.1FM Athlone outlet. In their new application to the BCI during the licensing renewal process, Midlands Radio 3 are proposing split services on their frequencies. One of these is a new ‘Golden Oldies’ service by the name of Midlands Gold.
Report: DJ Softy

Kildare Licence Hearings

The Keadeen Hotel in Mewbridge on Monday is the time and place where five shortlisted applicants will be given the chance to state their case for providing a radio service to the newly-created Co Kildare franchise. The five groups are:
Kildare 97FM – whose parent company are Kildare Broadcasting Corporation Ltd, comprised of Kalacastle Ltd (who operate LMFM Radio) and the Leinster Leader newspaper group;
Kildare Sound, whose parent company are Kildare Communications Ltd, of which UTV have an involvement. They promise a distinctive service catering for all the cultures and traditions found in the county, including those who have resettled from elsewhere;
KFM-Kildare Radio – whose parent company is Kildare Radio Ltd based in Carlow;
KFM – whose parent company are County Kildare FM Radio Ltd;
& Kildare’s KFM – whose parent company KFM Media Services Ltd is based in Dublin and whose investors are Dublin’s Lite Fm and Radio Kerry.
When the shortlist was announced in July, the BCI Chairman – Conor J. Maguire – said: “We are particularly pleased with the level of interest in this new franchise area and with the standard of the applications received. They were sufficiently high to warrant all applicants being invited to present at oral hearings.”
The purpose of the public hearing process is to afford an applicant group an opportunity to present its case for the licence in a public forum and to allow the Commission to clarify certain issues in an applicant’s submission. A final decision is expected in October.

Gem Radio Back On Air

Gem FM are back on air on 96.0MHz in Dublin. The non-stop oldies station with the alternative slant stopped broadcasting a few months back following problems.

Wolf Collapses

Charlie Wolf collapsed whilst live on air on Red FM last night. He collapsed during the final hour of his ‘Cork Talks Back’ programme as he was reading out amusing items. Listeners to the new Cork station heard Charlie struggle for breath and then collapse, with papers scattering. After a moment’s pause, his producer announced that they’d be right back and played music.

New Studios for North West

Donegal-based North West Radio’s studios were officially opened by Mary Coughlan, Minister of Social and Family Affairs, yesterday. The new studios are based at Mill Row.

Fusion to Move

Fusion FM will vacate 92.2MHz this evening. The station appeared on this frequency in Dublin a few days ago, and have caused interference to established station Freedom FM on 92.0MHz.

Unbelievably HIT Idea

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.

Go (Mid)West

Following the re-advertisement of existing local radio services throughout the country, the BCI announced today that they have granted the Mayo licence (in principle) to the present incumbent Mid-West Radio, despite the station facing a challenge from Coast FM – a newcomer. This is subject to the successful conclusion of the contract.
Speaking on the station’s website, Mid West Radio’s station manager Paul Claffey said: “The winning of the licence was a testament to the many years of quality service that this radio station has given to the listener in County Mayo. Despite the emergence of a second application for the licence, the company was always confident that our successful track record over the past 13 years would be a key factor in winning the licence. Our application reflected on our past success and more importantly looked to the future, clearly demonstrating our commitment to the people of Mayo for the next ten years and beyond. No radio station can stand still and here at Mid West Radio we will continue to meet the challenges of an ever changing listenership as we have done. It is our job to work even harder to maintain and improve on our already record breaking listenership figures, to continually enhance and improve our programming schedule and to provide the business community the best platform from which they can reach their audience.”

Galway AM

A new medium wave licence for the Galway area has been awarded to Galway 2AM, the BCI announced today. Galway Bay FM are behind the new station and the licence award is subject to successful completion of the contract. The expected frequency is 1359kHz with 2kW of power. Start-up costs are estimated at €320,000 and the station hopes to be up and running at the start of next year.

Scotland’s Country

Scottish Radio Holdings, who own a string of local stations in Scotland as well as Today FM in Ireland, have offered to buy struggling local station Dublin’s Country 106.8FM. The deal is expected to be completed within weeks following approval – albeit ‘in principle’ – from the BCI. They are also expected to ‘change the format’, although what this exactly means is anybody’s guess until they submit the proposed changes to the Commission.
Dublin’s Country have been on air for less than a year with disastrous listenership figures. They have proved unsuccessful at attracting advertising and have had to let staff go in their time on air. This means that the station will be sold for a very low price, once the debts have been covered.

Dublin’s Country – as Star FM – were awarded a licence under a lengthy and costly BCI process. A number of other stations also applied for the same ‘specialist music’ licence, including Dublin Alternative Rock station Phantom FM, who were disappointed for the second time in recent years.
Pete Reed, Phantom FM’s general manager, reacted angrily to the news: “I am shocked that the deal has been given approval,” he said, speaking to Radiowaves News tonight. He pointed out that: “it states quite clearly in the BCI’s application form that the Commission would look ‘very unfavourably’ on any attempt to sell in the first two years of a station’s existence.”

Indeed, conscious of the costly process, the BCI’s statement says: “[We] will generally look unfavourably upon proposed changes in ownership structures within a two-year period after the granting of a licence. The Commission takes the view that such changes are likely to undermine the integrity of the licensing process itself and be unfair to unsuccessful applicants.”

Pete is not the only one who is outraged at this development. He said he has been speaking to a number of the other unsuccessful groups with a view to taking legal action against the sale.
“It is outrageous that SRH can come into this country and pick up a local station for a song,” he continued. “We will definitely be pursuing this further.”

Getting their Kykx

Kykx FM has started broadcasting to parts of Northern Ireland on 103.7MHz. The station comes from the people who bring you Thunder 107.7FM.

Static Off Air Altogether

In Dublin, Static FM’s 96.0FM transmitter is on a blank carrier today. Their 98.4FM transmitter, which was due back on Monday, is still off the air.

Swirl Get the Power

Swirl FM and Power FM have reached an agreement over the disputed 97.8MHz frequency.
Swirl FM, broadcasting from south Dublin, moved to 97.8FM in February this year. However, last month, the more powerful Power FM relaunched on the same frequency, following months of FM inactivity due to ODTR actions.
Swirl FM are now off the air but will be back on another frequency shortly.

Boring Boring Talksport

Two of three complaints by listeners against national UK station TalkSport have been upheld. The UK’s Radio Authority reprimanded the talk station for an item on their Breakfast Show in which Turkish people were described as being “barbaric”. Despite a claim that the word was used in the context of Galatasaray football supporters, the Radio Authority upheld the complaint.

TalkSport’s FA Cup commentaries were described by the station as being “exclusive”, even though they are anything but! The station’s claim that they meant exclusive in the sense of style and presentation rather than the competition itself was, not surprisingly, rejected, although the complaint was only partially upheld by the Radio Authority.

Not upheld was the complaint by a listener that the station was “plain boring”! The Radio Authority admitted that it was not within their powers to reprimand any station for being boring.

Source: Media Guardian

RLO Static

Radio Limerick One’s 104.2MHz and 105.2MHz transmitters were both relaying static last evening.

Report: Liam Byrne

New Station in Limerick

A new station playing Country & Irish music has appeared on 106.4MHz in Limerick. The signal, occupying a frequency that was previously used by Estuary before their move to 107.7FM, is relatively weak.

Report: Liam Byrne

Atlantic 252 is finally dead

Atlantic 252 is no more. Following on from the final live programming from the station just befpre Christmas, the automated music programming ceased at midnight last night and has been replaced with promotional programming for TeamTalk Radio – which is due to launch on 252kHz long wave on February 25th. 

Country Gold Fight Back

The ODTR have given Limerick oldies station Country Gold 21 days to close or else face prosecution. Advertisers with the station have also been advised that they face prosecution and a possible fine of £20,000.

The station issued the following statement to Radiowaves News this evening: “A snooker tournament featuring Ken Doherty & Jimmy White took place at Jerry’s Bar at Daly’s Cross, adjacent to Country Gold’s studios, last Saturday night. Jerry, who advertises with us on a regular basis, was visited by a person from the ODTR and advised to disassociate himself from Country Gold or face prosecution and a possible fine of £20,000. The station was to interview both players before the tournament but the ODTR contacted Jimmy White’s manager – who was still in England – through the police and advised him he could face prosecution and a £20,000 fine if the interview went ahead. They did likewise with Ken’s manager. We did not conduct the interview out of respect for both the participants and Jerry even though they were both willing to go ahead.

“Country Gold has now decided to take a stand against the jackboot tactics of the ODTR and we are willing to face jail if necessary to highlight the problems facing stations like ours. We offer an alternative to the top of the pops played consistently on the legalised stations, and we also have a current affairs programme highlighting local issues of concern to our listeners. Whose toes did we step on? We are certain that there is political motivation behind this action by the ODTR. However, we also feel that as citizens living in a so called “Democratic society”(????) we should have the right to freedom of speech. Is that not part of our constitution? We are rallying support from all corners of our social order and we intend to fight this until some politician with spine decides to fight for a change in the laws that govern broadcasting at present. Why can they not do as they did with the taxis? After all, only the stations that can support themselves financially will survive.
We would like to thank the many, many listeners who called us and offered their support. We may need it in the days to come.”

TCR Becomes Tallaght FM

Community radio station TCR 107.2FM today changed their name to Tallaght FM. The new name is part of a drive to let more people in Tallaght know that the service is available to them.
Also from today, the station is now able to receive requests and information over the internet at requests@tallaghtfm.com and info@tallaghtfm.com.
Broadcasting to south-west Dublin on 107.2MHz from The Square, Tallaght FM has been on air since 1998. The station presently broadcasts on Mondays through Saturdays, but will be adding Sundays shortly.

Magic Forced to Disappear

“The day we thought would never come arrived this Halloween,” a spokesperson for Magic FM in Limerick told Radiowaves News this evening. “We’ve had an official visit from the ODTR to the transmitting site issuing a warning to ‘cease the illegal broadcasting immediately or face prosecution’. We’ve decided to do what they’ve asked.”
Magic FM were an alternative rock station on 107.6MHz. They issued the following statement: “To all who’ve tuned our way in Limerick we want to say thanks. Thanks also to everyone involved in running the station over the past three years. Thanks to all at Radiowaves for the insight into what was going on around the country. Basically thanks to everyone who was involved, either directly or indirectly. We’ll miss the crack that was to be had.”

Hot Hits Receive a Visit

Hot Hits Radio in Limerick were visited by the ODTR today. The officials arrived at the building hosting the station’s studios at about 2.30pm and gained entry through an open door. The studio itself was locked and entry was refused.
Fearing a return visit, the station is now off the air.

Anthrax Scare at RTÉ Cork

RTÉ Cork was hit by an anthrax scare yesterday morning following the arrival of a package containing powder which had been posted in England. A member of staff raised the alarm at 9.30am leading to the building being sealed off. However, following army examination, it was revealed that the package contained a CD wrapped in metallic granules for protection.

Adios…Not Goodbye

“Adios and not goodbye…for this is just the start of a great new adventure”…these were the closing words of an emotion-charged eight minute speech from station director Colm Dunphy as Waterford’s ABC Power 104FM closed today, Bank Holiday Monday, at 4pm.

They treated listeners to an ‘inside’ look at the popular station with presenters – past and present – returning to say their goodbyes.
The station closed to meet the requirements of their second licence attempt in thirteen years. Long regarded as one of the most professional pirate broadcasters in Ireland, ABC claim to have secured major financial backing for its forthcoming proposal for a regional broadcasting franchise.
Also, in recent weeks the station commissioned (at a cost of several thousand pounds) research into the listening habits of the local marketplace. They plan to publish the findings soon.

Lite Bids

Three different radio groups have made bids to buy a majority shareholding in Lite FM, the Dublin-based easy-listening station, according to today’s Sunday Tribune. The station’s Managing Director, Martin Block, confirmed that the approaches had been made but did not reveal the identity of the bidders nor the amounts offered. He did say that discussions are ongoing and that – although Lite FM would prefer to build it’s own Irish radio group – if someone offered the shareholders a huge amount of money it would be hard for them not to accept.

Air Warfare

A pirate radio station is being used to arrange gang fights, according to the Sunday Mail in Glasgow. Club FM (nicknamed Neds FM) is broadcast from a flat in the Pollok area of Glasgow and invites callers on air to hurl sectarian abuse at rival gangs and to arrange times and places for battles between opposing factions. Police have said that they are aware of the station but cannot act until they receive an official complaint.

Bertie’s Country Launch

Presently on test, Dublin’s Country 106.8FM will be officially launched by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, tomorrow afternoon at 3.30pm. However, the latest licensed station for Dublin will be live from breakfast time with Stephen Keogh. The rest of the first day’s schedule has also been confirmed: 10am Gerry Wilson; 1pm Pam Wilson; 4pm Bob Conway; 8pm Bill McLoughlin and 10pm, John Ford.

TeamTalk 252 On The Way

TEAMtalk Media Group plc has today entered into discussions with RTL Group to acquire 80% of Radio Tara Ltd, which operates the national long wave radio station Atlantic 252, for total cash consideration of £2 million.
Completion of the deal is anticipated by the end of next month. The remaining 20% of Radio Tara will continue to be held by RTE, the Irish public service broadcasting organisation.
The acquisition continues TEAMtalk’s drive to broaden its content delivery base by creating an additional platform for the distribution of TEAMtalk sports content. TEAMtalk intends to rebrand the station as TEAMtalk 252 and relaunch it as a predominantly sports-based station by the end of the financial year. The station will continue to broadcast from Radio Tara’s facilities in Ireland to a UK audience on Long Wave 252.
This is the third radio acquisition that TEAMtalk has made this year. In February, the media group acquired MMC Sport-Redaktion, the largest independent sports radio programmer in Germany, which supplies over 200 radio stations across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This was followed by the acquisition in June of Hampson Radio, the leading UK in-store radio broadcaster with customers such as Asda and Moto. TEAMtalk also produces over 330 hours of sports audio in the UK, including a nine hour daily radio programme for Ladbrokes.
Bill Wilson, Chairman & Chief Executive, of TEAMtalk, said: “This acquisition presents a win-win situation for us. As I have said in the past, TEAMtalk is about building an independent content generation machine that can create revenues from as many distribution platforms as possible. When the station is launched we will have a national radio presence that and I am looking forward to driving the new format in the UK marketplace.”

TeamTalk to buy Atlantic

Leeds-based Teamtalk Media Group has won the bidding auction to buy long wave station Atlantic 252, according to today’s Irish Independent. Teamtalk provides internet information services about English football clubs.
Atlantic 252, which is based in Meath, had previously been linked to a possible deal with Oneword radio station but the deal fell through.