90s station struggles as temperatures hit the 90s*

The heatwave currently engulfing the country is presenting challenges to everyone - as a nation the weather we are experiencing at the moment is without precedent which is leading people to turn to all the usual methods of cooling down. 

One Dublin-based radio station, however, has had to come up with a novel solution to their overheating problem. When The 90s Network switched on yesterday for their usual weekend broadcasts on 98.4MHz across the city, their transmitter couldn't cope with the heat. With temperatures regularly htting blisteringly high late 20s to early 30s celsius (*90s Fahrenheit) for a whole week, the heat was too much for a machine which usually runs hot to the touch.
Station owner Mike O'Brien has come up with a novel solution to the problem in order to get the station back on the air - as can be seen in the photo below. You're not imagining things - that is a refrigerator of the type usually found in a public house. Well, keeping a station on the air in this heat is thirsty work after all!
Too hot to transmit – 90s Network transmitter letting off steam

The heatwave currently engulfing the country is presenting challenges to everyone – as a nation the weather we are experiencing at the moment is without precedent which is leading people to turn to all the usual tried and tested methods in their attempts to cool down.

One Dublin-based radio station, however, has had to come up with a novel solution to their overheating problem. When The 90s Network switched on yesterday for their usual weekend broadcasts on 98.4MHz across the city, their transmitter couldn’t cope with the heat. With temperatures regularly htting blisteringly high late 20s to early 30s celsius (*90s Fahrenheit) for a whole week, the heat was too much for a machine which usually runs hot to the touch.
Station owner Mike O’Brien has come up with a novel solution to the problem in order to get the unlicensed station back on the air – as can be seen in the photo below. You’re not imagining things – that is a refrigerator of the type usually found in a public house. Well, keeping a station on the air in this heat is thirsty work after all!

The heatwave currently engulfing the country is presenting challenges to everyone - as a nation the weather we are experiencing at the moment is without precedent which is leading people to turn to all the usual methods of cooling down. 

One Dublin-based radio station, however, has had to come up with a novel solution to their overheating problem. When The 90s Network switched on yesterday for their usual weekend broadcasts on 98.4MHz across the city, their transmitter couldn't cope with the heat. With temperatures regularly htting blisteringly high late 20s to early 30s celsius (*90s Fahrenheit) for a whole week, the heat was too much for a machine which usually runs hot to the touch.
Station owner Mike O'Brien has come up with a novel solution to the problem in order to get the station back on the air - as can be seen in the photo below. You're not imagining things - that is a refrigerator of the type usually found in a public house. Well, keeping a station on the air in this heat is thirsty work after all!

Easy Radio awarded temporary licence for Dublin

The long-running Dublin station Easy Radio has been awarded a temporary licence by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Their broadcasts will commence on Saturday, April 3rd and will run for fifteen weekends on 88.1MHz FM to the greater Dublin Area. They will release more details over the next few days.
Easy Radio plays an easy-listening mix of music and have been on air in Dublin for nearly two decades. This will be their first licensed run.
Easy Radio’s Paul Wilson is “delighted”

The long-running Dublin station Easy Radio has been awarded a temporary licence by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Their broadcasts will commence on Saturday, April 3rd and will run for fifteen weekends on 88.1MHz FM to the greater Dublin Area. They will release more details over the next few days.
Easy Radio plays an easy-listening mix of music and have been on air in Dublin for nearly two decades. This will be their first licensed run.

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.

RTÉ to cease DAB services

RTÉ has announced that they will cease transmission of its radio services on the Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) network on March 31st this year. RTÉ’s digital radio services – RTÉ Gold, RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, RTÉ Pulse, and RTÉjr Radio – will remain available.

RTÉ highlight three main factors for the decision.
They cite the continuing popularity of FM radio, along with a surge in mobile listening, on-the-go listening and voice activated services. DAB is the least-utilised platform available to audiences in Ireland

They also point out that RTÉ remains the only broadcaster in Ireland on the DAB system with associated costs also being mentioned.

The latest JNLR report, Radio in a Digital World, compiled by Ipsos/ MRBI, found that while 8% of the population in Ireland (330,000 people) are accessing radio stations via digital means, the smallest number in this cohort opt for DAB.

According to the report, just under 5% of adults in Ireland listen to radio via a mobile device, 2% listen on a PC, around 1.5% listen on a smart speaker, 0.6% listen on a TV set and 0.5% DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting). 77% of adults in Ireland listen to radio on FM.

Due to the value that audiences in Ireland continue to derive from RTÉ’s digital radio services – RTÉ Gold, RTÉ Pulse, RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Radio 1 Extra and RTÉjr Radio – these stations will remain available.

Working with 2rn – who maintain, manage and develop Ireland’s broadcast transmission network for all broadcasters on the island – RTÉ will co-ordinate an orderly wind down of the DAB Service by the end of this month.

RTÉ have launched an extensive public information campaign across television, radio, online and social media to highlight the closure of the DAB network and inform audiences how they can continue to enjoy RTÉ’s digital radio services.

For details on how to continue to listen to RTÉ digital radio services visit www.rte.ie/keeplistening

Radio Nova regenerated 40 years on

In June 1981 the face of radio in Ireland was changed forever with the launch of Radio Nova. The Dublin mega-super-pirate is forever held up as a shining example of how to properly engage the listener and is still reverentially talked about to this day.

However, one of the original station’s favourite sons has done more than just talk – he’s acted. With a proposed launch date of June 29th 2021, 40 years to the day since the official start date of the original, Lawrence John plans to introduce the Radio Nova sound to a whole new generation.

In a statement just released, Lawrence says:

Radio Nova relaunch

“With the time afforded to me during the first [Covid 19] lockdown in March last year, I had an opportunity to listen to the new FM stations licensed a few years after Radio Nova’s closure. I left Dublin before those stations were licensed, so I’d never heard any of them and presumed all was going well. So when I finally heard them for the first time…shock, horror, it was as if nobody had learned anything from Chris Cary and Radio Nova.

“The success of the pirates, and Nova in particular, was entirely due to the excitement, passion and creativity they offered compared to the safe and conservative output of RTÉ. Thirty years later and the whole thing has gone full circle, the newly licensed stations, have become mini-versions of RTÉ.

“Where did it all go wrong?!!

“Anyway, I started chatting to former colleagues who, to a man, were of a similar opinion and eventually I concluded something had to be done to remedy the situation. I started to produce some syndicated radio shows which I thought stations might use to give a bit more variety, or add a little spice to their output. However, after producing a few shows, I decided what Dublin really needed was another Radio Nova. So, I thought, why not re-launch Radio Nova. With my experience of founding and creating a number of stations, including Dublin’s original Q102 and the Northern Ireland super pirate Energy 106, it seemed like a good idea.

Lawrence John

“My plans were met with a thumbs-up from my old Radio Nova colleagues and so I set about planning a relaunch and here we are three months later. Just like the original Nova the new version will also take time to put plans into place, but we’ll get there. The backbone of the musical output will be all the old Nova favourites, with similar-sounding new titles that Chris Cary himself might’ve added in the intervening years.

“You’ll also hear the original jingles, (remastered) some with a new twist and we’ve got some great new Radio Nova sweepers.”

The new Radio Nova have already lodged an application for a DAB licence in Belfast and Lawrence aims to push for both a DAB  and FM licence in Dublin.

He continues: “Of course, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle but, if the newly-relaunched Radio Nova is even half as good as the original, it should be twice as good as any FM station in Dublin. I should add that, unlike Dublin’s FM stations which are mostly run by big radio groups, the new Nova will be run on a not-for-profit basis.

“Radio Nova (or Radio Nova – Smooth Hits to avoid confusion with other Novas around the world) is all about the music. Check out the memories and previews daily initially 7-9pm in the coming weeks with looped, syndicated shows from Casey Kasem, Rick Dees and Gary Owens – all big favourites on the original Radio Nova.”

Until a DAB or FM licence comes along the station will be available online.

Listen 24/7 directly on their website radionovainternational.co or on your smart speaker. Say “Alexa, play Radio Nova – Smooth Hits.

Or visit their Facebook page here.”

Today’s Newspapers: February 10th 2021

Irish Times – Digital fails to usurp FM as main way to consume Irish radio

Digital fails to usurp FM as main way to consume Irish radio

Listeners here have stayed loyal to analogue methods, Ipsos MRBI report shows

Laura Slattery

Irish radio remains an FM affair despite the advent of multiple digital devices and apps, with the time spent listening through the FM band clocking in at about 15 times higher than the time spent consuming live Irish radio through digital methods.

FM accounts for a whopping 12.5 million of the 13.3 million hours a day Irish listeners collectively spend “tuning in” to Irish radio stations, a report by Ipsos MRBI has found.

Just 5.9 per cent of the time spent listening to Irish radio by people aged 15-plus is done through digital devices. Although this figure is higher among just 15-24-year-olds – standing at 17.2 per cent – the ongoing importance of FM to the industry emerges loud and clear from the Radio in a Digital World report.

The figures are based on the most recent Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) survey conducted by Ipsos MRBI on behalf of the radio and advertising industry.

The dominance of FM in terms of listening time is partially explained by the fact that people who listen through FM car radios or traditional home sets tend to do so for longer each day than people who listen through smartphones and other digital devices. The reach of FM also remains way out in front, however, with almost 77 per cent of Irish people listening to Irish radio on FM each day compared with 8.4 per cent doing so through digital devices. Digital reach has increased, but only from 7.2 per cent in 2015.

“Routines are very hard to break,” said Damian Loscher, managing director of Ipsos MRBI. “Around the edges, there are behaviour changes, but they are happening relatively slowly.”

Radio apps

Only 20 per cent of adults have downloaded a radio station app, according to the report. Among digital devices, mobiles are the most popular for listening to radio with a reach of 4.8 per cent, followed by PCs/laptops on 1.9 per cent, smart speakers on 1.7 per cent, listening through a TV set on 0.6 per cent and Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) devices on just 0.5 per cent.

Ipsos MRBI began tracking the reach of smart speakers for radio consumption in January 2020, and its research up until the end of September suggests 66,000 Irish people use such speakers for this purpose. Mr Loscher said he suspected they have since overtaken PCs/laptops for radio listening and that this will be confirmed once the face-to-face JNLR survey can resume post-lockdown.

Mr Loscher said digital had made only modest inroads in the Irish market, in part “because FM is so big”. This stands in contrast to some European countries including Norway, which controversially switched all national FM radio to digital-only in 2017; and Switzerland, which is eyeing a complete switch to digital by 2024.

UK situation
In the UK, where DAB technology has been adopted by listeners, digital means overtook analogue consumption of radio three years ago. The UK government previously said this milestone would trigger a review of FM radio, but there is little sign that it will pursue a switch-off plan in the near future.

The Ipsos MRBI report also highlights that the daily reach of Irish radio remains ahead of the leading audio streaming service Spotify, even among younger listeners. Some 69 per cent of 15-24-year-olds listen to Irish radio daily, while 38 per cent use Spotify.

“Radio is a ridiculously robust medium,” Mr Loscher said.

While the proliferation of smart speakers and increasingly sophisticated car audio systems may have some impact on FM listening in the next few years, any regulatory intervention similar to that in Norway is likely to be “much further down the road”.

River Radio hope to create waves on DAB

Last November River Radio became the first station from Northern Ireland, and one of the first in the UK, to apply to broadcast regulator Ofcom for a small-scale DAB Radio Broadcast Licence to cover Derry, Strabane & surrounding areas. This will be the first area in the UK to be part of the government and Ofcom’s small scale DAB roll-out.

Last November River Radio became the first station from Northern Ireland, and one of the first in the UK, to apply to broadcast regulator Ofcom for a small-scale DAB Radio Broadcast Licence to cover Derry, Strabane & surrounding areas. This will be the first area in the UK to be part of the government and Ofcom's small scale DAB roll-out.

River Radio is a former pirate station who have been broadcasting on FM in Derry since 2018 on 104.2MHz FM.

In a statement released today, River Radio directors Gerard Doherty & Stephen Morrow said: “We are fully committed and focused on providing a youth-focused, modern music local radio station in the northwest and ensuring opportunity to the youth and people/business of Derry & Strabane, which doesn’t exist and has been ignored until now.
“February 2021 is a big month as we will be made aware if we have been awarded this licence. We thank you for all your support this far.”

The station’s application can be viewed by tapping here.

Listen online at- https://onlineradiobox.com/uk/theriverfm/

History repeats itself for Lawrence John

On this very day in 1985, Lawrence John introduced Dubliners to a brand new station, one which was designed to create a storm – albeit a quiet one. Q102 was born in an era when stations came and went as often as the tide in Dublin bay so it would need to be quite special to not only attract listeners, but also to keep them – especially at a time when two of the biggest and most popular stations we’ve ever known, Radio Nova and Sunshine Radio, ruled Dublin’s roost.

Thirty six years later and the Belfast native is about to announce an exciting new project, also based in the capital. Less about that later!

Eternally enthusiastic, LJ’s love of radio has not been dampened by time. This despite being involved in one way or another for more than four decades.
Although his lips are sealed on exactly what his new project entails, Lawrence happily spoke to Radiowaves News about the background to the launch of what quickly became Dublin’s third superpirate.

Having already been on air on a number of stations, for Lawence John it was his time at Radio Nova that set his pulses racing more than any other. Having already fallen in love with Dublin, her most popular and biggest radio station proved to be the perfect complement for the affable presenter. So, how did he end up launching another station in competition with the one that meant so much to him?

During LJ’s time at Nova it became beset with problems, not least an NUJ picket on the station.

Lawrence takes up the story…
“I was reluctantly forced to leave Radio Nova because I was pressured by the NUJ to stop crossing the union picket line. I joined Sunshine – a great station – but my heart was still with Radio Nova so I came up with the idea of creating a new station, similar to Nova but not identical. A kind of ‘smooth’ Nova which I eventually named Q102.”

Radiowaves: How did it feel to go against Radio Nova as a direct competitor?
“I didn’t like the idea of going against my former friends and colleagues so I had to think of it as friendly rivalry. That’s the main reason I didn’t want to go head to head with the same format.”

Radiowaves: What were the origins of Q102?
“I approached my friend Pierre Doyle about funding and he liked the idea, bringing a few fellow nightclub owners on board in order to spread the risk. I was the creator and so became managing director, responsible for everything including programming, marketing and promotions, as well as being a deejay on the station.”

Radiowaves: Where were the transmitters sourced?
“I know nothing about the transmitters, or their location, I left this to the original engineer John Thewlis, although he was replaced by Joe King, I think it was. I always left engineering to the specialists. “

So, with everything in place and some strategic publicity in the newspapers, the test transmissions ran up until 7pm on Wednesday, January 23rd 1985 – the time of the station’s launch.

Looking back LJ believes that January 23rd was an ‘odd date’ on which to start up but it was one of the more memorable station launches, fusing humour and some of the major international stories of the time, all emanating from LJ’s creative mind.

I never had any doubt Q102 would be successful, I have always approached everything I do with the idea that failure is not an option

He explains:
“The aim was to capture listeners’ imagination and create a sense of fun. All the humorous promos were my idea but I invited input from Chris Barry and Martin Block, with Roland Burke putting his usual spin on production.”

Although it took another four years to become a reality, a new regime for licensing always seemed to be ‘imminent’ at the time of Q102’s launch. A lot was made of the fact that Q102 was wholly Irish-owned, a deliberate ploy which was hoped would see any licence application looked upon favourably. Obviously, the station would also need to be successful to be in with a chance of a licence but thanks to the recruitment of some very high profile presenters, aided with the financial backing of top local businessmen, failure was not being entertained from within.

“I never had any doubt Q102 would be successful, I have always approached everything I do with the idea that failure is not an option,” Lawrence confirms.

Radiowaves: How did your involvement with the station end?

“I didn’t realize how competitive Pierre was…he mentioned he would like to go head to head with Radio Nova but I suggested I would prefer not to deliberately compete with my former friends and colleagues and he never pressed me or mentioned the idea again. So it was quite a surprise, indeed a shock, to find Mike Hogan in the MD’s chair one afternoon. I don’t know how this came about. Whether it was Pierre who approached Mike or the other way round, but it was a good idea and one I would’ve welcomed myself, knowing Mike’s previous experience with Radio Nova.”

Ultimately, LJ’s love affair with Radio Nova caused him to sacrifice the hard work he’d put into the younger rival.

“I met Pierre a few years after my departure and there were no hard feelings,” says Lawrence. “Same goes for Mike Hogan, whom I met a couple of years ago at the annual Radio Nova alumni dinner. However, it was a lesson learned. I made sure I had 100% control of my next big station, the cross-border super pirate Energy 106. If there was ever any doubt that I would make a success of Q102, I think the success of Energy 106 in capturing 250,000 listeners with no one but myself and an engineer speaks volumes. Now… for my next big radio adventure, coming soon to a radio or smart speaker near you.”

Lawrence John

Despite much pleading on our part LJ’s lips remain sealed about his new venture but we can reveal that it will be Dublin-based. We should learn more in the next few days and preview programming will also be aired very soon.

Will it be as successful as the station he launched all those years ago. Time will tell but with Lawrence’s talent and enthusiasm anything is possible. Stay tuned to Radiowaves.fm to keep abreast of developments.

We thank Lawrence John for taking the time to answer our questions.

Highland Radio Mourns The Death of Country Music Presenter

Highland Radio presenter Pio McCann died peacefully at his home this morning surrounded by his family.

Highland Radio presenter Pio McCann died peacefully at his home this morning surrounded by his family.

Pio was an ex-showband member who joined Erneside Radio in Cavan in 1987 after hearing an advertisement seeking presenters. He also worked on Radio Star Country before joining Highland Radio.

In 2008 Pio was honoured with the CMA International Broadcaster Award in Nashville. This award recognised the outstanding achievement by a radio broadcaster outside the United States for their important contributions towards the development of Country Music in their country.

Pio is survived by his wife Rae, six children and eleven grandchildren.

Highland Radio, which broadcasts to Donegal, will run a special programme celebrating Pio’s life on his show tomorrow, Saturday from 12noon – 2pm.

100 to Come from BCR FM

BCR FM has been awarded a second 100 day licence which will come into effect from tomorrow, September 26th.
The station will broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays only which means the licence will run until September 5th next year.
They will be available on 101.9MHz FM, throughout Ballina and its surrounding areas and will also continue to stream all shows online at bcrfm.ie, as well as on the TuneIn app for smart devices and phones.

Easy Return

Easy Radio have returned to FM in Dublin. Back on air on 94.3MHz, the station have said that it will just be weekends only for the present.

Wild Country Have Been Tamed

Wild Country, the station broadcasting from Louth on 103.6MHz, today had their transmission site raided by officials from ComReg and An Garda Síochána.

The site, located at Edentupper, received the visit at around 11.30am. Transmissions ceased minutes later. Equipment valued at €16,000 was taken.

The station have since issued a statement:-
“While we fully acknowledge that our station was operating without a licence, it has filled a valuable void which has been left for local radio, particularly in the South Armagh and Down areas since the departure of Q radio from their Newry Studio.

“We had been broadcasting the public health advisories on Covid-19 twice an hour for both North and South and if the reaction to our station over the lockdown is anything to go by, we feel we have made this difficult period easier for our listeners by providing Irish and American country music around the clock.

“Alas, this came to an end today. Why it took 6 members of ComReg, together with Gardai to do this we will never understand, when a simple phone call to us from the authorities would have sufficed.

“We would like to thank our many listeners and assure them that our station will continue online via the radiogarden app.”

VIP Birthday Greetings for Radio Kerry

Radio Kerry today celebrated 30 years on the airwaves. The station launched on July 14th 1990 and was today congratulated for the achievement by President Michael D Higgins

Higgins said that over the past three decades Radio Kerry has given a voice to the people of Kerry and provided an important platform for discussion. He added that the current pandemic shows the need for independent and high-quality journalism.

Meanwhile, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin also congratulated Radio Kerry on its landmark birthday.

The Fianna Fáil leader pledged to support independent broadcasting saying that local radio can be an antidote to fake and distorted news on social media by providing information in an objective way.

Mr Martin also said that local radio has been a powerful resource to deal with the global pandemic.

An Taoiseach believes that local radio stations, such as Radio Kerry, make politicians more accountable to the public:

1 Music One

A new internet only station has come under fire for their choice of name. Launched on Sunday, Musc One has a very strong line up and is already proving very popular with listeners.

However, the station has been accused of stealing the name from 1Music in order to piggyback on the success of that name, which has been established since 2016.

In a hard-hitting post on social media, 1Music founder Frankie Beats said:-

“This is not a reflection on the presenters on MusicOne. As you know an ex-2FM presenter has started a radio station called MusicOne.ie in Ireland, which is a blatant copy of my 1Music.ie name, which is registered as a business name since 2016.
Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve worked hard for 5yrs to build my brand, it was all I had to show the world and 1MUSIC went on to win global awards in 2018 and recognition in the music industry.
Today i see that 1MUSIC.ie is now gone from Google page 1 listings for the first time since 2016 and replaced by MusicOne.ie.
Weeks before the other station launched I contacted the owner and his response was: “Contact my solicitor” and the launch went ahead and today I have received some nasty messages from one of its presenters who has started to defame me publicly over the name.
Irish Radio has always been a hard place and this shows how unoriginal and nasty some people can be. MusicOne has already had issues with its previous incarnation and now it’s destroying my hard work.”

Panic Stations for Dublin’s Pirates

Pirate FM, who have been on the air on FM in Dublin since January 1st, are presently off the air following a phone call on Sunday advising them that a raid was imminent. This led the station to strip out their studios.

Word spread to the rest of Dublin’s unlicensed stations by Monday leading them to cease FM broadcasts.

Some, like Club FM who are usually on 107.1MHz and Easy FM, who are usually on 105.2MHz have publicly stated that this is to facilitate ‘technical adjustments’.
One operator told Radiowaves News, however, that they were off FM for precautionary reasons.

Many continue to broadcast online.

Club Closed Temporarily

Club FM say they are shutting off their FM service temporarily in order to carry out upgrades and maintenance at their existing transmission sites.
The Dublin dance music station usually broadcasts on 107.1MHz in Dubin but will continue to be available online.

It’s Not Easy to Stay Awake

At midnight last night / this morning Easy Radio presenter Paul Wilson joined the rest of the nation and put his head down for some shuteye. What made Paul’s situation different was that he hadn’t slept in at least 48 hours.

At midnight on Friday night, Paul pledged to continue broadcasting live across Dublin on 105.2MHz, and to the world on easyradio.ie, for 48 hours in order to raise funds for Temple Street Childrens’ Hospital in Dublin’s city centre.

Paul at the start of the broadcast

The target wasn’t an ‘Easy’ one, he hoped to raise at least €1,000. Donations were understandably a little slow during the first night but as the day began and the rest of the nation rose from sleep, the station’s listeners started rallying to the cause.

According to a spokesperson for the long-running Dublin pirate station: “It was just as Paul’s voice started to get sore and he had finished his 50th cup of coffee, that the target was reached – at 4.30pm on Sunday afternoon.”

Paul stayed on air for the remainder of the evening and by the deadline on Sunday the donation amount had reached €1,120 euro.

“Overwhelming,” was the word Paul used. It was probably all he could manage to say at the time!

This morning the station were inundated with messages of support and people still looking to donate – the link button will remain active at the link below until Friday to facilitate this.

Easy Radio have been broadcasting easy listening music and love songs to Dublin since 2001.

Easy Radio Facebook page

Leinster & Snowflake to close

Two Irish-based online stations, Radio Leinster and Radio Snowflake, are to close with immediate effect.

Stations owner David Baker said today:- “I’ve decided to close both Radio Leinster and Radio Snowflake completely. The reasons behind this sudden decision is to protect Chelmer Radio going forward. My workload with Chelmer Radio has increased and I need to focus on that going forward with no other distractions.”

Both Radio Leinster and Radio Snowflake were nostalgic recreations of 1980s pirate stations.

iRadio Launches the Corona Hour

Regional broadcasters i102-104 and i105-107 have just agreed a major sponsorship deal with Corona Beer to launch the sponsor titled ‘Corona Hour’.

The new programme will run for an hour from 2pm every Saturday on both stations.

The Corona Hour will be commercial free (apart from the sponsor’s name) and aims to play “feel-good music designed to put the smile on your face and energise you to get the party started”.

Hosted by Ezeke Gray, a native of Jamaica, iRadio will be supporting the sponsorship with sampling of Limes and other Corona merchandise every week and they will also be doing Corona Hour events at venues across the two franchise areas.

Neither party would discuss the value of the deal which gives Corona full brand ownership of the hour and also includes sampling, promos advertising the programme midweek, online support on both iRadio websites and social media involvement.

iRadio CEO Rena Maycock says that Corona is a perfect partner in this initiative: “We had an idea to have one hour of completely ad-free fun and happiness on the stations each Saturday that would help listeners get into the party mood and we looked for a brand partner that would help us to achieve that. Corona is a natural brand fit and they could see our vision for the potential impact this programme could have on the mood of the two regions by creating a 15 county party that you can attend without leaving your living room. In addition we have also found that there is a huge audience out there that don’t want to listen to sports programming at weekends and we want to provide those listeners with a super quality alternative.”

iRadio is also on the eve of launching the O2 sponsorship of its’ text-lines across both stations.

i102-104, which covers the west and north-west, launched in February 2008. This was closely followed by its sister station i105-107, which covers the midlands and north-east, in November of the same year.

The Corona hour launches on both i102-104 and i105-107 on Saturday 2 April 2011

Nova Celebrates First Survey Figures

Dublin’s newest radio station, Nova 100, are attracting 120,000 people weekly according to today’s JNLR figures release.

Nova CEO Kevin Branigan said: “We are absolutely blown away by how fantastic these first figures are. They are even better than expected. With Radio Nova on in practically every shop and taxi in town, over a third of all iPhones having the Radio Nova app, and more Facebook fans than some stations that have been established for more than twenty years, the loyal listenership we have built up in these 18 short weeks is incredible and humbling. We’re delighted with our set of figures and we’ll continue to work hard to grow our listenership even more during 2011.”

Nova launched on September 1st and broadcasts to Dublin city, county and commuter belt on 100.3MHz FM & 100.5MHz FM. The station employs a team of 25 and operates from Dublin’s docklands.

RTÉ Radio 1 Ahead of its National Rivals

RTÉ Radio 1 is still Ireland’s most-listened-to radio station, with reach jumping from 24% to 25%. While competitors have seen losses to key breakfast and daytime slots, RTÉ Radio 1 has recorded strong book-on-book gains for ‘Morning Ireland’, and ‘The John Murray Show’ has made its JNLR debut with an additional 2,000 listeners. Most other RTÉ Radio 1 daytime shows recorded gains.

At weekends, gains continued for The Marian Finucane Show (Sunday), This Week, Saturday Sport, Countrywide, The Business and John Bowman.

RTÉ Radio 1 occupied every slot in the top ten most-listened-to programmes in Ireland. RTÉ Radio overall has claimed 19 of the top 20 most-listened-to programmes in the country, up from 18 this time last year.

Jim Jennings, Head of Radio 1, says: “The latest figures for RTÉ Radio 1 tell us we are the first choice for the majority of radio listeners in Ireland. Listeners choose Radio 1 time and again thanks to the high standard of award-winning, impartial and entertaining coverage that only Radio 1 can deliver. We have had much talk about the migration to and from current-affairs coverage across the stations. Our competitors have lost out in this book not because listeners are tuning out of the national discussion, but because the conversation is now firmly on RTÉ Radio 1.”

RTÉ 2FM has maintained its seven-day reach lead on its commercial competitors, while it has also remained neck-and-neck with Today FM with weekday reach at 13%. Hector Ó hEochagáin’s new breakfast show debuted with an encouraging 133,000 listeners. Ryan Tubridy’s new 2FM show, with 216,000 listeners, is almost neck and neck with Ray D’Arcy, despite being an hour shorter. 2FM has seen strong gains on Sundays.

John McMahon, Head of RTÉ 2FM, says: “The new 2FM schedule was just launched in September. The reduction in timeslots of key shows from three to two hours was always going to impact figures. Our aim was to hold stable, and this we have done. I’m delighted that ‘Breakfast with Hector’ has got off to a strong start, and it’s all to play for now with Tubridy and Colm Hayes. The figures for the afternoon shows are a real cause for optimism, as are the gains on Sundays. The new 2FM TV ad is still on air, and it has been hugely well received. The next two JNLR books will offer conclusive indications for 2FM, and we’re determined to attract more listeners to what is a brilliant new schedule.”

RTÉ Lyric FM’s Marty Whelan has made a strong debut in his new breakfast slot, with 19,000 listeners. Lyric has seen continued growth at weekends, with book-on-book growth also recorded on weekdays. Lyric’s Liz Nolan, Niall Carroll, George Hamilton, Lorcan Murray (Saturday), Gay Byrne and Rachel Blech all recorded gains book-on-book, while there was also good news for lyric year-on-year, with gains for ‘Movies and Musicals’ and ‘Niall Carroll’s Classic Drive’.

Clare Duignan, Managing Director of RTÉ Radio, commented: “There had been some slippage recently on RTÉ Radio 1 but those slippages have been dramatically reversed with these figures. We have seen a decisive move by listeners back to RTÉ Radio 1. This tells me that RTÉ Radio delivered: through the extreme weather events of late last year, and the even more extreme developments in the political and economic arena, RTÉ Radio 1 was the clear leader for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. This is a clear endorsement of RTÉ Radio’s Public Service Broadcasting and we are hugely grateful to the listeners for their loyalty. This was another good book for lyric with growth returning to week days and growth also for key programmes. Marty Whelan has made a strong debut at breakfast. As for 2FM: we made our own predictions for this book and I’m happy that we’ve landed exactly where we knew we would. The new schedule was launched last September; it informs only three months of the 12-month research period, and so we will have to wait for the next two books to get a clearer picture of where we are. We wanted breakfast to hold steady: it has. We wanted Tubridy to stay neck-and-neck with his nearest rival, who has over 10 year’s heritage in his slot. Tubridy has met that challenge. Crucially, 2FM remains the second-most-listened to radio station. It’s a good start to 2011.”

Main points for RTÉ Radio 1:
it is the only national station with a weekly reach of over 1 million listeners. Radio 1’s listenership is up 9,000 to 1.313, million
its weekday reach is up a point to 25% (+21,000 to 869,000) and weekday share up a point to 22.7%
gains at weekends with 690,000 listeners on Saturdays and 635,000 on Sundays
Morning Ireland is Ireland’s number 1 programme with Adults 15+: 449,000 listeners, up 23,000 listeners
Marian Finucane holds number 2 and number 4 position with 400,000 on Saturday and 369,000 on Sundays
Liveline is number 3 in Top 10 Adults 15+ with 392,000 listeners
The Business is number 5 in Top 10, up 4,000 listeners to 351,000
The John Murray Show debuts at No.7 in Top 10 with 332,000 listeners, up 2,000
Pat Kenny up 4,000 to 324,000
News at One up 2,000 to 335,000
Drivetime, Ireland’s most popular drivetime show, up 5,000 to 234,000
Ronan Collins, up 10,000 to 223,000
Mooney up 4,000 to 211,000
This Week up 5,000 to 201,000
Saturday Sport up 5,000 to 192,000
Miriam Meets up 36,000 year on year to 262,000

Main points for RTÉ 2FM:
it is the second most listened to station in the country with 26% (931,000 listeners) 7 day reach and 44,000 more listeners than its nearest competitor
its reach is up 11,000 to 276,000 on Sundays
The Tubridy Show debuts with 216,000 listeners – number 2 amongst 20 to 44 year olds – and in at number 15 in the Top 20 all week national radio programmes (Adults 15+)
Hector’s Breakfast Show debuts with 133,000 listeners
Ireland’s Biggest Jukebox up 9,000 to 127,000
Michael Cahill up 7,000 to 52,000
Baz and Lucy on Sundays, up 6,000 to 56,000

Main points for RTÉ Lyric FM:
it has over a quarter of a million listeners (259,000) with 7 day reach at 7%
its reach is up on weekdays (up 4,000 to 115,000) and Saturdays (up 5,000 to 99,000)
Marty in the Morning performing strongly in new breakfast slot with 19,000 listeners
Liz Nolan’s Lunchtime Classics up 2,000 to 30,000
Niall Carroll’s Classic Drive up 2,000 to 50,000
The Hamilton Scores up 2,000 to 27,000
Lorcan Murray’s Classic Drive up 2,000 to 49,000
Sunday with Gay Byrne up 2,000 to 46,000
The John Kelly Ensemble up 1,000 to 30,000

JNLR Figures for January – December 2010 Released

The latest results from the Ipsos MRBI JNLR survey covering the period January 2010 – December 2010 were released today. The survey results indicate that 85% (same) of the adult population was listening daily to a mix of national, regional, multi-city and local radio throughout the country. For the purposes of comparison, figures for this survey period are compared with the October 2009- September 2010 figures. The main changes and highlights are as follows:

National Reach and Market Share
Listenership of 57% (-1) was recorded to any multi-city/regional/local radio service.
The weekday reach figures for RTÉ Radio 1 increased to 25% (+1) while figures remained unchanged for Today FM (13%), Newstalk (8%) and RTÉ Lyric FM (3%). RTÉ 2FM recorded a figure of 13% (-1).
With regard to market share, a figure of 53.6% (-0.2) was recorded for any multi-city/regional/local station in the 7am-7pm period.
RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ Lyric FM recorded slight increases in market share at 22.7% (+0.6) and 1.7% (+0.1) respectively. Today FM retained a market share figure of 9.3%. Decreases were recorded for RTÉ 2FM at 8.2% (-0.5) and Newstalk at 4.0% (-0.1).

Weekday Reach Figures
Any Regional/Local 57% (-1)
RTÉ Radio 1 25% (+1)
RTÉ 2FM 13% (-1)
Today FM 13% (same)
Newstalk 106-108 8% (same)
RTÉ Lyric FM 3% (Same)

Weekday Market Share Figures 7am-7pm
Any Regional/Local 53.6% (-0.2)
RTÉ Radio 1 22.7% (+0.6)
Today FM 9.3% (same)
RTÉ 2FM 8.2% (-0.5)
Newstalk 106-108 4.0% (-0.1)
RTÉ Lyric FM 1.7% (+0.1)

National (excluding Dublin and Cork)
Weekday Reach Figures
Any Regional/Local 60% (same)
RTÉ Radio 1 23% (+1)
RTÉ 2FM 15% (-1)
Today FM 14% (-1)
Newstalk 106-108 6% (same)
RTÉ Lyric FM 2% (same)

Weekday Market Share Figures 7am-7pm
Any Regional/Local 56% (-0.1)
RTÉ Radio 1 19.2% (+0.7)
Today FM 10.8% (+0.1)
RTÉ 2FM 9.2% (-0.8)
Newstalk 106-108 3.1% (-0.2)
RTÉ Lyric FM 1.0% (+0.1)

National (excluding Dublin and Cork) – local stations
Changes in both reach and market share were recorded for almost all local stations in the current survey period.

The figures for the survey period with regards to Reach were as follows:
Highland Radio 67% (-2);
Shannonside 53%;
Radio Kerry 51% (same);
Limerick’s Live 95FM 50% (-1);
Midwest Radio 49% (-1);
WLR FM 48% (same);
Shannonside Northern Sound 47% (+1)
Clare FM 46% (+3);
Tipp FM 45% (+1);
Ocean FM 42% (+1);
Galway Bay FM 41% (same);
Northern Sound 41%
KCLR 96FM 39% (-1);
South East Radio 36% (same);
Midlands 103FM 36% (-3);
LMFM 28% (same);
East Coast FM 28% (+2);
KFM 27% (+3);

The figures for the survey period with regards to Market Share were as follows:
Highland Radio 62.3% (-1.1);
Radio Kerry 57% (+0.7);
Tipp FM 55.7% (+1.4);
Shannonside 49%;
Midwest Radio 48.9% (-0.7);
Shannonside Northern Sound 47.0% (+0.8)
Clare FM 45.6% (+3.0)
WLR FM 45.1% (-0.5)
Northern Sound 44.4%
KCLR 96FM 36.5% (-0.1)
Limerick’s Live 95FM 34.6% (-1.4)
KFM 29.5% (+2.7)
South East Radio 29.1% (+0.1)
LMFM 29.1% (+0.6)
Midlands 103FM 28.2% (-2.1)
Galway Bay FM 28.2% (same)
Ocean FM 26.6% (-0.5)
East Coast FM 25.1% (+3.7)

Regional stations
4FM, the multi-city service, maintained a weekday reach figure of 3% (same) and recorded a market share figure of 1.8% (-0.1).
In terms of regional services; in the north-east/midlands region, i105-107FM increased its weekday reach figure to 9% (+2) and recorded a market share figure of 7% (+1.9).
In the south-west region, Spin South West maintained its weekday reach figure of 21% and increased its market share figure to 11% (+0.1).
In the north-west region, i102-104FM maintained its weekday reach figure of 20% and recored a market share figure of 14% (-0.7).
Beat 102-103FM, serving the south-east region, recorded a weekday reach figure of 19% (-1.0) and recorded an increase in market share to 13.1% (+0.8).

Weekday Reach Figures
Spin South West 21% (same)
i102-104 20% (same)
Beat 102-103 19% (-1)
i105-107 9% (+2)
4FM 3% (same)

Weekday Market Share Figures 7am-7pm
i102-104 14.0% (-0.7)
Beat 102-103 13.1% (+0.8)
Spin South West 11.0% (+0.1)
i105-107 7.0% (+1.9)
4FM 1.8% (-0.1)

Dublin – local stations
In Dublin, FM104 increased its weekday reach figure to 20% (+1.0).
The remaining Dublin stations all retained weekday reach figures with: 98FM at 14%, Spin 1038 at 14% and Dublin’s Q102 at 13%, Country Mix/ Sunshine 106.8 FM at 3% and Phantom 105.2 at 2%.
In terms of market share figures, increases were recorded for a number of stations; 98FM at 11.6% (+0.3), Spin 1038 at 6.6% (+0.1) and Country Mix/Sunshine 106.8FM at 3.2% (+0.1). The remaining stations recorded figures of: FM104 11.2% (-0.3), Q102 at 11.1% (-0.1%) and Phantom 105.2 0.8% (-0.1).

Dublin

Weekday Reach Figures
RTÉ Radio 1 29% (+1)
FM104 20% (+1)
Dublin’s 98FM 14% (same)
Spin 1038 14% (same)
Q102 13% (same)
Newstalk 106-108 10% (same)
RTÉ 2FM 10% (same)
Today FM 9% (same)
RTÉ Lyric FM 5% (same)
Sunshine 106.8 3% (same)
Phantom 105.2 2% (same)
4FM 2% (same)

Weekday Market Share Figures 7am-7pm
RTÉ Radio 1 30.5% (-0.4)
Dublin’s 98FM 11.6% (+0.3)
FM104 11.2% (-0.3)
Q102 11.1% (-0.1)
RTÉ 2FM 7.0% (-0.5)
Spin 1038 6.6% (+0.1)
Newstalk 106-108 5.9% (same)
Today FM 5.8% (same)
RTÉ Lyric FM 3.2% (+0.2)
Sunshine 106.8 3.2% (+0.1)
4FM 1.3% (-0.4)
Phantom 105.2 0.8% (-0.1)

Cork – local stations
Red FM achieved a reach figure of 19% (-2) and recorded a market share figure of 10.6% (-0.7).
The combined reach of Cork’s 96FM/C103 was 46% (-2.0) while a share figure of 41.6% (-1.9) was recorded.

Cork

Weekday Reach Figures
Cork’s 96FM 35% (-1)
RTÉ Radio 1 26% (+1)
Red FM 19% (-2)
Today FM 15% (same)
C103 14% (same)
RTÉ 2FM 9% (same)
Newstalk 106-108 9% (same)
RTÉ Lyric FM 4% (same)
4FM 4% (same)

Weekday Market Share Figures 7am-7pm
Cork’s 96FM 30.3% (-2.1)
RTÉ Radio 1 22.3% (+1.7)
C103 11.4% (+0.3)
Red FM 10.6% (-0.7)
Today FM 9.7% (-0.4)
RTÉ 2FM 9.7% (-0.4)
Newstalk 106-108 4.7% (+0.9)
4FM 3.4% (+0.5)
RTÉ Lyric FM 2.0% (+0.1)

Green Tea for Saturday Mornings On RTÉ Radio 1

From tomorrow morning RTÉ Radio 1 will broadcast a dedicated political satire show in a popular Saturday morning slot for the fist time in ten years. ‘Green Tea’, a new series from the makers of ‘Nob Nation’, will air at 10.30am for the duration of Election 2011.

Mimic and satirist Oliver Callan (pictured), one of the show’s scriptwriters, says: “We are delighted that RTÉ Radio 1 will broadcast Green Tea in the old ‘Scrap Saturday’ slot because there’s no doubt that satirical commentary on the changing face of Irish society is needed at the moment. We’re going to take a look at politics, the banking sector, the judiciary, the GAA, the media, the arty set and the various characters that make Ireland so interesting.”

Green Tea will follow various political heavyweights, including Eamon Gilbore, Moan Burton, the Baron of Northstead (aka Gerry Adams) and new characters such as Richard-Boyd-Gladstone-Tudor-Barrett. Micky Martin from Fianna Fáil will be joined on the election campaign trail by veteran politicians such as Mammy O’Rourke.

The show will also feature well-known Irish broadcasters and media personalities including Marian Finucane, Séan O’Rourke, Vincent Browne, footballer Paul Galvin and showbiz impresario Louis Walsh, who will be joined by his show band side-kick Albert Reynolds.

Green Tea debuted with two episodes on RTÉ Radio 1 in December 2010.

Claire Byrne to present Radio 1’s Late Debate

Claire Byrne will return to radio with RTÉ Radio 1’s late-night political and current affairs programme, ‘Late Debate’, for the duration of Election 2011 from this Monday, January 31st at 10pm.

Claire Byrne will return to radio with RTÉ Radio 1’s late-night political and current affairs programme, 'Late Debate', for the duration of Election 2011 from this Monday, January 31st at 10pm.

“I’m looking forward to being right at the heart of all the political action with RTÉ Radio 1’s election team. It’ll be nice to be back on the airwaves again after a five month break from radio”, says Claire.

Claire currently presents television programme, The Daily Show, on RTÉ One and has a wealth of broadcasting experience spanning 13 years in the business. She began her career in radio and worked for the BBC in the Channel Islands as a broadcast journalist before becoming News Editor with Channel 103FM.

Claire has worked as a News Anchor with Channel 5 and the ITN News Channel in England, as news anchor for TV3’s Ireland AM and TV3’s main evening news. Claire was co-presenter of Newstalk’s breakfast programme for four years and in that time covered the 2007 General Election. Claire Byrne is also a regular host and MC at awards events and ceremonies throughout the year.

RTÉ Radio 1 Late Debate provides discussion and analysis of politics and current affairs with politicians, commentators and the country’s key political and parliamentary correspondents. The night-time series focuses on events in Dáil Éireann, Seanad Éireann and the committees of the Oireachtas and how these events shape our political landscape.

RTÉ Radio 1’s Late Debate with Claire Byrne will air Monday to Thursday from 10pm to 11pm for Election 2011.

Spirit Radio’s full line-up revealed

Spirit Radio, the new quasi-national religious station who will launch on Thursday, have announced their full schedule today.

Spirit Radio, the new quasi-national religious station who will launch on Thursday, have announced their full schedule today.

Former 2FM presenter Dave Redmond, along with Bernie Jameson (formerly Today FM & 4FM) and David Baker (best known for being part of some revolutionary '80s community stations), make up the heart of the weekday line-up.

Starting each weekday at 7am, former RTÉ presenter RoJo hosts the station's breakfast show. Bernie Jameson follows at 11am and she, in turn, will be followed by Dave Redmond from 3pm. David Baker hosts the evening 7pm slot.

Spirit Radio will initially be available on FM in selected areas only but will cover most of the country via medium wave from mid-2012.

The full line-up is as follows:-
Weekdays:
7am RoJo in the Mornings
11am Middays with Bernie Jameson
3pm Afternoons with Dave Redmond
7pm Evenings with David Baker
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Wendy Grace
10pm-Midnight (Fridays) Nights with Olga Kaye

Saturday:-
7am Family Breakfast with Dave Hynes
9am Magazine Plus with Noel Shannon
12pm Afternoons with Jacki Ascough
4pm Evenings with Ollie Clarke
8pm Sound Of Praise with Niall Redmond and guests
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Olga Kaye

Sunday
7am Dóchas an Domhnach le Séamus Ó Feithcheallaigh.
9am Focus On The Family (Family show with advice on marriage, parenting and other topics)
10am On Our Way with Brendan Flanagan
1pm Afternoons with Ollie Clarke
5pm The Top 40 Countdown (The top 40 positive hits of the week)
8pm Acoustic Sunday with RoJo
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Chris Youn

Former 2FM presenter Dave Redmond, along with Bernie Jameson (formerly Today FM & 4FM) and David Baker (best known for being part of some revolutionary ’80s community stations), make up the heart of the weekday line-up.

Starting each weekday at 7am, former RTÉ presenter RoJo hosts the station’s breakfast show. Bernie Jameson follows at 11am and she, in turn, will be followed by Dave Redmond from 3pm. David Baker hosts the evening 7pm slot.

Spirit Radio will initially be available on FM in selected areas only but will cover most of the country via medium wave from mid-2012.

The full line-up is as follows:-
Weekdays:
7am RoJo in the Mornings
11am Middays with Bernie Jameson
3pm Afternoons with Dave Redmond
7pm Evenings with David Baker
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Wendy Grace
10pm-Midnight (Fridays) Nights with Olga Kaye

Saturday:-
7am Family Breakfast with Dave Hynes
9am Magazine Plus with Noel Shannon
12pm Afternoons with Jacki Ascough
4pm Evenings with Ollie Clarke
8pm Sound Of Praise with Niall Redmond and guests
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Olga Kaye

Sunday
7am Dóchas an Domhnach le Séamus Ó Feithcheallaigh.
9am Focus On The Family (Family show with advice on marriage, parenting and other topics)
10am On Our Way with Brendan Flanagan
1pm Afternoons with Ollie Clarke
5pm The Top 40 Countdown (The top 40 positive hits of the week)
8pm Acoustic Sunday with RoJo
10pm (to midnight) Nights with Chris Youn

.

Eleven RTÉ broadcasts nominated for Celtic awards

Eleven RTÉ Television and Radio broadcasts have been shortlisted for the 2011 Celtic Media Awards across 10 different categories. There are seven RTÉ Television programmes, three RTÉ Radio programmes and one RTÉ Radio personality nominated. RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta has been shortlisted for ‘Station of the Year’. The station previously won the award in 2009 and was shortlisted in 2010.

Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí, presenter of Rónán Beo @3 on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, is nominated for Radio Personality of the Year

Three RTÉ Radio documentaries are nominated in the Radio Documentary category. “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Mad About Ned”, both broadcast in the RTÉ Radio 1 Documentary on One slot, are nominated. I Could Have Danced All Night traces the path of well-known Ennis character, Michael Tierney, who before his time, wore make-up and had a large collection of wigs, some blonde with pigtails and others jet-black like Elvis, and Mad about Ned tells the story of 80 year old Traveller man Ned McDonagh, whose passion for singing lifts spirits wherever he goes.

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta documentary, “Athrú Saoil – An tSiúr Mairéad Mic Dhonnchadha”, tells the story of Sister Máiréad Nic Dhonnchadha from Spiddal who made the decision to become a nun at 50 years of age, having spent most of her life until then working in the Central Bank.

The Celtic Media Festival’s aim is to promote the languages and cultures of the Celtic countries on screen and in broadcasting. The 2011 Celitc Media Festival takes place from 13th to 15th April in the Western Isles, Scotland

BAI Sign Contract With Athlone Community Radio

The BAI have signed a ten year Community Sound Broadcasting Contract with Athlone Community Radio Limited, on-air name Athlone Community Radio.

The service is expected to launch in mid-January 2011 and will broadcast on 88.4MHz FM to Athlone town and environs. It will initially broadcast for four hours on weekday evenings and for eight hours at weekends.

Speaking at the signing of the contract, BAI Chief Executive Michael O’Keeffe said: “I would like to congratulate Athlone Community Radio on their contract signing today. The Authority considers that community radio plays a vital role in ensuring that a diverse mix of services exist to serve the listening needs of the people of Ireland. We wish Athlone Community Radio every success over the term of their licence.”

Secretary, Athlone Community Radio, Denise Hughes and Director, Noel Breslin. The BAI was represented by Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive and Michael Moriarty, Authority Member.
Secretary, Athlone Community Radio, Denise Hughes and Director, Noel Breslin. The BAI was represented by Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive and Michael Moriarty, Authority Member.

Christmas FM to Return With Expanded Broadcast Area

Seasonal radio station Christmas FM have announced that the EBS Building Society and the Irish Daily Mail will co-sponsor the station’s 2010 broadcast, helping to cover the necessary running costs and promotion of the station.

Christmas Fm will be on air 24 hours a day from November 28th to December 27th and this year will add Galway, Limerick and the south-east to their Dublin and Cork multi-city schedule.

The station is Ireland’s only dedicated Christmas radio station and hopes to raise over €100,000 for Barnardos, its dedicated charity partner for 2010.

Seasonal radio station Christmas FM have announced that the EBS Building Society and the Irish Daily Mail will co-sponsor the station’s 2010 broadcast, helping to cover the necessary running costs and promotion of the station

Speaking regarding the sponsorship announcement, Walter Hegarty, Technical Director for Christmas FM said: “Christmas FM is delighted to welcome back the EBS and Irish Daily Mail as our chief sponsors for 2010 as we look to continue to spread some Christmas cheer. The reaction to the station has been fantastic, and last year we were listened to by over a third of our target audience of 15 – 44 year olds. The station has proven a very effective medium for not only generating donations, but also heightening awareness and the profile of our charity partner.”

Christmas FM will once again feature a continuous mix of classic Christmas music and chat. Well-known current and ex-radio personalities will volunteer their time to fill the presenting roles.

Last year’s broadcast raised €70,000 for the station’s charity partner. Research carried out independently of Christmas FM found that recognition of the Christmas FM brand increased from 33% to 47% amongst 15 – 44 yr olds from the 2008 to the 2009 broadcast, while listenership increased from 25% to 38% for the same age group. The number of texts received by the station in 2009 was also up 50% on the number received in 2008.

The station’s proposed frequencies are 89.9MHz in Dublin, 106.7MHz in Cork, 89.5MHz in Galway, 105.5MHz in Limerick and 103.8MHz in the south-east (covering parts of Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Tipperary).

Future FM Win CRAOL Achievement Award

Future FM have been awarded a distinction under the social benefit category of the Community Radio Forum of Ireland (CRAOL) Achievement Awards 2010.

Future FM was a temporary licensed FM radio station, produced and presented by young people from the TAD group (Teenagers About Discussion) at Tallaght Youth Service. The station broadcast live from Rua Red from the 27th – 30th July and worked with 53 young people who presented and produced their own radio programmes. They interviewed 40 guests and had live musical sessions with 6 local bands. Most of the staff were on radio for the very first time.

Patricia Baker, Creative Producer for Future FM, said: “Future FM was an incredible project that enabled young people to have their own radio station that was dedicated to their voice, concerns and celebrations. It supported young people to engage in active citizenship, and share their experiences and expertise with each other, through a structured peer to peer workshop programme. Future FM built a fantastic creative team, who by working collaboratively produced engaging, thought-provoking and fun radio programmes. Receiving the CRAOL Award is a great honour and validation of the hard work the Future FM team did, it is also an encouragement for us to work on Future broadcasts.”

Spooky Goings-On at Wicklow’s East Coast FM

East Coast FM will be getting into the spirit of Hallowe’en by sending some of its presenters to Wicklow Gaol for a very special night-time radio broadcast called ‘The Gates Of Hell’.

East Coast FM will be getting into the spirit of Hallowe'en by sending some of its presenters to Wicklow Gaol for a very special night-time radio broadcast called 'The Gates Of Hell'.
Rob G, Ryan O' Neill, Gareth Farrell, Tommy Greene and Mathieu Norry are the brave station presenters who will be joined by mediums Angie & Keith Freeland and paranormal investigators to try and communicate with the spirits that lurk in Wicklow's Historic Gaol.

Rob G, Ryan O’ Neill, Gareth Farrell, Tommy Greene and Mathieu Norry are the brave station presenters who will be joined by mediums Angie & Keith Freeland and paranormal investigators to try and communicate with the spirits that lurk in Wicklow’s Historic Gaol.

Speaking about the show, East Coast FM presenter Ryan O’ Neill said: “I’ve never done anything like this before but I’m really looking forward to it. Wicklow Gaol has a long history of paranormal activity so we’re hoping to pick something up on the night. I am a little nervous though!”

The show will include the history of Wicklow Gaol and will be broadcast on Sunday October 31st at 11pm on East Coast FM.

Ana Leddy Resigns as Head of RTÉ Radio 1

RTÉ have announced that Ana Leddy has decided to stand down as head of RTÉ Radio 1 when her contract expires next year. Commenting on her decision, Leddy said: “After five years at the helm of the station, it is time for a change.”

RTÉ have announced that Ana Leddy has decided to stand down as head of RTÉ Radio 1 when her contract expires next year. Commenting on her decision, Leddy said: "After five years at the helm of the station, it is time for a change."
Courtesy Irish Independent

During Ms Leddy’s time as Station Head, RTÉ Radio 1 successfully battled a long-term share decline, consolidating its position as the most-listened to station. Ms Leddy also oversaw significant changes in weekend listening, with nine of the country’s Top 20 programmes now broadcast at weekends.

She says: “I came to RTÉ Radio 1 with a mission and it has been an incredibly satisfying five years as I have worked with colleagues to make RTÉ Radio 1 the best radio station in Ireland. It has been both challenging and exhilarating. As I prepare to hand on the role, I look at my schedule with a sense of pride, the result of some bold and indeed controversial programming decisions. It has been a privilege to be able to make these decisions and, having achieved what I want to achieve for RTÉ Radio 1, I’m now looking for a new challenge. It’s time to reconnect with my creative roots in production. I want to pay tribute to my colleagues: their work has filled our schedules with top-rating, award-winning and critically acclaimed radio, and I look forward to joining them, and making great radio.”

Speaking about Ms Leddy’s decision, RTÉ Radio MD Clare Duignan said: “Ana Leddy did that rare thing in broadcasting: she reinvigorated a station in decline. In her approach to programming and scheduling, she always put the listener first and this approach delivered results in spades. Her legacy is that she leaves Radio 1 stronger, more audience-focused and more competitive than when she arrived. I am hugely grateful to Ana for her enormous energy and commitment during her time as Head of Radio 1. As programme-makers, we all share that itch to get back to the mixing-desk. Ana is making that leap and management’s loss is programming’s gain. Listeners have a lot to look forward to once Ana Leddy returns to the talk-back.”

Ana Leddy joined RTÉ Radio 1 in 2006, having previously worked for the BBC. RTÉ will announce a competition for the position of Head of RTÉ Radio 1 in the coming weeks. Ana Leddy will continue as Head of RTÉ Radio 1 until a successor is in place, after which she will work at a senior level in programme production on Radio 1.

Dublin’s Country Set to Bathe in Sunshine

Dublin’s Country Mix 106.8 have announced that that it will be re-branding to Dublin’s Sunshine 106.8. The re-branding of the station has been approved by the BAI and will commence this weekend through the use of on-air promos announcing the change.

From early next week the new brand will be introduced in on-air programming (initially alongside the existing identification). The re-branding will be complete by year-end. No programming changes are planned by the station as the re-branding process gets underway.

Seán Ashmore, the station’s CEO, says: “We’ve decided on a re-brand because our research has confirmed that the phrase ‘Country’ means different things to different people. People’s perception about what the station has to offer was not in line with the scope of the music played on-air. Today our playlist covers a wide range of artists from The Eagles to Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum to Ronan Keating and classics from the likes of Glen Campbell to Dolly Parton.”

A completely new logo and brand mark to reflect the station’s new name has been developed by Pat Kinsley of Neworld Design in Dublin (see below).

Robbie Robinson, the founder of the original Sunshine Radio in Dublin in 1980, is happy to see the name back in use in Dublin and wishes the station the best of luck with the re-brand.

Country Mix 106.8 was launched in 2001 and currently has a daily reach of 4% of all adults in the Dublin market and a market share of 3.3%.

i102-104FM Gives Axl the Axe After O2 Concert

i102104, the regional station for the west and north-west, has banned Guns ‘N’ Roses from its airwaves following Wednesday’s shambolic concert by the band at Dublin’s O2 venue. The band’s lead vocalist Axl Rose stormed off the stage after being attacked by missiles thrown from the crowd who were angry that the band arrived on stage late.

i102-104 say that they have been inundated with complaints from their listeners. A press release says: “The station received hundreds of text messages and phone calls from enraged listeners yesterday morning following the show.

Leigh Doyle, i102-104’s Programme Director, said that the station had decided to support the fans by banning Guns ‘N Roses from the station permanently. “We can’t ignore the hundreds of texts and phone calls from irate fans complaining about the gig,” he continued. “Many had asked us never to play Guns ‘N’ Roses again so we’ve listened to them and decided they won’t be played on the i102-104 airwaves.”

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.

Airticity to bring sparks to Ryan Tubridy’s show

RTÉ Radio 1 have announced Airtricity as the new sponsor of ‘The Tubridy Show’. The 12 month sponsorship commenced this week.

With 352,000 listeners, RTÉ Radio 1’s The Tubridy Show is the fifth most-listened-to radio programme nationally. Airtricity supplies home electricity to customers in Ireland.

On his daily Tubridy Show, Ryan brings his unique style to the airwaves every weekday morning, with personal feature interviews and a range of regular features from the monthly Book Club to regular regional outside broadcasts.

Broadcasting in the weekday slot of 9-10am, this sponsorship package will include three Airtricity credited stings per day or 15 per week, as well as five sponsor credited promos per week in ‘Morning Ireland’, ‘Today with Pat Kenny’, ‘Liveline’, ‘Drivetime with Mary Wilson’ and ‘News at One’.

RTÉ Radio’s Sponsorship Manager Tara Farrell said: “This sponsorship increases yet again the number of sponsored programmes on RTÉ Radio. From Tubridy on RTE Radio 1 to Rick O’Shea on 2FM, this latest announcement gets 2010 off to a cracking start. Last year saw radio sponsorship out-perform 2008 figures. Throughout the depth of recession, sponsorship remained one of the few growth areas and it looks like it will stay that way in 2010. RTÉ Radio offers businesses and brands unparalleled access to consumers and the proof is in the listening with more programme sponsorships coming to air than ever before.”

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.

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.

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.”

Shannonside Northern Sound launch 2010 challenge

Presenters and listeners to Shannonside Northern Sound are facing four weeks of training, hard work and dedication as the station launched ‘Twenty Ten – The challenge’ this week. Four of the station’s best-known Presenters were tasked to recruit a dedicated listener from their programme to join them in completing a challenge but neither presenter nor listener had any idea what the challenge might be until they signed up!

On Monday morning all four presenters, plus volunteers, joined Shannonside Northern Sound’s presenter Joe Finnegan in studio to dip into the challenge drum and find out what lay in store. A variety of possible challenges awaited, including show jumping, tight rope walking, learning a foreign language or even jumping out of an aeroplane!

John Lee, partnered by Michelle, discovered that he must learn to sing before completing the task in front of a live audience.

Sean McCaffrey will be joined by Dylan in hopes of becoming a magician. The duo must bring their magic show on the road performing for the school children of counties Cavan and Monaghan.

Pete Casey and listener Vincent must learn an entire dance routine before performing at a popular dance school show while Johnny O Keefe and volunteer Shane will acquire all the skills needed to woo a lovely lady in the kitchen by learning how to cook a romantic meal just in time for Valentines Day.

Each challenge was chosen at random, and while some teams were initially pleased with their pick, the reality of training, homework and public performances are only just becoming a reality.

Teams will be mentored by expert trainers in their chosen field and regular updates on how they’re doing are available throughout the day on Shannonside Northern Sound.

Speaking about the innovative promotion, programme co-ordinator Eithne Kelly explains: “We appreciate that many of our listeners make resolutions in the New Year and as the local station we wanted to support and encourage them by setting our own challenge for the new decade 2010.”

Phantom Now Available on Blackberry Devices

Phantom 105.2 has announced that it is now streaming live on Blackberry mobile devices via the Nobex radio Companion application. Users can download the free application and stream the station live to their device. This new departure means that the Phantom is now available on the three major smartphone brands – Nokia, Blackberry (RIM) and Apple. Late last year Phantom launched its own iPhone application that has achieved Top 10 status in the iTunes App store.

“Mobile devices offer a new and exciting means to access radio and Phantom is leading the field in terms of availability,” said Brian Daly, Phantom’s marketing manager. “It offers us an opportunity to offer enhanced services for our listeners and advertisers including track information, brand information and additional text and multimedia services. It emphasises that radio is adapting perfectly to digital and is still the ultimate portable medium.”

Phantom 105.2 is also available on 105.2MHz FM in Dublin, UPC channel 935 and online at phantom.ie

4FM Appoints Jim Miley as Chief Executive

4FM has today appointed Jim Miley as Chief Executive Officer (designate). Jim will take up his position on January 18th and in his new role he will be responsible for the strategic planning and overall management of 4FM. This will include building audience, driving revenue, recruitment and enhancing the overall profile of the company. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

4FM has today appointed Jim Miley as Chief Executive Officer (designate). Jim will take up his position on January 18th and in his new role he will be responsible for the strategic planning and overall management of 4FM. This will include building audience, driving revenue, recruitment and enhancing the overall profile of the company. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Prior to his appointment at 4FM, Jim Miley was the co-founder and CEO of MyHome.ie from 2000 to 2009. He is a former Chief Executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce and was General Secretary of Fine Gael from 1995 to 1999. Before this, Jim Miley worked for almost a decade in broadcasting at RTÉ as a producer/reporter on radio and television. He started his career as an aid worker in Africa and maintains his interest in that area as non-executive Chairman of Concern.

Kevin Branigan, on behalf of the 4FM board of directors, says: “Jim Miley brings over 25 years of broadcasting and corporate experience to 4FM and the board has every confidence that he has the drive, energy and experience to ensure the continued success of the radio station.”

Jim Miley says he is very much looking forward to taking up the position with the station: “4FM has achieved significant success in its first year in a very difficult economic environment. I look forward to working with the entire team at 4FM to build on the initial success and to continue to increase listenership and secure the commercial success of the station.”

A native of Co. Roscommon, Jim Miley now lives in Glasnevin, Dublin and is married with two children.

4FM broadcasts across Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Clare and surrounding commuter areas.

High Listener Satisfaction for RTÉ RnaG

60% of people in the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta targeted areas in Donegal, Galway and Kerry are listening to the Irish language station. This is according to a listenership poll carried out by TNS mrbi on behalf of RnaG and is the highest reach figure for the station since surveys began. The previous highest reach figure was recorded at 41% in 2000.

60% of people in the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta targeted areas in Donegal, Galway and Kerry are listening to the Irish language station. This is according to a listenership poll carried out by TNS mrbi on behalf of RnaG and is the highest reach figure for the station since surveys began. The previous highest reach figure was recorded at 41% in 2000.

The new poll offers the first new findings for RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta since the last specific research was delivered in 2006. The report also indicated a 91% total satisfaction rating for RnaG in the specific areas which indicates that the station is serving its audience well.

53% of those surveyed listen to RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta every day, as opposed to 48% in the previous survey – recorded in 2006. 75% of respondents listen at least once a week.

Responding to the results of the survey, Ceannaire of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Edel Ní Chuireáin, said: “We are extremely pleased with the results of this survey. It indicates that RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta is performing exceptionally well in both reach and share despite strong competition. Current economic conditions mean these are difficult times for many, perhaps none more so than the rural communities on the western seaboard – key audiences for RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta. It is therefore particularly gratifying that this poll suggests such high levels of listener satisfaction with the service – an indication of the relevance and the importance of the service provided by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta to those communities.”

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta is a national radio station broadcasting from its studios in Casla, Co. Galway, in Doirí Beaga, Co. Donegal, in Baile na nGall, Co. Kerry, in Castlebar, Co. Mayo and in Donnybrook, Dublin. This survey was commissioned by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and was carried out by TNS mrbi between May 21st and July 9th in the Gaeltacht areas of Kerry, Galway and Donegal, based on a sample of 511 people aged 15+ years. Previous surveys were carried out in 1988, 1995, 2000/2001 and 2006. The results of this survey of Gaeltacht areas are not comparable with the national JNLR survey.

New Temporary Station Hots Up the Airwaves

RealRadio 100.3, Dublin’s newest temporarily licensed radio station, today revealed the real Mike Moloney live on air. The former RTÉ 2FM presenter revealed that he had planned his own suicide for over a month but changed his mind at the last minute.

Mike Moloney (right) presents the “Moloney after Midday” show on the ‘Hot Talk’ experimental station which is on air every day for the next month. On Mike’s show today there was an intense conversation about teenage suicide and the presenter revealed that he once contemplated suicide in his teens.
Although at first reluctant to tell his story on air Mike says: “Something just clicked with me and I felt I would tell my story.”
Mike went on to detail his life as a teenager and the fact that he planned in detail his own suicide for over a month and only at the last minute changed his mind. He told listeners about his state of mind in that period in his life and why he felt that way.
Listener texts poured into the station wishing Mike well.

Station Boss Niall Boylan said: “I wanted the station to be different and the presenters to be real people and Mike certainly knows the meaning of the words ‘real radio’. We received so many calls about the show, all wishing Mike the best and congratulating him on his bravery and honesty, and I feel that Real Radio will be something people can associate with. We are not a big corporation and have no hidden agendas, we just want give the listeners a taste of American ‘Hot Talk’, better known as Real Radio.”

Real Radio broadcasts to the Dublin area and surrounds on 100.3MHz FM from a studio base in Swords in north Co Dublin. It launched on Monday morning at 8am. Presenters are giving their time on a voluntary basis and all profits will go to the DSPCA.

 RealRadio 100.3, Dublin's newest temporarily licensed radio station, today revealed the real Mike Moloney live on air. The former RTÉ 2FM presenter revealed that he had planned his own suicide for over a month but changed his mind at the last minute.

WLR FM Named Local PPI Station of the Year

Just weeks after celebrating 20 years on air WLR FM have been awarded the title ‘PPI Local Station of the Year’. The station also finished as runners-up in the ‘Sports Story’ category for their coverage of the run-up to the 2008 All Ireland Hurling final, while the station’s imaging picked up a bronze award.

The PPI Radio Award 2009 winners were announced at a gala ceremony in The Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny on Friday evening.

Dick Doyle, Chief Executive of PPI, congratulated WLR FM for their outstanding contribution in informing, educating and entertaining listeners throughout Waterford.

WLR FM’s Managing Director Des Whelan said that it was an award for everyone involved in the radio station. He continued: “I am delighted that WLR FM was chosen as number one from stations from all 32 counties and particularly as this award is judged by our peers in the radio sector.”

Other winners on the night included Newstalk 106, who scooped ‘Full Service Station of the Year’, and Ryan Tubridy, who was named ‘Speech Broadcaster of the Year’. RTE Radio 1’s Sean O’Rourke was awarded ‘News Broadcaster of the Year’ and Gay Byrne won the ‘Outstanding Achievement PPI Radio’ award.

The PPI Awards salute the best writers, broadcasters, producers, reporters, presenters and technicians in radio. Now in its ninth year PPI Radio Awards is considered the Oscars of the radio industry calendar celebrates the art and skill of radio production and programming.

WLR FM From left: Kevin Casey – Sports Editor, Pat Maher – Chief Engineer, Aoibhin Fallon – Breakfast Presenter, Wayne Brown – Production Engineer, Michael Byrne -  Assistant Programme Controller, Timmy Ryan – Breakfast Presenter, Liz Reddy – Head Of News, Des Whelan – Managing Director and Roddy Cleere – Presenter
From left: Kevin Casey – Sports Editor, Pat Maher – Chief Engineer, Aoibhin Fallon – Breakfast Presenter, Wayne Brown – Production Engineer, Michael Byrne – Assistant Programme Controller, Timmy Ryan – Breakfast Presenter, Liz Reddy – Head Of News, Des Whelan – Managing Director and Roddy Cleere – Presenter

Martin Block Let Go by 4FM Board

4FM, the station serving Ireland’s major cities, has terminated the employment of Chief Executive Martin Block. Sales and Marketing Director Dave Hammond has taken temporary control of the company.

 4FM, the station serving Ireland's major cities, has terminated the employment of Chief Executive Martin Block. Sales and Marketing Director Dave Hammond has taken temporary control of the company.

Martin, who was thanked by the board of the station for his commitment and efforts during its start-up phase, will remain as a director and shareholder through Fox Radio.

No reason has been given for the board’s decision to let Block go.

4FM launched in February and broadcasts to Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Clare.

John McMahon Named 2FM’s New Station Head

Following an internal competition, RTÉ Radio have announced that John McMahon has been appointed as the new Head of RTÉ 2FM. The appointment follows John Clarke’s earlier decision not to renew his contract as Head of the station. The news comes on foot of the announcement that RTÉ 2FM’s core target audience would be re-positioned in 2010 from 15-34 years to 25-44 years.

2FM

Clare Duignan, RTÉ Radio MD, said: “John McMahon is a true radiohead who migrated to RTÉ Television but is now coming home to Radio. As RTÉ 2FM faces into a challenging 2010, I am confident that John has both the skills and the vision to steer Ireland’s second most-listened-to radio station in a confident new direction. I would also like to take this opportunity to, once again, acknowledge the huge contribution by the outgoing Head John Clarke over his 11 years at the helm of RTÉ 2FM.”

John McMahon said: “After years behind the producer’s desk it’s great to now be getting behind a desk of a different sort at RTÉ 2FM. I look forward to returning to my natural home in radio and tackling the challenges ahead. RTÉ 2FM is Ireland’s most-listened-to music station. I look forward to working with the hugely talented 2FM team to build on this unquestionably solid foundation to re-shape the station for a new generation.”

38 year old John has a Post-graduate in broadcast journalism. He joined RTÉ in 1994, working in RTÉ Aertel, before becoming RTÉ’s first webmaster and launching RTÉ Online in 1996. He moved to RTÉ Radio in 1998 where over the years he worked as a series producer on RTÉ Radio 1’s ‘Today with Pat Kenny’, ‘5 7 Live’, ‘The Sunday Show’ and ‘The Vinyl Curtain’. From 2002 until 2004 he was series producer of RTÉ 2FM’s ‘Full Irish with Ryan Tubridy’. In 2004 he became Editor of Current Affairs and Daily Talk Shows on RTÉ Radio 1. John moved to RTÉ Television in 2006 when he was appointed Deputy Head of Schedule Planning. John has won several awards as a programme maker, including PPI, Justice Media and Meteor Music Awards. He will take up the post later in the year.

Chorus / ntl customers now have access to RTÉ Digital Radio

Cable TV customers now have access to five of RTÉ’s digital exclusive radio services. UPC subscribers will find RTÉ Junior (and RTÉ Chill), RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Pulse and RTÉ Choice now on channels 941 to 944.

RTÉ Junior is Ireland’s first children’s only radio service. Aimed at children aged 2-12 the service includes music, fun and entertainment. RTÉ Junior plays chart music for older children and when they are at school the station plays nursery rhymes and story songs for children from 2-5 years of age. At 7pm there are bedtime stories and lullabies for younger radio listeners while at 8pm there are audio books for the ‘Not So Junior’ members of the family. At 9pm RTÉ Chill, a late night service of electronica, ambient and chill-out music, takes over from RTÉ Junior until 7am the next morning.

RTÉ 2XM is a sister station to RTÉ 2FM. Dave Fanning’s new RTÉ Two programme ‘The 11th Hour’ is broadcast on the service while RTÉ 2FM presenter Rick O’Shea, RTÉ Lyric FM’s John Kelly and RTÉ Sport’s John Kenny all join newer voices with shows on the station. The alternative, indie, rock station features eighteen live and pre-recorded, presenter-led programmes from Monday through to Sunday.

RTÉ Pulse is a 24 hour dance station featuring a playlist of commercial dance music during the day, aimed at anyone from gym-goers to parents at home to workers on the move. Louis Osborne, son of Ozzie and Sharon, has a show on the station once a week along with top Irish dance DJs including Al Redmond, Orla Feeney and Karl Davis. In the evenings twenty nine RTÉ Pulse DJs from across Ireland and from London play every genre of dance music aimed at dance music fans across the board.

RTÉ Choice is RTÉ Radio 1’s complimentary speech service. Ronan Kelly, the award-winning RTÉ Radio 1 producer behind the station, has tailored a schedule of international and vintage RTÉ Radio programmes to suit Irish listeners. The schedule includes current affairs, feature and documentary programming from eighteen international public service broadcasters including U.S. National Public Radio (NPR), the BBC World Service, Radio Canada, Radio Australia, Radio Czech Republic and UN Radio.

These digital radio stations are now available to over 85% of the population via UPC Ireland’s television platforms. The addition of these stations over UPC’s transmission networks means that the services are in most homes across Ireland and available on three platforms: DAB digital radio, online and UPC.

Two strangers, a wedding and Beat’s listeners

South-east regional station Beat 102-103’s social experiment ‘2 Strangers & A Wedding’ reached its climax yesterday when Bébhinn O’Keeffe met Alan Healy, the man she was about to marry, for the very first time – at the Altar!

The couple were matched based on their personalities by a panel of relationship experts and never met face to face during their on-air courtship.

South-east regional station Beat 102-103’s social experiment '2 Strangers & A Wedding' reached its climax yesterday when Bébhinn O’Keeffe met Alan Healy, the man she was about to marry, for the very first time - at the Altar!
Bébhinn and Alan

For the past few weeks on Beat’s Breakfast programme, 25 year old Bébhinn, from Tramore in Co Waterford, grilled potential suitors before choosing 31 year old Alan, who lives in Waterford City, as her groom.

Bébhinn and Alan chatted on the phone, asked their family and friends to answer intimate questions to get to know each other better, and consulted Beat 102-103’s expert panel for guidance, but they did not learn the identity of their betrothed until yesterday morning.

Speaking about her experience of marrying a stranger, bride Bébhinn O’Keeffe says: “When I was walking up the aisle my mind just went blank and my Dad had to hold me up. I was just so excited. I’ve definitely already clicked with Alan. Beat 102-103 came up with a great idea when they launched ‘2 Strangers & A Wedding’ and I think it was a really good way to meet someone.”

Groom Alan Healy says: “Like most grooms, I was nervous but I’m very happy I went through with it. My family and friends have been brilliant and supportive. I think Bébhinn is absolutely smashing.”

Gabrielle Cummins, CEO of Beat 102-103, says: “There was a huge response to our social experiment ‘2 Strangers & A Wedding’ and listeners have really gotten behind our chosen bride and groom. We’ve been with Bébhinn and Alan every step of the way from first introductions to them meeting for the first time at the altar. On behalf of everyone at Beat 102-103 I wish the lucky couple the very best of luck as they jet off on their honeymoon to sunny Portugal!”

Power to be temporarily restored to Dublin from this weekend

Power FM, the online specialist music station, will return to Dublin’s FM band this weekend. Power, who formerly broadcast without a licence, will be back on for ten weekends under a temporary licence from the BCI until June 14th.

Now celebrating sixteen years in existence, Power FM will be available in the Dublin and Greater Dublin area on 99.5MHz from Friday and will broadcast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until mid-June. The station officially goes live at midnight on Thursday evening.

Power FM, the online specialist music station, will return to Dublin's FM band this weekend. Power, who formerly broadcast without a licence, will be back on for ten weekends under a temporary licence from the BCI until June 14th.

Power FM continued live broadcasting online at powerfm.org following its FM closedown. It is available seven days a week from its studios in Glasnevin and currently has a roster of 40 voluntary djs. In addition Power FM regularly hosts live broadcasts from venues, clubs and cultural institutions around Dublin city.

Delighted that the station can showcase themselves on FM, station founder Brian Chamberlain says: “Musically, Power FM has always played new and other music that tends to be overlooked – no matter what the decade – handpicked by DJs whose commercial concerns were more aligned to having enough money for the bus fare home after their show. It’s always been about a passion for discovering music, be it soul, jazz, funk or vocal house music from the heart of New York’s latin neighbourhoods, to new electronic and improvised music produced in a basement under the Liffey ­ all joined by the hearts and minds of their counterparts around the world – from Rio to Detroit, Cork to Tokyo. The station has always been about keeping an eye on the future with lots of respectful nods to the past.”

The station’s first full day of broadcasting on Good Friday will include ‘Decks & The City’ with Claire Roche (formerly Scooter Girl of City Channel); The Golden Maverick, aka Matt Vinyl, on lunchtime, and Michael Black of Stereotonic on Friday drivetime.

Power FM will also be broadcasting live from the All City Dublin Jam this Easter Saturday afternoon at The Tivoli Theatre in Francis St in Dublin. In addition, DJ Laz-e will also be broadcasting highlights from the event the following day Easter Sunday from 6pm.

Everyone involved in the station’s current seven day live online schedule will be taking to the Dublin airwaves, along with some very special guests and collaborators in both music and the wider digital and visual arts.

Power FM’s existing Monday to Thursday schedule will also continue to run online at powerfm.org throughout the weeks of the FM broadcast.

Power FM originally began broadcasting in the back garden of a semi-detached house in Palmerstown, Dublin in 1993. Having moved premises to Dublin city centre in 1998, the station was always a port of call for international artists visiting Dublin.

Power FM have won a number of Awards over the years, including ‘Best Radio Station’ at the Smirnoff Dance Club Awards, but was always seeking to expand its own music programming remit and made the decision to concentrate on developing the possibilities offered by digital broadcasting in 2003.

Raidió Rí Rá roars onto our airwaves

A new temporarily-licensed hit music station broadcasting in Irish was launched today by Minister of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Eamon Ó’Cuiv (pictured below, being interviewed on air this morning).

A new temporarily-licensed hit music station broadcasting in Irish was launched today by Minister of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Eamon Ó’Cuiv (pictured below, being interviewed on air this morning).

 Raidió Rí Rá is on air in four cities from the former studios of Dublin’s 98 on Upper Mount Street. It is available on 100.3MHz FM in Dublin, 106.7MHz FM in Cork, 105.5MHz FM in Limerick and 99.1MHz FM in Galway. The station will run for three weeks in conjunction with Seachtain na Gaeilge.

Raidió Rí Rá is operated by Dusty Rhodes’ company Digital Audio Productions, which operates a number of digital radio stations. DAP specialise in syndicated radio programmes, podcasting, radio commercials. Their All 80s and Mocha R’n’B radio stations were part of the recent DAB & DTT trials and expect to be back on DAB before the summer.

A new temporarily-licensed hit music station broadcasting in Irish was launched today by Minister of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Eamon Ó’Cuiv (pictured below, being interviewed on air this morning).
Sean Ó’hAdhmaill (Presenter) with Minister O’Cuiv and Linda Nolan (Samsung – station sponsor)

Rhodes says: “Digital radio is very niche-focused which is great for advertisers. You can identify a highly-targeted audience which leads to much better penetration and high value ROI. Digital radio can be heard right now online and on digital cable systems with usage increasing every year in Ireland. In the coming months it will branch out on to DAB and DTT. There are two key advantages to digital radio. The first is an increased choice of new stations for listeners, the second is additional information and advertising opportunities on screens common to all the new platforms. Digital radio delivers a multimedia radio experience to listeners with relevant on-screen information to accompany the station’s audio. When compared to phones, iPods, TVs, laptops and so on, the lack of data on FM makes it very much a twentieth century technology.”

Rhodes thinks Raidió Rí Rá will be their one and only foray into FM broadcasting. He said: “With radio we’re only interested in moving forward. FM may be king for now but long term it’s going to become the AM band of the new millennium. All the indications are that in the next 10 to 15 years digital will be the predominant medium across Ireland, Europe, Asia and Australia.”

Raidió Rí Rá is also available all year round on raidiorira.ie


Metro – March 3rd 2009

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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.

BCI signs contract with 4FM for multi-city service

The BCI today signed a contract with Choice Broadcasting Limited (trading as 4FM) for the provision of a music-driven multi-city FM service. The first service of its kind, 4FM will broadcast to Dublin City, County and Commuter belt, Cork City and County, Limerick City and County, Galway City and County and Co. Clare.

Although tests broadcasts have started today 4FM will commence full broadcasting on February 27th and will provide a broad mix of music ranging across five decades, as well as specialist programmes on specific music genres including jazz, songs from films and shows and, soul. Speech output will include regular news bulletins, sports, travel and traffic reports and a range of information and features. 4FM’s primary target audience is the over-45s.

Speaking about the contract signing, BCI Chairman Conor Maguire said: “We are delighted to sign this contract with 4FM, the first contract of its kind in Ireland. The Commission believes that this multi-city service is a unique offering which will bring diversity from a content and listenership perspective. I would like to wish all involved in 4FM every success in launching the station and for the duration of their contract.”

4FM were represented at the contract signing by Martin Block, Chief Executive Officer and Howard Block, Director.

Choice Broadcasting Limited was awarded the licence for the multi-city service at the BCI Board meeting in January 2008.

The station will broadcast on the following frequencies: Limerick, Clare, Galway: 104.2-104.9; Dublin & Commuter belt: 94.6-94.9; Cork: 94.8-95.4 & 97.4

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Breaches of contract by Comminicorp stations

Today FM and Newstalk, both owned by Communicorp, have both been notified of serious breaches of contract after they introduced programming changes without prior approval by the BCI. That’s according to a report in today’s Irish Times.

Newstalk recently dropped three programmes from their schedule: Late Night Live with Declan Carty, Splanc and Culture Shock. The removal of Late Night Live has been approved by the BCI; however Newstalk have been ordered to reinstate the latter two by the end of the month on the basis of reduced diversity of programming.

In addition both stations decided to “pool” the services of reporters in their two newsrooms and to share off-peak news bulletins.

Although permission for the changes were sought by both stations, the changes had already been made at this point. This led the BCI to admonish both stations for serious breaches of contract.

Newstalk are still in discussion with the BCI about the dropped programming. They are claiming that the changes are necessary to secure the station’s future.

The BCI have accepted the reasoning behind the shared newsroom resources but will not allow the sharing of political reports.

Although the sharing of off-peak bulletins and the dropping of Late Night Live have been accepted by the BCI they will be subject to review in 12 months time.

Newspaper: Radio boss still upbeat about launch of 4FM

Irish Independent
Radio boss still upbeat about launch of 4FM

Irish Independent – February 5th 2009

Radio boss still upbeat about launch of 4FM

The deepest recession in living memory mightn’t seem like the best time to launch a new radio station, but 4FM boss Martin Block insists the woeful state of the economy hasn’t taken the sheen off his over-45’s radio station.

Originally due to launch in October, 4FM’s start date was then pushed out to January and has now been revised yet again, prompting speculation that 4FM’s investors had gone luke-warm on the station’s prospects.

“We’ve been delayed and delayed by transmission issues,” says Block. “We’re as committed as ever, and unless the awful weather messes up the transmission again we’ll definitely be on air by February 27.

Asked about the advertising prospects for the newcomer station, Block stresses that 4FM’s figures had always predicted an “incredibly low” income of €2.5m in the first year.

“That’s even lower than what we got with the first year of Lite FM, so we’d still be confident of hitting that,” he adds.

He admits, however, that some of 4FM’s longer-term projections may fall by the wayside since the market is a “completely different place” to the radio landscape contemplated by his consortium when they drew up plans for their station back in 2007.

“We’ll have to wait and see how long and deep this recession is,” he says. “We’ve said breakeven will be in year four, that might get pushed out another six months or a year.

“Being a new station we’re somewhat insulated from it for a while, but we’re not going to sit here smugly and say it’s not going to affect us at all.”

Despite the deteriorating financial climate, Block insists the €9.1m investment earmarked for the station is still on the table, adding that there are no cold feet amongst the station’s many backers, which include Block’s Fox Radio (22.25pc); Thomas Crosbie Holdings (22.25pc); Bay Broadcasting (22.25pc); Dermot Hanrahan’s Vienna Investments (22.25pc) and the Irish Times (10pc).

There have also been no changes to 4FM’s staffing plans, and a full contingent is already in place, gearing up for the latest launch date. Now all they need is a working transmitter . . .

Newspaper: Making waves on the radio

Irish Times
Making waves on the radio

Irish Times – February 4th 2009

Radio has been a part of Irish life for nearly a century. In 1926 2RN, which later became known as RTÉ Radio One, was established. Raidió Na Gaeltachta and RTÉ Radio 2 (now 2FM) didn’t follow until the 1970s. It was only in the last two decades that we began to see the multitude of commercial radio stations now broadcasting all over Ireland. You only have to travel a couple of clicks on your radio dial before you find a new station, writes John Holden .

As old-fashioned a media source as it is, radio still captures the imagination of people, young and old. There are quite a few radio projects in transition years nationwide. The Sound School Project is a joint effort between the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and Dublin City FM to give schools in the docklands area the chance to put together a 30-minute pre-recorded show which is then broadcast in Dublin.

The schools involved this year – Marian College, Ringsend Technical Institute, Marino College, Larkin CC and St Joseph’s CBS in Fairview – have all been visited by personnel from Dublin City FM who give advice and information on how best to put together any radio programme. Michael Glynn of Dublin City FM has over 25 years experience in radio and was in Larkin CC recently to speak with TY students about the role of the presenter.

“Interview skills are crucial,” says Glynn. “Presenters need to represent the common man and ask the kinds of questions the listener would ask.” In addition, he explained the difference between open-ended and closed questions and the importance being one step ahead at all times. “Be prepared to abandon your planned questions if something interesting arises out of the interview.”

Many of the students are already bidding for their place on the radio team. “I would like to be a presenter,” says 15-year-old Thomas Byrne of Larkin CC. “I’m a good talker, I have a clear voice and I’m confident. You need all those things. I listen to the radio a lot. Generally I like stuff that’s funny and controversial. If I was working on a radio programme though, I’d like to work on the music and fashion segments.”

Mark Keeley (15), on the other hand, has his sights set on research. “I love learning about new subjects,” says Mark. “I like to know what’s going on around the world. I spend a lot of my time at home on the computer researching different subjects. For the radio programme I will need to get information from a lot of other sources – the internet, advertisements, newspapers, the television and of course the radio.”

Mick Hanley of Dublin City FM has been working on this community programme for the last three years. It hasn’t run the exact same way each year but this time round he is excited about the level of enthusiasm.

“We introduced the project to the schools before Christmas and gave them ideas as to how best to go about putting together a good show,” says Hanley. “Now they’re going to start coming into the radio station itself to learn how to use the equipment. Usually you have a lot of enthusiasm from students beforehand and there’s always plenty of people who want to be a presenter. Stick a microphone in front of them and things change, though.

“So we get students to decide between themselves who should take each role. Each team needs a producer, presenter, researcher and someone to help on the sound desk. It’s really all up to them, as is the content. We give them an idea as to what they should have in it – a mix of news, sport, music and maybe bring something into it about their school. Aside from a celebrity guest which we organise for them, though, they have to come up with their own ideas for the various slots.”

Gerard Brennan (17), a fifth-year student at Marino College, took part in the project two years ago and is going to do it all over again this year.

‘I really enjoyed it before,” he says. “We were invited to the radio station to have a look around. I really wanted to be a presenter and I can talk. So I was picked. We interviewed the Dublin GAA football manager Paul Caffrey. I spoke to him for about an hour and then we edited it down. The editing process was all new to me and I found it very interesting. It’s good that if you make a mistake you can just edit it. So there’s no pressure. This time round I’m definitely aiming to be presenter again.”

Stephen Gallagher, head of the IT department at Marino College, Dublin, is a big fan of the radio programme.

“In our school we’ve got fantastic facilities – interactive whiteboards, digital projectors, DVD players and sound equipment. I always encourage our students to use as much technology as they can and the Sound School radio project helps with that.

“Many of these kids are from tough backgrounds and wouldn’t have the best communication skills. So to see the students making their own radio show is a great achievement.”

‘Thanks to my team . . .’ The roles that keep the radio station on track

Producer

The radio producer looks after the overall running of the show. Their duties include deciding on the show’s content, keeping the show flowing on schedule and within the agreed format, organising callers for talkback radio or tracking music. It may seem like the presenter is the person calling all the shots on a radio show, but the producer is really in charge. In essence, they are responsible for the creation, organisation and direction of any live radio programme.

Presenter

The presenter of a show is the person who is actually on air. It is their duty to interview guests, introduce music and each new part of the programme. They need to be good at multi-tasking as they have to talk, listen and be conscious of the time limits of each segment. Some presenters do little more than present their show, preferring to allow the contents of the show to speak for itself. However, there are also a number of radio personalities who bring a lot of their own character to the show. Many listeners tune in to a show because they like the presenter first and the contents of the radio show second. A number of other segments on shows require presenters of their own – news, sport, traffic and weather information.

Researcher

The researcher on a radio programme is responsible for organising and compiling each segment. If the producer says she wants to interview a government minister, it is the researcher who must contact the minister to see if they are available, while also coming up with relevant questions for the presenter to ask. In addition, researchers help compile information about a given subject so that the presenter is up to speed on whatever issues are being raised on the show. Researchers must have a curious nature and be able to locate information on a variety of subjects.

Sound technician

The sound technician is an essential part of any radio team. It is their job to control the broadcast volume and sound quality through a sound desk which is made up of a bank of controls with sliders and faders that control the output of sound. Through their desk they play songs and other segments at the appropriate times. Technicians also begin and end the commercial breaks, record the show and are the all-round “techies” – good to have around when something goes wrong.

© 2009 The Irish Times

Newspaper: Today FM profits down after takeover

Irish Independent
Today FM profits down after takeover

Irish Independent – February 3rd 2009

Today FM profits down after takeover

By Laura Noonan

Annual profits at Today FM more than halved last year despite a 17pc rise in like-for-like revenues, new accounts show.

The filings chart the radio station’s performance in the 18 months to September 2008, including the January 2008 acquisition of Today FM by Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp.

The costs surrounding that change of ownership are understood to have largely contributed to the plunge in profitability, which saw Today FM return pretax earnings of €4.7m for the 18-month period against a €7.4m figure for the 12 months ending March 2007.

Those change of ownership costs are included in the 18-month period’s overall operating expenses bill, which came in at €30.3m, well above the €12.7m in operating costs for the year end March 2007.

The major operating costs rise was in administration, which jumped from €2m to €13m, while programming costs were also significantly higher.

Payments

Below the pretax line, directors’ remuneration rose from €575,000 to €2.3m — the higher payments are understood to include bonuses of about €1m shared by Today FM’s three executive directors on completion of the Communicorp sale.

On the revenue side, income for the 18-month period came in at €34m, up from €19.4m for the year ended in March 2007, including a 17pc rise in “like-for-like revenue”.

Chief executive Willie O’Reilly said a “flat” performance on revenue would be a “good result” for 2009 as the radio industry contemplates a 5pc to 10pc fall in income.

“The trading environment is currently tough, and there has been a deterioration in the last five months,” Mr O’Reilly added.

“Radio doesn’t do as well in an upturn but doesn’t suffer as much as other media in a downturn.” The radio station’s next accounts will cover the 15 months to December 2009, bringing the company’s financial year in line with Communicorp’s. The next accounts are expected to include substantially lower costs, as the change of ownership costs aren’t repeated and the station continues to “scrutinise its cost base to better prepare us for any further turbulence in the market”.

The latest accounts also show an investment of more than €3.3m in Today FM’s new Digges Lane, Dublin 2, home.

This included a one-off six-figure payment to release the station from its Abbey Street, Dublin 1, lease.

Newspaper: Communicorp sale depresses Today FM profits

Irish Times
Communicorp sale depresses Today FM profits

Irish Times – February 3rd 2009

CIARÁN HANCOCK, Business Affairs Correspondent

Costs associated with its sale to Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp Group in January 2008 depressed profits last year at national radio station Today FM in spite of a 17 per cent rise in like-for-like sales.

Accounts obtained by The Irish Times for the 18-month period to the end of September 2008 show that Today FM recorded an after-tax profit of €3.9 million. This compared with a bottom-line surplus of €6.4 million in the year to the end of March 2007, when the station was owned by UK media group Emap.

Radio Ireland Ltd, which trades as Today FM, had retained profits of €17.9 million at the end of last September. The accounts covered 18 months to help bring the station in line with Communicorp’s financial reporting period.

Revenues totalled €34.2 million last year compared with €19.4 million in the previous financial period. The accounts state that Today FM recorded like-for-like sales growth of 17 per cent between the two periods, indicating annualised turnover of about €23 million.

Today FM’s administration expenses rose sixfold to €12 million between the two periods. It is understood that this was largely due to costs associated with the €200 million acquisition by Communicorp of Today FM and its then sister stations Dublin-based FM104 and Highland Radio in Donegal, and the subsequent sale by Mr O’Brien of the two local radio stations for €63 million.

The remuneration paid to directors rose to €2.36 million last year from €574,733 in the previous financial period.

This is believed to include bonus payments of just over €1 million by Emap to three of the station’s executives – Willie O’Reilly, Paul Lynch and Eamon Fitzpatrick – relating to the sale of its Irish stations to Mr O’Brien.

Mr O’Reilly, who is Today FM’s chief executive, declined to comment on the payments to directors or the costs associated with the sale of the stations by Emap.

He said trading was “positive” during the 18-month period but that the “past five months have seen a more difficult trading environment” due to a 10 per cent drop in advertising sales.

“A good performance in 2009 would be flat revenues,” Mr O’Reilly added.

In spite of the downturn in advertising revenues, Mr O’Reilly said none of Today FM’s star presenters – who include Ian Dempsey and Ray D’Arcy – would be asked to take a pay cut.

RTÉ stars, including Pat Kenny and Gerry Ryan, have been criticised recently for refusing to take a pay cut.

“We had a good year so we’re not asking our stars to take a [pay] cut,” he said. “In relation to RTÉ, it’s about taxpayers’ money paid through the licence fee but it’s up to them to take a position on that.”

Today FM’s 83 staff earned €6 million in wages and salaries last year. Mr O’Reilly said a pay-freeze is in place and the station is “examining every cost in the business”.

© 2009 The Irish Times

Face 2 Face Book initiative launched at i105107

i105107 have launched a new on-air initiative in an attempt to bring some optimism on the jobs front to their broadcast region. Called ‘Face 2 Face Book’, the station have invited 300 people who have recently lost their jobs to talk to each other, sharing experiences, networking, swapping contacts, which might in turn lead to employment.

According to i105107 Programme Director Alan Swan: “Everyone it seems uses social network sites, so we’ve decided to put together a day where 300 people can meet ‘face to face’ and network. It’s one room, one place where you can meet likeminded people and talk.”

i105107 will broadcast the ‘Bernard and Keith Breakfast Show’ live from The Ardboyne Hotel in Navan on February 11th. The audience of various professions and trades will not only enjoy a morning networking, they will receive some positive advice from a leading life coach, hear how one entrepreneur got through the last recession.

Alan continues: “We wanted to do something that brings a little bit of optimism to the places we broadcast to, going back to the old way of actually talking to each other face to face and giving people a bit of help, unlike the government who seem content just setting up task forces and not actually taking action”

The station have launched a Face 2 Face Book page at www.i105107.ie/face2facebook

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Nothing cooking in Ireland for David Baker

David Baker, who has been back on the Irish airwaves over the last few years as a swing jock at Q102 and KFM, has decided to return to the UK. He leaves Ireland this week with his family and is returning to Essex in south-east England where he will be hoping for a very swift return to broadcasting.

David Baker, who has been back on the Irish airwaves over the last few years as a swing jock at Q102 and KFM, has decided to return to the UK. He leaves Ireland this week with his family and is returning to Essex in south-east England where he will be hoping for a very swift return to broadcasting.

Speaking to Radiowaves News David (pictured below) said: “I’m sad to be going but really over the last few years there has been a severe lack of full-time opportunities here and that is the main reason behind my decision. I’d like to place on record my thanks to Q102 and KFM for the work I did get, I really enjoyed those two very different experiences; particularly at KFM where I was able to communicate with a true local Irish audience. My network is bigger in the UK so i fully expect to be back on air in the next few weeks. We gave it a good go here and I think if I hadn’t I’d have regretted it. I’ll be back for lots of weddings as that side of my work did very well but as most mobile jocks know you cannot exist on just this kind of work.”

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

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New BBC Radio 2 controller is named

BBC Radio 2’s new controller has been named. Bob Shennan, the former BBC Five Live controller, will take his new role as controller of BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music in February and will report to Tim Davie, the BBC’s Director of Audio & Music. He left his previous role at Five Live in 2008 to become Channel 4’s Director of Radio last April. Channel 4 have since backed down on their plans to introduce digital radio.

Tim Davie welcomed the appointment, saying: “Bob is an outstanding leader with extensive radio experience and a proven track record in station management. Bob’s energy, enthusiasm and passion for Radio 2 will ensure that the station remains creative and vibrant, and continues to offer unique programmes to the widest possible audience.”

Bob Shennan said: “Radio 2 is the cornerstone of UK Radio. 6 Music is at the forefront of digital radio. It is a privilege to be asked to lead the extraordinary creative forces of both stations.”

Shennan replaces Lesley Douglas who resigned last October after the infamous prank calls made to Andrew Sachs by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross

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First ever female presenter for Sunday Sport

From Sunday one of RTÉ Sport’s newer faces and voices, Jacqui Hurley, will co-host Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 along with one of the show’s former anchors, Con Murphy. This is the first time in the show’s almost 40 year history that it will be co-hosted and the first time ever that it will have a female host.

Jacqui says: “I’m looking forward to this new challenge. Con and I are planning a fast-paced show with plenty of listener interaction and opinion, some laughs and of course, some serious sports news, commentaries and updates!”

The revamped show will be a fast-moving live sports programme, with commentators and reporters at all the main sports events of the day, including Gaelic Football and Hurling Championship and League games, Rugby internationals and provincial matches, football from home and abroad, and interviews with all the top sportsmen and women in the news.

Jacqui joined RTÉ Sport in 2006. She now appears as a weekly sports contributor on Seoige and is the voice of sport on RTÉ 2FM’s Breakfast Show with Colm & Jim-Jim on weekday mornings.

Originally from Ballinahassig in Cork, Jacqui started her media career as an intern with CBS television station in Mississippi in the United States where she learned all the nuts and bolts of television reporting and more specifically sports reporting. After college she went on to work for local Limerick radio station Live 95FM and was given her first big sporting opportunity working at Munster’s 2006 Heineken Cup success.

Con Murphy’s career in broadcasting began in the late 1980s with Century Radio, where he worked as a sports producer and presenter. Following the closure of Century, Con became sports editor at Dublin station FM104, before joining RTÉ Radio’s Sports team in 1992. He has hosted RTÉ Radio’s coverage of the 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games coverage. He has reported from the World Cup finals in Japan and Korea in 2002, and counts RTÉ Radio’s coverage of the 2006 Ryder Cup from the K Club as one of his favourite commentating experiences.

Con has presented all of RTÉ Radio’s main sports programmes at various times through the years and has also shown his versatility by standing in for Ryan Tubridy, Marian Finucane, and Rachel English on RTÉ on different occasions. Con has presented a wide range of sports programmes on RTÉ Television including Monday Night Soccer, Against the Head, Premiership and World Cup soccer and The Irish Open Golf and many more sports. He also co-presents the monthly programme, Crimecall on RTÉ Television along with Anne Cassin.

Sunday Sport has been on air since 1971 and was first presented by Paddy O’Brien. Other presenters throughout the past four decades have included Liam Nolan, Bill O’Herlihy, Eamonn Ó’Muirí, Jimmy Magee, Des Cahill and Adrian Eames.

Newstalk become main sponsor for local football

The Football Association of Ireland have unveiled Newstalk 106-108FM, Ireland’s independent national talk radio broadcaster, as top tier sponsor of the League of Ireland in an agreement that will last three years starting in March 2009. Under the agreement, Newstalk will also become title sponsor of the Newstalk A Championship which is played by 16 clubs countrywide under the Premier and First divisions.

From next season, the League of Ireland is being offered to the market under a new multi-sponsor format, and with today’s three year deal, Newstalk will benefit from signage, marketing and promotional rights associated with the League of Ireland and the Newstalk A Championship. With the addition of Newstalk as a top tier sponsor, the FAI will now be in a position to provide an increase in prize funding for League of Ireland clubs next year.

Announcing Newstalk’s sponsorship deal, Chief Executive Elaine Geraghty said: “Newstalk is delighted to announce our sponsorship of the League of Ireland. The partnership of Ireland’s national commercial talk radio station with the League reflects Newstalk’s commitment to the sport and our commitment to provide unrivalled coverage of Irish sport at both national and local level. The sports team at Newstalk, delivering over 26 hours of sport weekly, are dedicated to providing coverage that entertains and informs our listeners all over the country. We are confident that this new sponsorship with the League of Ireland and the Newstalk A championship will help build domestic soccer and ensure both Newstalk and the FAI build their presence among new and existing supporters.”

Welcoming the announcement, John Delaney Chief Executive of the FAI said: “I am very happy that Newstalk will be one of the League of Ireland’s top tier sponsors in 2009. Under next season’s multi-sponsor format, the League and its clubs will benefit from increased prize funding. The quality of football played by Irish clubs has improved consistently and with Newstalk’s proven record for quality sports broadcasting, they will be an excellent partner who will assist us in showcasing the quality and drama of League of Ireland football.”

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Back to the future for Dublin temp 90s Network

On Sunday, January 11th one of Dublin’s more unique stations closed down, hopefully not for the last time. The 90s Network was granted a temporary licence by the BCI to broadcast over thirty days. The station chose to break this up into fifteen weekends to prolong their presence on air.

 On Sunday, January 11th one of Dublin's more unique stations closed down, hopefully not for the first time. The 90s Network was granted a temporary licence by the BCI to broadcast over thirty days. The station chose to break this up into fifteen weekends to prolong their presence on air.
Mike O’Brien and Paul Duffy sign BCI contract

The 90s Network focused on the 1990s with the strapline ‘A Decade in Rewind’. They added to the feel of the decade by filling their news broadcasts with stories from the 90s. They have carried on streaming from their website the90snetwork.com and they plan to keep the website updated with ’90s-related video, trivia and station photos.

Radiowaves News caught up with station chief Mike O’Brien following the station’s closedown and posed a few questions.

Tell us a little about The 90s Network from conception through to launch?
The original concept came from an unlicensed station which I operated in 2003 called Breeze FM. It was a small station but received great feedback so I knew there was a market for a station playing something other than the top 40.
In November 2007 I pitched the idea of operating a temp station to a good friend of mine, Paul Duffy. The original idea was to have the station as an automated one called Splash FM but as we met with Ralph McGarry, whom we worked with on Freedom 92FM, we decided to go all out and have presenters on air.
Ralph did most of the paperwork that is involved with an application for a temp licence and the date was set for a launch of 4th October 2008!

How did it feel to broadcast ‘legally’ considering your unlicensed past?
The feeling was fantastic. The work that goes into the preparation for a temp is huge, far more than I had anticipated. The organising of the presenters, the special themed weekends, the news bulletins right down to getting the logger tapes in order is hugely time-consuming but worth it. That feeling of when the tx goes on for the first time is a huge sense of achievement.

What was the listener response like? Did many listeners discover you?
Listener response for the first few weekends was quite small but as the weeks went by we steadily grew our listener base through our text line and also through our website.
We also set up a Facebook page which has over 70 fans from all parts of the world.

Did you get much response from outside Dublin’s confines (overspill/net)?
We got a huge response from our website and the online feed.
We got 67 hits from the feed from New York for some strange reason and about 20 odd hits from Australia.
As for response outside Dublin we got some response from the commuter towns around Dublin.

 L to R: Brian Buterly, Paul Duffy, Mike O' Brien, Robbie Dunbar, Liam Tutty, Wayne Scales and Ralph McGarry on the first meeting of the presenters in August '08
L to R: Brian Buterly, Paul Duffy, Mike O’ Brien, Robbie Dunbar, Liam Tutty, Wayne Scales and Ralph McGarry on the first meeting of the presenters in August ’08

You chose to split up your 30 day term into weekends. Do you feel this was the right decision considering listeners had to ‘remember’ to retune each weekend? Or would a straight 30 days have finished far too soon and seen you out of the public consciousness too quickly?
Yes, we do feel it was the right decision to have it spread over 15 weekends, we felt that the market we were aiming at would love to listen to the songs they grew up with at the weekend.
On reflection and possibly for our next licence run we would spread it over ten weekends.

Your policy was to focus on the ’90s. Why choose the 90s? Would this change if you’re still around in – say – ten years?
We chose the 90s because we felt that the 80s was done to death and now was the time to move up a decade and tap in to the generation that grew up with Sonic the Hedgehog and Green Buses!
I don’t think we would change from the 90s in ten years IF we were still about because it was a fun decade and one that is not catered for on the Dublin radio dial.

Mike O'Brien
Mike O’Brien

Do you think such a station would be viable on a full-time basis? Are you, or have you applied for, another licence and if so what are the indications?
As for a full-time service of 90s I personally would love to see it happen but at the moment we are quite happy to apply again for a temp licence. Our intention is to apply again, with finances permitting, over a ten-week period sometime this year.

Where was your studio and mast situated? Tell us a little about the studio set-up?
Our studio was based in a purpose-built studio in Donaghmede with a link being used to our mountain site on Three Rock in Rathfarnham. We employed the services of Stephen Foley to service our transmission setup. The studio contained an Airmate desk, 2 PCs, Denon CD decks, 2 minidisc players, 2 Rode Broadcast mics.

Ralph McGarry
Ralph McGarry

Unlike other ‘oldies’ stations and/or programmes, your station went beyond the usual 30 or 40 records from a particular era. If you had two records in front of you and one was a well-played classic that gives 99% listener satisfaction, and the other was a rarely-heard obscurity to 99% of listeners, which would you choose to play? Was this a general station policy? Was there a playlist? How much input did the jocks have?
We gave our presenters full control over their own output for the simple reason that we felt that our presenters were experienced enough to rotate their music so that it wasn’t repetitive but we did have a ‘Music clock’ in the studio to guide the presenters and to give the station some conformity. We did encourage the presenters to play the more unheard of stuff though.
As for playing the 2 records I would play both!!! For the simple reason that the listeners pay your bills but if a presenter is allowed to play the more unheard of stuff it makes him enjoy his gig more and that comes out on air.

Any amusing anecdotes from the few weeks of live broadcast?
Apart from electrocuting myself on the first weekend or letting in the presenters to the studio in my underwear??? Not really, I have enjoyed teaming up with old pals with this venture and have loved every minute of it. It was an experience to say the least! I hope the anoraks enjoyed the station and we hope to be back this year sometime.

New station to change name already – but just for a day

Ireland’s newest radio station is to change its name for just one day on Monday. To celebrate Ireland’s connection to US President Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on the 20th of January i105107, the radio station that covers the midlands and north east of Ireland, will become Obama FM in anticipation of this historical event.

 Ireland's newest radio station is to change its name for just one day on Monday. To celebrate Ireland's connection to US President Elect Barack Obama's inauguration on the 20th of January i105107, the radio station that covers the midlands and north east of Ireland, will become Obama FM in anticipation of this historical event.

On the day Obama FM will be broadcasting all day from Moneygall in Co. Offaly, the ancesteral home of Barack Obama’s great-great-great-grandfather. The station’s website, on-air imaging and content will all reflect the US President Elect’s Inauguration on January 20th.

The i105107 Obama FM bus (pictured below) is already travelling around the region spreading the word of the big day and Pat the Baker bread makers has also got in on the fun and agreed to create a new product called Barack’s brack.

i105107 Programme Director Alan Swan said the Obama bus was attracting a lot of attention: “We just thought we should do something to celebrate Barack Obama’s Irish roots. It will be such a historical occasion we had to mark it some way, and we are doing it in typical iRadio fashion!”

Aimed at 15-34 year olds i105107 covers the counties of Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Kildare, Offaly, Westmeath and North-East Laois.

 Ireland's newest radio station is to change its name for just one day on Monday. To celebrate Ireland's connection to US President Elect Barack Obama's inauguration on the 20th of January i105107, the radio station that covers the midlands and north east of Ireland, will become Obama FM in anticipation of this historical event.

Breakfast Presenter Keith Walsh shows off the i105107 Obama FM Bus

New station for Tallaght launches this weekend

A new temporary licensed station Radio Tallaght, which is a project by Tallaght Community Arts and Tallaght Radio Forum, will broadcast on 99.1MHz FM from this weekend. The new station will be on air between 11am and 6pm from Rua Red, the new South Dublin County Arts Centre, over six weekends in 2009 and will feature programmes created and presented by people from the many diverse communities of Tallaght, many sitting behind a microphone for the first time.

A new temporary licensed station Radio Tallaght, which is a project by Tallaght Community Arts and Tallaght Radio Forum, will broadcast on 99.1MHz FM from this weekend. The new station will be on air between 11am and 6pm from Rua Red, the new South Dublin County Arts Centre, over six weekends in 2009 and will feature programmes created and presented by people from the many diverse communities of Tallaght, many sitting behind a microphone for the first time.
The launch poster

The wide variety of programming and the perspectives covered over the six weekends of broadcasting include ‘My Story’, personal stories narrated by Tallaght people from various cultures, race and age; ‘DJ Challenge’, where a senior citizen and a young person play their individual music choices and exchange musical stories; ‘Sounds of Tallaght’, an audio tour of Tallaght with local historian Tomás Maher, and much much more.

The station is currently being programmed by Artist and Creative Producer, Patricia Baker, who has previously set up and operated Radio On, a temporary arts-focused radio station in Cork City in 2007, and Ralph McGarry. This project is the seventh temporary station he has set up/programmed.

Patricia Baker noted: “Radio Tallaght’s aim is to be a voice for the many diverse communities of Tallaght, to celebrate, explore and connect Tallaght’s rich diversity of environment, culture and people, through the medium of community radio. Tallaght Community Arts is delighted to partner with Tallaght Radio Forum on this exciting project and we look forward to all six broadcasts this year.”

Radio Tallaght will work within a critically-engaged community arts practice context and provide a facility for cultural democracy. It will make a significant contribution to reviving the democratic imagination by identifying work that supports citizens as engaged and collectively organised producers rather than passive, individualised consumers.

Tallaght Radio Forum is a group of community enthusiasts who have an interest in radio as a means of community development. It was set up in 2008, initially to bring together interested individuals and groups to explore the concept of community radio.

Radio Tallaght will broadcast on 99.1MHz FM, from 11am to 6pm, on the following dates: January 17th and 18th, March 21st and 22nd, June 20th and 21st, September 19th and 20th, October 17th and 18th, and December 19th and 20th.

Old Fogey Warns Young Fogey to Earn His Spurs

Ryan Tubridy has been warned by broadcasting rival Pat Kenny to slow down and earn his spurs. That’s according to today’s Sunday Tribune. Kenny’s tirade comes after Tubridy voiced his opinion that his morning show on RTÉ Radio 1 should be extended. This, of course, would eat into Pat Kenny’s own programme on the station. In addition, Tubridy said he’d like to see his Saturday night TV show moved to Friday nights, the night when Kenny presents ‘The Late Late Show’.

“There’s a new boss (Clare Duignan) in radio and she could put Ryan Tubridy on 2FM for all I know,” says Pat. “I have no interest in what might be good for Ryan to be honest…he’s doing all sorts of things. He’s only 35, he’s a young man in a terrible hurry to do everything that everyone before him has done.”

Kenny revealed that he has just signed a contract to do a two hour primetime show on radio every day.

Festive Station Christmas FM Raised €30,000 For ISPCC

Christmas FM, the temporary radio station which broadcast for a month leading to St Stephen’s Day, raised over €30,000 for their charity partner the ISPCC. The station broadcast live in Dublin on 89.9MHz FM and across the world via the internet on a voluntary basis playing non-stop Christmas tunes. Texts to the station cost €1 and proceeds went to the charity.

A statement from the station’s management reads: “Christmas FM would like to thank everybody who supported the station during our recent temporary licence. We would like to say a sincere thank you and well done to the many djs and presenters from radio stations all over Leinster and beyond whose dedication made the station the success that it was. Credit is also due to the management of those stations who readily agreed to allow their staff to participate in the project. In common with most temporary stations there were very little resources available for pre-launch publicity. We were also conscious of the economic downturn and the fact that a charity-oriented service was a new concept. Despite all this the station literally hit the ground running and remained in full throttle mode for the duration. From the very early stages it became apparent that the impact of the station was going to be a lot bigger than we had dared hope. Over the course of the 30 days we received over 10,500 text messages. The website, christmasfm.ie had almost 4 million hits during the same period. Our online listenership averaged 1,500 per day. Given that the station came from nowhere on November 28th we are extremely pleased with what was achieved and are delighted that the listening public seem to have taken the station and its ethos to heart.”

The station have indicated that they hope to return for next Christmas.

4FM Appoints Dave Hammond as Marketing Director

4FM, the new multi-city radio station due to go on air early this year, has appointed Dave Hammond as Director of Sales and Marketing. Dave will manage the sales and marketing departments of the radio station and implement a strategy to drive overall business growth.

4FM, the new multi-city radio station due to go on air early this year, has appointed Dave Hammond as Director of Sales and Marketing. Dave will manage the sales and marketing departments of the radio station and implement a strategy to drive overall business growth.

4FM will offer a brand new choice in music and entertainment for adult radio listeners in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Clare. The station, which will employ 44 full and part-time staff, will broadcast a wide repertoire of speech and music programmes designed to engage listeners.

Dave Hammond has an impressive track record in the radio industry. He began his career in 1986 with Sunshine 101FM in Dublin, where he held the role of Sales Manager, and in 1989 he went on to become a member of the original management team which founded Dublin’s 98FM.

In 1994, Dave joined the radio division of Scandinavian Broadcasting Systems (a Disney /ABC venture) as European Sales Director where he was responsible for the commercial development of 15 radio stations in multiple countries. In 1997, he was appointed Sales and Marketing Director of Radio Ireland Ltd and later went on to become General Manager of Today FM, leading the station to profitability.

During his career, Dave has also held the position of Advertising Manager with the Sunday Independent and Commercial Manager with 96FM Cork. Dave also spent eight years as a representative on the JNLR committee and served on the organising committee responsible for the inaugural Radio Awards for Ireland. He is also a member of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and holds an MBA from Smurfit Business School U.C.D.

Marian Finucane Gets Pro-Active at the Weekends

RTÉ Radio have announced Flora Pro-active as the new twelve month sponsor of ‘The Marian Finucane Show’. The deal commenced at the weekend.

Following more than 23 years broadcasting on RTÉ Radio 1, Marian Finucane has now positioned both her Saturday and Sunday shows as essential weekend listening. Recent JNLR figures show Marian’s Saturday show as the third most listened to radio programme in Ireland with 347,000 listeners and her Sunday show is the eighth most listened to, delivering 281,000 listeners every week. Recent guests have included: Nuala O’Faoláin, Brian O’Driscoll, Louis Walsh, Daniel Day Lewis, President Mary McAleese, Ronnie Drew, Kim Cattrell, Chef Dylan McGrath, Minister Mary Harney, Tommy Tiernan, American Ambassador Thomas C Foley, Sean Fitzpatrick and Professor Brendan Drumm.

RTÉ Radio Sponsorship Manager, Tara Farrell said: “In what has been a very strong year for RTÉ Radio Sales, Flora pro-active is without doubt the perfect sponsorship fit for Ireland’s number one weekend radio show and an excellent start to 2009.”

The 12 month sponsorship package includes four sponsor credited stings per show on both Saturday & Sunday plus pre-promotional spots in Joe Duffy’s ‘Liveline’, ‘Conversations with Eamon Dunphy’ and ‘The Business’.

Other recent deals for RTÉ Radio include Ladbroke’s sponsorship of the Weekend Sport on RTÉ Radio 1; Centra’s sponsorship of RTÉ 2FM’s timechecks; Benecol have signed up to a second year of ‘The Tubridy Show’ and AIB have also renewed their sponsorship of ‘Drivetime Sport with Des Cahill’ for a second year.

Marian Finucane was honoured earlier this year with PPI Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rumours of Country’s Death are Premature

Rumours that Dublin’s Country Mix 106.8 are to close are premature. So says the station’s Chief Executive Seán Ashmore.

Speaking to The Irish Times Seán admits that the station are facing difficult times and that four staff members have been let go but he denies that the station have discussed handing back their licence to the BCI.

Dublin Prepares for a Decade in Rewind

A brand new station launches in Dublin this evening. The 90s Network will appear for the first time ever on 99.5MHz FM at midnight. The station is operating under a temporary licence from the BCI and will be on air on weekends through to January 2009.

The 90s Network embraces “a decade in rewind” with news, features and music totally focusing on the 90s.

Some of the presenters on air over the coming weekends are Enda Caldwell, Brian Butterly, Ralph McGarry, Robbie Dunbar, Mike O’Brien, Louise Phelan, Jason Dee and Wayne Scales.

Kiss FM of Life for Dead European Language

Berlin radio station Kiss FM have promised that they will broadcast its entire morning show in Latin on September 26. The unique idea is to mark the European day of languages. Trailers, news and weather will be translated into Latin for the show which has a listenership of over 4m. A station member of staff has also written a Latin rap song!

Midlands 103 Move to New State of the Art Studios

Midlands 103 Headquarters, Axis Business Park, Tullamore
Midlands 103 Headquarters, Axis Business Park, Tullamore

Midlands 103 have this week moved its 50 full and part-time staff to a new state-of-the-art headquarters. The new 5,500 square foot complex at the Axis Business Park in Tullamore comprises new studio facilities, finance, administration and general office areas. It forms part of a strategic three million euro investment by the company. The radio station, which serves Laois, Offaly and Westmeath, is also conducting a multi-phase enhancement of its transmission network.

Leading consultants from West Country Broadcast in the UK and Radio Computer Systems in the US were employed to work on the project, together with top Irish firms in the construction and electrical trade. The studios utilise the latest digital sound technology coupled with touchscreen playout systems and other facilities to improve the broadcast experience for presenters and guests. It is the only broadcast project in Ireland where these leading companies have worked collaboratively and they have produced results to envy any radio station in the country.

Broadcaster Will Faulkner in Studio One during 'The Midlands Today
 Show'
Broadcaster Will Faulkner in Studio One during ‘The Midlands Today
Show’

Midlands 103’s Managing Director Albert Fitzgerald says: “‘Tindle House’ represents a huge vote of confidence in the local economy and the strength of the Midlands 103 brand. We’re extremely excited about the opportunities it affords us to produce better programming, improve the quality of workplace for our staff and diversify our business. This surpasses any radio facility in the country and people living in the Midlands can truly be proud of their local station.

“In addition two of the station’s leading presenters have been nominated for prestigious national awards. Will Faulkner’s ‘Midlands Today Show’ (left) is on a shortlist for ‘Current Affairs Programme of the Year’, alongside RTE’s Pat Kenny, while Ricey Scully could receive an award for his touching tribute to singing legend Joe Dolan.

News journalist Bernard O'Farrell delivering an update
News journalist Bernard O’Farrell delivering an update

Dublin station 98 officially unveils new image

Dublin’s 98FM has dropped the FM from its title and have officially launched a new look for the station. The new logo for Dublin’s 98 was recently unveiled at an extravaganza held in the private gardens of Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin.

Launching the new look, Michael Brady, Chief Executive of 98 said: “It has been a while since we have refreshed the look of the station. All high profile brands, including radio stations, need to keep their image and corporate identity relevant and fresh, that is what we are doing. Change is the one constant in our business, our listeners are evolving and changing and we must reflect and embrace their evolving and changing interests. This new look, I believe, also reflects the improved sound of 98 which reaffirms our position as the most entertaining station in Dublin.”

Michael continues: “We listen very carefully to what our listeners are saying and the most consistent thing they keep telling us is that 98 is the station that makes them smile. Our mission is to ensure that when anyone wants to be entertained in Dublin – 98 will be their No.1 choice and help them smile throughout the day.”

Dublin’s 98’s Michael Brady and Samantha Wadkin launch new-look station vehicles

A spokesperson for the station says that the new look is made up of vibrant colours of blue and magenta which create a core purple tone that is distinctive within the Dublin radio landscape.
“These colours were chosen because of their outstanding appeal to the target listener during research. The logo is made up of the 9 and 8 creating a curvaceous shape shot through with yellow wave patterns flow, bringing it to life and giving it an energy and vibrancy,” the spokesperson says.

While the look of the station has changed, the station’s ethos remains the same: to continue to play “Dublin’s Best Music Mix” playing the biggest mix of songs from the ’80s, ’90s and today, and to continue to provide the best on-air entertainment, the biggest promotions and most of all, continue to make Dublin smile.

To support the launch of the station’s new look, a major marketing campaign is underway spearheaded by a new 30 second television advertisement which shows people smiling around Dublin city as they listen to 98 to the backing track of ‘Smile’ by The Supernaturals. There’s also an extensive outdoor 48 and 5 sheet bus and Dart campaign.

The Dublin 98 Morning Crew: Dermot Whelan, Dave Moore and Siobhán O’Connor

Radio 1 Says Goodbye to MW with Brendan Balfe

Brendan Balfe, Larry Gogan and Mike Murphy (1974)

To mark Monday’s closedown of RTÉ Radio 1’s Medium Wave service Brendan Balfe will present ‘Medium Wave Goodbye’ from 1.30pm. Brendan will countdown to the switch off at 3pm with a personal choice of rare, medium and well-done moments from the Irish airwaves.

RTÉ’s broadcasts began life on medium wave as 2RN, later known as Radio Athlone, Raidió Éireann and in more recent times as RTÉ Radio 1. RTÉ introduced the FM service in 1966 to counteract interference and poor reception on the MW band.

For Medium Wave Goodbye, which will be broadcast on all wavelengths, on the internet and on RTÉ’s digital radio trial service, Brendan has assembled a nostalgic programme highlighting some of his favourite moments on Irish radio. Brendan promises an entertaining and fascinating 90 minutes of memories of a service which has brought the world into homes all over the country since 1926, capturing moments of history and life through decades of news, sport, features and entertainment. The programme includes archive audio of request programmes, pop and trad music, features, documentaries and commentaries.

After March 24th listeners can only tune into conventional RTÉ Radio 1 broadcasts on FM, 252kHz LW, and also via cable television, satellite, the internet and in pilot areas on RTÉ’s DAB digital radio trial service.

Listeners who tune into MW specifically for extra RTÉ Radio 1 programmes, including weekday sports broadcasts and Sunday religious services, will find those programmes on long wave, cable television and the internet.

For an alternative to sports broadcasts on Saturdays and Sundays listeners will find a selection of RTÉ Radio 1 arts, features and drama on RTÉ’s digital radio test station, RTÉ Choice, and as downloadable podcasts from www.rte.ie/radio1.

Today’s Newspapers: February 20th 2008

Derry Journal – A fresh and interactive sound for the North West

A fresh and interactive sound for the North West

Broadcasting from Galway to Malin Head, Irish radio was changed forever with the opening of the new i 102-104 FM by comic duo Tommy Tiernan and Hector O hEochagain last week. This brand new station is the first dedicated station for young people in the North West and will broadcast to Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Galway, Longford and Roscommon.

We asked chief executive, Dan Healy what exactly is different about this station. Is it just another non-stop pop station? “Not at all. This station brings a fresh and exciting offering to our listeners in the North West. Our intention is to change the way our younger people consume and interact with media. You may have noticed the predominance of the (i) symbol around the studio and indeed the city. (i)-It means inquisitive, intelligent and perhaps most important, interactive.

“The listeners will play a big part in the running of this station – we will reflect their views, their music tastes and their concerns.”

As for being just another ‘non stop pop’ station, Healy said: “There are many issues out there facing the young people of today -these include social problems like drug abuse, sexuality, suicide and more. We will provide a platform for many of these issues where people can get an opportunity to discuss them openly. As you know, a problem shared is a problem halved. Over 40% of our air-time will be devoted to ‘talk radio’ and we want our listeners to do the talking. It’s all about involvement and interaction.”

Where will Donegal fit in with the whole plan?

“At present Donegal is blessed with the most successful local radio station in the country, Highland Radio. I suppose we want to fill a gap in the general market and do not see ourselves as direct competitors. People will still chop and change stations tuning into their favourite presenters.

“Donegal is high on our priority and we have been lucky to attract Lisa Brady who has been extremely popular with Ocean FM in the North West for quite a number of years and is exceptionally familiar with the Donegal scene.”

So the message is loud and clear to the Donegal audience, “Tune in, have a listen – your views are our news,” concluded Healy.

Irish Times – Highland Radio files 21% profit

Irish Times - Highland Radio files 21% profit

Connaught Telegraph – Mayo DJs crowned kings of the airwaves at Meteor Awards

 Connaught Telegraph - Mayo DJs crowned kings of the airwaves at Meteor Awards