Next Wednesday is D-day for a string of DJs when new Cork radio station RedFM takes to the airwaves.
Former RTE Nationwide reporter Martina O’Donoghue is just one of a number of presenters hoping to bring a fresh feel to local radio.
She will present a daily programme from 10am to 2pm on the music-driven station, which will broadcast from the University Technology Centre on the Curraheen Road.
Martina will also present a Sunday afternoon programme. Originally from Bantry and a graduate of UCC, she said: “It’s really great to be in at the start of something new.”
Forget boy and girl bands, says assistant music director and presenter Matt Dempsey: “That stuff is just for kids. We’ll be playing the best of the top 40 as well as dance, rhythm ‘n blues and rock music.”
An old hand at radio, Matt began his career with the pirate stations in Dublin. He has just left his job at Live 95FM in Limerick where he was programme controller.
He said: “I’m very excited about RedFM. Musically, it will be very different from 96FM. Our oldest songs will go back to 1996 whereas 96FM go back to the ’70s.” “The presentation style will be zappy with presenters standing at the microphone, which will help delivery.”
“The studio basically consists of a mixer and a computer as opposed to the days when CDs were played.”
Nessa Murray, 28, was known to 96FM listeners as one of their outside broadcasters supplying traffic updates.
She has left the station and will be presenting a show called The Red Rooster on Sunday mornings from 6am-10am. A graduate of UCC with a degree in languages, she also works on a freelance basis doing voice-overs and compering entertainment events.
Risteard Keating, 20, cut his broadcasting teeth on UCC campus radio. A second-year marketing and public relations student at the Cork College of Commerce, he will present a Saturday night programme aimed at Cork’s young gay community.
He said: “It will consist of music and phone-ins, mainly for requests. But the remit will be extended in a number of months’ time when we see how it’s going. “It’s the first time in Ireland that there is a radio programme dedicated to the gay community and it’s long overdue.”
RedFM chief executive Henry Condon predicts the station will be listened to by 54% of Cork’s 15 to 34-year-olds by the end of the year. Next week, the younger generation will be all ears to give its verdict.