Cork Stations

UTV takeover approved

Tánaiste Mary Harney has given the go-ahead for the £31m takeover of County Media by UTV under national mergers and takeovers legislation. Last Monday, the Irish Radio and Television Commission blocked the bid because it ran contrary to their policy on local and diverse ownership within the broadcast sector – including the IRTC’s 27% ownership guideline. Both County Media and UTV have issued statements saying they are awaiting clarification of the decision from the IRTC before deciding their next moves. County Media owns three radio stations in Co Cork, 96FM, County Sound North in Mallow and County Sound West in Bandon.

IRTC may face court challenge

County Media and UTV may apply to the High Court for a judicial review of a decision by the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) not to allow the takeover bid by UTV for County Media to go ahead. The companies are likely to seek the judicial review within weeks.
On Monday, the IRTC decided not to allow the 100% purchase by UTV because they favour local ownership plus their guidelines only allow 27% ownership by an existing media company in another licensed station. However, on Thursday, Tánaiste Mary Harney gave her approval to the deal. A letter to County Media from the IRTC on Friday appeared to hold out an olive branch to the company, indicating that “the door remains open” for the UTV deal. The letter reiterated that a full review of IRTC ownership guideline policies will take place in April. “We have indicated a number of positive things to them and we hope that having reflected on that they would be in a position to reactivate a proposal with us,” chief executive of the IRTC, Michael O’Keeffe said. Despite the letter, County Media is understood to believe that a challenge through the courts remains it’s only option.

Newspaper: UTV and CML may sue IRTC

Sunday Business Post
UTV and CML may sue IRTC

Sunday Business Post – February 4th 2001

UTV and CML may sue IRTC

Will Goodbody

UTV and County Media Limited (CML) could sue the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) if the proposed £31.5 million takeover of the Cork-based media group by UTV falls apart, The Sunday Business Post has learnt.

Last week the IRTC said it could not allow the takeover to proceed as it breached the commission’s policy of favouring local ownership. Although UTV and CML are still studying the decision, it is understood that both companies have been advised that if they are forced to call off the deal, they may have grounds to sue the IRTC for damages.

The IRTC suggested that a compromise could be worked out and sent more elaborate details of its decision to CML last Friday. However, an informed source said that if the two companies were not happy with the situation, they would take the matter to the courts in the next few weeks.

“We have indicated a number of quite positive things to them in the letter and we would hope that having reflected on that they would be in a position to reactivate a proposal with us,” said Michael O’Keeffe, chief executive of the IRTC.

Elsewhere, the Storm FM consortium, which lost its Supreme Court appeal against the IRTC decision to award the Dublin city and county youth radio licence to Spin FM, will return to the courts on Thursday to discuss the awarding of costs.

The Supreme Court ruled that IRTC member Dr Colum Kenny had not been biased in his decision regarding the awarding of the youth radio licence to Spin FM.

O’Keeffe said the IRTC would be seeking its costs for both actions which would be about £80,000. If the court finds in favour of the IRTC, the Storm FM consortium, which includes night-club owner John Reynolds, music manager Louis Walsh, designer John Rocha and U2’s The Edge, could face a legal bill in excess of £160,000.

A spokesman for Storm said they were obviously disappointed with the decision but declined to comment further until the consortium had studied the judgement in full.

Fat lady yet to sing in Cork radio decision

Will Goodbody

“Bizarre”, “strange” and “muddled” — just some of the words used by industry watchers to describe last Monday’s decision by the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) not to approve the proposed £31.5 million takeover by UTV of Cork radio group, County Media Ltd (CML).

The decision seemed even more surprising in the context of an approval from the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Harney, for the takeover on Thursday.

But although some in the broadcasting business found the IRTC’s rejection difficult to fathom, it did not come as a complete surprise. IRTC chairman Conor Maguire had previously stated that the sale could breach IRTC guidelines on ownership.

These guidelines say that existing media operators cannot own more than 27 per cent and a single group cannot own more than 46 per cent of any given station. The making of such a statement in public before the commission had formally considered the deal is thought to have aggravated management at UTV, an informed source said.

However, what did come as a surprise to all concerned was the IRTC’s reasoning for rejecting the application. Rather than rejecting it on the basis that UTV, which already broadcasts into Ireland, would contravene IRTC policy by owning 100 per cent of County Media, the 10-member body took another tack.

In a statement, the IRTC said that while it acknowledged the many positive aspects to the proposed involvement of UTV, its policy was “to favour a strong local representation in the ownership structures of local radio services”.

The statement continued: “This local ownership has, in the Commission’s experience, been important to the local character of the service and has been one of the key factors in ensuring the success of local radio.”

Some interpreted the commission’s reliance on this reasoning as an attempt to establish a second argument against the proposed takeover, in the event that the UTV chooses to challenge the decision in the courts. However, in both cases, the IRTC’s argument seems to be weak and, at times, self-contradictory.

To begin with, UTV and CML had argued to the IRTC that sufficient safeguards existed within the contractual arrangements between the radio stations and the IRTC to protect the local ethos of the service.

In addition, The Sunday Business Post has learned that UTV had given an undertaking to the IRTC that there would continue to be considerable local input into the running of the three stations owned by CML through the CML advisory board. UTV recognised that CML was well run and did not wish to meddle with it, an informed source said.

Secondly, while all three of the applicant stations short-listed for the potentially lucrative new radio licence for Cork city and county have some local investors, a closer look at the overall shareholding structure reveals that in each case a large amount of the interest is far from Leeside (see panel).

Under current proposals, a total of 52 per cent of the shares in Magic FM would be held by existing shareholders in Dublin station Lite FM. Forty per cent of the shares in Redhot FM would be controlled by shareholders and senior executives of Dublin’s FM104.

Beat FM, the third applicant, also has a strong Dublin influence in the form of majority shareholder Radio Ireland’s 40.5 per cent holding. Indeed the IRTC’s decision to even short-list the Beat FM application, given that the Radio Ireland stake breaches the ownership guidelines, in itself caused a few eyebrows to be raised.

When questioned by Maguire at the oral presentations of licence applications in Cork last week about why the consortium had made an application which clearly breached the guidelines, Willie O’Reilly of Beat FM replied: “We are asking the IRTC to look at the guidelines because we have always seen them as that, rather than statutory regulations.”

O’Reilly later told The Sunday Business Post: “We feel the guidelines are punitive for our shareholders considering the amount of expertise and the amount of insight and industry knowledge we bring to the grouping. If our proposition is the best proposition for Cork, then we would like to sit down with them and if they want to talk about shareholding, we’ll talk about it.”

However, should the Beat FM application be successful in its current format, the door could be thrown open to a legal challenge from one of the other unsuccessful applicants. A number of the consortia who failed to even get short-listed for oral hearing are believed to be extremely aggrieved that another application which is contrary to IRTC policy made the cut.

Finally, the IRTC’s announcement in December that it had given approval in principle to British television company, Granada Media, taking a 45 per cent share in TV3, casts further shadows on the reasoning behind the UTV decision.

At the time Maguire said Granada had a “wealth of experience and knowledge to bring to the Irish market”. But presumably UTV contends that it could bring similar expertise to the Irish local radio market.

In last week’s statement, the IRTC indicated that it would be reviewing its ownership policy at its next meeting in April. Given that large print-based media organisations, which in some cases are foreign owned, have been allowed buy out Irish local newspapers, and considering the IRTC’s lack of clear policy on the subject of ownership, most industry sources feel a considerable change in policy is long overdue.

Such a change of policy could enable the UTV bid to be reformatted in consultation with the IRTC, retabled and subsequently accepted. It is unclear whether a commitment to change by the IRTC could convince UTV and County Media not to apply for a judicial review and hold out until April. However, one way or the other, industry analysts are agreed that the deal is certainly not yet dead.

The reality is that although local radio reaches a large audience, the industry itself is a small world and for some time the pool of potential experienced and willing investors has been slowly evaporating away, industry sources said.

The time has come, many feel, to allow large players use their money and expertise to develop the local airwaves. Indeed, by including Radio Ireland as a 40.5 per cent shareholder, Beat FM — like Granada and UTV before it — is “putting it up” to the IRTC to let the bigger more experienced players take worthwhile stakes in the market.

It would certainly be ironic if in the same week as the state appointed body won a protracted court challenge to one of its earlier decisions, it had made another decision which led to a similar fate.

On Friday the Supreme Court turned down an appeal by unsuccessful applicant for the local Dublin city and county youth radio licence, Storm FM, against the decision to grant the licence to Spin FM.

But as one industry source said about the UTV debacle last week: “The fat lady hasn’t sung yet.”

The three contenders for the new Cork city and county radio licence are Magic FM, Redhot FM and Beat FM. All three presented their applications to the IRTC and the public in Cork last Monday. A decision is due by the end of February

Magic FM

25-44 age group. Total share capital pledged — £2 million

Fox Radio Limited

27 per cent (£350,000)

A recently-incorporated investment vehicle with the stated intention of acquiring further interests in Irish radio stations. Its directors include Lite FM executives Scott Williams, Howard Block and Martin Block.

Lite FM

10 per cent (£250,000)

Local easy listening station which went on air on May 25 last year.

Registered directors of the holding company, City Broadcasting Limited, are Scott Williams, Martin Block, Howard Block, Travis Baxter and Deirdre Kelly.

Gerry Murphy — 15 per cent (£297,500) — Entrepreneur, deputy-chairman of Sherry Fitzgerald Group, founder of private venture capital company Strategic Equity Partners, Lite FM shareholder and former director of First Active Building Society.

Radio Kerry

15 per cent (£277,500)

Eleven year old local radio station. The company’s shareholding is made up of a broad coalition of commercial and community interests within the county.

David Hammond — 10 per cent (£225,000) — Freelance consultant and former general manager of Today FM.

Dennis Kelleher — 10 per cent (£250,000) — Cork-born director of the Irish Investment Fund and ceo of New York based brokers Wall Street Access.

Staff Share Scheme — 5 per cent (£125,000)

Others — 8 per cent (£225,000)

RedHot FM

Youth station. Total share capital pledged — £650,000

Thomas Crosbie Holdings — 20 per cent (£130,000) — Operators of The Cork Examiner Group, Thomas Crosbie has an annual turnover of £42 million. It also has interests in County Mayo Radio and North-West Radio. Nominated directors are Alan Crosbie and Anthony Dinan.

Vivian Nathan — 20 per cent (£130,000) — Director of HLB Nathans, one of the top 20 accountancy firms in Ireland.

Henry Condon (aka Henry Owens) — 10 per cent (£65,000). Henry Owens is programme director of British radio station Virgin Radio and was a founder of Atlantic 252.

Jim Aiken — 5 per cent (£32,500) — Well known promoter, having worked with acts such as The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen. Was actively involved in the turnaround of FM 104.

Maurice Cassidy — 5 per cent (£32,500) — Operates 57th Street entertainer/artiste agency and FM 104 shareholder. Also promoted Riverdance.

Pearse Farrell — 5 per cent (£32,500) — Founder of chartered accountants, Farrell, Grant Sparks and director of FM 104.

Dermot Hanrahan — 7 per cent (£45,500) — Dermot Hanrahan is chief executive of FM 104 and a director of Larger Than Life, Independent Broadcasters of Ireland, Fusio Limited and Flycatcher Ltd.

Ulick McEvaddy — 5 per cent (£32,500) — Responsible for the biggest private investment in the Horan International Airport in Knock, Co Mayo. Founder director of aircraft leasing company Omega and director of FM 104.

Deanna Hallett — 3 per cent (£19,500) — Chairman of Hallett Arendt, a British based radio research and marketing specialist company.

Others — 2 per cent each (£13,000) — Tim Fenn, financial director of FM 104; Colm Hayes, programme director of FM 104; Margaret Nelson, sales director of FM 104; Dave Kelly, music director and deputy programme controller of FM 104; Helena Kelly, marketing manager of FM 104.

— Management shares — 10 per cent.

Beat FM

15-34 year olds. Total share capital pledged — £1.5 million

Radio Ireland

(Today FM) — 40.5 per cent (£636,500)

The national commercial radio licence holder, Radio Ireland’s main shareholders are Broadcast Holdings, Scottish Radio Holdings, Dermot Desmond’s IIU, ICC Venture Capital and ICC Bank.

Frank Boland — 20 per cent (£314,000) — Former chairman of Aer Rianta, Boland has served on the board of many companies including Beamish and Crawford and Cork Communications. Currently he is a Commissioner of Irish Lights and honorary chairman of Cork Business News. He is also chairman and managing director of all companies within the Boland Group.

Joe O’Herlihy — 10 per cent (£157,000) — Cork-born sound engineer who has worked with well-known names such as Rory Gallagher, U2 and REM. Also a board member of the City Arts Centre.

Roy Keane — 4 per cent (£62,800) — Cork-born Manchester Utd and Irish international football team captain.

Denis Irwin — 4 per cent (£62,800) — Cork-born Manchester Utd and retired Irish international footballer.

Liberty Asset Management — 10per cent (£157,000) — Irish financial services company whose directors include founder Ian Lawrie, Marie Ainsworth, Kevin O’Shaughnessy and Brian Tyrrell.

Squareball Ltd. — 7 per cent (£109,900) — Irish multimedia company which will operate the Irish franchise for Sports.com, the internet sports site. Directors and shareholders include sports journalist Cathal Dervan, Domhnail Dervan and Fintan McMahon.

Management shares — (4.5 per cent)

Power restored in Cork

Power FM in Cork are back on air with test transmissions on 106.4MHz. Live programming is planned soon. Reception reports are requested at powerfmcork@hotmail.com.

Freakish return

Mallow’s alternative radio station, Freak FM, are back on air following a period of inactivity. Studio problems had forced the Cork station to stop broadcasting but they can now be heard again on their 105.2MHz frequency.

UTV deal gets IRTC approval

The Independent Radio and Television Commission have given their approval – in principle at least – to a 60% UTV purchase of Cork’s County Media which includes three local radio stations. Last month, the Commission blocked a 100% takeover by UTV because it contravened their guidelines on local ownership but, according to IRTC chairman Mr Conor J. Maguire SC, the new bid satisfies the majority of the Commission’s board that there will be a majority of local people on County Media’s board following the takeover. Sitting on the new board would be two people from County Media, two from UTV and an independent local chairperson. Existing staff will stay in place. Although the current bid was still what Mr Maguire called an ‘exception’ to IRTC guidelines which prevent more than a 27% controlling interest by an existing media group in any other, he states that the rules have not been changed by default. The guidelines are due to be discussed in April.

Cool for Cork

A new station is on air on 105.5MHz in Cork with an RDS reading of ‘COOL FM’. This frequency was recently vacated by Luv FM who plan to relaunch on another frequency soon.

Newspaper: D-Day on the Way for Red FM DJs

Irish Examiner
D-Day on the Way for Red FM DJs

Irish Examiner – January 10th 2002

Next Wednesday is D-day for a string of DJs when new Cork radio station RedFM takes to the airwaves.

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.

© The Irish Examiner

96 transmitter back on

Cork 96FM resumed transmission from its West Cork transmitter – Nowen Hill 95.8MHz – this morning. This transmitter had been off-air since early yesterday morning.

Survive It to Drive It Update from Cork

THOUSANDS OF VOTES IN SURVIVE IT TO DRIVE IT ON CORK’S 96& 103FM IN ASSOCIATION WITH AER RIANTA TRAVEL VALUE AND RIGHT PRICE TILES

Votes for the Survive It to Drive It Contestants have been flooding in since the four contestants entered the Volkswagon Beetle at 8am yesterday morning.

At the time of writing 23,000 votes have been cast and 7,000 of those were cast in the early hours of the morning as late night listeners to Cork’s 96&103FM decided to get involved.

So far, the contestants have remained friendly and civil although there have been some lulls in conversation! Stewart Dollery has admitted that the most difficult aspect of life in the Beetle for him is being nice to everyone!

According to 96 & 103FM staff who are by the car 24 hours a day, the contestants had a fitful night’s sleep. They all had a consistent two hours sleep from 6am to 8am with the exception of Peadar Noonan. Even though a break period came up in this time, Peadar kindly sacrificed the opportunity for a much-needed cigarette because it would have meant waking the others in order for him to get out of the car.

Their Tuesday task was set on air for them on the Neil Prendeville show shortly after 11am. The main task that the carmates have to complete is to write and perform a 500-word Mills and Boon-style story complete with sound effects, which they will generate from the car and themselves.

They were urged by Neil to make the story “as X-rated as you wish!”. The task must be completed by 6pm this evening and will be broadcast on Evening Drivetime.

In the meantime, however, they have two mini tasks to complete ­ the first being to eat as many kernels of sweetcorn with a toothpick as they possibly can ­ the winner of this task will receive a much needed 20 minute massage this afternoon.

The four carmates passed Monday’s task when they performed their own Survive It To Drive It version of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ on toy instruments. Although not the most tuneful of efforts the carmates won themselves champagne courtesy of Rocomore Chocolates, The Savoy Centre, Cork. The three drinkers in the car (Peadar is a teetotaller) decided against indulging in a tipple yesterday evening, however, citing the fact that they only had two hourly toilet breaks as the reason!

Riona also completed a second task and won herself ten minutes extra time on one of her breaks when she successfully won yesterday’s face painting and balloon shape making mini task.

The first eviction is due to take place tomorrow morning at 11am in Blackpool shopping centre on The Neil Prendeville show so listeners are urged to cast their votes.

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

The fate of the carmates is in your hands ­ to vote for the contestant youwant to see win the car be sure to dial 1550 717 707. Or similarly text yourvote to 53305 choosing R for Riona, P for Peadar, G for Geoff and S forStewart to keep them in the car.

For further details and for round the clock live coverage of Survive It To Drive It please contact Nicole Walsh at 021 455 15 96 and log on to 96fm.ie/103fm.ie

Red FM show increase in figures

Cork’s newest station Red FM say that thay have again shown very strong listenership increases. The claim is based on its first full year of audience figures as compiled by MRBI in the latest JNLR figures, released yesterday.
According to the figures, Red FM was listened to yesterday by 42% of its target 15-34 year-old market in the second six months of last year. This shows an increase of 20% against the first six months of 2002. The figures also reveal that Red FM is listened to by 21% of all adults in the franchise area. This indicates a 31% increase, against figures for January to June of last year for the station.
Red FM launched in January of last year and its first year has also seen the youth music station scoop three PPI National Radio Awards for Best Music Programme, Best News Broadcaster and Best Sports Programme.
Commenting on Red FM’s success in its first year JNLR results, the station’s Chief Executive Henry Condon said: “We’ve achieved some important goals in the last year that a few people might have doubted and these results clearly indicate the rise and rise of the station. Red FM is already an award-winning market leader with the indicators clearly on for further audience and revenue growth. We will continue to focus on delivering a distinct youth radio product.”

Cork is losing NRG

Dance music station NRG 106.5FM have announced that they will close at 9pm tonight. Broadcasting to Cork city and surrounding areas, NRG had proved very popular – especially with teenagers – in the few months it was on air. However the station claim that their popularity has led to pressure from ComReg for the station to be shut down. This has led to the closure announcement.
NRG 106.5FM’s presenters will be saying their final words from 6pm onwards this evening.

Report: 021

Radio life’s a bitch, and then you get told off!

Red FM have had their knuckles rapped twice: first after their talk-show presenter Vic Barry called the girlfriend of a listener a ‘bitch’ because she didn’t change her underwear. The show was broadcast last July, and led one listener to make a complaint to the BCC, who ruled that the item was ‘in bad taste’ and ‘offensive’. A similar ruling was concluded about another item on the station’s Red Rooster Breakfast Show in which three presenters discussed penis lengths at…err…length.
Another complaint which was upheld concerned a misleading motor insurance ad on RTÉ Radio 1.
A ruling is due to be made next month concerning Spin 1038’s use of the term ‘Stab City’ to describe Limerick in one of its news bulletins. The description of Limerick has been condemned by the city’s mayor who called the item ‘outrageous and totally unacceptable…deeply offensive’.

The Freaks have Departed the Airwaves

Freak FM has closed down. Cork’s long-running alternative rock music station, which broadcast on 105.2MHz FM, went off air in the early hours of this morning following a recent raid by ComReg. A series of foul-mouthed tirades against the authorities marked Freak FM’s final countdown during which station personnel broadcast a defiant message telling ComReg (at the end of a Rage Against the Machine track with a similar line): “F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me”. This was just minutes before they closed – just as they were told to.

The Freaks have Departed the airwaves

The station feel aggrieved that a licence to broadcast to Cork has been awarded by the BCI to Life FM, a station broadcasting religious programming, yet their audience remains disenfranchised by the present licensing set-up. According to a station presenter, the BCI do not believe that there is a need for a station like Freak FM in Cork and he is calling on their listeners to “annoy them” until they get the message.

Anomaly in Cork JNLRs to be fixed

Two of Cork’s radio stations, 96FM and 103FM, are to have their JNLR figures audited separately in future after local rival Red FM alerted advertising agancies to the fact that the stations cover the same catchment area. 96FM and 103FM, both owned by UTV, have had their listenership figures presented as if they were a single entity due to the fact that originally they actually broadcast to separate areas – 96FM to Cork city and 103FM to Cork county. However that situation changed in the mid-’90s and both stations are now available over the whole of Cork. Advertising agencies are angry that they bought advertising time on both stations, believing them to cover two different areas. The new arrangement takes effect from April.

Sunday Tribune – February 5th 2006

Two of Cork's radio stations, 96FM and 103FM, are to have their JNLR figures audited separately in future after local rival Red FM alerted advertising agancies to the fact that the stations cover the same catchment area. 96FM and 103FM, both owned by UTV, have had their listenership figures presented as if they were a single entity due to the fact that originally they actually broadcast to separate areas - 96FM to Cork city and 103FM to Cork county. However that situation changed in the mid-'90s and both stations are now available over the whole of Cork. Advertising agencies are angry that they bought advertising time on both stations, believing them to cover two different areas. The new arrangement takes effect from April.

Sunday Business Post – February 5th 2006

Two of Cork's radio stations, 96FM and 103FM, are to have their JNLR figures audited separately in future after local rival Red FM alerted advertising agancies to the fact that the stations cover the same catchment area. 96FM and 103FM, both owned by UTV, have had their listenership figures presented as if they were a single entity due to the fact that originally they actually broadcast to separate areas - 96FM to Cork city and 103FM to Cork county. However that situation changed in the mid-'90s and both stations are now available over the whole of Cork. Advertising agencies are angry that they bought advertising time on both stations, believing them to cover two different areas. The new arrangement takes effect from April.

Cork’s 103FM to change name to C103

Cork’s 103FM is changing name. From Wednesday February 6th the station will be known as C103. The new C103 will be available on the same frequencies as Cork’s 103FM and has been designed to offer an entertaining and informative local radio service that is different to anything currently available in the Cork marketplace. In addition, a new programming schedule will be implemented.

The C103 schedule will include a new countywide afternoon show presented by Eric Griffin and a new countywide evening drivetime show fronted by former television presenter Martina O Donoghue.

Cork's 103FM is changing name. From Wednesday February 6th the station will be known as C103. The new C103 will be available on the same frequencies as Cork's 103FM and has been designed to offer an entertaining and informative local radio service that is different to anything currently available in the Cork marketplace. In addition, a new programming schedule will be implemented.

Kieran McGeary, CEO of Cork’s 96FM and C103, is looking forward to February 6th: “Re-branding Cork’s 103FM to C103 is a very exciting time as it offers us an opportunity to make some subtle changes to the service which will ensure that listeners will love the station even more. We have already developed a very strong and loyal audience over the years and we will continue to satisfy these listeners with our distinctively local talk shows for the north and west Cork regions, our unrivalled GAA coverage and our commitment to country and Irish music. We also believe, however, that the all new C103 will appeal to people not already listening to the station. We are confident that they will love our great mix of music, chat and regular local news updates as well as information on what is happening right across the county. We look forward to developing C103 into a complimentary service for its sister station, Cork’s 96FM, and growing the already hugely impressive audience figures for the combined stations.”