Xtreme ceased

Xtreme FM have had to cease transmissions on 101.8MHz in Dublin because of interference to NEAR FM on 101.6.

Pulse Abandon Case

Pulse FM have reluctantly abandoned its case seeking a judicial review into the awarding of the youth licence for Dublin. Pulse FM, who lost out to Spin FM, would have been required to lodge £100,000 as security for costs, which Pulse claimed in a statement is “nothing short of a gagging order”.

“It should be a matter of public concern, in particular in the current climate, that a body, all of whose members are appointed by the politicians of the day, can decide who has a right to broadcast in this country without any obligations to state reasons for its decision,” Pulse FM said.

DLCCR testing

DLCCR (Dún Laoghaire Campus Community Radio) are currently testing on 106.8MHz. They are due to start a temporarily-licensed broadcast on Monday.

Lite for Life

Raidió na Life’s looped announcement regarding their permanent move to 106.4MHz has now vacated 102.2MHz where there is presently a test-tone from Lite FM, Dublin’s newly licensed station for the over 35 age group which is due to launch on May 25th at 1.02pm.

Turn on the Lite

Lite FM is on air from 1.02pm tomorrow. “Turn on the Lite” is the ‘clever’ advertising campaign bombarding Dubliners from buses, bus stops and poster hoardings. If there is a live stream it should be accessible from their website.

The Lite has Been Switched On

The radio gods said “Let there be Lite” and at 1.02pm today Lite FM – Dublin’s newest licensed station – took to the airwaves on 102.2MHz. First voice heard was Scott Williams, who interviewed Tánaiste Mary Harney on dreadful sounding mics. The first song played was John Lennon’s “Imagine” and the first programme on the station promising “all-time favourites” was presented by Liam Quigley.

Okay to Spin

Storm FM’s challenge against the IRTC’s award of the youth licence for Dublin to Spin FM has failed. The court has upheld the decision to award to Spin FM and not accepted the claim that there was bias from the IRTC against Storm FM’s John Reynolds due to allegations that his night club “The Pod” was involved in drug dealing.

There has, as of yet, been no frequency allocated to Spin FM according to a spokesperson for the IRTC.

FM104 KOd

Dublin’s FM104 were off air last night for a period following a break-in at their transmitter site which necessitated broadcasting from a standby transmitter in Hume House for a period. They are now back on from 3 Rock following a temporary repair job, although there was thousands of pounds worth of equipment ruined.

NEAR Site Vandalised

The transmission site of Dublin community station NEAR FM was vandalised today at approx 4pm and equipment was stolen – namely their transmitter and their RDS encoder.

About an hour later broadcasts returned to 101.6MHz but this time bearing the RDS COOL–FM.

The individual conned his way onto site using the name of NEAR FM’s engineer.

‘Cool FM’ is still on air late tonight.

It will take some time before NEAR FM return to air as their mast was also destroyed in the attack.

Stolen Equipment Returned

NEAR FM and FM104 have had their stolen equipment recovered by police after official pirate radio detection experts managed to locate station broadcasts in Rathfarnham, Dublin.
Other equipment relating to recent thefts at East Coast Radio and CKR FM was also discovered.


NEAR FM are back on air on 101.6MHz on Dublin’s northside with a new tower and RDS restored to ‘NEAR–FM‘.

98 Weblift

Dublin’s 98FM have given their website a facelift. The new-look version is available at the same address:

Dixon Attacked

FM104’s R&B specialist Tony Dixon was attacked at the weekend in a pub in Castleknock. He was 15 minutes into his set when he was struck over the head with a bottle by a man who had repeatedly requested songs which the he refused to play. The attack has left the dj badly scarred.

Everyone’s doing great!

RTÉ Radio, Today FM and just about every other station in the country are claiming that more and more people are tuning their way. It can only mean today’s release of the JNLR figures covering the period July 99 – June 2000. Countrywide, yesterday RTÉ Radio 1 are getting 30%, 2FM 28% and Today FM 14%. In Dublin RTÉ Radio 1 are pulling in 40% of listeners with 16% each for 2FM, FM104 and 98FM. Overall the RTÉ stations are getting a 49% share and the independents 51%.

Comment: Such a shame that the pirates aren’t included. It would be nice to have a true reflection of who’s listening to what and it might also put an end to the whole ESG v Hot debate currently boring everyone to tears on bulletin boards.


G.A.A. FM broadcast their inaugural transmission on 106.8MHz in Dublin today from 12 noon.

Operating under a temporary licence, programming lasted for five and a half hours and included RTÉ’s commentary on The All-Ireland Hurling Final and other post-match programming.

The station was also available worldwide from both Setanta’s and the G.A.A.’s websites.

FM104’s Big Brother

Dublin’s FM104 are shortly to introduce their own version of the hit UK television show ‘Big Brother’. Details to be released soon. FM104 are tunable at 104.4MHz in Dublin city and county.

No Show for GAA FM

GAA FM failed to appear in Dublin during today’s All Ireland Final despite the presence of it’s blank carrier on 106.8MHz. There was also no sign of GAA FM’s webstream.

Comment: Maybe it was mistaken for olympics coverage?

Rolling News for Dublin

A rolling 24-hour Dublin news radio station will start broadcasting on the internet from the beginning of October at The service will be provided by who are a sister-company of FM104 and those behind the dance internet station Staff will consist of the existing FM104 news team plus some new recruits.

Source: Brian Greene

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, the internet sports site. Directors and shareholders include sports journalist Cathal Dervan, Domhnail Dervan and Fintan McMahon.

Management shares — (4.5 per cent)

Star Signs

Formerly known as the IRTC, The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) today signed a broadcasting contract with Star Broadcasting Limited, who will operate the new special interest music station for Dublin City.
Star Broadcasting Limited were one of the recent successful applicants for two new special interest radio licences for the Dublin area and they were represented at the signing by Chairman David Harvey and Director Paul Coulson.
The station will be known as Dublin’s Country 106.8FM and will provide a special interest music service specialising in Country and Irish Music genres. Music will represent 70% of total output over the broadcast day. In addition to the overall music mix special music features will be broadcast in the evenings. Other important elements of the station’s programming will be news & current affairs and information, which will include regular local news bulletins, community notice board updates and frequent Dublin country gig guides.
Speaking at the signing, BCI chairman Conor J. Maguire said, “We are delighted to see Dublin’s Country 106.8FM join the independent radio sector. This contract signing marks the continued implementation of the Commission’s licensing policy developed in 1999, in which increasing the number of stations on-air and ensuring diversity of types are integral to the development of our policy”, Conor J. Maguire concluded.
Test broadcasts on 106.8 FM in Dublin City are planned for the near future and live broadcasting is scheduled to commence in October.

Xmas Spin

Spin FM are now indicating that they will be on air by Christmas, despite an announcement earlier in the year that it would be October. This emerged at a meeting with the BCI earlier this week. The exact launch date will be agreed later this month.
It was also revealed that Cork’s new station Red FM should be on air by November.

Sun Gone Down

Sun FM, the non-stop 80’s Dublin station, is off air today because of technical problems. Station source 80s Bloke told Radiowaves News this afternoon that it may take a few days before the station returns. “It’s a pity the technical problems didn’t happen in the last 2 weeks while we were off air – that’s Murphy’s Law!!” he concluded. Sun FM usually broadcast on 101.3MHz.

Lite Bids

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

Scotland’s Country

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

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

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

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

Go (Mid)West

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

Unbelievably HIT Idea

A controversial billboard ad campaign run by FM104 has been pulled following complaints. The ads, which also appeared in bus and rail stations, made clever use of what appeared to be advertising space which was too small for the full-sized poster. This resulted in the slogan “HIT HOT MUSIC” appearing with part of an assumed letter ‘S’ before it. Another ad ran with what appeared to be part of the letter ‘C’ before the slogan “KING BRILLIANT MUSIC”, leaving no doubt to the intent.
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld the complaints and ordered the Dublin station to take down the offensive posters.

Lite for Sale

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

Chaos Looming Again on 105.7FM?

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

Dunphy to Have His Last Word

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

Eamon Dunphy has announced that he is to quit his Today FM show 'The Last Word'. It is believed that Dunphy will continue to present the show until the end of November. Although he has stated that he will be leaving Today FM on good terms, insiders suggest that Dunphy was not happy that approaches were made to Charlie Bird of RTÉ to front the show before the station agreed to a new €400,000 per year contract in the summer. It is most likely, however, that his punishing work schedule contributed to the decision. Dunphy is said to be in talks with TV Three about presenting a new Friday night chat show.
Courtesy Times Newspapers

It is believed that Dunphy will continue to present the show until the end of November. Although he has stated that he will be leaving Today FM on good terms, insiders suggest that Dunphy was not happy that approaches were made to Charlie Bird of RTÉ to front the show before the station agreed to a new €400,000 per year contract in the summer. It is most likely, however, that his punishing work schedule contributed to the decision. Dunphy is said to be in talks with TV Three about presenting a new Friday night chat show.

Dublin’s Country Still For Sale

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

Anna Livia Hope For Speedy Return

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

EMI/Virgin Attacked for Association with Phantom

The chief executives of two of the country’s top radio stations have spoken out against EMI/Virgin Records for their part in releasing an album in association with Dublin pirate station Phantom FM.

The chief executives of two of the country's top radio stations have spoken out against EMI/Virgin Records for their part in releasing an album in association with Dublin pirate station Phantom FM.

The Dublin rock station recently released ‘Phantom Vol 1’ but in the current issue of Hot Press, Willie O’Reilly of Today FM expresses his disappointment that the record company would become associated with an illegal broadcaster.
He says: “I wonder how the artists feel about copyright infringement. We pay about 15% of our gross income to record companies for the use of their stuff. Phantom pay nothing.”
Although O’Reilly admits that [Phantom] should be licensed, he states that that isn’t the issue here. “The issue is that they aren’t licensed. They have pretty dirty hands because they came off the air to apply for a licence and when they didn’t get it, they went back on.”

FM104’s Dermot Hanrahan is even more scathing in his criticism. Directly addressing the record company, he says: “You’ve no moral authority to be dealing with piracy of music if you support criminal broadcasters.”
He suggests that artists involved with the album would not receive future airplay on FM104. “I don’t see that bands can still expect me to play their music if they associate themselves with criminal broadcasters.”

There are suggestions that the ODTR could come down heavy on EMI for their involvement, but in their defence, a spokesperson for the record company says that Phantom FM is not mentioned anywhere on the sleeve. Although the sleeve does refer to the station’s website, “that is an internet station which is not illegal”, the spokesperson says.

X-Gate at UCD

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

Dublin’s Country On The Move

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

Ice, Ice, Testing

Ice FM plan to be back on air on 90.4MHz this weekend. The station, which appeared on test in Dublin two weekends ago only to disappear just as suddenly, will be testing tomorrow before commencing live broadcasts on Sunday morning. The name Ice FM was chosen due to the station’s policy of Irish, Country and Easy listening music.

Radiowaves News has learned that the station is run by The Two Tonys, once of Radio Dublin, who left to work for St Ita’s Hospital Radio but found that they could not broadcast live at night-time there. They have secured temporary premises while they look for something better. Most of the staff are ex-Radio Dublin.

Dustin Spreads His Wings

Dustin, Ireland’s most famous turkey, has proved immensely popular with listeners to Sara Cox’s BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show. The part-time politician, builder, movie-star and entertainer this week presented a series of short pieces entitled “A Turkey’s Guide to Surviving Christmas”.

Dustin, Ireland's most famous turkey, has proved immensely popular with listeners to Sara Cox's BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show. The part-time politician, builder, movie-star and entertainer this week presented a series of short pieces entitled "A Turkey's Guide to Surviving Christmas".

It all came about as a result of an email just three weeks ago from an ex-pat Irish listener who said the thing he missed most about Ireland was Dustin the Turkey. After reading out the email, Sara’s team were flooded by texts and emails from Irish listeners who left the show’s research team in no doubt about Dustin’s popularity.
A spokesman for the Breakfast Show told the Evening Herald this week that they’d never seen anything like it!

Anna Livia Get Jazzed Up

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

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

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

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

British Invasion Set to Continue

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

Extensions Given

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

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

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

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

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

Out of The Zone

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

Adrian Kennedy Threatened with Death

Dublin’s FM104 Phoneshow host Adrian Kennedy has been issued with death threats following an interview with a well-known American racist during the week, according to today’s Sunday World. Kennedy told the white supremacist exactly what he thought of him at the end of a lively debate. The show was bombarded with threatening phone calls and emails by neo-nazis in the immediate aftermath, and these have been reported to Gardaí.

Phantom FM Get a Licence

Dublin indie rock station Phantom FM have been granted a 30 day temporary licence to broadcast on the FM band by the BCI. The station, who have in the past applied twice for a permanent licence but been turned down, plan to spread the 30 days over 14 weekends running from 18th October until early next year – and will also include broadcasts on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day. They will continue to use the name Phantom FM.

The return of the influential station will be welcomed by thousands of musically disenfranchised young Dubliners in a city where a licensed specialist modern rock service has so far been lacking.
Phantom FM will continue to offer a “modern rock” programme schedule consisting of Irish and international indie/alternative rock artists with a heavy emphasis on emerging talent from the Dublin scene that are under represented on the playlists of existing commercial stations. Live interviews and in studio sessions will be a regular feature of programming that will be presented by enthusiastic and informed presenters. A measure of the calibre of the new broadcasting talent nurtured by Phantom FM is the fact that key music programmes on Today FM, 2FM and FM104 are all presented by ex-Phantom DJs. The station also plans to host number of live concerts in Dublin venues that will be broadcast live along with a series of music workshops for new bands and artists.

“We will be championing the local music scene and are proud to do so,” says Simon Maher, Phantom’s station manager. “There is a wealth of local bands and artists who are recording music, filling venues and have healthy CD sales yet are rarely heard on local or national radio. Radio airplay is crucial to nurturing this talent who are a valuable micro-economy in themselves. We’re grateful to the BCI for giving us this opportunity.”
Maher cites the thousands of survey forms received from online listeners who want to hear new Irish music on the air and broad support from the music industry.

Phantom FM will broadcast on 97.3 MHz FM across Dublin city every weekend commencing on October 18th right through until the final broadcast in the series on January 18th, 2004. Programming will run each weekend from midnight Friday until midnight Sunday. Outside of these hours the station will continue to transmit via the web at The station will be funded by revenues generated by programme sponsorship.

Wireless Media Ltd., the promoters of Phantom FM have recently made a submission of interest to the BCI to operate a similar radio service on a permanent basis in Dublin. The station twice applied in the past for a Special Interest Radio licence, narrowly losing out to Country 106.8FM in 2001. In its current submission to the BCI, Phantom FM has emphasised the need for a medium sized station that would provide a specialist modern rock music with a low cost base and that would be independently owned. The promoters are undeterred by the many larger radio interests who have become suddenly interested in operating a Phantom FM style service.

FM104 Sale Approved

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

The BCI has, 'in principal', approved the sale of local Dublin station FM104 to Today FM owners Scottish Radio Holdings for close to €30m. This is despite a BCI-imposed moratorium on the sale of a newly-licensed station for two years. FM104's licence was renewed recently, however the Commission took into account that there were no challengers for the licence, as well as an undertaking by Scottish Radio Holdings that they would adhere to the conditions of the licence.

This is despite a BCI-imposed moratorium on the sale of a newly-licensed station for two years. FM104’s licence was renewed recently, however the Commission took into account that there were no challengers for the licence, as well as an undertaking by Scottish Radio Holdings that they would adhere to the conditions of the licence.

Cary Expresses Interest in Dublin Licence

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

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

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

Former Nova Jock Quits The Country

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greg Heads to the Country

Presenter Greg Gaughran has joined 106.8FM Dublin’s Country. Starting today, Greg will present ‘Lazy Afternoon’ and represents the Bray-based station’s biggest indication yet that they are moving in the right direction.
Speaking to Radiowaves News this afternoon, Robert Walshe, Programme Director at the station, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome a presenter of the calibre and ability of Greg onto our team here at 106.8FM Dublin’s Country. In my opinion, he brings a certain maturity of presentation style and, with his knowledge of music and his undoubted talent, he will bring a freshness to our schedules which proves that we are now establishing ourselves in the Dublin radio market. With Greg added to the likes of Dave Harvey and Bob Gallico on our schedules, we now have some very established radio stars on board.”
Dublin’s Country has struggled to establish itself since its launch in October 2001, and has also faced some criticism that they were neglecting the specialist audience that they were set up to serve. However, the recent JNLR listenership survey results gave Dublin’s Country double their previous audience, and according to Robert, listener feedback has been tremendous in recent months.
“That listener feedback has been very important to us,” he says. “It shows that we are moving in a very positive direction. We don’t want to be a huge station. Our remit is not to compete with the likes of FM104, 98FM & Lite FM. We just want to serve our niche audience, and serve them well. We are very committed to our Country & Irish remit and we continue to work very closely with the BCI.”
Other new recruits for Dublin’s Country include Alan Curry, a nighttime presenter who has already worked in Community Radio in Dublin, along with Trevor Keegan (ex-AA Roadwatch) & Ian McKeever (ex-Today FM) who will appear at weekends.

Beaumont Move Delayed

Beaumont Radio’s proposed move to share the 89.5MHz frequency with Mater Radio is being hindered by technical details. The north Dublin-based hospital station had hoped to simulcast on both the new frequency and their present frequency between October 1st and December 1st, when they planned to switch off the 107.6FM altogether. However, the technical specifications of the new broadcasts have still to be met, and with Mater Radio having already made the switch from their previous frequency of 107.4MHz they can presently be heard over much of the city on 89.5MHz. For the frequency-sharing to work, both stations will need to reduce their present power dramatically, and talks are in progress to this end.

A new radio competition: Spot the Difference

Radio listeners in Dublin, already bombarded with competitions on their commercial stations, have a new game they can play: Spot the Difference. The only problem is there is no cash incentive, but it could be fun.

According to today’s Sunday Times FM104, one of the capital’s top stations, have accused Spin 1038, one of the capital’s youngest stations, of ripping off their playlist to the tune of up to an overlap of 48% on some days. It is a strange complaint from a station which sounds almost identical to just about every other contemporary station in every major city across the world, and it is a complaint which Spin actually find complimentary! In a statement to the BCI, Spin chief Liam Thompson reckoned that the similar playlists show that his station has a ‘good understanding’ of their relative position in the marketplace considering that both stations are licensed to serve the 15-34 market.

The complaint, which was made last year, was dismissed by the BCI after an analysis of the output from both stations. The BCI did, however, admit that Spin 1038 were not playing enough dance music.

FM104 claim that the similarity in playlists is ‘doing considerable damage’ to their business and also found the BCI’s response ‘insulting and dismissive’.

Although content on the two stations is bound to be similar, Spin’s approach and deliverance is radically different. In that respect they are, indeed, offering an alternative to Dublin listeners, who had little choice when FM104 & 98FM were the only stations serving the capital on a commercial basis. It could be argued that the introduction of Spin, along with other commercial stations, has shaken the top two from their relative positions of comfort.

Three Complaints Against Radio Stations Upheld

The Board of the BCC considered and/or adjudicated upon 37 complaints at a recent meeting. Three of these complaints were found to be frivolous and vexatious under Section 24(14) of the Broadcasting Act, 2001 and were therefore closed without further investigation. Six complaints were deferred to the next meeting of the Board for further consideration. Of the remaining 28, four were upheld – three of these were concerned with radio programmes and included complaints against FM104’s late-night ‘Adrian Kennedy Phone Show’ on the grounds of taste & decency; Cork 96FM & 103FM’s ‘Opinion Line’ on the grounds of privacy; and Spin 1038’s afternoon show ‘Spin Talk’ on the grounds of taste & decency.

The complaint against Adrian Kennedy’s Phone Show relates to a sexually explicit discussion and the complainant found the programme extremely offensive, calling the broadcast ‘way out of line’ and unsuitable for her two teenage daughters and her concern is on behalf of all teenagers being influenced by what they hear.
In response to the complaint FM104 say that the Adrian Kennedy Phone Show features a sex and relationship presenter, Sophie Hegarty.
“This part of the phone show is called ‘sex talk’ and it has been part of the show for some eight months now,” the station says. “Each night one topic relating to relationships or sex is dealt with. It should be noted that every Adrian Kennedy Phone Show is preceded with a warning that the show may contain some strong language and that the material is of an adult nature.”
The station goes on to say that the topics discussed are usually relationship-type topics. “However from time to time the topics discussed can be of a more sexual nature,” they continue. “Listeners who are offended by such content do have a choice in the matter and can elect to listen to another station. This is why the station gives a warning at the beginning of and at intervals throughout the show.”
This is the only complaint ever made in relation to this particular broadcast.
Despite the station’s claims the complaint was upheld by the BCC. The Commission was of the view that FM104 infringed Section 24(2)(b)(taste & decency). The manner in which the sexual content of the programme was presented and dealt with was considered by the BCC to be offensive. The Commission noted that the station did broadcast warnings that the content of the programme was of an adult nature and in their summary also noted that they are aware that addressing sexual issues is important and is appropriate content for a programme broadcast late in the evening. “However, the tone and manner in which this programme dealt with sexual issues was considered to be flippant and gratuitous,” the summary continues. “Airing warnings does not circumvent the broadcaster’s editorial responsibility. The programme was sensationalist in style and offensive.”

The complaint against Cork stations 96/103FM was made by Mr Richard McCarthy under Section 24(2)(c) (privacy of an individual) of the Broadcasting Act 2001 and refers to ‘The Opinion Line’ – a show presented by Neil Prenderville. The complaint concerns the presenter’s decision to put McCarthy on-air without his permission. The item being discussed on the show was in connection with long delays for motorists trying to leave the multi-storey car park where McCarthy works. He states that he received a ‘phone call from a man who claimed he was a motorist who had been delayed for a long period of time when leaving the car park on 1st July’. Road works and a broken barrier caused delays to traffic leaving the car park on that day. After some time, a colleague working in the car park informed McCarthy that he was live on-air. This was the first McCarthy knew of the broadcast and he ended the call immediately. McCarthy states that the caller did not identify himself nor did he inform him the call was going out live on-air. He was never asked if he was prepared to have his response broadcast live. McCarthy believes this was a serious breach of his rights and a serious invasion of privacy. He says he felt humiliated, embarrassed and upset at the way he was treated. Many of the people he comes into contact with on a daily basis heard the broadcast and mentioned this to him. He found this highly embarrassing. McCarthy complains that Cork’s 96/103FM acted in an unethical and underhand manner. He also states that he received a call earlier that morning from an employee of Cork’s 96/103FM regarding this topic. He pointed out to her that employees of Cork City Council were not permitted to discuss work/policy matters with the press. He informed her she would have to contact City Hall. Despite being aware of this, the call was still made. McCarthy believes the broadcast breached the Broadcasting Act, 2001 under privacy of the individual.
In response the station states that the lead up to this phone call was as a result of calls received at the station regarding long delays by motorists exiting the car park at Paul Street on Thursday 1st July. In following up on this story, researchers at the station tried to obtain a response from Cork City Council, the operator of the car park. However, it was the following Monday before they received a response. Cork City Council’s response was that the delays were not caused by the car park itself but were due to traffic problems on the adjoining quays. They also stated that the car park personnel had opened the car park barrier to speed things up. While this was being aired, numerous calls were received at the station stating that the second barrier was not working and this caused delays. At this point, the researcher tried to contact the City Council again to get a response but without success. Presenter, Neil Prenderville, then decided to contact the car park directly as he could not understand the ongoing difficulty in receiving an accurate statement from the City Council. Cork’s 96/103FM admit Mr Prenderville did telephone the car park directly and spoke on-air to an individual. However, this person remained unnamed at all times. The station further claim the call was a genuine attempt to clarify the reason for the delays for a large number of listeners who contacted the show. Normal procedure was departed from on this occasion due to the trivial nature of the item and the genuine desire to get a simple answer to a simple question.
In summary, the BCC say they upheld the complaint as they were of the view that Cork’s 96/103FM did infringe Section 24(c)(privacy of an individual). The presenter posed as a member of the public who had been caught up in the delays in getting out of a car park on 1st July and broadcast live, surreptitiously, the subsequent discussion with the complainant who did not have the authority to speak on behalf of his employer. The BCC note that the broadcaster had been instructed that they should contact City Hall for comment and not the car park staff. Therefore the station were aware that the car park staff were not in a position to speak on behalf of the Council. The Commission were of the opinion that Prenderville dealt with this matter in an unfair and deceitful manner and in so doing, infringed the rights of McCarthy.

The complaint made against Spin 1038’s ‘Spin Talk’ was under Section 24(2)(b)(taste & decency) of the Broadcasting Act 2001. Every Friday Spin Talk deals with sex issues. The station does advise that parental guidance may be necessary. The complainant states that this is not always possible with young teenagers listening to radio. On the day in question the presenters, Jack and Ali, were discussing ‘hand jobs’. They read out 10 different ways of giving a hand job. The complainant called the item ‘outrageous’ and points out that many teenagers listen to this programme, including her 13 year old.
Spin 1038 state in their response that the subject of the programme centered on male masturbation. The ‘Gender Agenda’ is a regular feature on Friday’s Spin Talk programme. This section is heavily promoted as a Sex & Relationship feature. Warning messages are consistently broadcast around this section, which alert listeners to an open and frank discussion on sex and sexuality. The feature was based around an interview with a sex and relationship expert, Melissa Ulto and also featured calls and text messages from the show’s listeners recounting their experiences. Although Spin 1038 accept masturbation is a taboo topic, many major studies by leading experts suggest that a very clear majority of males engage in masturbation. This makes it a common practice, but one which is rarely covered on radio. As a news and current affairs show, Spin Talk has a brief to challenge boundaries and break down traditional taboos. On occasion, this requires the programme to cover topics that more traditional broadcasters would avoid at any time of the day. Spin 1038 state it was not their intention to offend and their coverage of similar items tends to be scheduled within the Friday segment of the show – which is clearly and repeatedly flagged as dealing with sex and relationship issues. They apologise for giving offence but feel they do offer adequate warnings and advice during the programme.
The BCC was of the view that Spin 1038 did infringe Section 24(2)(a)(taste & decency) as the programme contained an explicit discussion on masturbation which was dealt with in a gratuitous manner. The BCC felt that the broadcast was in poor taste, particularly given the time of day of the broadcast and also given the quite cynical presentation of the sexual content and the inappropriate time of broadcast.

A further 24 complaints were rejected.

Anna Livia Get Ten

The special interest licence for the Dublin City area has been awarded in principle to the incumbent Dublin City Anna Livia 103.2 FM. The award is subject to the receipt of clarification on a number of matters within the application and the successful conclusion of contract negotiations.

Speaking today, the BCI’s Chief Executive Michael O’Keeffe said: “With regard to Dublin City Anna Livia FM, the Commission is delighted to offer a ten-year licence to the station and is confident that it will continue with its wide-ranging programme service over the coming years.”

Change of Name for 106.8

Dublin’s Country are, since this morning, now identifying on-air as Dublin’s Country Mix 106.8, having finally been given the go-ahead for a name-change by the BCI. The station’s website also relaunched yesterday with a slick new look at

New Studios for WDAR

West Dublin Access Radio, which broadcasts on 96.0MHz FM, has relaunched from new state-of-the-art studios based in the Ballyfermot Community Civic Centre. The refurbishment took ten weeks to complete.
The station started a five year licence run in September 2004 following a successful temporary licence run.

New Choice of Presenters

Dublin’s easy-listening weekend station Choice FM, which broadcasts on 92.1MHz FM, have added more presenters to their line-up. John Power, who previously worked at Q102, Magic 103 and Energy 103 in the ’80s and FM104 in the ’90s, will join the team on October 1st. He most recently presented the Saturday afternoon slot at East Coast FM.
Meanwhile, Liza Jolie has also joined the station as a presenter and can be heard on Saturdays and Sundays from midnight to 3am. Liza currently works as a newsreader at East Coast FM.
Choice FM operates under temporary licence from the BCI.

IMR Look to the Future

We’re going off air tonight but we won’t be going away because we don’t know the meaning of the words ‘going away’.” These were the words of Irish Music Radio’s CEO Joe Doyle this evening as he prepared to close the Dublin station following fifteen weekends on air broadcasting under their second temporary licence from the BCI. Although Irish Music Radio will continue to stream live online after tonight’s closedown, Joe was referring to plans to apply for a full-time licence in the future. Irish Music Radio will be going for a regional Country and Irish licence due to be offered by the BCI towards the end of next year, a service that Dublin’s Country Mix 106.8FM have also expressed an interest in applying for. Perhaps surprisingly, the competition has been welcomed by Joe who feels that IMR’s “record in the provision of such a service speaks for itself”. The new licence will be based outside Dublin but will be for an AM channel.
The station’s ‘Meltdown’ included a live broadcast from the Steering Wheel pub in Clondalkin, although this was not without its teething problems which led to Joe giving the studio microphones a different sort of meltdown thanks to a foul-mouthed rant which accidentally went out live on air.

Splash FM Shut by Gardaí

Pirate radio station Splash FM has been shut down by the Gardaí. The station, based in Finglas in north Dublin, was broadcasting on 93.8MHz FM and had earned a reputation for broadcasting material which caused offence to anybody who may have stumbled upon their transmissions. Members of Dublin’s unlicensed community had expressed concern that the material being broadcast by Splash FM would be just the ammunition needed for the government regulatory body ComReg to launch another offensive against unlicensed stations which have established a pattern of coming on air at night and weekends only in hopes of thwarting any action against them.

According to the Gardaí, Splash FM was operated by members of the criminal fraternity, in particular an armed robber and drug dealer who is known as Mr Fatpuss. The station offered on-air tips on how to steal cars and also featured live broadcasts of joyriding gangs in action. Splash FM have also been accused of broadcasting racially offensive material.

Major Crackdown on London Pirates

Many of London’s estimated 80 pirate stations have been shut in a series of raids which started last Saturday and ended midweek. Ofcom, with police help, removed 53 radio transmitters, putting 44 stations involved in illegal broadcasting out of business. Stations affected include Afrique FM in Tottenham, Lush FM in Acton, Whoa FM in Elephant & Castle, Baseline FM in Lewisham, Powerjam in Battersea, Ragga FM in Edmonton and Have It FM in Bow. The operation was carried out because many of the stations are believed to be linked to criminal gangs. The raids also uncovered drugs and weapons, including firearms.

Station First for Bahrain

Bahrain is set to have its first private radio station. Sawt al-Ghad (Voice of Tomorrow) has already gone on the air on a trial basis on 98.4MHz FM. The station is expected to launch officially in a few weeks and will focus on music, sports, culture and the stock market but avoid news and politics.

Ministry FM Closes

Long-running pirate station Ministry FM has ceased broadcasting following representations made to them by ComReg. The dance music station, who had been broadcasting on 93.2MHz FM, were informed that they would be raided unless they closed down: they complied with this request.
All of Ministry’s equipment is now being offered for sale amidst rumours that station personnel are planning on bringing it back.
Ministry started life as Mad Radio with a low-powered signal covering Dublin’s city centre. They changed name to Ministry at the end of 2002 and went from strength to strength. They have closed in the past thanks to official activity, but later returned.
Another dance music station, Flash FM, has now appeared on 93.2MHz FM.

Awesome! Aidan to Present ’80s Show

Aidan Cooney, the well-known tv and radio presenter, has been signed up to present 'The Awesome '80s Show' on Dublin station Q102. Broadcasting weekdays for two hours from 7pm, the show aims to play the very best music from the 1980s and will also be fully interactive, with the chance for listeners to request their favourite songs.

Aidan Cooney, the well-known tv and radio presenter, has been signed up to present ‘The Awesome ’80s Show’ on Dublin station Q102. Broadcasting weekdays for two hours from 7pm, the show aims to play the very best music from the 1980s and will also be fully interactive, with the chance for listeners to request their favourite songs.
The Awesome ’80s Show will target the 35+ demographic and will also feature a variety of competitions.
Aidan (pictured) has previously presented the Saturday sport show on Dublin’s Q102 but says that he is delighted to be returning to his first love, music: “Radio presenting has always been a passion of mine and I am delighted with this opportunity to present The Awesome ’80s Show on Dublin’s Q102. I hope that playing such classics as Adam and The Ants, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran and The Cure will brighten up the long winter evenings and help listeners unwind after their day.”

An Taoiseach’s Choice of Music and Sport

Easy-listening Choice FM, which broadcasts to elected areas across the country, have announced that An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD, will make a special guest appearance on the station on Friday 13th October. During a one-hour programme, An Taoiseach will play a mixture of his favourite songs and will discuss his love of sport and reminisce on the sporting glories of his favourite teams – Dublin and Manchester United. He will also talk about growing up in Dublin during the 1950s and how music and sport have influenced his life.
Speaking to Radiowaves News this evening, Choice FM station manager Kevin Branigan, said: “Obviously we are delighted that An Taoiseach is able to make the time to appear on Ireland’s Choice FM. The programme will be exciting for our listeners as it will show a more human side to him, as opposed to the public persona that we would all be more aware of.”
The programme will be broadcast from Government Buildings between 6pm and 7pm and is part of a series of weekly shows, presented by Joe Harrington, that feature the music and interests of well-known individuals from Irish life.
Choice FM broadasts on AM and FM to Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The station has been granted a temporary broadcasting licence to operate until November 12th and is expected to apply for a full-time licence during 2007.

A Choice of Programming on MW

This Saturday Choice FM will present a day of special programming as a medium wave opt-out for Dublin listeners. From 11am, on the station’s 1278kHz AM frequency, there will be a selection of special broadcasts which will include general music programming, as well as general information and chat, aimed at what Choice call the “more discerning listener”. The broadcasts run until 6pm when the MW transmitter will rejoin Choice’s FM network for ‘Best of’ with broadcaster Shay Healy.
Speaking about the opt-out programming, Choice FM’s station manager Kevin Branigan, said: “We are enthused by the opportunity to provide separate programming on our MW transmitter. The huge feedback from our ‘Retro Romance’ programmes demonstrates to us that there is a huge market for the crooners and million-seller artists that is not being catered for by existing radio stations – and we would like to gauge the response to it on Saturday.
Choice broadcasts to the major cities around Ireland on FM and AM and will complete its current ten-week temporary licence this weekend.

End of the Road for Choice

Ireland’s easy-listening radio station, Choice FM, will reach the end of its second temporary licence term at midnight tonight. The station has broadcast each Friday, Saturday and Sunday since September 8th.
To mark the final day of broadcasting, Choice FM will broadcast ‘The Top 100 Easy Listening Songs of all Time’ between 10am and 6pm. The chart has been compiled by votes from the station’s listeners in their service areas.
Choice FM first appeared on a 30 day temporary licence last year. At that point the station broadcast to Dublin only but the service was extended this year to cover other major population centres Cork, Galway & Limerick. The station’s management intend to apply for the full-time multi-city licence which will be advertised next year.

98 Bribe Allegations Untrue

Denis O’Brien has begun libel proceedings against the Irish Mirror over an article which appeared in the newspaper in June 1998. The article suggested that O’Brien had given a £30,000 bribe to former Minister Ray Burke for Dublin station 98FM’s broadcast licence when Burke was awarding local radio licences. The newspaper have admitted that there was no truth in the articles, which also suggested wrong-doing on O’Brien’s part in the acquiring of the second mobile telephone licence.
The case is before a jury for assessment of damages only and continues tomorrow.

New Westmeath Schedule for 103

Midlands 103 is announcing a brand new schedule for its Westmeath service which will include former Shannonside Northern Sound presenter Seamus Duke. This is in tandem with a major investment in modern broadcast equipment, including software upgrades and enhancements to sound processor quality. The station’s name wil lalso change from Midlands Gold.

Midlands 103 Westmeath provides a dedicated output for the county from its studios in Mullingar and Athlone, while offering the primary station format to the three counties of Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.

Albert Fitzgerald, the station’s Managing Director, says: “Midlands 103 Westmeath aims to provide an alternative to the main service – intensely local output at specific times. We broadcast to three counties so it’s a constant battle to be ‘local’ to people of Finea in North Westmeath, and also be relevant to a listener in Graigecullen in South Laois. We’re fortunate to be in a position to provide two options for people in Westmeath.”

The company, which employs 50 full- and part-time staff, is increasing its investment in Midlands 103 Westmeath. This is not only reflected in the technical upgrades but also in the big-name broadcasters who have signed up for the new schedule: Seamus Duke is one of the best-known local radio broadcasters in the country, having drawn over 40,000 listeners to his hourly programme on Shannonside FM. His well-publicised departure from that station in the autumn presented Midlands 103 with what they call a golden opportunity.

Will Faulkner, Midlands 103’s Director of Programming, has been working closely with Mr Duke to prepare a three hour community programme for Westmeath, which will run from 2pm-5pm weekdays.
“I’m delighted to be working with a presenter of the calibre of Seamus Duke,” Will says. “He’s a former Head of News and Sport with Shannonside FM and he also worked with Radio Ireland (now Today FM.) He has an intricate knowledge of politicians and personalities in the Lake County – more importantly, he knows the local people and issues that affect them.”
The show, which is entitled ‘Good Afternoon Westmeath’, will be listener-driven and Seamus is anxious to get local people involved with the programme. It will compliment ‘The Afternoon Show with Roy Jennings’, which offers a music alternative on the main 103.5 frequency. The show will also feature hourly news bulletins from the dedicated Westmeath News Centre.

From 4.30pm, Midlands 103 provides a mix of ’70s, ’80s and ’90s music with regular news and traffic updates.
Will Faulkner comments: “We’ve received a huge amount of positive feedback to Carl James’ programme, but a sizeable number of listeners in Athlone, Kilbeggan, Mullingar – all areas of Westmeath, in fact – also contacted us to compliment Joe Cooney’s ‘Country Roads’ evening show. It convinced us that it makes sense to offer a country and Irish alternative to Drivetime in Westmeath.”

The station launched an extensive recruitment campaign to find a presenter for the new programme, interviewing over 40 applicants. Once again, a long established and hugely popular name emerged as the successful candidate – Ricey Scully.
Will Faulkner describes Ricey Scully as a broadcasting and music legend in the Midlands: “He’s done it all! He featured on pirate radio in Athlone and Mullingar before the inception of commercial radio in 1989. He has played music with all of the biggest names and he has a connection with ordinary people unlike anybody else in the business. We’re thrilled he has accepted the role of country music presenter on the new Midlands 103 Westmeath schedule.”

‘Teatime with Ricey Scully’ goes to air from December 4th as part of the revised schedule. It will feature a blend of artists from the Lake County such as Joe Dolan and TR Dallas, while also offering a flavour of Irish music talent from across the Midlands region.

In addition, a full schedule of specialist programming is being busily prepared for Midlands 103 Westmeath. They include ‘The Best Rock ‘n’ Roll memories with Billy Mc’, ‘Westmeath Showcase with Davy Hynes’ on Thursday evenings, and the dedicated Westmeath ‘Sports Diary’ with Willie Geraghty and Ned Flynn caps off the week.

The students of Athlone Institute of Technology will also showcase their talents with a one-hour programme. These shows will run opposite ‘Country Roads with Joe Cooney’ on the main station output. A further series of programmes to run at a later time is also being considered.

Midlands 103 Managing Director Albert Fitzgerald believes diversity is the key to being a successful radio station. He says: “Our ethos is to provide a service by local people, for local people. The people of Westmeath have two choices on their dial. They can tune to 95.4FM in Athlone, or 96.5FM in Mullingar, and hear specific content for their county. They also have the option of staying with the main service on 103.5FM.”

The company is investing €250,000 in its transmission network. Mr Fitzgerald went on to say: “We realise some listeners may have had difficulty receiving Midlands 103 during our upgrade work. I’d like to thank them for their loyal support and patience. I’m delighted to announce that a stronger, crisper, clearer signal will be beaming through their radios very soon. I hope you enjoy Midlands 103, be it our main service or dedicated Westmeath programming. Roll on December 4th!”

Orla Teams Up With Hayes for FM Broadcasts

Radio Orla, the internet-based Anglo-Polish radio station, and Hayes FM, a brand-new multi-lingual FM broadcaster in west London which launched on Saturday, have teamed up to reach the Polish community in the FM station’s catchment area. It marks the first time that a Polish-language commercial broadcaster has gone FM in the United Kingdom and underlines the interest not only from the large Polish community in the UK for such content but also the appetite from a British audience to learn about Polish culture. Radio Orla will be providing Lukasz Foster’s bi-lingual shows to listeners of Hayes FM 91.8.

Hayes FM 91.8 will broadcast a range of local radio programmes for the whole area, including targeted music and community programmes for the Irish, Polish, South Asian, African and Caribbean populations in West London.

George Matlock, managing director of Radio Orla, says: “Radio Orla is very pleased to have been approached with this proposal as it is an endorsement of our content and established position in the market for Polish programming. We are especially keen to foster stronger and positive ties with other communities. In fact, we already provide knowledge to other East European communities about how to broadcast online. I know Lukasz will be a fine bi-lingual entertainer for the Hayes-based community.”

Sutish Sharma, managing editor of Hayes FM, says: “Hayes FM offers a format that cannot be found anywhere in the world, and the partnership with Radio Orla not only adds great value to our output, but continues our commitment to bring communities together and bring about positive change for our area through solidarity.”

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.

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.”

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%.

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.”

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).

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.

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, as well as on the TuneIn app for smart devices and phones.