Phantom FM

Phantom maintenance

Phantom FM’s planned maintenance work has now commenced meaning there may be disruptions to their signal. The Dublin Indie music station are hoping to be back to a normal schedule by the weekend.

Phantom return stream

Phantom FM’s live internet stream will return to the station’s website from this evening, presenter Pete Reed announced on the station’s Anorak Hour programme this afternoon.

Phantom’s Breakfast Show to go on a diet

Steve Conway’s unique breakfast programme will be broadcast for the final time tomorrow morning. Increased work commitments have forced Steve to give up his early-morning show which has been on-air since November 2000 and proved very popular with listeners to Dublin’s rock station, Phantom FM. He is moving to a new Friday evening slot from the 1st of March and will also fill in occasionally for other presenters at the station.
Speaking to Radiowaves News this afternoon, Steve said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed presenting the morning show on Phantom and regret that I will no longer be available in the mornings. The audience that we were attracting during that timeslot took us all by surprise, and I have to say that they were one of the most friendly and communicative groups of listeners I have ever encountered.” Steve also had appreciative words for those behind the scenes at the station: “A lot of the credit for the success of the show has to go to the station management and support staff – it was a real pleasure to work with such a motivated and organized team, and to be in an environment where the conditions and resources available to broadcasters improved steadily over time. I look forward to continuing to work with them in my new slot.”
He finished by saying that he will always have very fond memories of his time on the morning show at Phantom…”particularly the listeners who were more like one huge happy family than just an audience.”

Phantom transmitter theft

Phantom FM’s 91.6FM transmitter has been stolen. According to Pete Reed, the station’s general manager, thieves broke into the station’s transmitter site at 6.30pm last night and stole the transmitter and UHF link receiver.
“Damage was also caused to the entrance of the building the transmitter was located in,” Pete says.
Phantom FM continues as normal on 88.1FM from the west side of Dublin.
Pete advises that listeners in many other places should be able to tune into this frequency even outside of its normal coverage area.
“Obviously we hope to get 91.6FM back on air as quickly as we can but this is dependent on sourcing of equipment and damage repair. Our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this event,” he says.
The theft at ‘Phantom Towers’ is the latest in a spate of thefts which has affected a number of stations not only in Dublin but also around the country. All radio operators, especially pirate stations and small legal stations are advised to be on their guard.

Phantom’s ‘bullies’ await decision

Judgment has been reserved in Zed FM’s Supreme Court appeal against the High Court’s decision to uphold the BCI award of the Dublin alternative rock music licence to Phantom FM.

Judgment has been reserved in Zed FM's Supreme Court appeal against the High Court's decision to uphold the BCI award of the Dublin alternative rock music licence to Phantom FM.
The Phantom team on the day of their licence application
(L-R) Simon Maher; Jack Hyland; Aidan Lynch; Ger Roe; & ‘Sinister’ Pete Vamos
Photo: courtesy of allaboutbuses.com

Justice Susan Denham presided over the three-judge court yesterday and she heard a number of objections to the licence award. The main argument centres on a perceived advantage to Phantom FM thanks to their past as an unlicensed broadcaster. In November the High Court dismissed this argument maintaining that it was a matter for the BCI to decide what benefits, if any, would influence their decision. However, Zed FM, backed by main investors Bob Geldof and Niall Stokes, claim that Phantom “bullied” the BCI into making a decision in their favour by continually flouting the law by broadcasting illegally until they were eventually awarded the licence.

The licence was granted in November 2004 but a series of Zed FM challenges against the BCI have forced Phantom to delay their launch.

Irish Times – Radio station bullied its way to licence, court told

Radio station bullied its way to licence, court told

The new Dublin rock station, Phantom FM, effectively “bullied” its way into getting a licence after years of illegal broadcasting, it was claimed before the Supreme Court yesterday.

John Gordon SC, for Zed FM, a consortium backed by artist and campaigner Bob Geldof and Niall Stokes of Hot Press, was making closing submissions in an appeal by Zed against the High Court’s upholding of a decision of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) of November 2004 awarding the FM licence to Dublin Rock, trading as Phantom FM.

The appeal hearing concluded yesterday and Ms Justice Susan Denham, presiding over the three-judge court, said it would reserve judgment.

Phantom is backed by a wide range of individuals and companies, including U2 manager Paul McGuinness’s Principle Management and promoter Denis Desmond’s Gaiety Investments. The station was awarded an FM licence by the BCI on November 8th, 2004, but was forced to delay its start-up date after legal proceedings challenging that decision were brought by Zed FM.

Zed challenged the granting of the licence to Phantom FM on a number of grounds, including a claim that the BCI was unfairly biased towards Phantom FM and that members of the consortium had wrongly benefited from illegal broadcasting in the past as a pirate station.

When dismissing the Zed challenge last November, the High Court found the involvement in illegal broadcasting of some individuals with Dublin Rock was known to the BCI and that those persons had ceased their illegal broadcasting prior to the licence application being made.

The High Court also held that it was for the commission, not the courts, to consider what weight would attach to the illegal broadcasting matter when the commission was considering the character of Phantom. Zed FM had “not established in any way” that the BCI gave an advantage to Phantom arising out of its illegal broadcasting experience, it ruled.

Closing Zed FM’s appeal yesterday, Mr Gordon said Phantom’s entire licence application was grounded on seven years of operation, largely as an illegal broadcaster. His side could see no evidence that the BCI had asked Phantom to break down its experience into the period when it was temporarily licensed and when it was an illegal operator. The High Court was told the BCI had not considered the illegal broadcasting history of Phantom.

In granting Phantom the licence, the BCI had, inadvertently, he was sure, drawn up a charter for illegal broadcasting, counsel submitted. The staff who run the new station are those who repeatedly broke the law, apparently with impunity, until they eventually got their way, he argued. It was his case they effectively “bullied their way” into getting the licence.

Earlier, opposing the appeal, Michael Cush SC, for the BCI, said the debate in the High Court case had centred on what was the correct definition of “character” in the context of a licence application. Zed was now advancing a case that relevant considerations were not taken into account, but that case had not been made in the High Court.

The BCI, Mr Cush argued, had not misdirected itself in relation to the matter of “character” when considering the Phantom application. The BCI knew about the involvement of some individuals in Dublin Rock with illegal broadcasting and there was uncontradicted evidence they had discussed the piracy issue generally, counsel said.

The High Court took the view it was not for the court to assign weight to this issue and also found no evidence of bias or prejudgment on the part of the BCI.

© The Irish Times

Irish Independent – Zed claims Phantom FM ‘bullied’ its way into getting licence

Zed claims Phantom FM ‘bullied’ its way into getting licence

The new Dublin rock station Phantom FM effectively “bullied” its way into getting a licence after years of illegal broadcasting, it was claimed yesterday.

Mr John Gordon SC, for Zed FM, a consortium backed by campaigner Bob Geldof, was making closing submissions in the Supreme Court appeal by Zed against the High Court’s upholding of a decision of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) to award the FM licence to Phantom.

Ms Justice Susan Denham reserved judgment.

Phantom is backed by several individuals and companies, including U2 manager Paul McGuinness’s Principle Management and promoter Denis Desmond’s Gaiety Investments.

Zed challenged the granting of the licence to Phantom FM on a number of grounds, including a claim that members of the consortium had wrongly benefited from illegal broadcasting in the past.

When dismissing the Zed challenge last November, the High Court held that it was for the BCI, not the courts, to consider what weight it would attach to the illegal broadcasting matter when considering the character of Phantom.

Closing Zed FM’s appeal yesterday, Mr Gordon said Phantom’s entire licence application was grounded on seven years of operation, largely illegally.

Mr Michael Cush SC, for the BCI, said Zed was now advancing a case that relevant considerations were not taken into account but that case had not been made in the High Court.

Easter approaches with Phantom given go-ahead for ressurection

Zed FM’s Supreme Court appeal against the BCI’s awarding of an alternative rock licence for Dublin to Phantom FM was dismissed this morning. Phantom have welcomed the decision and will now recommence licence contract negotiations with the BCI and a new launch date will be announced shortly.

The licence was awarded in November 2004 but, in March 2005, a judicial review was sought by one of the unsuccessful applicants, Scrollside Ltd (Zed FM). The case was heard in the High Court last October and the subsequent ruling, in favour of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, was then appealed to the Supreme Court. Although Phantom FM was not directly involved in the proceedings it was forced to suspend its launch plans pending the outcome of the lengthy appeal process.

“We are delighted that this issue is now finally closed,” said Ger Roe, Phantom FM’s CEO. “We are currently reviewing our situation and are planning to have the station on air as soon as practically possible, hopefully by late Summer.”

Phantom FM will provide an Alternative Rock and Irish music service aimed at 15-34 year olds and anyone else with an interest in Alternative Rock in the Dublin City and County area. The station will, as part of its remit, promote new and unsigned Irish and international artists as well as providing opportunities for new broadcasting talent.
According to a statement from the station: “Phantom FM will build on the solid foundation and reputation that it has developed to date and will provide diversity through the provision of quality Alternative Rock music and speech-based programming.”

Phantom FM’s launch plans were at an advanced stage when Scrollside Ltd sought leave to seek a judicial review, over three months after the original licence decision was made. The station had just begun a recruitment drive and was negotiating key contracts including premises, sales representation and transmission, in addition to the licence contract.
“The delay caused by the appeal process was very frustrating, but we have a radio station to launch and we are now moving ahead with it,” says Ger Roe. “We are looking forward to providing Dubliners with a new, and very different radio station.”
The station has been overwhelmed by the goodwill and support received from both the radio and music industries and Roe thanked the Phantom FM shareholders and board for backing the project throughout the lengthy delay.

No fooling, it’s a sad day for anoraks

The Anorak Hour, Phantom 105.2’s seminal media industry programme, is no more. Or is no more on FM at least. The final FM episode of the long-running programme was broadcast this morning, along with an announcement from presenter Ger Roe that this would be the last in its present format. There are future plans to make it a monthly podcast feature, but it has been a feature, in one shape or another, on Dublin’s airwaves for three decades now.

Ger acknowledged this morning that the timing of the announcement may lead some to believe it is an elaborate hoax, but he confirmed that there was no intention of making April Fools out of the station’s listeners.

The decision to pull the programme is one which Ger has agonised over for months. His management duties at the now-licensed Indie rock music station have left little time to give ‘The Anorak Hour’ the attention it deserves.

Phantom Now Available on Blackberry Devices

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

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

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