Pirates still loose on the airwaves was a headline from The Evening Herald dated February 5th 1999.
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 Worldwide faces a further delay as work still needs to be completed before live programming can go on air.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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