City Beat – based in Belfast – have announced that John Rosborough is to become their new station director. John is at present Head of Programming at Downtown/Cool FM and will join City Beat on October 9th. The station broadcast on 96.7MHz.
Fáilte FM, the Irish-language radio station who have been broadcasting illegally to Belfast since February of this year, have been granted a temporary licence to operate for four weeks over the Christmas period.
The station, who operate with the help of Sinn Féin, hope to be awarded one of the new community access licences which should be available in the UK from next year, following a trial period.
Ivan Martin and Richard Young are set to make a comeback on UTV’s new radio station for Belfast, U105, which will broadcast on the newly-announced 105.8MHz FM.
From the station’s launch day on November 14th at 6am, Ivan and Richard will present the 105 Breakfast. The show will run for three hours each weekday with a mixture of music, news, the talking points of the day, traffic and travel information, sport, business, what’s on and a review of the papers.
U105’s Managing Director John Rosborough said: “For many people Ivan and Richard were absolutely synonymous with breakfast time. They’ve enjoyed a well deserved lie-in for the last seven years and now they’re ready to come back, better than ever before, to send U105 listeners out to face the day well informed with a smile on their faces.”
Ivan Martin said: “I am excited by the prospect of being in at the start of something new with U105. I feel that it fills a big gap in the market and I am also delighted to be working with Richard again. We never took ourselves too seriously before and that will not have changed. We are looking forward to reacquainting ourselves with the audience again. This time around, with the advent of e-mail and texts, we will have greater and more immediate access to them. That promises to be good craic.”
Richard Young said: “I’m really looking forward to the new show and can promise listeners radio for grown-ups! I can honestly say Ivan’s one of the few people who doesn’t make me grumpy at 6am, and that’s quite a feat! But then, as he says, we have never taken ourselves very seriously, and that helps when you’re trying to prise your eyelids open. Mind you, getting up at ‘early o’clock’ again every morning will probably come as a bit of a shock at first.”
U105 will be aimed primarily at listeners aged 45 plus.
Northern Ireland’s newest radio station, Seven FM, will launch in Ballymena, Co Antrim at 6.30am on Tuesday, November 1st, and is set to deliver a seven-day local and province news service. The station have announced a dynamic newsteam in Colm McAlinden (formerly of Q network), Rita McNutly (ex-BBC Radio Ulster) and Sharon Jennings (ex-Downtown Radio).
Seven FM’s Managing Director Robert Walshe says: “Our emphasis is to provide a comprehensive news, sport and obituary service seven days a week”.
There will also be a major sports focus across the entire schedule with key programmes running at weekends, including ‘The Final Whistle’ on Friday nights at 7pm – Northern Irish sports heroes David Humphries and Pat Jennings will be regular guests. Seven FM will also support and broadcast full match commentaries from the world of rugby, soccer, hockey and GAA in Co. Antrim.
A number of key radio personalities from across the province are set to be part of the launch team. Neil McClelland (left), formerly of Glengormley and now living in Ballyclare, will be the station’s Head of Production and key anchor Drivetime presenter. His radio resume boasts key shows with Cool FM, Citybeat and Mid FM.
Former Q102 Drivetime presenter Maurice Taggart will be the man charged with waking the region up on weekday mornings from 6.30am with ‘Seven Sunrise’. The show, according to the Carrickfergus man, “will pick you up and make you feel good”. The music mix will be “motivational” and Seven FM News will transmit on the hour and half hour with Belfast Commuter Traffic every 20 minutes.
Seven FM will dim the lights at 11pm weeknights for ‘Seven Love’, Johnny Glover – the former Citybeat presenter from Lisburn – will become “Dr Love” and prescribe three hours of Co Antrim’s favourite love songs. Johnny will also co-ordinate Seven FM’s promotional team. He will be out-and-about with the Seven FM “Boogey Bus” attending openings, visiting schools and bringing Seven FM to the people in the streets everyday.
Seven 4 Youths
Seven FM will also have a selection of youth-focused programmes. Former Q97 presenter Natasha Miller will anchor ‘Seven NRG’ Monday to Friday from 9-11pm. The show will be text and email driven and will showcase the hottest hits of today, with regular features like the ‘Club Classic’ and ‘Teen Scene Showbiz News’. Cullybackey native Tony Rogers “Sheep T” will mix ‘Seven Sessions’ every Saturday night for two hours from 2am. The output will be hard-dance, funky house, hip-hop with two 60 minute sessions. Guest DJs from across Northern Ireland and beyond will also be regular guests in studio.
Emma Fitzpatrick presents ‘Seven Sounds’ on Saturday evenings between 6 and 7pm. The main emphasis will be on showcasing the best of talent from across the Province, the island of Ireland and beyond. The playlist will boast live interviews from the likes of Westlife to Divine Comedy and from Van Morrison to Simply Red. Emma Fitzpatrick will also freelance for UTV and the Seven FM promotions department.
Religion on Seven
Ballymena native Rev Alan Mitchell, now based in Sligo and co-ordinator of local radio station Ocean FM’s religious programming, has also been heading up Seven FM’s religious commitments. A weekly service which covers all the religious denominations will broadcast weekly at 10.30am from across the region. Ballymena man Ronnie Geary will anchor ‘Sunday Miscellany’ from 7am – 10am. The music output will be largely country, gospel and appropriate music. On Sunday nights at 7pm Evan Connolly will present ‘Sunday Reflections’ an in-profile ‘Desert Island Ddiscs’ style show featuring people of note and achievement in all walks of life in the region.
The station will also carry a number of special interest programmes ranging from ‘Check-Up’ (a health programme) on Monday nights to ‘Arts House’ on Thursdays. Ballymena Guardian journalist Damien McGinley will present ‘Agri Week’ and ‘Seven Agenda’. Ocean FM Sligo presenter Paul Scanlon presents an album track show at weekends whilst Dublin’s Q102 Movie Man Shane Smyth presents ‘Seven Movie Magic’ on Saturday mornings at 9am. A dedicated Education Show presented by former Downtown radio anchor Sharon Jennings will be on the air on Thursday nights at 7.30pm.
Robert Walshe says that he is very proud of the main launch team, adding that the entire programming schedule was a reflection of Northern Ireland’s ability to produce top broadcast talent.
Roscommon’s community radio station Ros FM, who broadcast on 94.6MHz FM, are today embarking on a live, non-stop, 30-hour broadcast as part of a joint fundraiser in aid of the Friends of St Lukes Hospital and Ros FM itself. John Crean, Liam Sherringham and Finbar Spellman are presenting a mixture of music, chat, sport news and views with a selection of special guests joining them over the course of the marathon broadcast, which finishes tomorrow evening.
CityBeat, Belfast city’s dedicated commercial radio station, celebrated its tenth birthday yesterday. As part of the celebrations Stuart Robinson, who is the station’s Head of Music and only on-air presenter to have lasted the ten years, compiled the station’s top 100 songs of the last decade as voted for by CityBeat listeners.
Stuart said: “For the last week we have been asking our listeners to email us their top ten songs of the last decade to coincide with our 10th birthday and we have been absolutely inundated with suggestions. Everything from ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ to ‘Barbie Girl’ have been on peoples’ list but the final 100 shows a vast array of Irish, UK and international artists such as Brian Kennedy, The Corrs, U2, Britney, Westlife, Christina Aguilera, Lonestar, Robbie Williams, Shania Twain, Savage Garden and Boyzone. I think the most surprising results are the fact that Take That and the Spice Girls haven’t made it into the top ten yet Emma Bunton and Robbie Williams have.”
Last week Belfast singer Brian Kennedy officially opened CityBeat’s new state-of-the-art station and studios.
He said: “CityBeat have always supported me, ever since the first single. I think any radio station has to be the heartbeat of the city and CityBeat is that – it’s one of those stations that people just love to listen to, I’m not just saying this but when I am back in Belfast I always tune into CityBeat.”
Commenting on the tenth birthday Station Director Richard Collett added: “We are delighted to celebrate this important milestone in CityBeat’s history. Over the last ten years CityBeat has become an integral part in the lives of our listeners in Belfast and beyond. Looking ahead the station is dedicated now more than ever to providing the kind of broadcasting Belfast expects and delivering the kind of results our advertisers deserve.”
Dublin oldies pirate ABC 876 have ceased broadcasting following a public row about the use of the frequency they use. With available outlets on the FM dial at a premium, a new pirate dance music station calling itself Shock FM announced a short time ago that they would start broadcasting on 87.6MHz FM. This enraged ABC who claimed that they have been using the frequency regularly. However Shock claim that ABC’s low-powered transmissions could barely be heard and that ABC were not on often enough to lay claim to 87.6FM. Bizarrely, one of the arguments put forward by a Shock FM station spokesman against ABC using 87.6MHz was that they “aren’t legal”.
ABC is the same station that broadcast to Dublin in the ’90s and early ’00s.
Phantom 105.2, Dublin’s new licensed alternative rock music station, have announced its launch schedule. The station will begin broadcasting at noon on Hallowe’en with a mix of new voices and old favourites.
New to the station is Edel Coffey, a former journalist, who will be on air daily at 10am. Other presenters include, Peter Vamos, Neill Austin Simon Maher, John Caddell and Jack Hyland.
Ger Roe, the station’s Managing Director, said today: “We are delighted to reveal a very strong line-up with a great mix of old favourites and new voices in our presenters. Our new schedule also reflects a refreshing new mix of old and new. We aim to give alternative rock fans something that is not currently available on the Irish airwaves and we’re confident that’s what we’ve revealed today. We will continue to promote the Irish music scene and we place a particular emphasis on promoting unsigned Irish bands and we’re looking forward to providing Dublin with a new and very different sound.”
Key features of the new schedule include themed evenings with each night dedicated to a different genre of music. These include heavy metal, new Irish and international music, goth, industrial and dark wave. The weekends will host a general arts and entertainment show and a broadcast media show.
Phantom 105.2 will be an aimed at 18-34 year olds and anyone else with an interest in Alternative Rock and new Irish music 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. Phantom 105.2 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.
The full weekday schedule (with weekends still be announced) is as follows:
7am Pure Morning with Sinister Pete
10am Access All Areas with Edel Coffey
Midday Out to Lunch with Neill Austin
2pm Phantom Daily with Simon Maher
5pm Heavy Traffic with Jack Hyland
8pm Specialist programming
10pm Bedrock with John Caddell.
News will run on the half-hour and the station will provide an overnight automated music service.