4FM

BCI seeking applications for new multi-city service

The BCI are now seeking applications for a sound broadcasting service to operate a multi-city service for the 45+ age group. The service, which is primarily music-driven, will be available in Dublin city and county, Cork city and county, Galway city and county, Limerick city and county and Co Clare. The service will offer one, or a combination, of the following music formats: classic gold, easy listening or smooth music.

The advertisement of the multi-city service is one of a range of new radio services planned for in the BCI’s three-year licensing plan which was announced in September 2005. This plan will see the roll-out of a total of nine additional services by the end of 2008.

The closing date for receipt of applications for the multi-city service is June 22nd 2007.

BCI make their new multi-city ‘Choice’

The BCI has awarded the new Classic Gold/Easy Listening/Smooth multi-city service on the FM band to Choice Broadcasting Limited (trading as 4 FM). The ten year licence is for the provision of a new music-driven service aimed at listeners in the 45+ age group. The franchise area for the service is Dublin City and County (and commuter belt), Cork City and County, Galway City and County, Limerick City and County and County Clare. The award is subject to the successful outcome of contract negotiations and these are expected to be completed in the coming months. The Commission originally received five applications for the multi city service, two of which were called to an oral hearing which was held in Dublin in December.

4FM to launch in October with ‘distinctive’ output

4FM, the radio station consortium consisting of Fox Radio Ltd., The Irish Times, Thomas Crosbie Holdings and Vienna Investments Ltd, have reacted to today’s news that they have been awarded a new multi-city licence by the BCI. 4FM is planning to invest €9.1m in the proposed multi-city station and plans to be on air by October 2008.

In the first year of operation, 4FM projects a 5.7% share of all adults and total revenue of €2.2m. The company expects to break even at the end of year four. 4FM will employ 47 full and part time staff and will spend €2m on an integrated marketing campaign during the station launch period. Over €200,000 has also been earmarked for continuous research, development and training.

“4FM will offer a truly distinctive music-driven radio service for the discerning 45 plus generation and will also broadcast a range of talk programmes in a unique presentation style that is specifically designed to engage the target listener,” the statement says.

70% of the daytime output on 4FM will consist of music spanning five decades. This will be interlinked with speech programming which will be presented in a contemporary style. 4FM say that they will not replicate services already in existence, but instead will broaden and add to listener choice.

Shows on 4FM will include ‘Breakfast on 4’, which will feature the latest news and events with comment, interviews and analysis from the breakfast team which will be presented in an informal yet informative style. ‘4 Noon’ will be a topical phone-in show featuring people in the news as well as listener debate. This will be mixed with music. ‘Tonight on 4’ will be a fast-paced news programme that sums up the day. It will feature a round up of all the latest stories, business news and sports reports. In addition 21 hours of specialist music programmes will be broadcast weekly. These include shows such as ‘All That Jazz’, ‘4 on Broadway’, ‘The Great American Songbook’ and ‘Soul Train’.

Weekend programming will include ‘Weekend Breakfast’, ‘The Saturday Magazine’ and ‘Just 4 The Weekend’.

The 4FM consortium is 100% Irish owned and consists of a diverse range of members from the Irish media sector who have vast management and business experience as well as a thorough knowledge of the Irish marketplace and a track record of launching radio stations. These include Fox Radio Ltd (which consists of shareholders Martin Block, Howard Block and Al Dunne. All three have a wealth of radio experience in management and programming), The Irish Times, Thomas Crosbie Holdings, Vienna Investments Ltd and Bay Broadcasting Ltd.

Martin Block of Fox Radio is leading the consortium and he is delighted that 4FM has won the Multi-City licence. He says: “We first submitted the idea for the “multi-city” radio station to the BCI over two years ago. We have a wealth of experience with this particular type of radio service and believe that we can make it one of the most successful radio stations in the country. 4FM is strongly backed by shareholders such as The Irish Times and Thomas Crosbie Holdings who are committed to the radio sector. The 45 plus radio audience is very under served across the country and we believe that 4FM can fill this gap. “

4FM Appoints Dave Hammond as Marketing Director

4FM, the new multi-city radio station due to go on air early this year, has appointed Dave Hammond as Director of Sales and Marketing. Dave will manage the sales and marketing departments of the radio station and implement a strategy to drive overall business growth.

4FM, the new multi-city radio station due to go on air early this year, has appointed Dave Hammond as Director of Sales and Marketing. Dave will manage the sales and marketing departments of the radio station and implement a strategy to drive overall business growth.

4FM will offer a brand new choice in music and entertainment for adult radio listeners in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Clare. The station, which will employ 44 full and part-time staff, will broadcast a wide repertoire of speech and music programmes designed to engage listeners.

Dave Hammond has an impressive track record in the radio industry. He began his career in 1986 with Sunshine 101FM in Dublin, where he held the role of Sales Manager, and in 1989 he went on to become a member of the original management team which founded Dublin’s 98FM.

In 1994, Dave joined the radio division of Scandinavian Broadcasting Systems (a Disney /ABC venture) as European Sales Director where he was responsible for the commercial development of 15 radio stations in multiple countries. In 1997, he was appointed Sales and Marketing Director of Radio Ireland Ltd and later went on to become General Manager of Today FM, leading the station to profitability.

During his career, Dave has also held the position of Advertising Manager with the Sunday Independent and Commercial Manager with 96FM Cork. Dave also spent eight years as a representative on the JNLR committee and served on the organising committee responsible for the inaugural Radio Awards for Ireland. He is also a member of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and holds an MBA from Smurfit Business School U.C.D.

Newspaper: Radio boss still upbeat about launch of 4FM

Irish Independent
Radio boss still upbeat about launch of 4FM

Irish Independent – February 5th 2009

Radio boss still upbeat about launch of 4FM

The deepest recession in living memory mightn’t seem like the best time to launch a new radio station, but 4FM boss Martin Block insists the woeful state of the economy hasn’t taken the sheen off his over-45’s radio station.

Originally due to launch in October, 4FM’s start date was then pushed out to January and has now been revised yet again, prompting speculation that 4FM’s investors had gone luke-warm on the station’s prospects.

“We’ve been delayed and delayed by transmission issues,” says Block. “We’re as committed as ever, and unless the awful weather messes up the transmission again we’ll definitely be on air by February 27.

Asked about the advertising prospects for the newcomer station, Block stresses that 4FM’s figures had always predicted an “incredibly low” income of €2.5m in the first year.

“That’s even lower than what we got with the first year of Lite FM, so we’d still be confident of hitting that,” he adds.

He admits, however, that some of 4FM’s longer-term projections may fall by the wayside since the market is a “completely different place” to the radio landscape contemplated by his consortium when they drew up plans for their station back in 2007.

“We’ll have to wait and see how long and deep this recession is,” he says. “We’ve said breakeven will be in year four, that might get pushed out another six months or a year.

“Being a new station we’re somewhat insulated from it for a while, but we’re not going to sit here smugly and say it’s not going to affect us at all.”

Despite the deteriorating financial climate, Block insists the €9.1m investment earmarked for the station is still on the table, adding that there are no cold feet amongst the station’s many backers, which include Block’s Fox Radio (22.25pc); Thomas Crosbie Holdings (22.25pc); Bay Broadcasting (22.25pc); Dermot Hanrahan’s Vienna Investments (22.25pc) and the Irish Times (10pc).

There have also been no changes to 4FM’s staffing plans, and a full contingent is already in place, gearing up for the latest launch date. Now all they need is a working transmitter . . .

BCI signs contract with 4FM for multi-city service

The BCI today signed a contract with Choice Broadcasting Limited (trading as 4FM) for the provision of a music-driven multi-city FM service. The first service of its kind, 4FM will broadcast to Dublin City, County and Commuter belt, Cork City and County, Limerick City and County, Galway City and County and Co. Clare.

Although tests broadcasts have started today 4FM will commence full broadcasting on February 27th and will provide a broad mix of music ranging across five decades, as well as specialist programmes on specific music genres including jazz, songs from films and shows and, soul. Speech output will include regular news bulletins, sports, travel and traffic reports and a range of information and features. 4FM’s primary target audience is the over-45s.

Speaking about the contract signing, BCI Chairman Conor Maguire said: “We are delighted to sign this contract with 4FM, the first contract of its kind in Ireland. The Commission believes that this multi-city service is a unique offering which will bring diversity from a content and listenership perspective. I would like to wish all involved in 4FM every success in launching the station and for the duration of their contract.”

4FM were represented at the contract signing by Martin Block, Chief Executive Officer and Howard Block, Director.

Choice Broadcasting Limited was awarded the licence for the multi-city service at the BCI Board meeting in January 2008.

The station will broadcast on the following frequencies: Limerick, Clare, Galway: 104.2-104.9; Dublin & Commuter belt: 94.6-94.9; Cork: 94.8-95.4 & 97.4

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Martin Block Let Go by 4FM Board

4FM, the station serving Ireland’s major cities, has terminated the employment of Chief Executive Martin Block. Sales and Marketing Director Dave Hammond has taken temporary control of the company.

 4FM, the station serving Ireland's major cities, has terminated the employment of Chief Executive Martin Block. Sales and Marketing Director Dave Hammond has taken temporary control of the company.

Martin, who was thanked by the board of the station for his commitment and efforts during its start-up phase, will remain as a director and shareholder through Fox Radio.

No reason has been given for the board’s decision to let Block go.

4FM launched in February and broadcasts to Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Clare.

4FM Appoints Jim Miley as Chief Executive

4FM has today appointed Jim Miley as Chief Executive Officer (designate). Jim will take up his position on January 18th and in his new role he will be responsible for the strategic planning and overall management of 4FM. This will include building audience, driving revenue, recruitment and enhancing the overall profile of the company. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

4FM has today appointed Jim Miley as Chief Executive Officer (designate). Jim will take up his position on January 18th and in his new role he will be responsible for the strategic planning and overall management of 4FM. This will include building audience, driving revenue, recruitment and enhancing the overall profile of the company. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Prior to his appointment at 4FM, Jim Miley was the co-founder and CEO of MyHome.ie from 2000 to 2009. He is a former Chief Executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce and was General Secretary of Fine Gael from 1995 to 1999. Before this, Jim Miley worked for almost a decade in broadcasting at RTÉ as a producer/reporter on radio and television. He started his career as an aid worker in Africa and maintains his interest in that area as non-executive Chairman of Concern.

Kevin Branigan, on behalf of the 4FM board of directors, says: “Jim Miley brings over 25 years of broadcasting and corporate experience to 4FM and the board has every confidence that he has the drive, energy and experience to ensure the continued success of the radio station.”

Jim Miley says he is very much looking forward to taking up the position with the station: “4FM has achieved significant success in its first year in a very difficult economic environment. I look forward to working with the entire team at 4FM to build on the initial success and to continue to increase listenership and secure the commercial success of the station.”

A native of Co. Roscommon, Jim Miley now lives in Glasnevin, Dublin and is married with two children.

4FM broadcasts across Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Clare and surrounding commuter areas.