Midlands Radio 3 is displaying a new RDS reading of ‘MID.GOLD’ on their 102.1FM Athlone outlet. In their new application to the BCI during the licensing renewal process, Midlands Radio 3 are proposing split services on their frequencies. One of these is a new ‘Golden Oldies’ service by the name of Midlands Gold.
Report: DJ Softy
Midlands Radio 3’s Westmeath opt-out service is to be greatly increased from tomorrow. It will form part of the Midlands Gold service as proposed in the station’s recent submission to the BCI for the licence renewal in their franchise area.
Broadcasting on 102.1MHz in Athlone and 96.5MHz in Mullingar, the frequencies will still unite for some programmes. In preparation for the split, the Athlone studio facilities have been revamped.
Beat 102-103, Ireland’s first regional radio station, is to distribute 30,000 free branded condoms in nightclubs around the South-East as part of a sexual health awareness campaign aimed at promoting sexual responsibility amongst young people in the region.
The station’s Chief Executive Kieran McGeary said that given the age group of the Beat 102-103’s target market, he felt that the station was ideally placed to inform listeners about relevant and important topics such as sexual health.
He continued: “The target market for Beat 102-103 is 18-35 year olds and we cannot ignore the fact that the majority of our listeners will be sexually active, as it is a subject our programmes deal with regularly. As Beat 102-103 is a medium which is effectively reaching the young people of the South-East, we feel it’s an ideal forum to get the message across that if you are going to have sex, take responsibility for your actions and ensure it’s safe.”
The branded condoms will be distributed at Beat 102-103 promotional events and selected nightclubs throughout the region.
McGeary stressed that the campaign was not in any way encouraging sexual promiscuity or underage sex amongst young people. He said: “We are not in anyway trivializing the subject or encouraging promiscuous sexual activity amongst young people – quite the opposite in fact. Condoms will not be given to under-18’s and will only be distributed in nightclubs where the proprietors have given their approval.”
The campaign is being run in association with Lee Jeans.
Beat 102-103, Ireland’s only regional radio station which broadcasts to five counties in the south east, has appointed Gabrielle Cummins as their Interim Chief Executive Officer. Gabrielle was a member of the original team which successfully presented an application for the regional radio licence to the BCI in 2002 and she has held the position of Head of News and Sport with Beat 102-103 since the radio station went on air in July 2003.
In her new role as Interim Chief Executive, Gabrielle will be responsible for strategic planning for Beat 102-103. This will include building an audience, driving revenue, recruitment and building the profile of the company. Prior to her appointment at Beat 102-103, Gabrielle was TV manager of Waterford’s local television station Waterford @ 8 and she also worked for two years as a journalist with local Waterford radio station WLR FM. Gabrielle also holds an honours Arts Degree in Media Communications and English from the University of Limerick.
Des Whelan, Director of Beat 102-103, says: “Gabrielle (pictured) has been with Beat 102-103 from the start and the board has every confidence that she has the drive, energy and experience to ensure the continued success of the radio station.”
Gabrielle says that she is very much looking forward to her new position with Beat 102-103. She continues: “The main challenges moving forward involve the continual growth of our listenership figures and also increasing revenue. I have worked very closely with a great team at Beat 102-103 for the last three and a half years and I know I have their full support in working to build on the success the radio station has achieved to date.”
Beat 102-103 broadcasts to counties Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow and South Tipperary. Recent figures issued by the Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) show that 115,000 adults in the southeast region now tune into Beat 102-103 each week.
Midlands 103 have this week moved its 50 full and part-time staff to a new state-of-the-art headquarters. The new 5,500 square foot complex at the Axis Business Park in Tullamore comprises new studio facilities, finance, administration and general office areas. It forms part of a strategic three million euro investment by the company. The radio station, which serves Laois, Offaly and Westmeath, is also conducting a multi-phase enhancement of its transmission network.
Leading consultants from West Country Broadcast in the UK and Radio Computer Systems in the US were employed to work on the project, together with top Irish firms in the construction and electrical trade. The studios utilise the latest digital sound technology coupled with touchscreen playout systems and other facilities to improve the broadcast experience for presenters and guests. It is the only broadcast project in Ireland where these leading companies have worked collaboratively and they have produced results to envy any radio station in the country.
Midlands 103’s Managing Director Albert Fitzgerald says: “‘Tindle House’ represents a huge vote of confidence in the local economy and the strength of the Midlands 103 brand. We’re extremely excited about the opportunities it affords us to produce better programming, improve the quality of workplace for our staff and diversify our business. This surpasses any radio facility in the country and people living in the Midlands can truly be proud of their local station.
“In addition two of the station’s leading presenters have been nominated for prestigious national awards. Will Faulkner’s ‘Midlands Today Show’ (left) is on a shortlist for ‘Current Affairs Programme of the Year’, alongside RTE’s Pat Kenny, while Ricey Scully could receive an award for his touching tribute to singing legend Joe Dolan.
Regional broadcasters i102-104 and i105-107 have just agreed a major sponsorship deal with Corona Beer to launch the sponsor titled ‘Corona Hour’.
The new programme will run for an hour from 2pm every Saturday on both stations.
The Corona Hour will be commercial free (apart from the sponsor’s name) and aims to play “feel-good music designed to put the smile on your face and energise you to get the party started”.
Hosted by Ezeke Gray, a native of Jamaica, iRadio will be supporting the sponsorship with sampling of Limes and other Corona merchandise every week and they will also be doing Corona Hour events at venues across the two franchise areas.
Neither party would discuss the value of the deal which gives Corona full brand ownership of the hour and also includes sampling, promos advertising the programme midweek, online support on both iRadio websites and social media involvement.
iRadio CEO Rena Maycock says that Corona is a perfect partner in this initiative: “We had an idea to have one hour of completely ad-free fun and happiness on the stations each Saturday that would help listeners get into the party mood and we looked for a brand partner that would help us to achieve that. Corona is a natural brand fit and they could see our vision for the potential impact this programme could have on the mood of the two regions by creating a 15 county party that you can attend without leaving your living room. In addition we have also found that there is a huge audience out there that don’t want to listen to sports programming at weekends and we want to provide those listeners with a super quality alternative.”
iRadio is also on the eve of launching the O2 sponsorship of its’ text-lines across both stations.
i102-104, which covers the west and north-west, launched in February 2008. This was closely followed by its sister station i105-107, which covers the midlands and north-east, in November of the same year.
The Corona hour launches on both i102-104 and i105-107 on Saturday 2 April 2011