This Week In Radio 16/7/2022 (let’s go to the future)

Lots happens in the radio industry each week so here’s a summary of the week we just enjoyed.

Here’s What Happened

Logo of the future of media commission

It took a while, but it’s finally here.

This week the report from the Future of Media Commission was published. The report makes 50 recommendations, on everything from diversity to the funding of RTÉ.

This is no small report. It’s over 200 pages long and this obviously makes it very extensive. I haven’t been able to go through the entire thing myself yet but I can bring some of the key points that I got from what I’ve read so far.

  • Irish media should try negotiate with big tech. If this fails the government should step in using the EU’s copyright directive.
  • The licence fee should be replaced in 2024 with full Exchequer funding, and RTÉ/TG4 should receive strategic investment to help with their digital transformations.
  • RTE should continue its cost cutting measures.
  • The sound and vision fund should be expanded taking in all platforms, and should also include news.
  • The BAI or Media Commission should explore the use of the Irish language by public service broadcasters, with a specific focus on RnaG. They also recomend that RTÉ focus more on the Irish language across their channels and platforms.
  • TG4 should have independent editorial control of its news service.
  • RTE should try exploit its IP more in markets outside ireland
  • Defamation law should be reviewed as called for by press council
  • Ireland should have a counter disinformation strategy

That’s only scratching the surface. Unfortunately it seems that nobody has compiled a handy list of the 50 recommendations yet. The best I’ve seen is from The Irish Times, that’s linked below.

The response

The government have agreed in principle to 49 of the 50 recommendations, but they have not agreed to scrapping the licence fee. They have instead agreed to reform it to try and increase its effectiveness.

A number of media organisations such as RTÉ and the Irish Times welcomed the report, but not all comment was positive. Speaking in the Irish Examiner, Daniel McConnell said the report does nothing for most media, and it leaves many in the media unhappy that RTÉ’s dominance hadn’t been challenged.

It’s going to be an interesting few years in the media industry, and who knows what the future brings. We might have a slightly clearer picture now, but a lot is still unknown. All we can do is try our best to create quality content, and we’ll see where we land after that.

Read the full report here

Irish Times summary of the reports findings

RTE response to the report

The Irish Times response to the report

Daniel McConnell response in the Irish Examiner

Marty Whelan needs a sponsor for his breakfast show on Lyric FM. But the question is, how expensive is a lyric FM sponsorship? Let’s look at the numbers.

Marty is on air each weekday from 7am-10am. The show has 43,000 regular listeners, and the sponsorship includes 7 ten second stings across the day.

You also get a 10 second sting at the start of the show podcast, but it’s unclear if any Marty In the Morning chocolate bars are included.

An image of the RTÉ Marty Bar
From Marty on Twitter

So, how much does it cost?

  • 6 months will set you back €35,000
  • Or, you could go for the full year at a cost of €65,000, still no confirmation on if you get a Marty bar though

As much as we love Marty, his show isn’t the only thing up for sponsorship at the moment. Both traffic and weather are available too.

Traffic and travel updates are available in 3 month, 6 month and 12 month variations, costing €17,500, €30,000 and €50,000 respectively.

It’s the same story with the weather, with 3 months costing €22,000, 6 months available for just €39,000 and 12 months being available for the nice price of €69,000.

It’s interesting to see these costs as they are probably a fair reflection of prices on some of the bigger local stations in Dublin or Cork. But obviously, we can’t compare those costs to local stations as no local station could ever provide something as priceless as a Marty Bar!!!

Traffic and Weather sponsorship

Marty in the Morning sponsorship

Finally this week we’ve got more details on the moves being made by News Ireland, and how it impacts Wireless Group stations. In short, if you work at Wireless Group, get ready to share your office.

Staff at the Times were told this week to re-apply for their jobs, and it’s reported by the Irish Examiner that 15 journalism jobs might be lost. This is as a result of the closing of the daily Times newspaper in Ireland.

The Sunday Times and the Irish Sun will start sharing offices with Wireless group stations, and Harper Collins is moving in too. It’s hard to know what impact this will have, but it is Likely that The Sun will develop closer links to the radio stations for example.

Ultimately though, if the reports are true, 15 people are going to be out of a job. That’s tough to see, but we can only hope that everyone lands on their feet.

It’s a sour note to end on, but unfortunately that’s media. Hopefully we see less of these stories going forward now that we have the future of media report.

Read the story here

Quick Bits

Irish DJ Welshy is joining Spin for what they’re calling a Friday Night Residency

An opinion piece on how GAA on radio is helping the Irish abroad

Graham Norton has lost his top spot as the highest paid Irish presenter on BBC, that title now goes to Stephen Nolan

A new ad campaign for the Pride Vibes radio station has been launched by core

Applications have opened for Today FMs employee of the month

Derek Mooney spoke about his worry for his radio and tv career after Covid impacted his voice

And that’s the summary for this week. Come back to radio land next week for more radio news📻 and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for extra stories.