This Week In Radio 9/9/2023 (unleash the Beast)

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

Here’s What Happened

RTÉ logo on a sign

RTÉ released their annual report this week, but despite containing loads of interesting info it didn’t get nearly as much traction as in other years.

So, sit back, relax and enjoy a list of interesting rte info. Remember this is all from 2022, so the organisation wasn’t exactly on fire then.

  • RTÉ lost just €2.8 million last year, despite inflation and the war in Ukraine. The organisations commercial income was up 2.6% to €152.1 million, while licence fee income fell by €500,000 to €195.6 million. Wait untill they see that number in 2023
  • They had a 1.8% drop in spot ads on radio, but sponsorship and promotions offset this drop leading to a 1.2% boost for radio revenue. Radio ads from the government fell to 13.3% of total income. down from over 18% in 2021. Much of this drop is as a result of less money being spent on health messaging around the pandemic.
  • Out of each €160 licence fee, €13.49 was spent on RTÉ Radio 1. 2FM cost €2.60, while€3.54 was spent on Lyric FM. A total of €8.36 was spent on RnaG. This adds up to a total cost of €27.99 on radio from each licence fee.
  • When you bring together TV, Radio, Online, Saorview, orchestras, admin, and government charges, RTÉ used €134.97 From each licence fee. The rest was spent on the BAI sound and vision scheme, An Post, and support for TG4.

There’s tons of facinating info in the annual report, so it’s well worth a look. I’ve linked the financial section below, but you can go around the site to find the bits you’re interested in.

RTÉ is going to have a huge problem in 2023, and unless they can get a boost in the budget they’ll be in real trouble. It’s going to be politically messy to give money to the broadcaster, but there’s no reason why the government couldn’t just buy advertising to keep the organisation afloat. Have ads for different health initiatives, mental health schemes, social welfare programmes and stuff like that. Any ads you don’t need could be used to promote charities.

Who knows what the future holds, but somehow I feel RTÉ might have a slightly less successful 2023 Unfortunately.

Read the report on this dedicated website here

The Beat Beast

Beat 102-103 has created its first Outside Broadcast Unit, and that’s not even the interesting part. The boys and girls in Waterford went and converted a three tonne Land Rover Defender, as you do, calling their end product the Beat Beast.

Waterford based company Mad Racing did the upgrades for the unit, with the project given the green light earlier this year by station owners The Irish Times and Des Whelan.

The unit has 5G broadband from both Three and Vodafone, and as a backup it can also use Broadband from Elon Musks Starlink brand.

This is a really cool project and provides another opportunity for brands who want to advertise with Beat. the station plan for the Beat Beast to almost become its own brand, which could be a nice revenue generator for the station.

Well done to everyone involved in the project, hopefully it goes well.

Read the story here

Irish Times Logo

Finally this week, we had an absolutely fantastic analysis of the state of the industry published in the Irish Times.

The Newspaper spoke to the bosses at RTÉ, Bauer, and Wireless, while also catching up with the heads of a few independent broadcasters like Beat 102 103.

We learned a huge deal about the thinking of these bosses and it has lead to a fascinating read. I’ll summarise a few points from the

article below, but I’d highly recommend giving it a look.

  • 2FM are happy enough. Kevin Bakhurst has visited the station four times in the last 6weeks, which Dan Healy says is a good thing. They are working on a new BBC sounds style product for 2024, calling the recent RTÉ Radio Player upgrades an interim upgrade. Bauer avoids the question of purchasing 2FM, but said “We actively review all opportunities for acquisitions in Ireland that fit with our business model, but we don’t comment on speculation,”. Interesting stuff.
  • Wireless seem happy enough with life too, but it sounds like FM104 is a bit of a sore point. They’re launching a new show soon, and I don’t think the details of that are public yet so I won’t say anything that could get me in trouble. They spoke positively of Bauer, indicating that they work well together on wider industry initiatives. It seems that despite the poaching from one another in the Cork market, they seem to be doing okay.
  • Bauer on the other hand are flying along. They’ve had great JNLR success, and had no major complaints. The most interesting statement about Bauer actually came from 2FM boss Dan Healy, who said he’d expect a listenership drop in the 9am slots for both Today FM and Radio1. Dermot left today FM recently leaving Dave to go solo, while Tubridy, well, let’s not talk about that.

That’s only scratching the surface, so I’d highly recommend this article from the Irish Times. A huge amount of work went into this and it’s clear to see. Fantastic journalism.

Read the article here

Quick Bits

Newstalk reporter ⁨Henry McKean⁩ became an Irish citizen

Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh has been appointed regional manager of RnaG in Donegal

Maura Derrane will be taking the Tubs slot on Radio 1 for two weeks, as RTÉ look to try new people in the slot

An Irish Radio pub quiz is taking place in Cork next week

Radio Nova had 13th birthday celebrations

Sheila Naughton has started as a multi media reporter at Bauer🎉

And that’s the summary for this week. Come back to radio land next week for more radio news📻 and be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more fun from the world of radio.