This Week In Radio 6/8/2022 (who will get the gig)

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

Disclaimer

Just a quick note to say that I’m on holidays this week, so Radio Land won’t be as detailed as usual. We’ll be back to having a fully detailed post next week👍 thanks for understanding.

Here’s What Happened

The boss at RTÉ Radio 1 has said Clare Byrnes TV replacement has big shoes to fill. Speaking this week, Peter Woods said Clare would be a tough act to follow, he also went on to praise her work ethic.

RTE is expected to announce Clare’s successor at their autumn launch this month, with Sarah McInerney, Grainne Seoige and Sharon Ni Bheolain all reportedly in the running.

You can read that story here

KCLR have announced the death of former presenter Johnny Barry. Johnny presented shows on the station since 2005, and more recently had been the stations Irish language ambassador

May he rest in peace

Read the story here

In late April 2005, Cork journalist Martin Barry died by assisted suicide in Zurich. The night before he died, he asked his partner Laura McDaid to complete one task for him, to find his birth mother and give her a message

That story has been told in a BBC Radio 4 documentary series called the last Request. It aired this week and is now available on BBC sounds.

You can hear the documentary here

Quick Bits

Here are the details for the Oireachtas Media Awards

There’s a new director of external affairs at Radiocentre

Ray Darcy was live from Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2022 this week

Premier League Live returns today on Talksport Ireland, sponsored by Harvey Norman

Support

If you’ve been affected by any of the topics discussed in this weeks radio land, you can visit the website linked below for information and support

Find supports for those impacted by suicide here

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.

This Week In Radio 30/7/2022 (It’s JNLR time Again)

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

Here’s What Happened

It’s that time again!!! This week we got the latest JNLR listenership numbers, so it’s time to see who’s up and who’s down.

Had enough JNLR stuff already this week? Click here to skip it👇

Radio 1 has had a mixed bag this time around. Some shows are up, and some are down, it probably all equals out really. The good news for RTÉ here is really the weekend schedual where they have seen some very healthy growth.

It seems they’re having some issues with weekday afternoons, which we’ll discuss more in a minute, but first let’s look at the numbers.

  • Morning Ireland is up 14,000 for a very healthy 473,000 listeners, compared with 4,59,000 back in February
  • Tubridy has also gained listeners even if it is a smaller jump. He’s now at 3,69,000 compared to 366,000, a jump of 3,000
  • Claire Byrne has hit 350,000 listeners which is an increase of 4,000
  • LiveLine continues its decline, and it’s going fast too. Joe now stands at 332,000, that’s down another 11,000, bringing his total losses in the last 3 books to a huge 72,000
  • Ray Darcy is really not having a good time either as he now sits at 197,000. This is the slots lowest number since Ray took the slot in 2015, so surely serious questions are going to be asked here.
  • Thankfully for radio 1 the losses are just for the middle of the day, as drive time is up 1,000 to 216,000

So all in all a mixed bag. Head of Radio 1 Peter Woods spoke to the Irish Times about the numbers, and it’s clear that he has some concerns about the afternoons.

“We are not 100 per cent sure on the afternoons, but we have seen a drift off from the end of News at One, and that peters out at the end as well, It’s hard to see what is happening and it’s hard to see where those listeners are going.”

Head of Radio 1 Peter Woods

He also hinted that they’ll be taking a closer look at the situation after the next book in the autumn.

This could bring a lot of changes, but if this continues for another book I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ray getting replaced by the likes of Kathryn Thomas or Brendan O’Connor. Interesting times ahead.

Radio 1 had a great run at the weekend, so you can check out the Irish Times link for more on that.

Read that here

Last time we spoke about 2FMs listener numbers, they’d just hired the 2 Johnnies, and a major TV campaign was on air promoting 2FM rising. It doesn’t seem like this has given 2FM any insane boost in listeners, but at the same time important shows are growing.

  • 2FM breakfast now has 123,000 which is an increase of 9,000-12,000. The only major change to the show in the last while has been Clock Blockers, so maybe a chance to win €10,000 is bringing in new listeners. (Note, there seems to be two sets of numbers available here so there was obviously an error at some point, the show definitely has 123,000 listeners which is an increase, but the extent of the gains has some small variation across reports. We will update article once we establish the correct info.
  • Jennifer Zamparelli has 138,000 listeners which is down 3,000. It’s still an okay number though, not catastrophic.
  • Tracey is down 2,000 and now has 127,000 listeners. Again, not catastrophic but certainly not ideal.
  • The 2 Johnnies have 122,000 listeners which is a good place to start, it will be more interesting to look at this in autumn when we can start looking at trends

I think 2FM will be fun to watch over the next while as they seem to be at the start of a new strategy. It will probably take time before we see anything extremely interesting but these numbers will be useful to compare in autumn.

RTE radio’s numbers can be found in detail here

Newstalk is doing very well with most shows gaining listeners. Any losses are small and it doesn’t seem the station has any major downward trends. That said, a few numbers from their press release might throw people slightly. Instead of comparing book to book, they went from year to year. They were very transparent about this in fairness, but we’ll stick to going book by book so it’s easier to compare with other stations.

  • Newstalk Breakfast has reached 146,000, that’s up 8,000 from 138,000 back in February
  • Pat hasn’t budged, he’s still got 148,000 listeners which is the same as last book
  • Lunchtime live is down 3,000 and now sits at 111,000
  • Moncrieff now has 88,000 listeners that’s up 11,000. This is a good continuation of a recovery we first saw in the last book.
  • The hard shoulder is also up. The show gained 4,000 and now sits at 155,000

Really not bad. Newstalk only really had a miner drop with Lunchtime Live, and at least for now that’s not a trend. There is the risk of news exhaustion hurting the station slightly in the future but they seem to have avoided this for the most part so far.

Check out all the details from Newstalk here

Today FM have made changes recently and all seems relatively okay. They are still well ahead of 2FM and that looks unlikely to change anytime soon.

The problem is they have changed so much that any comparisons to previous books are basically irrelevant. For now we’re just going to share numbers without comparisons, and we’ll get more accurate trends in a few months time. All in all things seem healthy though.

  • Ian Dempsey has 201,000 listeners or as Today FM put it, more than 200,000
  • Dermot & Dave bring in 203,000 listeners. It will be interesting to see if they can stay above that 200,000 line
  • 143,000 listen to Ray Foely. that’s a big jump for him after years at RedFM, so I’m sure he’s happy enough
  • Pamela Joyce is entertaining 134,000, as of now there’s 7,000 between her and Tracey over on 2FM so she’ll be trying hard to maintain that lead.
  • 174,000 tune into Matt Cooper at drive time

Generally these are very healthy numbers, we’ll need to wait and see how things go over the next while but it doesn’t look like Bauer will be crying anytime soon.

Today FMs numbers are here

Other stations

Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to cover every station as much as I’d love to. Here are links to a number of JNLR articles so you can hopefully find what your looking for.

I’d also recommend having a look at the JNLR hashtag on Twitter. some presenters share their numbers using that hashtag so it might be worth a look.

Iradio

Newstalk

Radio Today

Business Plus

The Independant

Overall everything seems to be remaining stable. For those of you who got good results congratulations, and for those who didn’t don’t be too hard on yourself. Every book tells a different story, so everyone will have another chance to impress in 3 months. Keep doing your best and you’ll do just fine.

In other news

TalkSport have secured Irish broadcast rights for the premier League. The new 3 year deal covers the 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25 seasons.

Talksport is available in the apps of all the Irish wireless group stations, and Irish coverage is usually produced from the 96FM studios in Cork. It will be interesting to see how the sports broadcast space evolves in Irish radio, as if Talksport or OTB took GAA radio rights for example things might change drastically.

For now though, Urban Media are selling sponsorship and advertising packages for the premier League coverage, trying to make some of the money back.

Read the story here

Finally this week, the BAI have announced a €2 million sound and vision round for Irish language projects.

This round is funded by the department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media, and is open to independent producers of television and radio projects.

In order to increase gender equality in the broadcast industry, this round requires that at least 50% of the actors or contributors on projects be women, and at least 50% of the creative team must be female also.

Any extra funding going into public service content production is a good thing for the industry, so hopefully we see more of this going forward.

The BAI point out that they will continue to allocate between 20% and 25% of funding towards Irish language projects in regular sound and vision rounds also, so we should certainly see and hear more Gaeilge on air over the next while.

The Irish language really gives you a great advantage in media, so I might need to re download Duolingo and get that skill back😂

You can get more info here

Quick Bits

RTE JR Radio has been nominated in a number of categories at the Irish Podcast Awards

96FMs best of Cork Awards are back, and voting is now open

Bauer is getting a new People and Culture director who will work across all European operations

A former RTE journalist for RnaG was sentenced this week for the sexual assault of a woman while she slept

RTE Radio 1 has some new shows for the summer

MEP Clare Daly says she has felt mischievously misrepresented by the establishment media

Support

If you’ve been affected by any of the topics discussed in this weeks radio land, you can visit the HSE website linked below for information and support

HSE info on rape and sexual assault

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.

This Week In Radio 23/7/2022 (Too much interesting data)

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

Here’s What Happened

Image of two people Irish dancing from the RTE 2021 annual report. They look to be outside near a coastline, with a blue sky in the background

The RTÉ annual report was published this week, and as always it contained all sorts of interesting numbers and facts.

You might have seen some of the headlines about RTÉ making a surplus of €2.4 million, but there’s so much more buried in the report. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting bits.

Financial performance

As mentioned above, RTÉ had a surplus after tax of €2.4 million in 2021. This is down from the €7.9 million in 2020. While it’s good that RTÉ are making money, it’s important to note that they saved money as a result of Covid shutdowns. Some big budget productions such as dancing With The Stars didn’t happen in 2021, so it will be interesting to see if RTÉ can continue it’s money making streak into the future.

So, how is RTÉ making it’s money?

  • Commercial revenue was up €13.8 million as there was a boost in advertising particularly in the second half of the year. Licence fee sales dropped 10,000, leading to RTEs licence fee revenue going down by €500,000
  • Total revenue was €344.4 million, up from €331.1 million in 2020.
  • There was a 14.9% increase in TV ad spot revenue. This is important as it’s the biggest contributor to RTEs commercial income.
  • When you include TV sponsorships and product placement deals, the increase is 15.3%. More programs got made in 2021 so there were more opportunities for sponsorship. Drama’s like Kin and Hidden Assets both had sponsors attached in 2021, and we are told that drama sponsorship brought in considerable revenue for the year.
  • Radio saw a total revenue increase of 5.6%. Spot advertising was up 3.7%, sponsorship by 12% and promotions including competitions and outside broadcasts were up 13%. It’s noted in the report that this is despite the restrictions on events, hinting that outside broadcast revenue might increase further.
  • In a fascinating statistic, government advertising accounted for 18.6 percent of radio revenue in 2021, down from 21% in 2020. Those HSE ads are big business
  • Digital revenue is up 23.2% but I won’t overload you with any more numbers. If you want to see more breakdowns they will be linked below.

There are fascinating financial numbers all over the report but I won’t overload you. I’m conscious that this is Radio Land, and some of you only care about the radio side.

Another area that’s interesting is how much from each licence fee goes to each service. I’m only going to cover the radio side here, but all the links below will help you find further info if you’d like it.

Radio and the licence fee

An Irish tv licence costs €160. The numbers below are calculated by taking the cost of a service, and excluding the revenue it brings in. So let’s say the hypothetical RTÉ radio 3 costs €3 million but brings in €2 million, the licence fee covers the other €1 million

So, how much does each service cost?

  • Radio 1 cost €13.06 from each licence fee in 2021, down from €14.04 in 2020
  • €2.49 went from each licence to 2FM also down from 2020 where the cost per licence was €2.71
  • RnaG cost 1 cent less from each licence, costing €8.13 in 2021 compared to €8.14 in 2020
  • Lyric also took less from each licence costing just €3.36, down from €3,62 in the previous year
  • Overall, radio cost €27.04 from each €160 licence, down from 28,51 in 2020

Some really fascinating numbers to be fair, but that’s only scratching the surface. There really is too much interesting data.

If you want to read more about everything that happened for RTÉ in 2021 feel free to explore the links below. Be sure to let us know on social media what you thought, we’re @radiolandIRL on everything.

All the financial stuff is here

What was done in 2021

What was won in 2021

What was made in 2021

QRadio Belfast gave away £10,000 (€11755) this week on Spin To Win.

The competition, which uses the same business model as the Bauer Cash machine, sees contestant’s send a £2 text message for the chance to spin the wheel.

Prizes on the wheel could be anything from a hotel getaway to £10,000. John won the top prize this week.

It’s interesting to see how stations handle competitions, it seems Wireless group are the only big player now without a big competition on air. they have so far stuck to local contests, and haven’t gone down the road of pay per entry.

It’s going to be interesting to see if stations with less money on the line can compete with the likes of the €10,000 2FM clock blocker, or the Bauer cash machine which regularly gives away thousands.

Watch the wheel spin here

Finally this week, the BAI have found that coverage of the Covid-19 vaccine on Newstalk and RTÉ was “editorially legitimate”

There were 11 complaints made regarding the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, and one made regarding Today With Claire Byrne on Radio 1.

Most of the complaints claimed the coverage was prejudiced against people who did not avail of the Covid-19 vaccine, but the BAI have rejected this.

People who are not vaccinated do not represent a particular group in society that is given specific protection under either equality legislation or the provisions of our code of programme standards

BAI responding to the complaints

All of these complaints were rejected.

This raised an interesting question. I was talking with someone yesterday who suggested that if someone makes a complaint to the BAI and it fails, they should be charged a fee to cover the time cost.

On one hand this might reduce the number of complaints getting rejected, but on the other is this adding a barrier that shouldn’t exist? I’d never thought about this before, but I’m interested to see what you think. Go vote on our Instagram story now.

Quick Bits

The bAI this week announced they have dismissed a complaint related to O Holy Night being played on RTE Radio 1

An online radio station for blind and visually impaired people in Ireland launched this week (full disclosure, I am involved in assisting the NCBI with this project)

Kathryn Thomas is hoping for her own radio gig soon as she’s been filling in for Ray Darcy for years

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that Dublin media is only interested in Northern Ireland when there’s a crisis

Last week we discussed the closing of the times Ireland Edition, and how it would impact wireless group stations. 11 journalists have now left after they were told of 30% pay cuts

Irish presenter Laura Whitmore has left BBC Radio 5 Live

Ryan Tubridy is taking his holidays, he’s not retiring as some news websites suggested in their headlines

New research has found that reginal accents seem to work better in advertising

Second Captains has secured Audi as sponsor

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.

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.

This Week In Radio 9/7/2022 (sorry gamers, you’ve got radio ads now)

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

Here’s What Happened

Public accounts Committee logo

The Public Accounts Committee has levelled a number of criticism’s at RTÉ.

They were critical of RTEs gender pay gap, as well as the pay gap between those working through English and Irish. These have been issues for a long time, with many Irish Language staff not being paid as much as those working through English,

By far the biggest criticism of RTÉ though was their over reliance on state funding through the licence fee. RTE is a dual funded broadcaster, meaning they are part funded by a licence fee and part funded through limited commercial activities.

The problem is that RTÉ always gets more from the licence fee then from commercial revenue. The PAC were critical of this and argued that RTÉ were becoming increasingly reliant on the licence fee income.

A number of recommendations were made in the PAC report, but it’s reported that many of these such as getting Revenue to collect the fee have been rejected by government.

The Irish Times report RTÉ as saying it would give “due consideration to these findings in the coming days and will be liaising further” with the department in terms of the specific information requested.

They also welcomed the suggestion from the department that the report on the future of media should be published.

You can read the full details of the PAC report in the linked article from the Irish Times. There’s a lot to it, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens going forward.

Read the story here

Gamers might start hearing radio ads more often after Bauer announced a deal with AudioMob to become the official ad sales partner for Ireland. So, how does it work?

In its simplest form, it might mean audio ads in the menu, or it might mean audio ads on the bus as your character travels to the in game arena. in games with radio stations you might also start hearing some audio ads as you approach.

Those would be the clever implementations of the system, other potential risks are that the ads just interrupt the games soundtrack, with no input from the player. it all depends on how creative the game developer is honestly.

An Post are the first to buy ads with the new system. In their deal, ads only play if the user has volume over 30% so as to ensure the ad cuts through.

It’s a really interesting concept to think about, and it’s certainly cool to see a traditional broadcasting business like Bauer go down this road.

The down side is obviously increased competition for ears potentially hurting the core radio industry, but the impact is still unclear at this point.

Read the story here

Finally this week, the C103 studios in cork have been getting some extra usage.

Graham Norton has been hosting his Virgin Radio UK show from the C103 West Cork studios. Graham comes home to Cork each summer and it’s becoming tradition for him to record his show from Bandon.

C103 and Virgin Radio UK are ultimately owned by the same company, so this has likely made the collaboration easier. It’s the second year of this arrangement, with Graham hosting in the studios for the first time last year.

Graham explained to Newstalk that he’s hosted a few weeks from Cork, is now taking a break, and will then return to the UK hosting from the news Tower in London. Interesting to see how the bigger groups are using their Irish operations in this way.

Who knows what big names we’ll see hosting from Ireland in the future with these sorts of arrangements.

Read the story here

Quick Bits

Sinéad Hussey is the new RTÉ News Midland’s coraspondant

Hip Hop radio show the Plastic Attack has ended after 24 years

A new ad campaign launched for the Irish Defense Forces this week, it will be seen and heard across TV, radio, VOD, digital, OOH, DOOH, and social media

Aslan’s Christy Dignam has spoken about the lack of Irish music on Irish radio, saying RTÉ only ever play two of the bands songs

Benedictine monks, famous snails, and some happy Irish cattle. An introduction to the Wonderful world of slow radio

A new show called the Science Of Sence has started airing on RTÉ JR Radio

QRadio Belfast had some issues with their QTV studio camera’s

Last week we discussed the lack of female artists getting played on Irish radio. A new bill has been proposed to deal with the issue but the contents of the bill arn’t currently clear

Former Director general of RTÉ Joe Barry has passed away. May he rest in peace

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.