Radio news🚨

This Week In Radio 16/9/2023 (it’s time to pay)

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

Here’s what Happened

RTÉ dark logo

A judge in Dublin has ordered the arrest of those who failed to turn up for court dates regarding them not paying the TV Licence.

Judge Anthony Halpin issued bench warrants for the arrest of 35 people who failed to show up, saying the “law is the law and one must have respect for the law, and one must obey the law,”

He criticised RTÉ and its godlike personalities quite strongly earlier in the summer, but despite this he seems to be unhappy with the levels not showing up to court for TV Licence cases.

This is a dramatic escalation as untill now he’s generally just issued a fine, but he said this week that “the patience of the court can be exhausted by those who refuse to buy the licence and seemingly try to justify same so as to ease their conscience,”

It’s a no win situation really. RTE aren’t happy with the licence fee, the public aren’t happy with the licence fee, and across Europe the concept of licence fees is becoming less and less common.

Mary Lou Mcdonald said this week she believes direct exchequer funding has merit, but ultimately it’s a complicated matter. Direct exchequer funding does leave RTÉ open to political interference, but then again so does the licence fee, and direct funding has worked for TG4.

It’s a crazy state of affairs, but hopefully things can regulate a bit in the budget and beyond. Now that theres a hiring freeze at RTÉ we’ll certainly start seeing cuts, which is really bad news.

Read the story here

8Radio logo

8Radio.com have called for ⁨Coimisiún na Meán⁩ to licence local DAB operators, giving niche broadcasters the oppertunity to broadcast on a low cost platform.

DAB never really took off in ireland, despite attempts from both RTÉ and the private sector. RTEs multiplex shut down in recent years leading to the world of DAB becoming a pirate only space.

DAB does have potential though and would hopefully allow smaller stations access a wider audience without massive costs. I’m immediately thinking of services like RiRa, 8Radio and RTÉ Gold, but there are plenty others too.

It’s hard to know if this will have much impact ultimately, but it’s a conversation that keeps rolling on.

Should Ireland have DAB? Vote on our Instagram story now.

Read the story here

IMRO Radio Awards Logo

Finally this week, the IMRO Radio Awards have inducted four new broadcasters to their hall of fame.

The new inductees are Mary Wilson from RTÉ Radio 1, John Bennett MBE from BBC Radio Ulster, Joe Finnegan from Shannonside Northern Sound, and Paddy Halpenny, formerly of Communicorp.

What’s great about the hall of fame is it often recognises those from smaller stations. Yes it’s recognising the work of those at RTÉ, but it’s also recognising the huge impact of those working for the likes of C103 or Shannonside Northern Sound. It’s fantastic that these people get the credit they so rightly deserve.

Congrats to the new inductees, and well done for your great work in radio. Next stop is the 6th of October for IMRO Awards Night.

Read the story here

Quick Bits

Radio Kerry are hosting ticketed events with the Irish Rambling House

Midlands 103 rebranded as Niall 103 to celebrate Niall Horans birthday

Dave Moore has spoken about hosting without Dermot on Today FM

Maura Derrane started hosting in Tubridy’s slot

The 2 Johnnies have a new tv show on the way, following an appearance on the first episode of the new Late Late Show

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.

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.

This Week In Radio 2/9/2023 (Bauer are still buying stuff)

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

Here’s What Happened

Media Central Logo
Another company joins the Bauer family

When Bauer baught Iradio, we asked in a poll if people thought they were getting too big. The industry was clear, with 79% of people saying yes,

None of that matters ultimately though, as nothings going to stop Bauer buying unless ⁨Coimisiún na Meán⁩ or the CCPC step in. This week the company announced another deal, with the Germans now set to acquire ad sales business Media Central.

Media Central operate as the quiet backbone in radio really, but they sell ads for Bauers stations, as well as other clients such as Classic Hits Radio and Beat 102 103.

The company say that it will continue to serve these other clients, but it’s slightly concerning to be relying on your competitor to sell your ads too.

Its certainly not unheard of, Urban Media sell ads for other stations even though they’re owned by Wireless Group, while over on the TV side, Sky Media sell ads for tons of channels despite owning many themselves. The relationship can work, but it’s scary in some ways for these stations as they never signed up to have Bauer selling their ads.

It’s a fascinating time to see a company expanding so quickly, but for those who already saw Bauer as too big, this won’t exactly calm their unease.

Read the story here

Red FM Logo
Red FM have their new breakfast show on air

Red FM breakfast with KC kicked off on Monday, and it sounds decent to be fair.

The shows not radicaly different to what’s been there before, or even what’s airing over on 96FM, but despite the Pop Quiz effectively being a rebranded instagrand. (KC’s words not mine), the production feels a bit slicker in my view.

Like any new show or station it takes time to get muscle memory down for a new desk with new production elements ETC, but KC is generaly really good at production, and it showed.

I Would have liked to see a bit more of a drastic revamp, but KC is a quality host. This was clear to hear with his use of a clip in a post read interaction with sports reader ⁨Ruairí O’Hagan⁩. The two were able to have a fun, natural interaction around a sports commentator sounding like Mickey Mouse. It was a quality link, and it’s exactly the kind of style one expects from KC.

Long time 96FM news reader Victoria Nichols has joined the show as head producer and co presenter, so it’s going to be interesting to watch this relationship develop in the coming weeks and months.

Generally it’s a quality show even if I do feel some elements like the pop quiz could have been revamped a bit. KC’s strong presenting style is familiar to listeners in Cork, and I don’t think they’ll be disappointed.

Listen to the show here

New Irelands classic hits radio logo
Classic hits have a new logo, but will they have a new presenter?

Could Tubridy be off to the home of the 80s and 90s, Irelands Classic Hits Radio?

The station have said they’d match his €170,000 offer from RTÉ, but in exchange they’re looking for a two hour show each morning instead of one.

This would likely be a game changer for Classic hits, giving them an immediate listenership boost. At the same time though it’s double the airtime for the same cost. You’d expect that Tubridy would try push for the €250,000 as Classic hits are also allowed twice as many ads as RTÉ.

A deal like this would work wonders though, meaning that Classic hits would be taken as seriously as Newstalk in the market. Tubridy could earn nice money on Classic Hits, and earn TV money on the side, so it’s not a bad offer if they went to the €250k mark.

Will it happen, who knows. But now at least Tubridy and his agent know Classic Hits are interested.

Read the story on radio today, who refer to this story as a “stunt”

Quick Bits

€6.4 million has been allocated in the latest Sound and Vision funding round

Learning waves and Radio Kerry are teaming up for the Radio and Podcasting course in the Kingdom

RTÉ kids podcast Maddie + Triggs is to become a tv series

8Radio has turned 10, and is back on FM

Marty and Dee from Radio Nova have spoken about balancing work and family life

The IMRO Hall of Fame inductees will be announced on September 11th

The “Butt Lift” ads on 2FM presenter Laura Fox’s Instagram were RTÉ approved, but Kevin Bakhurst has since criticised them

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.

This Week In Radio 26/8/2023 (americas longest running Irish radio show comes to an end)

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

Here’s What Happened

Adrian Flannelly

It’s been oficialy confirmed that the Adrian Flannelly show, the longest running Irish radio show in America won’t be returning to the airwaves this Autumn. The show had an incredible 54 year run.

Adrian’s show reached 2.5 million listeners across America in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and was responsible for huge political movements within the Irish community in the states.

The show ended in July, but it’s now been announced that it won’t be making a return. There are wonderful tributes to the show, many of which can speak to its importance with much more authority than me.

Even if you haven’t heard the show though, one thing is obvious. If you host a show for 54 years, your going to have impacted many peoples lives. The impact is truely huge.

This marks the end of an era for Irish radio in America. Congratulations to the shows team on an incredible run, and very best wishes for the next adventure.

Read a tribute to the show here

RTE Radio 1 logo

It’s now been a week since we heard that Ryan Tubridy wouldn’t be returning to radio 1. We’ve had some interesting reaction both around Tubridy’s future career and his replacement.

The most interesting news around Tubs himself has been the rumour that he’s been approached by conservative UK News Channel GB News.

The channel have focused a lot on cancel culture, so maybe that’s where this has come from, but it’s impossible to know. Before everything exploded for Ryan, a deal was nearly signed for him to return to his radio show and launch a podcast, with a pay package of €170,000. It’s unclear if GB News would pay that amount, but it’s interesting all the same.

The other news has been around a replacement in the 9am radio 1 slot. The show was rebranded on Monday to the nine o clock show, but doesn’t have any of its own imaging or branding yet. It’s currently using a generic entertainment theme from the Reel World package made for radio 1 a few years back.

You’ve had the expected suggestions, alongside Louis Walsh requesting a reality tv selection show, but ultimately it’s just a waiting game. Whoever fills the slot will have big shoes to fill, but it’s unclear as of now who’ll take on the challenge.

RTE have had other interesting moments this week including the reveal of the payments for the reports into the payments, as well as a press conference interrupted by climate change protesters, Really this is all starting to become a standard RTÉ week at this point, so things are still a bit of a mess.

RTEs new programme launch is this week so hopefully that can be a line in the sand for some of this. It’s been a rocky few months and it’s really been a damaging incident for broadcasting as a whole.

Read the story here

IMRO Radio Awards branding

Finally this week, it’s IMRO time again. The shortlist was published this week marking the countdown to the big night. There was a record number of entries, with organisers saying “Local and national stations from every corner of Ireland brought their A-game, resulting in a challenging yet rewarding judging process.”

That judging process involved a Huge 110 judges from accross the industry, so a wide set of views should be reflected in the shortlist.

The event will return to the Lyrath Estate Hotel on Friday 6th October, where I’m sure there will be absolutely no RTÉ Jokes. It’s great to have this event encouraging the industry and it’s always great to see those who love broadcasting come together for a Big party, where the achievements in the industry can be celebrated.

Well done to everyone who was nominated. We look forward to bringing you more IMRO coverage in the weeks ahead. Let us know on our x account now, what’s your favourite IMRO memory?

Read the story now

Quick Bits

The new Red FM Breakfast with KC starts on Monday

The deadline for the Irish Journalism Awards is just around the corner

The Nolan show has moved studios as it’s controversies continue

Sean o Roarke has asked young people to consider joining the priesthood

Mairead Ronan says she misses radio, but family matters most

Dave Moore on Today FM wants listeners to join him on his opening show

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.

This Week In Radio 19/8/2023 (JNLR’s, buyouts, and a pinch of Ryan Tubridy)

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

Here’s what Happened

Iradio logo

Bauer are buying another radio station. Yes, another one.

This time it’s Iradio’s turn to become part of the big radio family, subject to them getting all the necessary go ahead from regulators, competition bodies, etc.

We can speculate about what this means, but realistically we know the playbook at this point. Cash Machine, GoLoud, and maybe a presenter shakeup. Bauers already huge grip on the industry was clear to see, and now it’s getting even tighter.

It’s hard to know how to put this, but Bauer is at this point taking over not just radio stations, but also the industry as a whole. There buying more and more stations, but even stations operated by other operators are doing things the Bauer way. That can’t be healthy.

Rather than do big analysis of this deal, we’re just going to ask a simple question. Is Bauer too big? Go vote on our Instagram story now.

Read the story here

JNLR logo

It’s been another crazy three months, and it’s time to see who’s going up and down with the latest JNLR results.

Let’s start with Radio 1

RTE radio 1 Logo

RTE has had a disastrous few months, but at least for now listenership seems okay. With Tubridy leaving we might see big changes here soon, but let’s look at where we’re at now.

  • 440,000 listen to Morning Ireland, which is a boost of 3,000 from last time. Every little helps
  • Last time I covered listenership numbers for tubs I called him “the most talked about man in Ireland”. i mean at least I know my content is evergreen. Anyway, unfortunately Tubridy won’t be going out on a high, he lost 1,000 listeners and had 334,000 tuning in.
  • Today with Claire Byrne has 323,000 listeners. That’s down 4,000 but she gain 6,000 last time so it’s not too bad.
  • News at One is up 3,000 and now sits at 303,000 listeners, or so RTÉ say. There seems to be an error here somewhere as RTEs last reported listenership was 299,000 from the show. Either the slot gain 4,000 listeners, or RTÉ under reported listeners last time. It’s also possible that they’ve over reported listeners in this book. We’ve reached out to RTÉ media sales to clarify and will update the article if we receive a response.
  • LiveLine is down 1,000 and sits at 305,000. This is based on numbers from the Irish Times, as RTÉ didn’t include the numbers for the show in their press release.
  • 183,000 listeners tune into Ray Darcy which is up 2,000. Ray was on a down hill slope there for a while but he’s up 6,000 in the last two books.
  • Drivetime also did well and has seen listener numbers grow. It’s up 6,000 for an audience of 220,000.

Seems like an okay book for the station, with strong growth being seen at the weekend too. RTE haven’t shared numbers for Louise Duffy, so I’ll update the article if I get those. All in all an okay book though.

RTE 2FM is also doing okay

2FM logo

Really 2FM has seen good results for key shows. Let’s take a look at how things are going

  • 2FM Breakfast with Doireann, Donncha, and Carl has 138,000 listeners. They’ve shown consistent steady growth and are up another 3,000 this book.
  • 133,000 listen to Jennifer Zamparelli, which is the same as last time.
  • Tracey Clifford is having a bit of a bad time at the moment losing yet more listeners. She’s now at 107,000 which is a 2,000 drop. She’s lost 20,000 in the last 4 books, so that’s got to sting a little.
  • The 2 johnnies had a lovely boost of 10,000 and now sit at 140,000. That’s really as good as it gets. Fair play.

Generally all good news, but it’s looking like it’s time for some changes for Tracey. Hopefully she gets a boost next time as otherwise I’d be very concerned for her. Can she do a ray Darcy and turn it around?

“2FM is in good health following the publication of listenership results for the most recent period. In general, most of our programmes have experienced an increase in audience. Particularly pleasing for all of us at 2FM is the continuous growth at breakfast time with Doireann, Donncha and Carl. With each quarter the show experiences steady growth. Producer Grace Callaghan and right hand person Willem McCarthy also deserve credit for the good shape the show is in. The two lads from Cahir , not yet on air two years, are out performing 2FM’s primetime share by 25%, this is a phenomenal result for The 2 Johnnies. Our new weekend schedule is also bedding in well and I look forward to the next set of results. As ever a massive thanks to our loyal audience and big welcome to our new listeners.”

2FM boss Dan Healy

Today FM will be happy out

Today FM Logo

Today FM will be happy out with their results as most weekday shows are up. Some of the gains aren’t small either.

  • 221,000 tune into Ian Dempsey each morning, which is a boost of a huge 13,000 from last time. Well done Ian.
  • Dermot and Dave had a listenership of 216,000, an 11,000 boost. Dermot has left the show now but it’s cool to see that he left on a high. We’ll need to wait and see if Dave can hold the audience solo.
  • Pamala Joyce has gained 9,000 listeners and now sits at 145,000. Today FM say she’s up nearly 10,000 listeners, which is mildly entertaining. 9,000 is nearly 10,000 so I suppose it’s fair enough.
  • Ray Foley continues to crush it. He’s up, again. He’s gained 10,000 and now has 173,000.
  • Matt cooper now has 174,000 up 7,000. This more than reverses his drop from last book.

Really it doesn’t get much better than this. Today FM are doing amazing on Basicaly every metric, and I’d imagine the German bosses at Bauer will be happy campers.

What’s the news with Newstalk

Newstalk Logo

Newstalk has only recently undertaken a visual rebrand, and they’ve also been doing some advertising. While we won’t see the results of that in this book, let’s take a look at how they’re getting on.

  • Newstalk breakfast had another drop, and now sits at 145,000. That’s down 4,000.
  • 179,000 people are tuning into Pat Kenny, a 6,000 listener increase according to the station. That doesn’t quite add up as they claimed he had 174,000 last time, so there’s an error somewhere. He’s up, but the details are a bit unclear.
  • Lunchtime live is down 4,000 and sits at 102,000. That’s dangerously close to that 100,000 clif edge
  • Moncrieff reached 103,000 daily listeners which is an increase of 5,000. Back over the 100,000, how bad.
  • 149,000 listen to The Hard Shoulder, that’s down 3,000. The show has now lost 10,000 in the last 2 books.

Outside of Kenny it’s not really great news, and even pats numbers are slightly unclear. We’ll need to hold out and see if the advertising makes any difference, but this book could have gone better.

“delighted to see more listeners tuning in every day, choosing us as their talk station. We welcome them and look forward to engaging with them in conversation that counts in the coming months,”

Newstalk Managing Editor Patricia Monahan

Overall

Things are still ticking along nicely. The next few books will be interesting as we see the fallout from all the RTÉ drama, but that’s for another day.

You can check out the links below for sources.

Newstalk

Today fm

The Irish Times

RTE

Ryan Tubridy

Finally this week a story that in some ways I didn’t expect. It’s official, Ryan Tubridy is not going to be returning to radio 1, at least for now.

The news came on Thursday evening when RTÉs Director general Kevin Bakhurst issued a statement saying he was concluding negotiations. Kevin spoke of a breakdown in trust between the parties, following a statement from Ryan responding to a Grant Thornton report.

Despite having agreed some of the fundamentals, including fee, duration and hours, regretfully, it is my view that trust between the parties has broken down. Public statements made without consultation appear to question the basis for the necessary restatement of fees paid for services for 2020 and 2021.

Section of the statement from Kevin Bakhirst

The debate is now over. Love or hate Ryan, you won’t be hearing him on radio 1. Following the announcement there were some nice tributes to Ryan on the news, which in many ways felt like eulogies to his career. we also had Kevin Bakhurst give an interview to Morning Ireland, confirming that Tubridy is perfectly entitled to head over to Newstalk or virgin now.

Who knows what’s next for Ryan. He could certainly make money with a podcast if he wants to. It’s also unclear what’s going to happen to his slot on radio. It’s the end of an era in some ways, but it can also be seen as an exciting time for change. this might well be the making of Ryan, but perhaps that’s too optimistic. I certainly don’t envy how he feels right now as if you think about it, he’s actually been canceled.

Best wishes to Ryan and RTÉ. Hopefully this relationship can heal in time.

Read the story here

Quick Bits

Liam Thompson is replacing Colm Hayes as PD at Irelands Classic Hits Radio

⁨Sheila Naughton⁩ has started a new job at Newstalk after stepping down as Tipp FMs head of news

The second series of podcasts produced by the Irish Prison Service is out now, well worth a listen

Malachi Cush is hosting a new RTE radio 1 show

The Doc On One podcast is up for sponsorship

BBC are airing a 4 part radio documentary on Seamus Heaney

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.