This Week In Radio 14/10/2023 (it’s a disastrous situation at RTE)

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

Here’s What Happened

RTE Dark logo

RTE is on the verge of running out of money, with Kevin Bakhurst saying the broadcaster would be insolvent by spring if it doesn’t get a cash injection from the government.

RTE can’t afford redundancy payments to reduce the staff count, and the government are holding off on a €40 million funding provision recommended by New Era.

Kevin Bakhurst has spoken of good commercial performance, but the huge drop in licence fee revenue means that RTE is now in a bit of a disastrous situation.

Rte has tried to diversify its income in recent years, but it’s had mixed fortunes. commercial venture GAA Go looks to have performed well and will provide much needed funds for the broadcaster, but ventures like Toy Show The Musical have been far less successful. No matter how successful RTE is commercially, there isn’t going to be nearly enough cash to cover the drop in licence fee revenue.

Kevin Bakhurst is really in an awful position as RTE needs drastic changes, but the money isn’t there to do what’s needed.

Time will tell how everything plays out, but it’s not looking good for the future of Public Service Broadcasting.

Read the story here

Fancy Christmas lights

98FM are taking their listeners to the zoo.

The Wild Lights Christmas instalation is back at Dublin Zoo this year, and 98FM are holding a listener night allowing people to check out all the fancy Christmas lights before anyone else.

Events like this have great value for broadcasters as they tick so many boxes. You can give tickets away on air and online, you can treat your staff, and invites are also often given to ad agencies to keep the ad buyers happy.

Lots of these events were stopped during the pandemic, so it’s cool to see them up and running again. You can apply for 98FMs listener night tickets on the station website now.

Read the story here

Freedom FM outside Broadcast

Freedom FM is hosting outside broadcasts with its own branded vehicles and everything.

What started as a simple online station has really grown into a big operation with a yearly temporary licence, filled with live programming and outside broadcasts. The station was live from Rascals Pizza Restaurant this week, and is currently broadcasting on FM across much of Ireland.

It’s impressive to see an internet station reach such a scale. It seems blending a good format, strong online presence, and consistent quality output on a temporary service can be a winning formula for stations.

We’ve seen 8Radio, Christmas FM, and freedom build strong online audiences through temporary licences, and we’re seeing commercial operators like Classic Hits Radio try replicate that success. It’s fascinating to watch this blending of online and traditional terrestrial broadcasting.

Freedom FM in particular have come a huge way in such a short period of time.

Fair play to everyone involved and best wishes for the future.

Read the story here

Quick Bits

Here’s an immensely detailed analysis of the people appearing on Brendan O Connor’s Newspaper Pannel

The trial of an Irish celebrity accused of the defilement of a child has been taking place this week. He cannot be named for legal reasons

⁨Coimisiún na Meán⁩ are getting a fancy new office that can accommodate 200 people

The irish Pirate Radio archive have called for a dedicated broadcasting audio Archive & repository for donations

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 23/9/2023 (you better get good at Gaeilge)

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

Here’s What Happened

Irish flag

Going forward commercial stations renewing their licenses will need to agree to more Irish language, programming, following a decision made by ⁨Coimisiún na Meán⁩ in July.

The Irish times report that when agreeing new licence terms for Galway Bay FM, the board of the regulator introduced two new conditions. “ a requirement to review and update Irish language programme commitments, and that the station collect data and, on request, report to the commission about their performance on the Irish language, media literacy and sustainability.”.

This comes ahead of an expected review of Irish language services to be carried out by ⁨Coimisiún na Meán⁩ in 2024. We don’t know the full scope of this review, but ⁨the regulator seem to be pushing forward with a plan to get more Irish language content on air.

It’s been a relatively good time for Irish media recently following the launch of a new dedicated kids TV channel broadcasting in the Irish language. Recent rule changes have led to more Irish advertising, and we’ve also heard rumblings of a new Irish language youth music service.

2023 has been a big year for Irish, and it’s looking like there are plenty more changes to come.

Read the story hear

Sound of Christmas sponsorship poster

I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping yet, but we got another sign this week that the festive period is just around the corner.

2FM are looking for a brand to sponsor the sound of Christmas, with a 10 second sting before each Christmas song played on the station this December. It’s the first time this deal has been on the market in 4 years, so demand will probably be high for such an important advertising opportunity.

The sound of Christmas will kick off on Friday December 1st, with 12 songs played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From Monday 4th 24 songs will be played in total each day that’s a total of 2 per hour. This will basically continue until Christmas Eve.

If you want a slice of the Christmas pudding that will set you back a cool €60,000. It sounds pricey, but 540 highly prominent stings is a big deal right before Santa comes. Exciting stuff kids, 93 sleeps to go.🎄

We’ve seen the Christmas ad opportunities for the toy show and Christmas RTE Guide hit the market too, so even if you feel it’s too early, reality tells us it’s nearly time. So, stop being a grinch.

Read the festive story here, and you might make the nice list

Raidió na Gaeltachta presenter Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí

Unfortunately we’re ending on a sad note this week. RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta presenter Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí has passed away at the age of just 53.

The presenter hosted many shows on both TV and Radio over the course of his career, but was probably best known for Rónán Beo on RnaG which started in 2006. He was a well respected name in Gaeltacht communities.

He was sadly diagnosed with cancer a number of years ago, and he went through many rounds of chemotherapy as well as 2 surgeries. You might remember we covered a fundraiser for Rónán earlier this year which raised over €171,000 for further treatment.

He’s a voice that will certainly be missed by many, with tributes being paid by everyone from Kevin Bakhurst to Michael D. Higgins.

You can read some of the tributes in the journal article linked below.

May he rest in peace.

Read the story here

Quick Bits

The guards are reportedly investigating following an interview with Sean Quinn on Newstalk

Belfast live are reporting on a poem read on RedFM

Graham Norton has said Gay Byrne was an inspiration

Rte aren’t handing over the former DG’s contract to committees as she has a right to confidentiality

Christmas FM will be back on November 28th

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 10/12/2022 (the end of Irelands biggest music show)

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

Here’s What Happened

Ronan Collins

He’s been hosting the show for as long as I’ve been alive, and indeed much longer, but it’s time for Ronan Collins to leave his daily show on RTE Radio 1.

Ronan announced that he will host his final edition of the Ronan Collins Show on the 23rd of December. From January onwards, he will be hosting on Bank Holiday Mondays only.

With 232,000 listeners, Ronan’s show was the most listened to music show in the country. Whoever takes over the show is going to have very big shoes to fill.

“I’ve been working on afternoon radio on RTÉ Radio 1 for nearly 38 years, plus six years before that on Radio 2, and nobody will ever know how grateful I have been for all the opportunities over the past 40 years and going forward with RTÉ. I often ask myself ‘how much longer can I continue to do this?,’ and the answer always is ‘just keep going.’ New challenges await now on RTÉ in 2023, and I will continue to be on RTÉ Radio 1 with The Collins Collection on Bank Holidays.”

Ronan announcing the end of his show

It will be interesting to see who takes over, with an announcement on this expected in the coming days. both Louise Duffy and Ray Cuddihy have filled in on the show in recent times, so might they be the next big names on Radio 1? We’ll need to wait and see.

Best of luck to Ronan on his future career, and congratulations on playing such a huge role in Irish radio history.

And that’s what I get for trying to be organised!!!

So, I had everything written all ready to go, and then RTÉ drop a bombshell. When they said the replacement would be announced in the coming days, I didn’t think they meant tomorrow. Anyway, we now have our replacement.

Louise Duffy in the Radio 1 studio

Louise Duffy will take over in the slot from January, after previously filling in for Ronan. She’s also covered other shows on the station, and has 8 years on Today FM behind her too.

It will be great to hear how the new show sounds in January, and we wish Louise the very best of luck.

Read the story here

An Irish language community station in Belfast is considering the possibility of launching a service on a small scale DAB Multiplex in Derry.

Raidió Fáilte have held a meeting with the local community to explore the possibility, and discuss what people from Derry would like from the service.

We don’t know the outcome of the meeting, but this might be an interesting one to watch over the next few months.

It’s also interesting to see DAB used in this way, especially when you consider that we never really went down this road in the republic. Would you like to see DAB in Ireland? Or would it be too big a risk for the existing radio industry? Vote on our Instagram story now.

Read the story here

Christmas variant of the Radio Land Logo

Finally just an explainer of how I plan to work stuff on Radio land over Christmas.

For the first time in 2years, I’m going taking some weeks off. Don’t worry though, I’m not doing a full Ronan Collins just yet.

Next Saturday the 17th I’ll take a look back at this years biggest radio stories, and then after that I’m taking a 2 week break. All normal programming will be back in January though.

Thank you all for supporting Radio Land over the past year. Do follow our social media for updates when we return.

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Quick Bits

The Irish Times have taken a look back at this year in radio

Opinions Matter has signed a new distribution contract with GoLoud

Ian Dempsey has got an end of year poll

Fyona Smith has started her job as managing Editor at Today FM

Radio Nova’s Clint Drieberg is now an Irish citizen

An Irish rapper has made a prestigious BBC radio 1 long list

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 3/12/2022 (are you ready for some Gaeilge)

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

Here’s what happened

Irish flag

The BAI have announced that they have allocated €2million in the latest round of the sound and vision scheme.

This round of the scheme was specifically for productions in the Irish language, so all of these projects are either fully in Gaeilge or are bilingual, meaning 30% or more of the show is in the Irish language.

Out of the 15 projects to receive funding, 10 were radio projects. Here’s a sample of some of the shows we can expect on radio in the next while.

  • SIad Féin is a radio drama for RTÉ JR Radio, and will also be aired on RnaG. The story is based in the West of Ireland where a group of tweens unleash an ancient evil. The show will apparently be filled with SFX and spectacular foley, so it should be a great listen. If the recent RTÉ JR radio dramas are anything to go by this should be really good. It’s been allocated €20,206 for 8 episodes
  • Clár sa Charr is a project airing on 11 commercial radio stations, focusing on the conversations between parents and their kids in the car. It’s all being managed by the IBI, with a funding recommendation of €111,000 for 105 6 minute inserts.
  • Béaloideas/Folklore is a 20 part series for Athlone FM exploring how stories are translated. Well known and lesser known stories will be translated by local Irish speakers and a member of the traveler community, and they’ll then be read by local school children. This project has been awarded €15,000

It will be interesting to see how these projects come together over the next while. As always it’s great to see quality public service content getting funded in this way.

Check out all the projects that got funding here

2FM Logo

2FM rising is looking for a 2023 sponsor.

Rising is a 2FM initiative where 10 up and coming Irish artists are supported with airplay and opportunities to try give them a boost in their career. many of those who have been a part of rising in recent years are now household names, so the initiative can be very effective.

2FM are now looking for a sponsor for Rising 2023, so here’s what’s up for grabs.

  • 4 Tagged Rising tracks per day for 48 weeks
  • 14 Station promos per week for 48 weeks
  • 20 promo blasts per year
  • 10 Instagram mini artist bio videos
  • 10 On air interviews with presenter, one per artist
  • 10 Long form interviews for podcast, one per artist
  • Studio 8 Recording Session with each artist with the sponsors logo on the video

All this can be yours for a cost of €100,000. It would be a perfect deal for some brand who wants to be seen supporting local Irish music.

It will be interesting to see who gets this sponsorship, but hopefully we won’t need to wait much longer. 2023 is getting closer.

Read the story here

Christmas FM Logo

Finally this week, Irelands Christmas station made a return to the airwaves. Christmas FM returned as expected on the 28th of November to help bring us all a bit closer to Christmas

In a change for 2023, Christmas FM have taken a page out of RTE’s book and copied the toy show appeal. Instead of having one charity partner the Community Foundation For Ireland will distribute funds between a number of charities across ireland.

The very best of luck to everyone at Christmas FM over the next while, hopefully the fundraiser will be a big success.

Listen to the station here

Donate online here

Quick Bits

Dermot and Dave are going on a Christmas road trip

Lorcan Murray is looking for a sponsor for the Classic Drive on Lyric FM

Radio Kerry has joined the online Christmas station club

Dates have been announced for RadioDays Ireland 2023

There are protests in Northern Ireland after the BBC decision to cut costs at Radio Foyle

A radio presenter from New Zealand has been exploring her irish heritage

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 19/11/2022 (ends and new beginnings)

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

Here’s what happened

Katie Hannon on a white background

RTE have announced Upfront with Katie Hannon, a new Monday night current affairs show to take over Claire Byrne Live’s old slot.

What’s interesting though is that it’s not really just a TV show. Upfront will be a full brand of podcasts, articles, and digital content across social platforms designed to facilitate public discussion.

Katie is giving up her radio hosting duties to take over the new show, so that means we’re getting a new host for Late Debate and Saturday with Katie Hannon.

RTEs deputy foreign editor Colm Ó Mongáin will take over both slots from December. He’s been responsible for some of RTEs podcasts recently, including Brexit Republic and the Pandemic Podcast.

The press release does mention that Katie will still have a roll on radio 1, but they haven’t said much about what that will be yet.

Very best of luck to Katie from us at Radio Land. It’s great seeing RTÉ really taking a digital first approach with this, so I look forward to seeing it all come to fruition in January.

Read the story here

Radio Rí Ra logo

Is it time for radio Rí Rá to go full time on FM?

The station returned to FM for three days this week, but in all the promotional material for the launch they made one thing clear. They want a full time FM licence. is it time they got one?

“We would like to thank the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, and Sport, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for their support in this development opportunity, and the opportunity to show that the station is ready to take the next step to provide quality shows and content to young people at a national level on a full-time basis.”

Raidió Rí-Rá Chairperson Traic Ó Braonáin

So, are they ready to go full time? And what does that look like? Would they operate as an independent public service broadcaster? Or would they try be a commercial operator?

On a national level it’s just RTÉ and Bauer now, and even if you don’t think we need new stations you’ve got to admit that Rí Rá is doing something nobody else is, and catering for an audience nobody else is serving.

So, should they get a full time licence? Go vote on our insta story now.


Read the story here

Eileen in studio

Finally this week, RTÉ newsreader and former radio continuity announcer Eileen Dunne has retired.

Eileen has had many gigs on radio over the years, presenting the God Slot on RTÉ Radio 1 as well as many music shows on Lyric FM.

In recent years Eileen’s main gig has been the Nine O Clock TV News, but she still continued to read news on Radio 1 and Lyric.

Congratulations to Eileen on a great career and all the very best for the future.

Read the story here

Quick Bits

The boss at Radio 1 says he fears losing Joe Duffy and Ryan Tubridy

The BAI are joining other regulators to collaborate on online media regulation

A review of broadcasting rules is taking place

The winners were announced at the Radio 1 Folk Awards

An article this week tells the story of One Offaly town’s contribution to the birth of radio

GoLoud have launched a Christmas station and hired Santy to host for them

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.