This Week In Radio 7/10/2023 (the IMRO awards took place last night)

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

Here’s what Happened

IMRO Branding

Last night was IMRO Radio Awards night. Those working in the industry made the annual journey to the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny, all excited to see who would win big.

Let’s take a look at the big three winners from this year.

  • Clare FM won local station of the year, crushing the dreams of WLR who were hoping to make it a 5 year streak. It’s interesting to see that it’s the smaller broadcasters who are winning this award year after year. Maybe the bigger players could learn a thing or two. Well done Clare FM, one to be very proud of.
  • Spin1038 won music station of the year, snatching it back from Red FM who stole it from them last year. Music is a huge part of radio especially for younger audiences, so Spin will be happy with this.
  • Finally it’s full service, wait, no, scratch that, national station of the year. This renamed award went to Newstalk. A recently rebranded station winning a recently rebranded award. How bad.

It felt like the IMRO Awards social media hype has cooled down a bit since its pandemic peak. The event was still trending last night, but it failed to hit that number one spot. Sure the Late Late Country Special is partly to blame, but there seemed to be a lot less excitement compared with other years.

For those in person though it seemed to be a great night. People were having fun well into the morning hours, which is always a good thing.

Congratulations to all the winners on producing great radio over the past year. Can’t wait to hear what happens on air in the next 12 months.

Read the winners list here

96FM Logo

It’s time. We haven’t got to have one of these for ages. Yep, it’s time for

Jingle Review

96FM have gone with a new package from TM studios, following a station schedule shakeup making the old package redundant. A good chunk of the core production elements sound the same, with no change to the stations tagline or sonic logo.

Honestly when you listen to the intro for news and sport it’s hard for me to even say with 100% certainty that they’re different. To be clear I think they have changed slightly, but the differences won’t be noticeable for an average listener.

The new breakfast show sounds good with solid production, and there are slight changes to the melody from before. Everything has a definite TM Studios feel to it so if you’re a fan of that you’ll be happy enough.

Overall it’s hard to know what to say about this package. It really just feels like a slight modification to the previous set, rather than something exciting and new that will make you say yay, new jingles. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. 96FM has had solid imaging for ages as shown by their bronze win for best imaging at last nights IMROs, but they’ve certainly made the call to play it safe for this round.

With a new breakfast and drive time show on air it made sense to give everything a refresh, and sticking with something tried and trusted seems to be the aim of the game.

The most interesting move here is the choice to go with TM Studios. Most stations trying to get younger audiences seem to go with Wisebuddah by default. In this case I think 96FM can be happy that this call paid off.

It’s a nice sounding package, although it’s not exciting in my view. I’m sure it will do exactly what it’s designed to do which I guess is all that’s needed at the end of the day.

Listen to the package here

It’s not the best ever 96FM package or the best TM Studios Package, but it feels instantly familiar which I guess is what Corks 96FM wanted following all the shake ups.

Let us know what you think of the package over on X. You can find us by searching Radio Land Ireland.

Read the story here

There’s explosives in the jar

Imagine you go out to do a small renovation job on your shed. Maybe you’re turning it into that home studio you’ve dreamed of, maybe it’s simply to clear up some space, or maybe it’s just because you want a little DIY project to get stuck into. Now imagine as you do that you find some war of independence era explosives and you need to get the bomb squad out, yeah, that’s a thing that can happen apparently.

Former RTÉ journalist Fergal Keane came across a stockpile of explosives this week when in an outhouse on his farm. Between 160 and 180 sticks of gelignite were found, which in the end resulted in three controlled explosions being carried out.

Fergal spoke of little sticks in an earthenware jar, with dozens more sticks in the wall and on the ground. He knew from his time working in Northern Ireland how unstable they could be, so he called the guards who called the defence forces. It just goes to show you never know what could be hiding right in front of you. Crazy stuff.

It’s a cool story to tell and certainly one that won’t be forgotten today or tomorrow. well done to everyone involved for getting this resolved safely.

Read the story here

Quick Bits

The workplace relation commission has found Rte is not liable in the €300,000 case taken by a journalist who was sexually harassed while working at the broadcaster

Glenda Gilson is hosting a weekly show on Freedom FM, and says she wouldn’t mind getting back into TV or radio

There’s something in the Today FM kitchen, but the email wasn’t very clear

Former RTÉ journalist and presenter Nicholas Coffey passed away this week aged 78

Beat 102 103 is looking for transition year students to take part in work experience with the station

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 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 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 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 1/7/2023 (The fire is still burning)

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

Use this link to Skip the RTÉ News if you’d like

We are now well over a week into the mess that is the RTÉ payments controversy. but calling it a payments controversy even feels wrong at this point as it’s expanded into so much more than that.

We’ve had huge statements, hours of testimony’s, and loads of random bits too. We aren’t possibly going to be able to cover everything, so let’s look at just 10 important or interesting points from the RTÉ drama.

1. Who agreed to underwrite Tubridy’s money?

According to RTÉ this was agreed to verbally by the former director general in a teams meeting on the 7th of may 2020. They say there were ongoing conversations about the contract and related side letters between March and July, with the deal officially being executed between the 21st and 24th of July.

2. How much are RTÉ broadcasters earning from the organisation now?

In the interests of transparency, a few RTÉ presenters revealed their fees. Claire Byrne earns €280,000 for her radio show and earned €25,000 for hosting the 10 part TV quiz tournament Ireland’s Smartest. Joe Duffy says he earns €300,000 for radio, and the €51,000 from his most recent published pay is for TV work. Miriam O’Callaghan also says her most recent fee of €263,000 is correct.‬⁩

Separately, Patrick Kielty revealed he is going to earn €250,000 per 30 show season when he takes over The Late Late Show in September. He’s going to earn €20,000 for pre production and rehearsals between now and then, and any additional shows requested by RTÉ will be paid on a pro rata basis.

3. RTEs CFO wasn’t sure of his exact salary

In an awkward exchange at the public accounts committee, the RTÉ CFO was asked for his salary. He seemed reluctant initially saying it was a private matter.

He received a bit of a telling off, and then tried again. He started by saying that he didn’t know the exact figure, but before he got a chance to attempt an answer, he was interrupted again and told off for a second time.

4. Many have spoken about an unhealthy culture at RTÉ

It started with Dee Forbes who spoke of her treatment by the board. Quote tweeting a post about this former 2FM ⁨host Louise McSharry⁩ said the experience “sounds familiar”

Gareth O’Callaghan also spoke about why he says he walked away from RTÉ 17 years ago. It all came down to a sound quality dispute.

5. RTÉ staff held protests

Around 200 RTÉ staff held a protest outside RTÉ in Dublin this week, and there were also protests at offices in Cork, at the RTÉ Lyric FM office in Limerick, as well as staff at Dundalk, Galway, Waterford, Athlone, Belfast and Donegal studios

Many held banners saying “Truth Matters”, while others had banners reading “Pay Cap”. Some also carried banners repeating the word transparency, Transparency ,transparency, transparency at RTÉ.

There was also chanting, what do we want? Answers. SIPTU and the NUJ has a large presence.

6. Tubs ain’t returning to the airwaves for now

RTE have said that Ryan still won’t be returning to his show for editorial reasons, and are avoiding questions about his long term future at the broadcaster.

This one’s a double edged sword as RTÉ don’t want to seem like their backing Ryan 100%, but on the other hand letting him be personable with listeners might have solved a lot of RTE’s problems this week.

Separately there’s a public dispute over the radio element of Ryan’s contract, and there are questions around him having a contract at all. You can read about that here.

7. Are you lying or are you loyal?

Them strong accents can be tough to understand sometimes.

TD Mattie McGrath and interim deputy Director General of RTÉ Adrian Lynch couldn’t seem to understand each other this week, and it in a way shows the tensions of the whole affair.

8. Center Parks aren’t going to renew their sponsorship of Ryan Tubridy on Radio 1

I mean this was probably to be expected, but Center Parks have made it clear to RTÉ that they won’t be renewing their sponsorship deal with the show.

They have also reportedly paused their current sponsorship arrangement.

Sponsors hate the smallest bit of controversy. FreeNow dropped Tommy Tiernan, and it was revealed this week that Department of Health secretary general Robert Watt personally killed off his departments Operation transformation sponsorship.

It’s going to be a real pain for RTÉ as the lack of sponsors will ultimately lead to cuts. Really not good news at all. If the Late Late launches without a sponsor on a new host year, that’s going to be a massive financial blow.

9. It’s the end of the road for Toy Show The Musical

I find this one particularly disappointing as I personally loved the Toy Show Musical when I saw it back in December.

Rory Coveney, Director of Strategy, said that Toy Show The Musical will not run this year. When asked about figures for the musical, he said that they are commercially sensitive but eventually agreed to get back to the committee on it.

It was clear to me even attending the show that it was at an unviable scale, but completely throwing out a uniquely Irish story like this seems a real shame. I’d hope to see it come back in some form in a few years, but for now at least it’s the end of the road.

At least make the music available on streaming services or something. don’t just waste a great thing.

10. We’re not done yet

The committees still want more, with Dee Forbes, Noel Kelly and Ryan Tubridy top of the list for interrogation. It feels like a story that’s far from finished, and looks to be maintaining its position at the top of the news cycle.

There’s loads more to this story including the €120,000 payment to Ryan that never existed, the sports tickets in the barter account, or the union’s reaction to everything. The fact is we simply can’t cover it all. The story has reached an insane level.

What’s next?

Who knows at this point. This story is a rollercoaster so we can only sit back and experience the ride. it’s clear though that this ride won’t have a happy ending, and things are going to be very different when the rollercoaster stops.

Other News In Brief

New Newstalk logo

Newstalk wants to be your friend, isn’t that so sweet? They launched a new advertising campaign to promote the station to new listeners. The campaign , called we’re that friend will be seen across TV, Social and VOD. And yes, in case your like me and wondered if they’ll have ads on RTÉ, they will indeed. The tv campaign will run across RTÉ, Virgin, and Sky.

2FM logo

Sometimes you just have one of those links that doesn’t go according to plan. Tracy Clifford had one of those links bringing her show to a close this week. She crashed the voiceover on the top of hour I’d, and threw in the wrong newsreader name for good measure.

Turns out Conor was presenting the next show though, so its an easy mistake. Just one of those links.

Quick Bits

IMRO Award applications have closed

People are already making bets on who could replace Tubridy

Radio Centre Ireland has won a Global Design Award

Bláthnaid Treacy has had a baby🎉congratulations🎉

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.