This Week In Radio 17/9/2022 (I’m not your radio station, please stop texting me, I beg you!)

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

Here’s what happened

IMRO awards logo

The IMRO Awards hall Of Fame inductees were announced at a ceremony this week. So, who was honoured at the event?

  • Morning Ireland presenter Rachael English. Rachael spoke about how she had been fascinated by the medium since she got her first radio when she was 10. She also thanked the Morning Ireland team as well as the listeners.
  • Galway Bay FM presenter and former CEO Keith Finnegan. Keith served as the CEO of Galway Bay FM for 33 years, as well as presenting the stations current affairs show for 3 hours a day. He stepped down as CEO in summer 2022 but continues to host shows on the station.
  • The late Midlands103 boss Albert Fitzgerald. Albert had roles at many stations, starting his work at corks ERI. His main work in ireland saw him lead Midlands103 through the economic downturn by launching innovative advertiseing services, such as an online store. Something more stations have replicated since. He sadly passed away in August 2022.

Congratulations to all the new Hall of Fame members. It really is fantastic that we have such talent in the industry.

Read more details from Radio Today

The Cork’s Red FM 7:45 secret sound has been won.

The current sound had been in play for 38 weeks, before it was finally guessed by Chloe Dunne this week. It turns out the sound was of a fuel pump being placed back in its holder.

The secret sound has been running in cork for many years, starting on wireless group station 96FM. The 96FM version had a prize that increased for each day the sound stayed in play. In 2017 96FM put the competition on pause, but Red FM stole the format the following week before 96FM could restart.

Originally when Red FM took the format they ditched the increasing prize and instead guaranteed €5,000. They called it “Cork’s €5,000 secret sound”, using the guaranteed prize as a selling point.

That guaranteed prize is now no more though, and Red FM use a carbon copy of the 96FM Format. That’s why Chloe won €4,500 after 38 weeks, and why the competition is now called the “7:45 Secret Sound”, named after the time, not the money.

What’s your favourite radio competition format? Is it the secret sound/what’s that noise, that simple 60 second quiz. the fugitive/ the hunt/ secret Santa? Go vote on our insta story now.

Vote now on our Instagram

Hear the sound here

Finally this week, imagine having a phone number so close to a radio stations that you end up getting music requests multiple times a day. Well, it turns out that one poor woman has been receiving messages for FM104 for years now.

@travelwithaine on TikTok has spoken about some of the texts and voice notes she’s received over the years, including one voice note where someone was explaining why they think they should win westlife tickets.

They explained in their voice note that their dad had been murdered, and they played you raise Me Up at his funeral. They then sent on news screenshots to prove it. Once they were made aware of the fact that they had sent to the wrong number they apparently seemed embarrassed and deleted everything.

What a crazy story, it would make you wonder how many people receive texts as a result of having numbers similar to those used by stations, or even old decommissioned station numbers.

So remember folks, check the number twice before you send that talk show your deepest secrets. You do not want to mess that up.

Watch the story time video here

Quick Bits

A couple who had their first date on Today FM have got married🎉congratulations🍷

RTE broadcaster Oliver Callan has a new comedy show on BBC Sounds

A load of ad teams had some fun playing softball this week

There’s a new commercial and operations director at Wireless Group

RTE have announced their plans to cover the ploughing championships

Michael Byrne has joined the board of WLR

RTE have insisted that the new sponsor of Claire Byrne’s show will have no influence on show content

Radiocentre Ireland are launching an audio course

Jennifer Zamparelli from 2FM has opened a Hair Salon

The Great Pink Run have announced Today FM as media partners

Bonus Stuff

This week we released our first ever video content. Check out our review of the new RTÉ Radio Player below and let us know what you think.

That’s it

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 3/9/2022 (Awards, Climate and cash)

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

Here’s What Happened

IMRO awards logo

This years IMRO nominations were announced this week, and we got confirmation on some of the event details.

The event is returning to the Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny, and will take place on Friday the 7th of October. Dermot Whelan will be back on hosting duties, as 41 award winners are announced.

The event hashtag was trending throughout the day on Tuesday as people celebrated their award nominations and congratulated each other. It’s clear that people are all looking forward to the event next month.

The hall of fame inductees will be revealed in a separate event on the 13th of September, so we’ll have loads of IMRO Awards news over the next while here on Radio Land.

Congratulations to everyone who made the shortlist, and for those who didn’t just keep at it. For the list of nominations check out the link below.

Check out all the details here

An Uplift petition calling for radio stations to stop giving a voice to climate change deniers has gained nearly 500 signatures.

The petition, started by Angela Deegan is to be sent to RTÉ, Newstalk, Today FM and Radio Nova. It argues that ”It is unacceptable and dangerous at this stage of the scientific understanding of the climate emergency to indulge climate deniers”.

The petition has a target of 500 signatures and looks to be on its way to reaching that goal.

It’s an interesting argument as on one hand you can argue (as the petition does) that giving a voice to so called climate deniers is dangerous, while on the other hand some might argue that banning a specific view from radio is equally dangerous and a slippery slope.

RTE have publicly spoken in the past about criticism of their climate change coverage so this is far from a new conversation, but it’s one that’s become more common in recent months following the unusually warm weather Ireland experienced during the summer.

The petition is linked below so feel free to sign if you wish, it will be interesting to see if any stations want to respond to the criticism over the coming days.

Read or sign the petition here

RTEs statement on climate change can be found here

Finally this week, the Bauer cash machine has given away its biggest ever prize of €78,106.97.

The cash machine which airs across Bauer’s network of radio stations requires people to send a premium rate text to enter, and if they call you back you must answer within 5 rings, and give the exact cash amount down to the cent.

Leigh Gamell was the latest winner to win big, he spoke about his win, explaining how he worried the next morning that it had all been a dream.

“two minutes before I was talking to the wife and said wouldn’t it be some great craic to win that, and I literally got the phone call after that.”

Leigh Gamell speaking to Ed and Valerie on Spin south Wests Fully Charged

Congratulations Leigh from us at Radio Land. Hope you enjoy the winnings.

Read the story here, keep in mind that this is a networked competition and isn’t only on Spin South West. Radio Today didn’t mention that in this article

Quick Bits

RTE is looking for its next head of news and current affairs

The Spinnies from Spin 1038 had a look around the radio studios at ⁨Coláiste Dhúlaigh⁩ this week

Beat 102 103 has launched its Solas School for Life campaign to get young people to #GoOrangeForSolas

Today FM’s sound garden lineup has been announced

Qradio’s spin to win has had another £10,000 winner

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.

Who’s been nominated for IMRO Awards this year? #IMRO22

It’s nearly IMRO Award’s time again, and today we got the shortlist of nominee’s.

IMRO awards 2022 logo

The event is back in person this year, and will take place at the Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny on Friday the 7th of October. That’s right people, the Lyrath is the home of the IMRO Awards once again.

Dermot Whelan is back to host the proceedings, so we’re expecting a top class event as usual.

You can click the button below to see the nominations. The very best of luck to everyone nominated.

Bonus Post: should we require 20% Irish music on Irish radio?

A few short weeks ago, you might remember us covering a story where Dave Fanning and Louis Walsh called for more Irish music to be played on Irish radio. That exact same week, 98FM canceled their long running Irish music show. This move was heavily criticised by some in the Irish Music industry, with some feeling the radio industry pays little more than lip service to Irish Artists..

The calls for change have only gotten louder since then, as over 100 people have now signed a petition calling for stations to play more Irish music. More on that in a moment.

not everyone is 100% on board with this call however. A number of months back, a poll on the Radio Land Instagram found that 60% of people said they didn’t think the BAI should enforce a 20% rule. While our sample size was admittedly tiny, it shows that there are people on that side as well.

So should we play 20% Irish music on licensed stations? In this post we’ll take a look at that and examine the view on both sides.

Let’s start with the Play More Irish campaign

Play More Irish Logo, with the hashtag PlayMoreIrish

Introducing Rory from Dublin. Rory is a 38 year old music fan, but he doesn’t work in the industry. Rory created the Play More Irish petition to try and get Irish stations to Play More Irish music on air.

This petition (to be sent to the minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media) has received over 100 signatures so far, and continues to gain more quickly. The petition page makes a number of points on why Irish Music should be played more.

  • Radio plays an important role in introducing listeners to new music and artists, Each licensed station should be required to devote a minimum 20% of its weekly music broadcasting to Irish artists
  • Both Canada & France have policies in place to ensure their homegrown talent is given their fair share of airplay. (more on that in a minute)
  • They also quote Dave and Louis, worth noting that Dave Fanning actually called for 25% while the petition Is only calling for a 20% minimum

So a general argument there is that it would benefit our artists, and if other countries can do it, why can’t we?

It’s an interesting point of view for sure. So, what are the rules like in other countries?

I’m going to focus on Canada specifically here as ireland and Canada would probably have more musically in common, considering the American influence. Also, these are rules for commercial stations, just know the public service broadcaster has stricter guidelines.

In Canada, a commercial station playing pop music is required to play 35% Canadian music. It’s also a requirement that 35% of the music played between 6AM and 6 PM is Canadian. This rule applies Monday to Friday.

For special interest stations, that number is 10%, with a higher percentage for certain sub categories of music. The 6am-6pm rule doesn’t apply, however, stations are required to ensure that Canadian tracks “are scheduled in a reasonable manner throughout the broadcast day”

So, the question is, should something similar be done here in Ireland? Well, let’s take a look at the other side.

The other side of the coin

We posted a story on Instagram asking for people to share their opinion. We specifically asked for people who disagreed with the 20% rule as we wanted to try provide as much balance as possible. we also gave people the option to remain Anonymous so they didn’t need to worry about upsetting employers, interestingly, everyone we spoke to requested anonymity.

So, how did that go? Well it was interesting. Most people who contacted us actually supported a quota, with some having quite strong words on the subject.

There’s no way you can cover someone who wants to deny Irish artists fair airplay in a way that comes off well. It’s a hilariously dated opinion. an Uplift petition isn’t going to change anyone’s minds. Music is the pesky thing inbetween ads for the commercial broadcasters. Radio is meant to document what’s happening, not tell people what to like

From a former podcast producer for a station in the south of the country

One presenter on a Dublin commercial station said that they felt that artists needed more support to make their music radio ready. We asked this podcaster if they agreed, but they argued that radio shouldn’t try to be so polished.

I think radio needs to drop a dated format and play all kinds of music, not just shiny pop. Stop talking down to your audience and play the raw hip-hop, the eight-minute post-rock track. People want authenticity, not polish

From podcaster in south of the country

It was hard to argue with this, it’s true that most stations in Ireland do have a very polished CHR sound.. But, this leads to an interesting question, what is Irish music anyway?

When people are requesting more Irish artists to be played are they actually looking for more formats of music to be played? Do people want more Irish artists, more variety, or possibly both? It’s hard to say. The presenter on the Dublin station made an interesting point in this regard.

Picture This, Gavin James and Hozier all sound Irish, but when you’ve got the likes of Moncrieff, Marty Guilfoyle, John Gibbons, Soule and even JC Stewart (from Northern Ireland I believe), you don’t think they’re Irish. They have a sound that they could be from anywhere, so it could leave some people thinking there’s not much Irish music being played on the radio

A presenter from a Dublin commercial station

This is an interesting point, is more Irish music being played then we realise?

I’ve just had a look and I’ve got four Irish songs in my first hour. I feel like that’s a decent amount, I’ll play probably 16-18 songs? Like it’s not an awful ratio

Presenter from Dublin

This is interesting as even if they’re were 20 songs in that hour (unlikely on a commercial station), that still hits the 20% requested in the Play More Irish petition. So are we just hitting the quota already without even noticing?

While I can’t back it up with statistics, I doubt it unfortunately. We did ask IMRO if they could provide a breakdown on percentages of Irish music played, but unfortunately we haven’t got a response as of publication.

Even though the presenter from Dublin thought that Irish artist‘s needed support to make their music radio ready, they also said that they felt the idea of a quota was fair enough. They also pointed out that there is a quota already in place for individual stations, even if it isn’t universal.

All this made it difficult to get a clear picture around why some people don’t think there should be a BAI enforced quota.I know these views are out there however so let’s play devils advocate for a minute. Here are some reasons people may be against it.

  • The general idea that a lot of Irish music isn’t radio ready. This goes hand in hand with the idea that radio should try maintain a more polished sound
  • The idea that the BAI shouldn’t be creating more rules. That stations should maintain more creative freedom when building their playlists.
  • The idea that playing Irish artist’s wouldn’t be viable, as it’s just not what the majority of people really want.

All those are valid arguments, it really just depends what your perspective is.

So should we play more Irish music then? And where do we go from here?

This really depends on your perspective. It’s obvious that radio airplay is important to artists, but it’s also obvious that music from many Irish artists doesn’t fit within the common CHR formats around the country.

It would seem however that it would be possible. Look at the artists mentioned earlier by our presenter from Dublin. Picture This, Gavin James, Hozier, Moncrieff, Marty Guilfoyle, John Gibbons, Soule, JC Stewart. You start adding names like Lea Heart or Stephanie Rainey to that list and it becomes easy to hit a 20% quota without sacrificing quality.

Even for more specialist stations like classic Hits, a 20% quota wouldn’t be hard to hit. But is this solving the problem?

If your argument is simply to play Irish artists, that’s something that should be very achievable. and from our experience doesn’t get any very vocal objections. But what I’ve noticed from some is that they simply want more variety in music selection, they want a break from the CHR/ shiny pop. That becomes a harder question to answer and is kind of beyond the scope of this post. it is interesting though for sure.

How likely is it that we’ll see a quota in the future?

The only person who can really answer that question is the minister responsible for all this stuff. That would be Catherine Martin TD.

We asked the minister if she thought there should be a quota for Irish music on Irish radio, and if so what that quota should be.

Following our query, we were given a statement from the department for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. The response is interesting to say the least.

There are a number of legal and other factors which must be taken into account when considering the feasibility of introducing airplay quotas. The potential benefit to music production in Ireland must be balanced with the rights of broadcasters, subject to their contractual or regulatory obligations, to determine the type of content they wish to broadcast and to ensure commercial revenue particularly in the context of the current media climate. Importantly, the introduction of airplay quotas would need to be consistent with EU law. A quota for music produced in a particular Member State would be considered to restrict free movement of services by placing music produced in other Member States at a disadvantage. Given the legal challenges arising, the Government is not currently considering airplay quotas based on production location.

Statement from the department in relation to airplay quota’s

I’m sure some people will look at this and roar the word France, but at least this answers our question.

For now at least, airplay quotas aren’t being considered. Whatever you think of the reason, that’s where we’re at. It may be a case that maybe this could be solved with a European quota, but that’s all just speculation at this point. For now it seems there’s no quota on its way in the immediate future.

In summary

Most people we spoke to are in favour of an airplay quota, but it’s not currently being considered by the department for a number of reasons.

So what’s the takeaway here? Well, just because there isn’t a quota on the horizon, doesn’t mean stations can’t step up and do it themselves. There’s some positive press to be gained by supporting Irish artists so it’s certainly worth considering for stations.

The more people want it, the more likely it becomes. Who knows what the future brings, but for now, that’s where we’re at.

Other comments

We did also get a few interesting comments that simply didn’t really fit anywhere above. We’ll share them here so you can make up your own mind, but keep in mind that it’s fairly one sided. As we explained, we didn’t really get any comments strongly against the quota despite asking for those views. So, here’s a selection of some of the comments we received.

We asked Rory from the Play More Irish Campaign what his response would be to those who argue that more quota’s limit stations a bit too much.

I would say that in this digital age where I can listen to radio stations all over the world, why would I choose an Irish radio station, unless they offer good native local content. It makes total sense to me that Irish stations should feature good Irish content. The exposure for the artists also helps to build a healthier music industry & music scene in this great little island. In relation to limiting stations a bit too much 20% is a lot lower than what’s being done in Canada & France in comparison, I don’t feel it would be too limiting, there would need to be exceptions to the rules for Special Interest shows, for example a radio show that only plays pre-1960’s Jazz might find good Irish content hard to come by, but by following the Canadian model it wouldn’t be too difficult to allow for this. If it works for them, It can work for us. Play More Irish is not about limiting or restricting stations, Its about asking them to look outside their own front door rather than over the water. We have the Talent, a 20% quota as a reminder of that won’t hurt the radio stations.

Rory from Play More Irish

And let’s close with another comment from our podcast producer. They basically summarised the issue with one comment. This seems to embody a lot of the feelings from the music industry, so will maybe give schedulers some food for thought.

98 had a good thing with Totally Irish and f***ed it. Today sacked Paul McLoone – why? The commercial sector is actively making itself irrelevant. Commercial also needs to take Irish music out of dead air time and into the playlists. But document what’s happening in the real world, not pushing more industry b******s

Podcaster from south of the country

If you want to sign the play more Irish petition you can do that here

Thanks for reading and sharing your views

Huge thanks to everyone who read this post, and thanks in particular to those of you who shared your views.

We’d love to explore more of the industry’s views at some stage in the future, but that’s only possible when we have a large enough group willing to share their perspective. if you’d be interested in sharing your view going forward, give us a follow on Twitter and Instagram so you hear our call outs for opinions😃 you can also now like us on Facebook as well if that’s your thing. 📱

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Thanks again for reading, and remember to check back each Saturday for all the latest radio industry news📻.

Quote’s in this article are those of the individuals who made them, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Radio Land or it’s writers.

This Week In Radio 29/01/2022

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

Here’s What Happened

2FM have had a very busy week with the launch of 2FM Rising for 2022, and they announced part of a schedule change yesterday as well.

2FM logo

On Monday the station announced the artists who will be taking part in Rising this year. Each artist receives a €1,000 bursary and is also heavily promoted across the 2FM schedule with airplay of their music and exclusive interviews. It’s great to see Irish music getting the attention it deserves so best wishes to everyone involved and hopefully this opportunity is just the beginning.

2FM weren’t done yet however, they’ve only gone and switched up the schedule. The big news is that a new drive time show is on the way, but we don’t know much about that yet. Here’s all the changes that have been announced so far.

  • Jenny Greene is leaving drive time to host the Greene Room. The new show will air on Sundays to Thursdays at 10PM. Sundays show will be a chill out show, while the rest of the week will be dedicated to Irish music, including Indie and alternative music.
  • Laura Fox at the Weekend will air Saturdays and Sundays from 9AM. The show is going to have a focus on music, giveaways and celebrity stories. Laura has hosted podcasts for RTÉ in the past, including being the co host of RTE’s My First Ride.
  • Laura will also fill in on drive until the new show is ready to go.

A Peak time shake up on national radio is really exciting so I’m really looking forward to seeing how RTÉ play their cards here. there’s a big chance for 2FM to do something very interesting with this one.

Best wishes to those with new shows from us here at Radio Land, and be sure to check back often so you find out who gets Drive Time.

See the schedule changes here

Get the Rising list here

Dave Fanning and Louis Walsh have both spoken this week about radio stations playing more Irish music. Louis said it would help artists recover from the hit they took through Covid, while Dave spoke about how he feels the laws should be changed to force stations to support Irish music.

Interestingly, we asked this question on Instagram during Irish Music Month and I was kind of surprised by the answer. We asked, should stations be required to play 25% Irish music? Though the response was tiny, 60% did vote no.

I’d really like to do this poll with a large sample size at some stage. I’ve seen passionate arguments both ways on this in the industry., so I’d be really interested to see a full breakdown of information on it.

Read the story here

In a separate but very relevant story, 98FM have ditched their Irish music show with immediate effect. John Barker has hosted the show for over a decade, but the show has been going strong since 1989.

Following the announcement, the Irish music industry was understandably not too happy. Industry site GoldenPlec said that “News of the axing will no doubt heighten the feeling within the Irish music community that commercial radio pays little more than lip service to Irish artists”.

It’s almost ironic how big names call for Irish music to get played more, and then an Irish music show gets dropped. What a strange set of events.

Read the story here

Finally this week, a quick bonus story that didn’t deserve to be relegated to Quick Bits. Huge well done to everyone involved at Christmas FM who raised an amazing €331,515 for Barnardos in 2021. Keep up the great work all and see you on the radio again this Christmas🎄

Read the story here

Quick Bits

There was a big win in the kingdom as Radio Kerry gave away €12,600 on radio bingo

RTE are apparently struggling to get a sponsor for Ray D’arcy

Columb Fogarty, a former Near FM presenter, became the first rough sleeper to die in ireland this year

Radiocentre ireland are going to sponsor the media category at the Cannes Young Lions

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.