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.

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

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

Here’s What Happened

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head of Radio 1 Peter Woods

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

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

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

Read that here

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

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

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

RTE radio’s numbers can be found in detail here

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

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

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

Check out all the details from Newstalk here

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

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

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

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

Today FMs numbers are here

Other stations

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

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

Iradio

Newstalk

Radio Today

Business Plus

The Independant

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

In other news

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

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

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

Read the story here

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can get more info here

Quick Bits

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

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

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

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

RTE Radio 1 has some new shows for the summer

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

Support

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

HSE info on rape and sexual assault

And that’s the summary for this week. Come back to radio land next week for more radio news📻 and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for extra stories.

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

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

Here’s What Happened

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

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

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

Financial performance

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

So, how is RTÉ making it’s money?

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

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

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

Radio and the licence fee

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

So, how much does each service cost?

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

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

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

All the financial stuff is here

What was done in 2021

What was won in 2021

What was made in 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Watch the wheel spin here

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

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

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

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

BAI responding to the complaints

All of these complaints were rejected.

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

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

Quick Bits

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

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

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

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

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

Irish presenter Laura Whitmore has left BBC Radio 5 Live

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

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

Second Captains has secured Audi as sponsor

And that’s the summary for this week. Come back to radio land next week for more radio news📻 and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for extra stories.

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

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

Here’s What Happened

Public accounts Committee logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the story here

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the story here

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

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

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

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

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

Read the story here

Quick Bits

Sinéad Hussey is the new RTÉ News Midland’s coraspondant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s the summary for this week. Come back to radio land next week for more radio news📻 and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for extra stories.

This Week In Radio 11/6/2022 (Everyone loves new jingle’s)

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

Here’s what happened

RTE Gold logo

There are new jingles on air at RTÉ Gold. The new package, which has been created by Wisebuddah went on air this week. Aidan Leonard, Senior Producer at RTÉ Gold told Radio Land about the new package, and how RTÉ are continueing to support the Gold Brand.

The New Imaging package has been created with the same company that produced the last package over 4 years ago. Shane Freeman who is our Creative Audio Manager here in RTE worked with our team and with Wisebuddah to deliver a new package for the Summer of 2022. This relationship has proven to be a successful one for all concerned and Wisebuddah’s partnership with RTE Gold first time round a few years ago meant that we were more than happy to go back to them again for the updated package which we started running just over a week ago. This new package has allowed us to freshen and strengthen our Imaging and while there is some specific imaging created for the Summer and for our Weekend schedule the rest of the package is being used across all strands. We are really happy with the new sound as it is a perfect match and compliments our output on RTE Gold. Finally, I am happy to confirm that RTE continues to support the brand in every way that it can. The introduction of this new Imaging supports this.

Aidan Leonard from RTÉ Gold

Personally I’m a fan of the new package. It’s upbeat and positive, and I think it fits the brand well. There’s no public demo of the package online yet, but you can here the new elements in use on air now Via the Radio Land Listen page or on RTÉ Radio Player.

Listen to RTÉ Gold on our listen page here

Here’s presenter Rick O’Sheas tweet about the new package

Learning Waves are giving journalism graduates the chance to work and train in a radio station for 5 months. 10 graduates will get to work in independent stations around the country and learn how to produce their own content.

Applications close on Monday 13th June, so people don’t have long to apply. The placement will get underway on the 20th September 2022. Radio stations can also apply to participate in the programme.

This is a fantastic opportunity for graduates trying to get into the industry. Speaking from my own experience I know it’s a tough industry to break into, so these projects are important for giving people the much needed foot in the door.

Best wishes to everyone taking part from us at Radio Land

Get the details here

Finally this week it’s time for a quick update on the ongoing story between South East Radio and Wexford County Council. This story has been going on for ages and we’ve covered it in depth before, so if you need a refresher feel free to check out our past coverage.

Check out our past coverage here

The latest update is that the IBI (independent broadcasters of Ireland) have called for an inquiry into the conduct of Wexford County Council.

They’ve written to minister for local government Darragh O’Brien to ask what action he plans to take, and they’ve also sent the letter to the minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin.

The letter has also gone to the Taoiseach, who has already commented on the issue a while back. We’ve gone through his comments in our previous coverage.

So really just know that the story continues to move forward. Who knows when and how it will end, but it’s certainly not done yet.

Read the story from the Irish Times here

Quick Bits

Newstalks new chief reporter has spoken about his new role and his favourite news story to cover

Tracy Clifford has said radio listenership doesn’t define her, and that she’ll always be a Perfectionist On Air

The company behind the Irish Podcast Awards has been sold

Classic Hits have crowned Irelands best Classic Hit, I don’t agree with their Choice but I’m in my 20s so whatever

Roz & Emma are filling in for the 2 Johnnies on 2FM while the boys film a show in the states

There was an interesting article about radio sessions in the Irish Examiner this week

Dublin South FM have launched a new community podcast studio in the Dundrum Town Centre

Newstalk helped a couple sort a wedding venue this week

Today is RTEs national day of creativity for young people

Irish Reddit had a rant about how awful Irish radio is, but thats hardly unusual at this point

Final tiny thing

You might have noticed that we’ve changed our title format slightly to include a subtitle, do you like the change? If so we’ll keep it, if not we’ll ditch it. You can vote on our Twitter now.

You can have your say here, thanks for your feedback

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.