This Week In Radio 9/12/2023 (it doesn’t take long)

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

Here’s What Happened

Iradio logo

Iradio has been officially purchased by Bauer Media, giving the German company an even bigger presence in the Irish market.

Bauer immediately started to make their mark, launching the IRadio Cash machine. You can now text yes to 57557 at a cost of €2.50 for your chance to win. Other stations use phrases like win, spin and red so that Bauer can track what stations are bringing in the cash.

It’s crazy to see how quickly Bauer can integrate a station into their network after a purchase. The deal went through on Monday and the station has basically been integrated within a week.

The GoLoud network now consists of Iradio, Red FM, OTB sport, Newstalk, today fm, 98FM, Spin 1038, spin south west, as well as a number of GoLoud branded stations and main brand spin offs. Bauer also operate various ad companies such as sales house media central and digital platform AudioXi.

The scale of the company is crazy to think about, but ever since buying Communicorp they’ve been incredibly committed to expansion.

Best of luck to all at Iradio on their new journey with Bauer.

Read the story here

Today FM logo

There’s a brand new lunchtime show coming to today FM in 2024. Louise Cantillon will be taking over the 12-2 slot on the station from the 8th of January.

Louise has hosted lots of shows in the Irish language, and in recent years has been a host on the selection show for Irelands junior Eurovision entry on TG4. It’s unclear if there will be Irish language elements in the new show, but it would be a lovely touch.

Louise takes over from Pamela Joyce, who recently left Today FM. It’s a big show with a large listenership, so it’s a massive move for Louise.

Best wishes to Louise on the new gig from us at Radio Land.

Read the story here

South East Radio Logo

Finally for now, Wexford county council and South East Radio are at war again. It’s an insane story, so let’s try go through the basics.

About 2 years ago, in a dispute over coverage of Wexford County council, it was alleged that the councils chief executiveTom Enright threatened to pull advertising spend from South East Radio. South East Radio felt this was a threat to press freedom, and long story short there was a standards in public office investigation that criticised mr Enright. The councillors voted not to act on this.

The county secretary repeated history by asking that presenters wouldn’t share their opinions in exchange for between €40,000 and €50,000, and that also caused a falling out between the parties.

And don’t forget about the time the two sides fell out over an online clock. you can read about the entire backstory here, but in short the relationship between Wexford county council and South East Radio is extremely extremely messy.

What’s happened now

Remember Tom Enright, so he’s now been banned from the premises of South East Radio following what the station called an unprovoked verbal assault on presenter Alan Corcoran. The incident took place following an interview at the station, and South East Radio say Alan Corcoran had to be sent for a medical assessment following the incident.

Tom Enright has denied these allegations.

Lawyers have been engaged on both sides it seems, and the whole thing is nothing short of a mess.

The Irish Times cover this story in way more detail, so I’d encourage you to give their article a read.

Read the story here

Quick bits

Q102 are swapping their schedule around a bit when Tubridy starts

The Labour Party have asked the government to look at the effectiveness of a €1.1 million ad spend on social media to consider if it could be better spent on local radio

Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí obituary from the Irish Times

Bauer has got a new logo

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 25/11/2023 (big big money)

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

Here’s What Happened

Cash Machine logo

The Cash Machine has once again given away the largest ever prize in Irish radio. The big total this time was €133,456,77, which is truly life changing money.

Sinead Mullins from Salthill was the big winner, with her kids even thanking presenter Barry Dunne following a prompt from their mam. It’s a lovely radio moment and one that will hopefully make a big difference to Sinead and her family.

We’ve talked before about how the cash machine is networked, but like it or not people are clearly playing. Texts to play cost €2.50 and you need to remember the cash amount to win.

Well done to Sinead on her big win from us at Radio Land, it’s only a matter of time before Bauer set an even higher record, and time will tell if it hits the €150k mark.

Read the story here

Alcoholic drink

New restrictions on alcohol advertising on TV and radio will be introduced from January 2025.

In short, no alcohol ads will be allowed on television before 9pm, while on radio ads will only be allowed between 10am and 3pm.

In theory this should reduce the number of ads being seen and heard by kids. On tv the kids should be in bed by the time the ads air, and on radio the little ones should be in school.

It’s probably frustrating for broadcasters who will miss out on a handy source of revenue, but it is definitely better for society. It would be cool if there was a fund set up to cover the hit to broadcasters by purchasing public health ads, but it looks like broadcasters will just need to take the hit.

Ultimately this is good news for public health, even if it hits broadcaster revenue a bit. It’s still over a year away but it’s an interesting story even so.

Read the story here

Lyric FM logo

Finally for now, The Waltons RTÉ lyric fm Music for Schools Competition is back for the first time in four years.

Music groups of up to 40 members in primary or post primary schools have been asked to develop a performance piece based on the competitions theme, “Music Moves”.

6 primary school groups and 6 post primary groups will get to perform at the national concert hall before the winner is announced.

It’s great to see broadcasters working with schools like this to create opportunities for young people. Best wishes to everyone taking part.

Read the story here

Quick Bits

⁨Leanne Hanafin⁩ has a show on 98FM at weekends

It was announced during the Toy Show that podcast series Maddie + Triggs is coming to television in 2024

Emmet Dunlea is taking up the role of music producer at Red Fm/Bauer

Máiréad Ronan from Today FM wanted a holiday home extension from dermot Bannan, but they didn’t get planning permission

A listener to Irelands Classic Hits won €6,500 after working out what Lucy said to Colm

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 18/11/2023 (job losses, and lots of them)

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

Here’s What Happened

A new direction for RTE document graphic

We got an idea of RTE’s future this week. There’s a lot to this, but let’s just go through 5 big points.

  • There will be a 20% reduction in staff, resulting in about 400 people leaving. 40 will go soon in a scheme funded by the RTE land sale. This is probably the biggest news in the plan. 400 people losing jobs is sad no matter how you look at it.
  • Radio 1 Extra, RTE Pulse, RTE JR Radio, 2XM, as well as RTE’s time shift TV channels will all close. This is a real shame. I do hope RTE continue to invest in things like Kids podcasts as these have resulted in some amazing productions in recent years. I’d imagine the main savings here will come from Saorview transmission costs, but it’s hard to know.
  • Some production will move out of Dublin. We should see an increase in cork quite soon. This is something we’ve seen UK broadcasters such as Channel 4 do in recent years, and it’s honestly probably a good thing.
  • The independent sector will make more shows for RTE, with plans to increase independent production spend by 50%. I’d love to see shows like Fair City go independent, as we’ve seen this model deliver brilliant storylines in the past for shows like Ros Na Run or Red Rock. As long as RTE retain their IP this has the potential to be a great step in my view.
  • There will be investment in new digital products such as upgraded news and audio apps, as well as RTE Player. This is an interesting one to me. I do think the audio app needs an upgrade, but the player and news apps are honestly fine in my opinion. I would focus on upgrading the backend and investing in content, as I honestly don’t see much need to change the user experience of the News app in particular.

Those are the basics. There are some other interesting bits like a salary cap meaning nobody earns more than the DG, and plans to explore a digital youth Irish language radio station.

This was never the ideal situation, but hopefully RTE can rebuild itself as a strong financially stable public service broadcaster.

They are asking for people to share their opinions in an online survey, which is linked below. Public service broadcasting is an important part of this industry so I’d encourage you to have your say.

Read the story here

Complete the survey here

Ryan Tubridy and Chris Evans at Virgin

Ryan Tubridy has got a new gig.

Last week we had a story in Quick Bits regarding a rumour that Tubridy was off to Virgin Radio in London. Well, turns out the rumour was true.

Ryan will host a show on the station from 10am to 1 pm each weekday, and it will be simulcast on Q102 in Dublin for good measure. In addition to this, a dedicated Irish Music show will be made for the wireless group Irish network. That show will air on 96FM, Live95, LMFM, and q102 at the weekend.

This is a big win for basically everyone involved. Ryan gets a fresh start at a new broadcaster, and Wireless get a presenter with appeal in two markets at once. Hard not to see this being a great move financially for all involved.

There will probably be small job cuts in the groups Irish operations as there’s no need for some shows now, but ⁨Coimisiún na Meán⁩ have accepted that this is how things work in the industry. This isn’t the first time a station has aired shows made internationally as ⁨Coimisiún na Meán⁩ correctly point out.

Who knows if this will open flood gates. This is a big signal of things to come, and it might mean local radio won’t be so local anymore. On the TV side Virgin Media has had success taking shows from ITV in the UK, so we might see many more UK shows on air if this strategy works.

It’s likely a great business decision, but the impact on Irelands radio Industry is harder to predict.

Best of luck to Tubridy on the new show, and best of luck to any presenters who lose their jobs in the move.

Read the story here

Court room

Finally for now, a story that isn’t directly about radio but is super important to the industry. a number of newspaper editors have spoken out about the issue of SLAPP suits by Irish politicians.

A SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) is basically what it says on the tin. It’s a lawsuit designed to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.

In the context of media, this is obviously very serious, and editors of many publications spoke to the Journal this week to share their views on the issue.

We’ve seen broadcasters like RTE get sued many times, with presenters like Claire Byrne forced to face the court room in the past. I’m not going to go into it too deeply as I’d encourage people to read the Journal article, but it’s good to see this important issue get discussed.

It’s expected that reforms to Irelands defamation laws are on the way so hopefully that helps somewhat. It’s an important story to newspapers but certainly impacts the radio world too.

Read the story here

Quick bits

The Strawberry Alarm Clock on FM104 has a new presenting team

The government have approved the Bauer acquisition of Iradio

Get to know the Voice on Today FM

TY media weeks presentation night took place

Newstalk had a review of podcasting in Ireland

The ⁨Coimisiún na Meán⁩ sponsorship scheme is now open

The brother of broadcaster Anna Geary has sadly 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 check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more fun from the world of radio.

This week in Radio 11/11/2023 (the ups and downs of JNLR’s)

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

Here’s What Happened

JNLR logo

You know the drill at this stage. The latest JNLR numbers were released this week, so it’s time to see who’s jumping for joy and who’s crying in the studio.

RTE Radio 1 logo

Radio 1 has had huge scrutiny since Tubridy left. As an organisation, RTE has been crippled financially by people refusing to pay the licence fee. Despite all the controversy though, they seem to have avoided a massive listener drop.

  • Morning Ireland claims a listenership of 463,000 this book which is up 23,000. That’s really good going to be fair
  • The old Tubridy slot gained 13,000 listeners. It now sits at 347,000 listeners. It’s interesting to see the show do so well without a steady host. This gives RTE time to really think about what they want to do in that slot.
  • A cool 331,000 tune in to Claire Byrne, that’s up a handy 8,000
  • The Louise Duffy Show has gained a small 1,000 listeners, and now sits at 213,000
  • News at one looks to be holding steady at 303,000. This is the same number as reported last time.
  • Once again, Rte didn’t include numbers for LiveLine in their press release. wonder what the story is with that. Oh yeah, Joe lost 3,000 listeners. Honestly i wish RTE could just be clear about these small drops. It’s going to happen. It just creates extra work for people to look for it. Anyway, Joe now sits at 202,000.
  • Ray Darcy now has 187,000 which is up 4,000. A small rise, but still good news.
  • Drive time lost a thousand listeners and now has 219,000. They gained 6,000 last time though so no need to panic just yet.

I’d call this a win for Radio 1. Some nice jumps in the mornings, with a handful of small losses. Given the amount of controversy at the broadcaster in recent months I think they’ll be happy enough.

2FM logo

2FM is in the weirdest of weird places. They look to be growing at incredible speed, yet their very existence within rTE is in jeopardy. While the team in 2FM are likely more nervous about the Bakhurst plan then JNLR figures right now, hopefully they can still celebrate the fact that every show in the daytime schedule gained listeners. That’s some going.

  • 2FM Breakfast with Doireann, Donncha, and Carl has 149,000 listeners tuning in each morning. That continues an incredible streak for the show which is up 11,000
  • Jennifer Zamparelli has gained 3,000 and now sits at 136,000
  • 113,000 tune into Tracy Clifford. That’s a decent bump of 6,000 new listeners.
  • The 2 Johnnies continue to bring in new listeners. They’ve now gained another 11,000 to hit 151,000. They’ve also been entertaining on TV in recent weeks with the Late Night Lock In on RTE2. Maybe this might bring in a few more listeners to the radio show. We’ll need to wait and see.

It really doesn’t get much better than that. The future is unclear for 2FM, but they’re clearly doing something right.

Today FM logo

Things seem to be generally okay at Today FM. They had a big departure this week which we’ll discuss later, but for now let’s look at the numbers

  • 225,000 are tuning in to Ian Dempsey each morning. That’s up 4,000
  • 227,000 hang around for Dave moore which is up 11,000. Seems going solo didn’t impact the slot negatively.
  • Pamala Joyce has left Today FM, and unfortunately she didn’t hold her audience for the exit. She dropped a small 3,000 to 232,000 listeners.
  • Ray Foley had his first big drop in a while, falling 9,000 to 164,000. Still a decent audience but not ideal.
  • Matt Cooper gained 7,000 and now has 182,000

Generally it’s hard to give out here. Everything all probably evens out in the end.

Newstalk Logo

Let’s just say Pat Kenny had an incredible book.

  • Newstalk breakfast had a small drop of 1,000. They now sit at 144,000. That’s becoming a bit of a trend, so they’ll be keeping an eye on things. Especially with competitor Morning Ireland doing so well.
  • As mentioned above, pat is having a great time. Pat gained 26,000 listeners, flying passed the 200,000 mark to land at 205,000. It really doesn’t get much better then that.
  • Lunchtime live is up 5,000, offsetting the 4,000 loss from last time. They now sit at 107,000.
  • Moncrieff is up a nice 7,000 to sit at 110,000.
  • The Hard Shoulder dropped again but only lost 1,000. It’s 11,000 down in the past 3 books, now finding itself with 148,000 tuning in

Not perfect, but pat Kenny I’m sure offset a lot of the small drops at the station. Well done pat.

Overall

Things are holding steady. As always we don’t have time to cover every station, but check out the links below for more. Well done to everyone making great radio in the past few months.

Independent

RTE

Goss

Radio Today

Pamela Joyce

Broadcaster Pamela Joyce is leaving Today FM. The station announced the news in a social media post this week, which Pamela then shared to her story.

“We want to wish the one and only Pamela Joyce the very best of luck as she finishes up her lunchtime show on Today FM🎙️. We’ve loved every minute of the last few years Pam, you are one in a million ✨.”

Today FM post

Pamela is reportedly heading back to the west of the country to spend more time with her family and explore other opportunities.

Very best of luck to her on her future projects. Hopefully exciting times ahead.

Read the story here

RTE Rate Card

RTE’s new rate card for 2024has been released. There’s not a massive amount new being totally honest, But I did learn some interesting bits that I didn’t know before.

I didn’t realise that RnaG carried ads. The station actually has quite affordable ads and seems to have at least some local options. For €61.75 you can get a national ad in prime time, with an off peak ad costing €30.88. You can also get local rates at €15.44 peak and €7.60 off peak respectively.

Still no sign of ad options on RTE Gold which I find interesting. RTE is super tight for cash right now and still the online station doesn’t carry ads. In one way it’s respectable but in another way stupid. They’ve got a strong niche audience that has value to advertisers, so I don’t see why they’re leaving that money on the table.

We might see big changes here soon once we get Bakhurst’s plan, and with a new commercial director starting anything is possible.

Read the new rate card here

Quick Bits

Gavin Deans has become the new RTE commercial director

Mairead Ronan filled in for Lunchtime Live on Newstalk

The Irish Times are reporting on rumours that Tubridy has signed a deal to join Wireless Groups Virgin Radio UK

The Irish Media Sector will grow by €1 billion by 2027

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 4/11/2023 (this whole mess is kinda expensive)

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

Let’s just get all the RTE stuff out of the way in one burst shall we?

RTE have spent €493,291.69 on grant Thornton reviews so far, according to documents given to the Public Accounts Committee. It’s hard to criticise them for this as they were effectively forced to do it, but it does seem like an awful lot of money.

The review into Toy Show The Musical is still ongoing.

Meanwhile, the funding of public service broadcasting was a hot topic once again as the Taoiseach said this week that he thinks people could refuse to pay a household media fee following all the controversy.

Direct exchequer funding was mentioned again for the first time in a while, and it’s probably looking like the least worst option at this point.

Lastly on the Rte front for now, former chairperson Moya Doherty has spoken about how cuts could kill RTE. She specifically mentioned plans to cut 2FM, saying this would cut the link with the younger audience.

The next big news will probably be the plan from Kevin Bakhurst, which will tell us a lot about the broadcasters future. It’s unclear just how many jobs will be lost or services will be cut, but time will tell. That report is expected some time this month.

Read the chairpersons comments here

Read about the reports costs here

Read what the Taoiseach had to say here

Halloween FM Logo

Halloween FM went back on air this week, but it was only for one day with very little fanfare. I was thinking after last weeks news post that we’d heard nothing from the station by that point, but then they did go on air at 7AM on the 31st.

It’s interesting in ways as I remember when Halloween FM first launched they had Fanta as main sponsor, and they ran with live programming for a whole week. Halloween has grown since then, but Halloween FM has downsized to the point where it’s now efectivly just a launchpad for Christmas FM.

By the end of the day, the Christmas FM account had posted sharing that the “Halloween FM Takeover” was nearly at an end, and that Christmas FM would be on air from 7am via the website and apps.

I kinda feel Halloween FM has the potential to be way bigger than it is, but I think the team there have realised that for better or worse, Christmas FM is what they’re known for, and running two large scale stations isn’t worth the greif.

Who knows what the future holds for Halloween FM, but gone are the days when the station had a big event with dedicated multi platform content. It’s a shame in a way.

Listen to Christmas FM here

Shot of Ned in character for The Nobody Zone TV series

Finally for now, a really cool story.

The fantastic podcast documentary The Nobody Zone has been turned into a two part TV series.

The new Docudrama will air on RTE One on Monday 6th and Monday 13th of November, with Actor Ned Dennehy playing Kieran Kelly in the show:

The story is told using recorded tapes of police interviews, where the Irish man claims he’s murdered 11 people.

RTE Media Sales are also trying to sell the show to international broadcasters, and were pitching it at Mipcom last month.

I’m really excited to see how they translate this incredible podcast into a TV series. The podcast won a number of awards, so maybe the TV show can be just as successful.

Read the story here

Quick Bits

RTE spent €75,000 appealing self employment claims

Former reach PLC strategist Ciaran Bradley is the new digital editer at Newstalk

Doc on One has won a major award

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.