Monday, 4 December 2017

How Many Facebook/Twitter Followers Does Your Station Have? Have You Been Conned?

Social media such as Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter are at the heart of Irish radio station media presence as they keep listeners involved. Their online presence is another advertising revenue stream and can influence advertisers as they decide where to locate their cash. On Sunday December 3rd 2017, as the stations in a very competitive broadcasting landscape ramp up their Christmas advertising packages, we took a look at some of the Irish radio stations online presence and found some surprising results. These results do not include every radio station in Ireland just a representative selection and they are listed here in order of their Facebook Likes

Station Facebook Twitter
98 FM Dublin 695,923 145,000
iRadio Munster 580,816 102,000
Beat FM Munster 555,680 70,600
FM 104 Dublin 496,558 123,000
Today FM National 439,501 235,000
Spin 1038 Dublin 414,541 329,000
4FM National 401,900 13,100
RTE 2FM National 393,461 241,000
Spin South West Munster 262,941 81,800
Q 102 Dublin 172,237 15,300
Galway Bay FM Galway 135,279 11600
Newstalk National 121,794 203,000
Cork 96FM Cork 111,853 34,900
Christmas FM Temporary 102,063 89,700
Radio Nova Dublin 101,291 11,200
Sunshine Radio Dublin 98,015 2,645
WLR Waterford 70,629 16100
RTE Radio One National 42,257 110,000
Midlands 103 Midlands 37,282 3,839
MidWest Radio Mayo 31,719 11,400
Northern Sound Ulster 27,838 6,506
LMFM Louth 24,846 17600
KFM Kildare 23,322 10,700
Raidio Na Gaeltachta National 22,114 17,800
Ocean FM Sligo 20,561 6,920
Phever Pirate 12,473 1,634
Radio Maria Online 11,764 14,100
8Radio Temporary 9,620 6585
Klub FM Pirate 9,420 624
Spirit National 9,408 2,097
Tonik Pirate 8,362 353
RTE Gold Digital 6,885 1,921
Radio Na Life Dublin 6,818 7,727
Dublin City FM Dublin 6,111 8,454
Near FM Community 4,894 4,024
Radio Snowflake Online 3,018 571
Dublin Digital Radio Digital 2,694 1308
Cork Community Radio Community 2,573 19

98FM have over 695,000 likes for their page that equates to 58% of Dublin's population. To put that into perspective according to recent JNLR figures (Q1 2017) 820,000 people in Dublin listen to the radio every day. According to those figures 110,000 listen to 98FM on a daily basis that is just 1/6th of their facebook followers. The top ten stations were

Cork based pirate radio station Klub FM have more followers than Spirit Radio which broadcasts across the country and more followers than RTE digital station RTE Gold that has been receiving extra press coverage recently.

Twitter is another measurement stations can use to entice advertisers to their station. The more twitter followers your station has the more popular they are, right? Well NO. 
The top ten Twitter accounts from the above list were 

Spin 1038 Dublin 329,000
RTE 2FM National 241,000
Today FM National 235,000
Newstalk National 203,000
98 FM Dublin 145,000
FM 104 Dublin 123,000
RTE Radio One National 110,000
iRadio Munster 102,000
Christmas FM Temporary 89,700
Spin South West Munster 81,800

Spin topped the twitter top ten but that's not the full story. Spin 1038 was the second most listened to station after FM 104 in the Q1 JNLR figures with a 13% share (FM 104 had 16%) and they have 88,000 more twitter followers than the national state broadcaster's music channel 2FM. This should be music to an advertisers ear but when you drill into the 'followers' just like RTE Radio earlier this year when it was discovered that the 'followers' were padded with non existent followers ( there is a fraud been perpetrated on advertisers and legitimate followers. These are screen shots of some of their phantom followers

Surely it should be the responsibility of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to ensure that their licensed stations are not conning the public and businesses.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

New Sound and Vision Awards 2017 -WHY?

The BAI announced to the new awards under the Sound and Vision scheme for radio and television productions. There were some eye openers. Firstly the business to be in is animation. Over three quarters of a million euro awarded to animation projects including the 5% support of the Channel 4 (a UK channel that has an advertising opt-out to take ad revenue from the domestic channels all licensed by the BAI) production 'Oops The Adventure Continues' for €100,000. Also the Cartoon Saloon's feature film 'Wolfwalkers' received 2% funding at the cost of €200,000.

But perhaps the eye opening awards were for Oireachtas TV, the channel that broadcasts proceedings from Dail Eireann who are now producing programmes. The main question is WHY? The channel has such low viewing figures, was set up to broadcast proceedings from the houses of the Oireachtas and committee proceedings. There is no EPG and therefore no one will know when 'extra' historical programming will be broadcast and surely any extra programming should be sponsored by the Oireachtas itself.

The two awards, with Dublin Community TV receiving none, were €125,000 to Yellow Asylum Films for 85% of the production costs of a single episode titled 'In Their Words' and €70,000 to PaperOwl Films for a 11 part animated series 'The Future is You', earning them 65% of the production costs. This seems to a pointless award when there were other worthy projects denied access to funding under Sound and Vision. The excellent work of these companies is not in doubt but both the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Oireachtas TV need to explain in more detail these awards, their benefits and oversight of the money awarded.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Alternative IMRO Awards

In October 2017, the great and the good of Irish Radio attended a gala at Lyrath House, Kilkenny to reward those who have in the previous year contributed to the multi layered tapestry that is Irish Radio . But these awards recognise the contribution of stations, shows and presenters in a commercial industry where an award helps to bolster advertising revenue and increased contracts. But there is more to Irish radio than commercial broadcasting and to try and balance this up the Irish Broadcasting Hall of Fame has created a number of new awards and winners. 

Irish Community (non commercial) Radio Station of the Year
GOLD          NEAR FM

Irish College Radio Station of the Year

GOLD       FLIRT FM (Galway)
BRONZE              WIRED FM

Irish Temporary Rado Licence of the Year

SILVER                  WIMS (WALK IN MY SHOES)
BRONZE               8 RADIO

Community Radio Programme of the Year

GOLD       LIVE DRIVE (Dublin City FM)
SILVER                 THE WIRELESS (Flirt FM)

Irish Pirate Station of the Year

GOLD       PHEVER FM (Dublin)
SILVER                 OPEN TEMPO (Waterford)
BRONZE              ENERGY AM (Dublin)

Irish Pirate Radio DJ of the Year

GOLD       RONAN O'SHEA (Phever FM)
SILVER                  MARK SHEVLIN (Trax FM)
BRONZE              ANDI DURRANT (True Radio Cork)

Irish Community Radio Presenter of the Year

GOLD      PAM DUGGAN (Live Drive Dublin City FM)
SILVER                MARTIN CONROY (Connemara Community Radio)
BRONZE            JOHN WALSH (Flirt FM)

Irish Language Station of the Year

SILVER                RAIDIO NA LIFE

Online Irish Radio Station of the Year

SILVER                RADIO MARIA

Tunein Irish Radio Station of the Year


Irish Hospital Radio Station of the Year


Brexit Irish Radio Station of the Year (on the border)
GOLD      Q 101.2
SILVER                RADIO NORTH 846 AM

Online Irish Radio Presenter of the Year

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Irish Pirate Radio Museum Update

Firstly my apologies for the tardiness of an update but some family issues have taken precedence. Some months ago I organised a meeting with the aim of hopefully launching an exhibition or museum dedicated to Irish Pirate Radio and it was a great start in Branigans with some excellent suggestions.

 I have been honoured and privileged to have received the donation of two private collections of pirate radio memorabilia and hopefully in the not too distant future everyone will enjoy the extent of these archives.
I have been in touch with Libraries, galleries and have made contact with both the Arts Council and Heritage departments with the view of either securing grant funding or a venue to display these great collections and delivering the story of Irish pirate radio, an integral part of Irish broadcasting history and Irish history.

A business plan has been drawn up and the archives catalogued and with your help we may be able to secure sustainable funding from a benefactor who has an interest in Irish media history and education or find a donor of a venue especially as we reach the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the 1988 Wireless Telegraphy Act.

Monday, 22 May 2017


Ireland has a long and colourful pirate radio history dating back to the iconic events of 1916 and the world's first pirate radio broadcasts during the Easter Rising. Hundreds of pirate radio stations have broadcast across Ireland. These pioneers have led to a revolution in Irish radio and have led us to our radio of today.

No exhibition, gallery collection or museum exists to celebrate, commemorate or document the stories of these stations many of them still fondly remembered today. These stations have produced many of our broadcasters of today both at home and abroad. A wealth of material exists but as we move further from those halcyon days these need to be archived to educate and inform future generations of listeners, presenters, producers and technicians.

It is remiss of us as a nation not to have gathered this memorabilia and that the most extensive Irish radio archive is based in Scotland curated by the wonderful lads at the DX Archive.

A meeting will take place upstairs at Branigan's pub just off O'Connell Street near the 
Pro Cathedral on June 7th 2017 beginning at 7pm Sharp

If you are a broadcaster, a former pirate radio employee or operator or just an anorak with boxes of memorabilia gathering dust in your attic then this meeting is for you. The discussion will cover plans for a gallery exhibition or a permanent pirate radio museum, how the items should be collected, archived and curated and the most important question how it should be funded.

Please share this event on your social media platforms and with relevant media outlets. Thank you.
Further information contact Eddie Bohan at

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

RTE's Dancing With The Stars and Profit Salsa

For the first months of 2017, RTE's Sunday night primetime was dominated with Waltz's, Rumba's and Cha Cha Cha's as RTE One broadcast 'Dancing with the Stars' (DWTS). Franchised from the BBC's original format 'Strictly Come Dancing', the show was a ratings winner and the question that looms large for the state broadcasters commissioning department is 'will there be a second series?'.

Eleven Irish celebrities with limited dancing experience were paired with eleven professional ballroom dancers as week after week one of the dancing couples were voted off by a combination of Judges scores and the voting public. Eventually just three were left in the final aired on March 26th 2017 with former Kerry footballer and member of an Garda Siochana Aidan O'Mahony with his dancing partner Valeria Milova taking home the prized glitterball.

Was it worth the money to produce such a series? Recently the BBC announced that a 51st country had licensed the franchise earning the Corporation 500,000,000 working out at an average of £10 million to licence the show and while RTE as a small market probably paid little or nothing like that cost through their independent production company Shinawil there was still a significant expense.

The series lasted twelve weeks on RTE One and repeated later in the week with +1 and on demand available. The show also spawned a secondary thirty minuted show 'Can't Stop Dancing'on RTE 1. Viewership was in excess of 500,000 every week often as high as 650,000 topping the weekly ratings. But the show was expensive to produce with costs such as

11 Celebrities earning approximately € 250,000 between them
11 Professional Dancers earning approximately €135,000 between them
2 Main Presenters (Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne)
2 Can't Stop Dancing Hosts
3 Judges (Brian Redmond, Lorraine Barry and Julian Benson)
The Hiring of the Ardmore Studios
TV Crew and OB Units
Transport, hotel and accommodation
Dance Studio rental in East Wall

But the show generated a large amount of revenue for RTE. The show had a headline sponsor in Renault Cars and according to believed to be in the region of € 450,000. RTE sales department advertised a 30 second commercial aired during the show at €8,600 on Sunday night primetime with the same time during the repeat costing € 1,800. A 30 second ad during the 30 minute 'extra' show costs the advertiser €4,900 on Friday night primetime just before the 9pm news.

The final had five ad breaks opening with a Renault 'we sponsor' tag followed by a number of RTE programme promos and then over the five breaks 34 adverts. The two hour final show would generate €292,400. The previous weekly shows were just 90 minutes long containing 25 adverts per show. Based on just what is available online the information translates to the following financial position of the show.

34 adverts on the Final @ € 8,600 = 292,400
25 ads x 11 weeks  € 8,600          = 2,365,000
Headline Sponsor                          = 450,000
Repeats x 12 weeks                      = 550,000
Can't Stop Dancing x 12 weeks     = 500,000
TOTAL                                        = € 4,257,000

To be added to this is profits made from the voting text lines provided by Phonovation x 9 weeks @ 60c per vote and a competition sponsored by Aer Lingus and MSG Cruises @ €2.03 per entry.

Season Two??? I would say so

Monday, 13 February 2017

The Complete Radio Station List - Ireland 1900-2000 Part Six

The book, 'A History of Irish Radio 1900-2000' is almost complete, alas it will have to be poured over now by legal departments. The index is as follows

Chapter One - The Introduction
Chapter Two - In the Beginning 1900-1910 and The Marconi Era
Chapter Three - Rebel Radio, the broadcasts of 1916
Chapter Four - The Fledgling Twenties
Chapter Five - The Radio Evolution 1930's
Chapter Six - Dangerous Forties
Chapter Seven - Stagnant Fifties and the Arrival of Television
Chapter Eight - The Swinging, Broadcasting Sixties
Chapter Nine - Irish Radio On The Edge
Chapter Ten - The Radio Revolution - 1980's
Chapter Eleven - Two Steps Forward & One Back 1990s
Chapter Twelve - Context


The Complete Radio Station List - Ireland 1900-2000 Part Five

The Complete Radio Station List - Ireland 1900-2000 Part Four

The Complete Radio Station List - Ireland 1900-2000 Part Three

The Complete Radio Station List - Ireland 1900-2000 Part Two

Welcome to the Irish broadcasting Hall of Fame's list of Irish radio stations that have gone on air from 1900-2000. In the forthcoming book almost 60% of the stations listed have their own biography. If you were involved in any of these stations please let me know at 
If stations have been duplicated please let me know so that adjustments can be made before the manuscript heads to the publisher. All is subject to copyright 
(c)Eddie Bohan 2015

The Complete Radio Station List - Ireland 1900-2000 Part One

Welcome to the Irish broadcasting Hall of Fame's list of Irish radio stations that have gone on air from 1900-2000. In the forthcoming book almost 60% of the stations listed have their own biography. If you were involved in any of these stations please let me know at 
If stations have been duplicated please let me know so that adjustments can be made before the manuscript heads to the publisher. All is subject to copyright 
(c)Eddie Bohan 2015

Friday, 27 January 2017

Christmas 2017..Already?

With the post Christmas diets on the cusp of derailing as the end of January approaches, it's now just ten months to the launch of Christmas FM 2017. Raising thousands of euro for charity the station has gone from strength to strength from its studios located in the Ballsbridge area of Dublin. This year Christmas FM ventured outside the shores of the Emerald Isle with a Global Christmas FM for online consumers.

But it is not alone on the air there are a number of different incarnations of Xmas radio. Most familiar in Dublin is David Baker's Radio Snowflake that can trace its lineage back to the original Christmas music station in Dublin Radio Snowflake dating back to the 1980's and located variously in Ringsend and Sandymount.

But in 2016 there were a number of other Christmas station's online and in Belfast. Radio lapland entertained both sides of the divide in Northern Ireland while both ABC Radio and Live Ireland had Christmas tunes entertaining the listeners.

How many stations will try to muscle in on the Christmas market in 2017 and could the stations not unify for such a short period and in the name of such good causes?