Mods please check the Moderators Group for an important update on Mod tools. If you do not have access to the group, please PM Niamh. Thanks!

20 staff laid off

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 1,388 KingOfFairview


    http://www.thejournal.ie/phantom-restructuring-jobs-laid-off-1316678-Feb2014/
    A NUMBER OF staff members have been laid off at Dublin radio station Phantom FM today.
    It has been confirmed that a number of staff were made redundant today at the radio station, which was formerly a pirate station, founded in 1996. It won a licence for an alternative rock station in 2004.
    TheJournal.ie understands that up to 20 staff members are being laid off, with a small number due to remain at the station. They have been given one month’s notice.
    A statement this evening said that the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has granted permission to the board of directors of Dublin Rock Radio Ltd, trading as Phantom 105.2, to restructure the business “in order to ensure its long-term viability”.
    Phantom 105.2 has competed strongly in Dublin as an alternative rock music station since it launched in 2006. Despite the stations point of difference in music its market position is niche and has been disproportionately affected by ongoing reductions in advertising revenue in an increasingly competitive market.
    The proposed restructuring of Phantom 105.2 will result in the reduction of a number of positions at the station, the statement said.
    Chairman of Dublin Rock Radio Ltd, Trevor Bowen, said:
    Phantom has been a labour of love that has paved the way for many up-and-coming bands over the years and, as a result, the station has a core loyal following.
    That is testament to each member of the Phantom team – whose personal passion for music shines through on a daily basis.
    It is with regret that we are announcing the station’s proposed restructuring plan to continue to deliver an alternative music service for young Dubliners. However, in doing so, we are ensuring the future of the offering and we aim to return to growth in the future. I would like to thank the team at Phantom for their ongoing dedication and patience during this difficult time.
    Phantom 105.2’s shareholders include Evergreen Ventures, Gaiety Investments and Communicorp Group.

    Bad news. My commiserations to those who lost their jobs.


«134

Comments

  • #2


    Down to 3 presenters during the day. All, weekend staff production staff and sales staff gone.

    Sad to hear of people lose their jobs, regardless of whether we like their show etc, 99% of radio people love what they do. Hopefully they get work somewhere else.

    I expect phantom to fold very very soon.


  • #2


    lordgoat wrote: »
    Down to 3 presenters during the day. All, weekend staff production staff and sales staff gone.

    Sad to hear of people lose their jobs, regardless of whether we like their show etc, 99% of radio people love what they do. Hopefully they get work somewhere else.

    I expect phantom to fold very very soon.
    Who is gone from the day?? Do you know which DJs are laid off?
    I hope it doesnt fold as I really like the station


  • #2


    that's terrible.


  • #2


    So sad to hear this :(


  • #2


    so sad. The only decent radio station!!!!!


  • #2


    Terrible news.
    I've heard a rumour online that Claire Beck & Joe Donnelly are safe for now


  • #2


    Two Richies are gone it seems. TBH, what's remaining is not really Phantom any more, practically everyone from 2 years ago is gone.


  • #2


    Two Richies are gone it seems. TBH, what's remaining is not really Phantom any more, practically everyone from 2 years ago is gone.

    That's another two links with the old Phantom pirate gone.


    I'm not an expert on the technicalities of radio but I will give my opinion and observations.

    Phantom has a license for a very specific niche market (alternative-oriented rock), so it was always going to be hard to get sufficient listeners and therefore get the advertisers and therefore make money for the station.

    When Phantom was a voluntary-run pirate, it did not have the same responsibilities as a licensed station. Once it broadcast with its license, it had to pay its staff, try and secure advertisers, sponsorships and, most crucially of all, increase its listenership. In order to achieve the latter, it has tweaked its music-mix and schedule. Phantom always tried to have its music mix more radio-friendly (as it were| during the day and leave the most adventurous stuff to nighttime.

    It was always going to be an uphill battle to keep its loyal listeners from its pirate days and at the same time increase its listenership in order to make some money. There are only so many people out there listening to indie/alternative music and many of them don't listen to traditional radio at all.

    So, understandably, Phantom has been playing a lot of stuff which bridges the gap between alternative and mainstream. In fact, at times, some of the acts are practically mainstream as they become more successful and get airplay on other stations. And that presents another problem...people who like radio-friendly acts that have a slight edge to them can already hear them on other stations, so why listen to Phantom if they are not interested in the other edgier alternative stuff?

    I have eluded to potential competition from other radio stations. Much of Phantom's target audience would be students and young adults. Depending on their music tastes, some of it would be catered for by Spin103, for example if new music is the most important element rather than simply indie music. Another target audience would be people who are interested in rock music in general. Radio Nova has taken much of that audience since 2010. Then, of course, Today FM plays plenty of "cool" music. It even has an ex-Phantom presenter in Alison Curtis. This is before you start looking at the other non-traditional ways that people can listen to alternative rock.

    Phantom faces difficult decisions if it is to survive and thrive, including staff reductions or replacements. Perhaps, it should go back to basics and emphasize what makes it different and look at who and what are its strong points. If it can clearly identify what it is offering. maybe Phantom might be able to secure a loyal listenership and suitable sponsorships and advertisements might follow - music-related, perhaps. But time is running out, I fear. Phantom need to act now.


  • #2


    It is acting now, that's the problem. It has acted by gutting the station. I hate saying this, but when I read about the extent of what's left, maybe it would have been better to just let it go, let someone else start again.


  • #2


    Two Richies are gone it seems. TBH, what's remaining is not really Phantom any more, practically everyone from 2 years ago is gone.

    You can't be serious? Richie and Richie was one of the only decent shows on the station.


  • #2


    It is acting now, that's the problem. It has acted by gutting the station. I hate saying this, but when I read about the extent of what's left, maybe it would have been better to just let it go, let someone else start again.

    8Radio.com perhaps?? Simon Maher, founder of Phantom, is the MD of this project and already last year included a few ex-Phantom voices plus other music enthusiasts. Stranger things have already happened in radioland!


  • #2


    Pudsy33 wrote: »
    You can't be serious? Richie and Richie was one of the only decent shows on the station.

    Seems to be the case, the RTE article is saying only Claire Beck, John Caddell and Joe Donnelly are the only ones being kept. Now I like Claire and John, but to me that means to all intents and purposes the station has been wound up.


    Time for a few of the old hands to set up Spectrum mk2.


  • #2


    8Radio.com perhaps?? Simon Maher, founder of Phantom, is the MD of this project and already last year included a few ex-Phantom voices plus other music enthusiasts. Stranger things have already happened in radioland!

    I'd like to give it a go, but isn't it just automated playlists most of the day? I like having actual djs. I couldn't listen to football scores that weren't read by Richie Ryan


  • #2


    Seems to be the case, the RTE article is saying only Claire Beck, John Caddell and Joe Donnelly are the only ones being kept. Now I like Claire and John, but to me that means to all intents and purposes the station has been wound up.


    Time for a few of the old hands to set up Spectrum mk2.

    Both John Caddell and Joe Donnelly go back to Phantom as a pirate. Joe was away from Phantom for many years (Spin103 and Newstalk), but John has been with Phantom a long time: from pirate from an early stage to temporary licenses to permanent license. It would be particularly difficult for John to move on to other radio stations if Phantom does finally close.

    But if Jack Hyland is gone, where is he going to go now? Like John, he goes back a long way. Both John and Jack were with Alcatraz in the mid'90s. Jack, but not John, hooked up with Simon Maher and Co. on Spectrum in 1996. This was followed by Phantom, which he has been with all through its history.


  • #2


    Perhaps, it should go back to basics and emphasize what makes it different and look at who and what are its strong points. If it can clearly identify what it is offering. maybe Phantom might be able to secure a loyal listenership and suitable sponsorships and advertisements might follow - music-related, perhaps. But time is running out, I fear. Phantom need to act now.

    Hear hear. I always thought it was a mistake thinking that their only potential audience were kids. There are plenty of folks of my age, I'm 42, that are looking for a station to listen to, and Phantom could've gotten them. If they had more shows like John Kelly on Lyric and the like, they'd get listeners that advertisers want to reach out to. (Higher disposable income than students.) Feck the spotify generation.


  • #2


    Sad news. Rotten for those who have lost their jobs. Seems like they have gutted the station.


  • #2


    this is to Ritchie,

    I will miss your recent Ritchie and Ritchie show. top stuff, really enjoyed the random songs and chats!

    been listening to Phantom from the start and sad to hear what's happened. I will try 100% to catch all the shows you have left with Ritchie.

    used to have fun ranting with you about smug Masterchef contestants a few years back.

    considered your final song to spin? maybe something from NWA, something with a bit o' spunk?


  • #2


    8Radio.com perhaps?? Simon Maher, founder of Phantom, is the MD of this project and already last year included a few ex-Phantom voices plus other music enthusiasts. Stranger things have already happened in radioland!

    I'll listen to Cadell, but that'll be it. Only heard about 8Radio.com this morning from these threads, downloaded the app, been listening all day, I know where I'll be going......

    Shame about Richie & Richie, the best radio show in years, it's a real shame they weren't given more time with it.


  • #2


    Think we know why Keith Walsh jumped at chance for 2fm gig.
    He must have heard a birdy...
    Wasn't he programme director also at phantom?

    It's also funny the way Bernard & Keith weren't good enough for iRadio when the merger occurred but they are now for 2fm!
    But I thought they were actually good on iRadio.

    Poor Phantom. Richie & Richie was great.
    And I have to admit, I really enjoyed Joe & Keith in the mornings.


  • #2


    It's proof of the mismanagement of phantom that even when the station reaches its endgame, they get rid of decent presenters and keep Joe on. Mind bending stupidity.


  • #2


    It's proof of the mismanagement of phantom that even when the station reaches its endgame, they get rid of decent presenters and keep Joe on. Mind bending stupidity.

    I would guess Joe's heart lies in talk radio.
    It's amazing the cull. I wonder will some of the DJs play one direction for the laugh!


  • #2


    I will miss Phantom, the first thing I do in the mornings is turn on the radio, the dial hasn't moved in years, but it will now. Loved Ritchie Ryan, hope wherever he goes I'll find him.
    Sad days, but I'll wait the month and then (hopefully) find a good alternative.


  • #2


    It's proof of the mismanagement of phantom that even when the station reaches its endgame, they get rid of decent presenters and keep Joe on. Mind bending stupidity.

    I agree. As this looks like the last chance saloon for phantom, why not give John Caddell, Richie Ryan and Jack Hyland a run at it? No disrespect to Clare Beck or anyone else.


  • #2


    Adiaga 2 wrote: »
    I agree. As this looks like the last chance saloon for phantom, why not give John Caddell, Richie Ryan and Jack Hyland a run at it? No disrespect to Clare Beck or anyone else.

    It's not last chance saloon, we might as well accept that Phantom is gonzers. They've been leaching staff for the last few years, and all the shows that made them a bit different are slowly being lost.

    It's a shame to see it run into the ground like this, but the management don't seem to know how to grab an audience.
    In terms of building a market, they've been blown out of the water by Nova, even though the music on Nova is dire


  • #2


    There's also the issue that alternative music is at a fairly low ebb at the moment, just as it was around 98-2000. Ten years ago, Phantom could play new stuff by alternative bands like Interpol, White Stripes, Strokes, King of Leon, Killers, QotSA, Foo Fighters, etc etc. Even if they weren't to your taste, they were legitimate alternative bands who were also widely popular. There are few new bands like that at the moment, which means it's harder to get in new listeners.

    Now, it's all cyclical, and maybe this time next year the charts will be dominated by alternative bands, but the fact is, as much good music as there is out there, very little alt stuff is crossing over these days and that means Phantom have less to work with than they had in the past and probably will have in the future.


  • #2


    There's also the issue that alternative music is at a fairly low ebb at the moment, just as it was around 98-2000. Ten years ago, Phantom could play new stuff by alternative bands like Interpol, White Stripes, Strokes, King of Leon, Killers, QotSA, Foo Fighters, etc etc. Even if they weren't to your taste, they were legitimate alternative bands who were also widely popular. There are few new bands like that at the moment, which means it's harder to get in new listeners.

    Now, it's all cyclical, and maybe this time next year the charts will be dominated by alternative bands, but the fact is, as much good music as there is out there, very little alt stuff is crossing over these days and that means Phantom have less to work with than they had in the past and probably will have in the future.

    I don't really agree with this. There is enough room in the market to tailor a station to enough of the mainstream while running specific shows to boost their figures. Phantom really tried to get too big too quickly imo. They should have consolidated their fan base after maybe 5 years rather than try to grow too much...


  • #2


    There's also the issue that alternative music is at a fairly low ebb at the moment, just as it was around 98-2000. Ten years ago, Phantom could play new stuff by alternative bands like Interpol, White Stripes, Strokes, King of Leon, Killers, QotSA, Foo Fighters, etc etc. Even if they weren't to your taste, they were legitimate alternative bands who were also widely popular. There are few new bands like that at the moment, which means it's harder to get in new listeners.

    Now, it's all cyclical, and maybe this time next year the charts will be dominated by alternative bands, but the fact is, as much good music as there is out there, very little alt stuff is crossing over these days and that means Phantom have less to work with than they had in the past and probably will have in the future.
    there's still loads of great "alternative" music out there though. Phantom just doesn't bother taking enough chances and sticks with safe stuff like Jake Bugg, Kodaline, Elbow, Arctic Monkeys and U2, the type of crossover acts you mention that new listeners can hear on TodayFM or 2FM, so why bother tuning in to Phantom to hear them?
    conversely I don't understand why Phantom bothers to play that sort of stuff as it doesn't pull in new listeners from other stations, and I'd be of the opinion that it's one of the reasons why many long-time listeners have tuned out over the years.

    what would have once been the typical "indie rock" fan listens to a lot more electronic, hiphop, alt-pop etc. these days too imo, but hearing stuff like that from 7am-7pm on Phantom is pretty unlikely. lazy and uninspired choices like the latest Daft Punk or Jay-Z single or a 10yr old Chemical Brothers track is about as far as variety goes on a weekday afternoon. look at festival lineups or online alternative music press/blogs and there's a lot less "4 white guys with guitars" like there was in the mid-00s.
    for that reason I'd have to disagree that Phantom have "less to work with". if anything, they have more to work with now than ever before, just as music fans have an abundance of great music to choose from these days.
    it's why in my opinion radio should be a valuable tool in promoting, highlighting and curating exciting acts, new and old, that people would not be aware of otherwise, or would have to trawl through blogs and music sites to find and listen to themselves.
    Phantom's approach of taking whatever new Jake Bugg or Elbow single they get sent by a promo company, sticking it on the playlist for 6 weeks, and playing once every 2 hours from 7am-7pm Mon-Fri is pretty much the opposite of what I would like in a radio station.


  • #2


    Really sad news :(
    Hope all those behind the mic and in production / sales etc... can get jobs elsewhere.
    Was just loving the 2 Ritchies and other shows.
    I guess that's Phantom as we know it finished.


  • #2


    That's a real shame.
    While i'd listen to 6music mostly, i've been checking into Phantom more than usual over the last 6 months.
    R&R was a good show. John Cadell and Claire beck were good too. I only heard Kelly Anne Byrne's show once but thought it was pretty good.

    Sure, they played safe and motr music sometimes, but they were better than the usual fare.
    Apart from 8Radio, there's nothing out there that interests me now.
    Lets hope they all get back to work again soon, and that 8radio snap up the best of them!!


Sign In or Register to comment.