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Vintage 2FM Discussion Thread

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  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭ZaK23-54


    Correct...I believe the first voice was Brendan Balfe - followed by Mr Gogan.

    Has Brendan retired from radio? From reading I believe he was a great DJ and radio anorak.

    Anyone have a recording?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,060 ✭✭✭Glaceon


    There’s a recording of the launch in the Medium Wave Goodbye programme from RTÉ Radio 1, also presented by Brendan Balfe. You should find it on YouTube.

    I can’t make out the second wavelength in the launch jingle. It says 490 (which would be 612 from Athlone) and then something like 240 or 244 which I’ve no idea about. 1278 didn’t start until 1982.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    2FM schedule from late May 1998

    Notice that there are no women presenters on the schedule for this week - there was always at least one !!

    As far as I remember Suzanne Duffy had gone on Maternity leave. Other female presenters of this era Ruth Scott and Uaneen Fitzsimons had not yet started on 2FM. Theresa Lowe had left 2FM.

    Ian Dempsey is 2 months away from leaving 2FM, though this week Will Leahy is covering for him on Mon - Fri breakfast.


    Post edited by ford fiesta on


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,512 ✭✭✭RINO87


    Tony Fenton at 3-5 there...I thought he went straight from the hot line to today fm, did he have afternoons long on 2fm? I don't recall it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    Tony was on afternoons for around 5 years 1998 to when he left 2FM in 2003. Dusty Rhodes took over the Hotline from Tony in 1998....then it became "Most Wanted"



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,512 ✭✭✭RINO87


    Thanks!



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,430 ✭✭✭JoeA3


    Yeah Tony moved to 3-5pm (3 to 5…. Live!) in summer 1998, probably when they were forced to shuffle things up when Dempsey jumped ship. 2-ish years later he moved to the 5-7pm slot which is where he was when he finished up.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    Ian's mate Barry Lang would have also left in 1998 (early)



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,430 ✭✭✭JoeA3


    Yep, I personally think that’s when the wheels started to come off 2FM.

    They chopped and changed Tony, Gareth O’C, Aidan Leonard, among others, in an effort to replace Lang and then Dempsey. There was one reshuffle after another for the following decade.



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,087 ✭✭✭✭Losty Dublin


    Yep, that's right. He finished up early March 1998 in what was a real town hall of a show, during which all manner of famous and infamous people called in or rang in to wish him well.

    As a curiosity, Ian Dempsey did his first Today FM show the day after TV3 came on air on 20th September.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    Also at the time Radio Ireland had relaunched to Today FM and their prospects were promising..

    But don't forget there was a fair bit of chopping and changing on Radio 2 throughout the 80s - especially in 1987/88. The schedule only really settled in around 1989 - 1990 and remained fairly the same up until 1997.

    I never liked the World Web Radio overnights around 1998 - it was basically the Overnights 2 am to 7am voicetracked.

    I really liked the live overnights that they had for 10 years previously.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,031 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Ian Dempsey had not left at this stage, when Tony Fenton was on in the afternoon. As Ford Fiesta said, Iano was two months away from leaving 2FM and Will Leahy just happened to be standing in for him that week. I think it was Barry Lang's departure that caused that particular reshuffle. Gareth O'Callaghan had been moved to the drivetime, Barry Lang's old spot, and Tony was moved into Gareth's spot. When Ian left in July, Gareth was moved again - this time to the breakfast slot.

    I see Peter Collins was still presenting on 2FM at that stage and also the more short-lived Shane O'Donoghue. Both were to move to RTE Sports.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    Peter Collins had already been involved in Sport (mostly Soccer / Formula One) - He and a few others left 2FM around April 1999 including Alan Corcoran, Lorcan Murray, Micky Mac, Gerard Gogan. This is when Liam Thompson came in as Programme Director....with a re-brand / logo and new schedule focusing at the weekends on Dance music.

    Shane O'Donoghue was not really short lived !! - he was with 2FM for 10 years - until around 2005 and was the main sports guy on The Full Irish Breakfast show with Tubridy as well as presenting early breakfast around the 2002 to 2005 era. Shane also filled in on Radio 1 music shows such as Ronan Collins afternoon show.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,399 ✭✭✭cml387


    240m was the Dublin medium wave frequency in those days.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,512 ✭✭✭RINO87


    Thanks, now that you mention it, I do remember Tony in the drivetime slot, but still have no recollection of his early afternoon show, until today fm. Probably because I was in school!



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,116 ✭✭✭Ger Roe


    Yep, it was also the first AM freq used by Radio Dublin Channel 2 - originally launched as an opt out FM only service (from RD 253), Ch2 then added a relatively low powered AM TX on 240M. Until ... one day a whopper of a carrier appeared on the freq and I thought it was testing a more powerful rig. Unfortunately it was just RTE's non subtle way of telling Ch2 to move. Ch2 then moved slightly away to 244M. TX site for the Radio 2 local AM was in Beaumont - later used as the location for the jamming signal on Sunshine Radio in 1984.

    Radio 2 had a jingle that mentioned '490....240... RTE, Radio 2 ... Stereo Sounds on VHF'



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,399 ✭✭✭cml387




  • Registered Users Posts: 2,116 ✭✭✭Ger Roe


    The RTE 2FM TX was in Beaumont, north Dublin, on a site known locally as 'the old piggery'.

    The RD Ch2 TX was in Inchicore on the RD studio site - long wire antenna stretched across the house grounds and originally over the railway line at the rear of the house (until a passing CIE track inspection crew saw it and cut down the support pole that had been setup on the opposite side of the track).

    Thee was so much RF around that site, from a 10Kw MW on 253M and a 1K SW on 6290Khz, that even when the 240 transmitter was off, there was still a relay signal of the 253 TX on the channel from the antenna resonating with some of the adjacent power.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,060 ✭✭✭Glaceon


    Great post. Yes, that's the jingle I mentioned above. I couldn't make out if it was 240 or 244 so thanks to all for the clarification.

    The Beaumont site can be seen on the older aerial maps on the OSI website, just off the Beaumont Road near the northern end of the modern day Collinswood estate.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    First RTE Radio 2 schedule 2 months after going on air in May 1979.

    Sponsored programmes on Radio 2 every day except Sunday!

    Radio 2 simulcast on RTE Radio 1 at midnight!!.

    Also RTE Radio 1 and R Na G schedules.


    Post edited by ford fiesta on


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,031 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Ireland's Choice on Sunday is an interesting one. I did not know that Steve Bolger was on RTE Radio 2 at all - I had him down as on Cork Local Radio and maybe pirates after that. And I never heard of Dermot Langan and Ray O'Brien. Another interesting entry that evening is the Irish language programme - Anonn's Anall - with Máire Davitt and Pat Butler. The latter's name rings a bell with me, but I don't remember the former at all. I see Marian Farrell was co-presenting Poparama on Saturday and Geoff Harris was presenting both days. I had read before that Marian Farrell had been an ex-2FM presenter when she was part of the original 4FM (now Classic Hits) schedule. I don't think I knew until now where or when she was there!



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    Before I discovered these early Radio 2 schedules - the impression I got from various articles about Michael McNamara etc from over the years - I used to think Michael had his own show on Radio 2 since the start of the station.

    It seems this was not the case, I think he was part of "Ireland's Call" with other presenters for a year or 2 until he got his own weekend show in around 1981.

    But before Radio 2 opened - he presented radio shows for RTE Raidio Eireann ("Radio 1") & RTE Community Radio and the odd RTE TV show presenting live showbands/performances (something like Paschal Mooney used to do).

    I guess "Irelands Call" in the early days of Radio 2, was similar to "Maxi and Co." or "New Voices" that were fixtures on the Radio 2 Sunday morning schedule in the mid to late 1980s, showcasing radio talent from the regional studios.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,031 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Ian Dempsey, Barry Lang, Tony Fenton and Mike Maloney, who all became staples of the Radio 2/2FM schedule during the 1980s and for most/all of the 1990s, were all still in pirate land at this stage!

    I see Ronan Collins had the afternoon slot on Radio 2 on Friday, and presumably Monday to Thursday.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    Ronan is the only presenter who has the longest constant presence on national radio Monday to Friday (43 years). other contenders moved to weekends or left radio on a temporary basis such as Dave Fanning or Marty Whelan.

    Ian Dempsey started at weekends on Radio 2. But he still has a very long Monday to Friday National radio record !!



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,031 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Gerry Ryan would be the third longest to date if I am not mistaken, despite his death: 1988 - 2010.

    I presume that Stevie Wonder series presented by Stewart Grundig on Sunday was the 1979 version of a syndicated show.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    Gerry started to be on Radio 2 Monday to Friday around 1981 with "Rocksteady" at 7pm.

    Before this and since 1979 he presented weekend programmes such as "Here comes the Weekend" and "Groovin on a Sunday afternoon" and during the week fill in also.

    Ronan though holds the record. he was never 'just' on at weekends on RTE Radio.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,031 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Ronan cleans the board there alright, re longest constant presence on national radio Monday to Friday, and also not having any weekend slot. As you said, Ian Dempsey has been doing Monday to Friday for a long time now. By my calculation, he is number two in terms of constant presence on national radio Mon to Fri. I was just making the point that Gerry was the third longest. From what you said, it looks like his constant Monday to Friday presence might go back a bit further than I thought, making an even closer third.

    Looking at the schedule, I am reminded that Declan Meehan was doing the weekday breakfast show Monday to Friday. He returned to the pirates from the summer of 1980 and this time round on the same pirates as future 2FM presenters Mike Maloney, Tony Fenton, John Clarke, Gareth O'Callaghan and Colm Hayes.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    A fantastic reminder how Radio 2 used to sound on a weekend early evening in 1986, with John Clarke sounding great a year after he joined.

    When playlists did not exist.

    Note the amount of regional businesses advertising on the station - ads voiced by Larry Gogan, Ian Dempsey, Marty Whelan, Noel McCaul, Barry Lang, Jimmy Greely and others

    https://www.mixcloud.com/gcamblin/rte-radio-2-john-clarke-july-1986/



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,031 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    I thought John Clarke was present at the closedown of Radio Nova in the spring of 1986 and that he joined 2FM later in the same year.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭ford fiesta




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