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Bauer Media purchases Communicorp

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 40,061 ✭✭✭✭Harry Palmr


    Newstalk is up and down depending on one's like/dislike of various presenters but it is a success in the market as a talk radio station. They need to boost that with a few heavyweight names


  • Registered Users Posts: 635 ✭✭✭TheBMG


    Was only thinking about this earlier.

    With the imminent departure of Denis does this mean the only two independent stations who still retain the same ownership from day one are South East Radio and Mid West Radio?

    (I’m talking about the first tranche of stations licensed by the then IRTC back in 1989)


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,128 ✭✭✭✭Losty Dublin


    TheBMG wrote: »
    Was only thinking about this earlier.

    With the imminent departure of Denis does this mean the only two independent stations who still retain the same ownership from day one are South East Radio and Mid West Radio?

    (I’m talking about the first tranche of stations licensed by the then IRTC back in 1989)

    You'd be broadly right on those two though off of my head I think Radio Kerry are still broadly owned by the same shareholders as well. Of the three of them South East don't seem to have ever grown or expanded as a broadcaster.

    Guess they are all doing something right if they can hold firm in today's climate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 105 ✭✭Jonathan1990


    I've been trying to figure out which UK radio station all Irish stations are the equivalent of and here's what I think.

    RTÉ Radio 1 = BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live
    RTÉ 2FM = BBC Radio 1
    RTÉ Lyric FM = BBC Radio 3
    RTÉ Raidió Na Galletachta = BBC Radio Nan Gáidheal (Scotland), BBC Radio Cymru (Wales) and nothing in England
    RTÉ 2XM = BBC Radio 6 Music
    RTÉ Pulse = Capital Dance
    RTÉ Gold = Global's Gold
    RTÉ Junior = Fun Kids
    RTÉ Chill = Smooth
    Today FM = Capital (although other people are saying Heart)
    Newstalk = LBC
    98FM = Greatest Hits Radio
    Spin1038 = Kiss
    Radio Nova = Planet Rock
    Q102 = Magic


  • Registered Users Posts: 882 ✭✭✭radiotrickster


    Today FM = Capital (although other people are saying Heart)
    Spin1038 = Kiss

    From a content perspective, I’d say Today is closer to Absolute. Spin is the equivalent of Capital.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,128 ✭✭✭mollser


    I hope they bring Kerrang Radio to Ireland, proper modern rock station!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,530 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    mollser wrote: »
    I hope they bring Kerrang Radio to Ireland, proper modern rock station!

    just listen to it on line instead if they don't !!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,430 ✭✭✭Tork


    My understanding is that there isn't any more room on the FM band for new stations. DAB is a dead duck too. I don't think any new stations will have any options but to be online only.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,657 ✭✭✭Infoanon


    Tork wrote: »
    My understanding is that there isn't any more room on the FM band for new stations. DAB is a dead duck too. I don't think any new stations will have any options but to be online only.

    There is room on the FM band but there is no willingness to issue new licences, retain the status quo is the only game in town , hence no interest in having any competition from DAB.

    The notion of eg putting the Kerrang format on to an Irish station is simply not possible under the current licence requirements.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    I can see this new venture leading to significant requests for deregulation in the name of "viability" or something like that.

    Bauer recently in the the UK have bought up swathes of ILRs around the UK in order to launch their Greatest Hits Radio network. I wonder will they take a similar approach in Ireland. Them having two networked youth stations means they could look at acquiring iRadio or RedFM/Beat (same owner) and network those going forward.

    Today FM will likely see some restructuring. I can see The Last Word being the first item into the bin, it makes no sense for them to have two national drivetime current affairs shows competing with one another and no nationwide music drivetime show. Today FM will likely turn into a Heart/Hits Radio type national music outlet. There is a massive gap in the market for a service like this which is very, very popular in the UK.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,070 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    marno21 wrote: »
    I can see this new venture leading to significant requests for deregulation in the name of "viability" or something like that.

    Bauer recently in the the UK have bought up swathes of ILRs around the UK in order to launch their Greatest Hits Radio network. I wonder will they take a similar approach in Ireland. Them having two networked youth stations means they could look at acquiring iRadio or RedFM/Beat (same owner) and network those going forward.

    Today FM will likely see some restructuring. I can see The Last Word being the first item into the bin, it makes no sense for them to have two national drivetime current affairs shows competing with one another and no nationwide music drivetime show. Today FM will likely turn into a Heart/Hits Radio type national music outlet. There is a massive gap in the market for a service like this which is very, very popular in the UK.

    Is there not a competition issue then? I seem to remember that Communicorp were not allowed buy a stake in any more stations because of competition concerns. Isn't that how Wireless ended up with FM104 and Q102?


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    Is there not a competition issue then? I seem to remember that Communicorp were not allowed buy a stake in any more stations because of competition concerns. Isn't that how Wireless ended up with FM104 and Q102?

    I meant geographic spread for Bauer. They already have 2 of the 6 15-34 licences. There’s no overlap between these licence areas so no competition concerns. Bauer own no local licences in the areas of the other 4 services.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,070 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    marno21 wrote: »
    I meant geographic spread for Bauer. They already have 2 of the 6 15-34 licences. There’s no overlap between these licence areas so no competition concerns. Bauer own no local licences in the areas of the other 4 services.

    Would the total number of licenses nationwide not be taken into account as well?


  • Site Banned Posts: 12,341 ✭✭✭✭Faugheen


    marno21 wrote: »
    I meant geographic spread for Bauer. They already have 2 of the 6 15-34 licences. There’s no overlap between these licence areas so no competition concerns. Bauer own no local licences in the areas of the other 4 services.

    But they do have two stations which broadcast in those local areas.

    No chance they'd be given the go ahead to acquire any other stations.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Ah,Remember those innocent days of early 1989,after the pirates were closed down,and we looked forward to legal local radio in Ireland........


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,070 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Ah,Remember those innocent days of early 1989,after the pirates were closed down,and we looked forward to legal local radio in Ireland........

    Innocent in more ways than one! A handful of pirates around the country defied the closedown at the end of 1988 and there was a big renewal of pirate activity, particularly in Dublin, during the 1990s. To this day, there is still some pirate activity, albeit on a smaller scale, largely in Dublin, Cork City and in border areas. All you have to do is look at the Bandscan Thread.

    Going back to the main subject of this thread, how things have changed! When Radio Ireland/Today FM launched in 1997, Communicorp did not own Today FM and Newstalk, Spin103 and SPIN SW did not exist.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    Faugheen wrote: »
    But they do have two stations which broadcast in those local areas.

    No chance they'd be given the go ahead to acquire any other stations.

    But by that logic they would be allowed to acquire stations in those areas. They own 4 stations in Dublin, 3 in the Spin SW area, so what's wrong with increasing from 2 to 3 in the NW/NE?

    I would imagine (this in the future after deregulation attempts) they came into the Irish market to acquire and consolidate, just as they have done in the UK.
    Would the total number of licenses nationwide not be taken into account as well?

    Unless there are competition considerations in particular markets I don't see why they would. Buying Radio Kerry would be an issue as they already control Spin, but they don't control local/regional stations outside of Dublin and the SW regional area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Pete Best


    To this day, there is still some pirate activity, albeit on a smaller scale, largely in Dublin, Cork City and in border areas.

    No border pirate activity for quite some time now, other than wild Country on 103.6 which hasn’t been active for a while, although I gather it’s on the Free DAB mux.

    I had thought some enterprising souls may have taken advantage of the lockdown and activated a few of the hilltop transmitter sites, and I wouldn’t think Comreg would bother under these circumstances.

    It’ll be interesting to see what Bauer do with Today FM. A few over on Digital Spy have speculated they could turn it into Greatest Hits Radio Ireland, or Kiss FM Ireland, although I think the various iRadio and Spin stations pretty much cover that age demographic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Pete Best


    98FM = Greatest Hits Radio

    Greatest Hits Radio plays oldies from the 70’s-90’s and I don’t think 98FM does that, even their online throwback station, which would be similar to Capital Extra reloaded.

    It’s say 98FM would be the equivalent of Heart U.K.


  • Registered Users Posts: 945 ✭✭✭Colonel Claptrap


    Surely Pat Kenny is close to retirement. Who can fill his boots within Newstalk?

    I predict a shake up.


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/media-and-marketing/what-will-bauer-do-with-the-irish-radio-stations-it-picks-up-from-denis-o-brien-1.4567359

    This deal was given the green light late last week. Article from the IT above about Bauer and what they may do with the stations.

    I speculated recently that they would go full on to drive deregulation in the market. Regulations on Irish radio are nice and all that but in today's environment they are severe constraints on keeping stations viable. The talk/current affairs quota has no place in 2021.

    I speculated that The Last Word on Today FM may be an early victim of this if they seek to rebrand Today FM as nationwide Hot AC station similar to their own Hits Radio (which is syndicated across the North of England on many legacy ILR stations such as Radio City, former Key 103, Clyde 1 etc). A nationwide, personality driven, tightly playlist Hot AC station would not have a news/magazine show at drivetime, competing with a similar show on the group's other national radio station.

    However, Dublin Talks was quickly targeted. It remains to be seen if they follow this trend across the stations. The mid-day talk show on Spin South West was dropped as far back as 2012.

    Acquistions are another item to keep an eye on. Will the Irish Times seek to offload Beat and RedFM? If so, Bauer would own the regional youth stations in Dublin, Cork, the South East and the South West. None of their target areas overlap but there are obvious networking opportunities there. Similarly, Wireless own the Hot AC stations in Dublin/Cork/Limerick so there is precedent here, and networking has commenced on those stations.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,070 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    marno21 wrote: »
    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/media-and-marketing/what-will-bauer-do-with-the-irish-radio-stations-it-picks-up-from-denis-o-brien-1.4567359

    This deal was given the green light late last week. Article from the IT above about Bauer and what they may do with the stations.

    I speculated recently that they would go full on to drive deregulation in the market. Regulations on Irish radio are nice and all that but in today's environment they are severe constraints on keeping stations viable. The talk/current affairs quota has no place in 2021.

    I speculated that The Last Word on Today FM may be an early victim of this if they seek to rebrand Today FM as nationwide Hot AC station similar to their own Hits Radio (which is syndicated across the North of England on many legacy ILR stations such as Radio City, former Key 103, Clyde 1 etc). A nationwide, personality driven, tightly playlist Hot AC station would not have a news/magazine show at drivetime, competing with a similar show on the group's other national radio station.

    However, Dublin Talks was quickly targeted. It remains to be seen if they follow this trend across the stations. The mid-day talk show on Spin South West was dropped as far back as 2012.

    Acquistions are another item to keep an eye on. Will the Irish Times seek to offload Beat and RedFM? If so, Bauer would own the regional youth stations in Dublin, Cork, the South East and the South West. None of their target areas overlap but there are obvious networking opportunities there. Similarly, Wireless own the Hot AC stations in Dublin/Cork/Limerick so there is precedent here, and networking has commenced on those stations.

    By its present owners Communicorp. Would they be doing a bit of clearing up of some programs before Bauer Media take over at the end of this month?


  • Registered Users Posts: 194 ✭✭madnessnmayhem


    wonder will Newstalk be in trouble? I know a few people who left one station to join them interesting times ahead for all


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    By its present owners Communicorp. Would they be doing a bit of clearing up of some programs before Bauer Media take over at the end of this month?
    I presume Bauer have been directing traffic in the background. Cutting Dublin Talks would be top of the list for cost cutting at 98FM anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,070 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    It will be interesting to see what happens with The Last Word on Today FM. It's now the only talk show, without music, left on Today FM, apart from its weekly music review slots. There used to be a number of talk shows in years gone by. There are a few which mix music with some chat, such as Mairead Ronan's and Dermot and Dave's.

    The other intriguing thing is what happens if Matt is given a slot (presumably daily) on Newstalk? Will this lead to a bit of a shake-up at Newstalk?

    Will Spin1038 and Spin SouthWest have syndicated programs, meaning more staff shake-ups?


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,461 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf


    wonder will Newstalk be in trouble? I know a few people who left one station to join them interesting times ahead for all

    Well Catherine Martin said:
    “Any media companies involved in mergers have to seek clearance from the minister on the grounds for assessment that it won’t damage media diversity."

    I'm taking this to mean Bauer had to commit to retaining Newstalk in pretty much its current form before getting the go-ahead


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    It will be interesting to see what happens with The Last Word on Today FM. It's now the only talk show, without music, left on Today FM, apart from its weekly music review slots. There used to be a number of talk shows in years gone by. There are a few which mix music with some chat, such as Mairead Ronan's and Dermot and Dave's.

    The other intriguing thing is what happens if Matt is given a slot (presumably daily) on Newstalk? Will this lead to a bit of a shake-up at Newstalk?

    Will Spin1038 and Spin SouthWest have syndicated programs, meaning more staff shake-ups?

    They could go with a 2 presenter show on Newstalk like Radio 1 drivetime. The current setup of separate news programmes on the music station and the talk station at drive makes little sense.

    Spin 1038 and Spin SW are networked from Dublin weekdays 10am-3pm and 7pm-12am. Only breakfast and drive are live from Limerick.


  • Registered Users Posts: 224 ✭✭Muller1991


    Sorry to bump an old thread, just announced today that Bauer have completed the purchase of Iradio.


    https://www.newstalk.com/uncategorized/bauer-media-audio-completes-acquisition-of-iradio-1620584



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