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Atlantic 252 What happened?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,508 ✭✭✭its_steve116




  • Registered Users Posts: 9,120 ✭✭✭squonk


    Something happened my keyboard. I was saying something about century. I think they lasted 9 months. They weeebt going at 252s pace but I do remember them being a breath of fresh air and sounding exciting but going from 2FM to having several alternatives was a huge change anyway at the time.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,060 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Century Radio: September 1989 to November 1991 - bit more than 9 months! It launched on Monday September 4th. Atlantic 252 got in just ahead on Friday September 1st.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,522 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    Interesting. They certainly would have had the capacity to be based in the Radio Centre with 15 or so equipped studios there.

    So did RTE / RTL have a lease on Mornington House, Trim - or did they own it ?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,414 ✭✭✭Tork


    Where did the DJs live?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,522 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    The UK DJs lived in Trim rental accomodation house shares and digs. I assume the Dublin born DJs such as Al Dunne and Dusty Rhodes commuted from Dublin.



  • Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭alzer100


    The last batch of Djs lived in Clonee Co. Meath off the bypass.

    At various times others lived in Maynooth in new apartments such as Pizzaman, Henry Owens.

    John O'Hara stayed living in London and commuted towards the end although he did rent near Rathmoloyn in late 99 and through 00.

    Some fully commuted in the early days like Dave Atkey, the luxy jocks, James Whale all flew over.

    Yorkie commuted from Tullamore up and others from the area of county meath had a very short commute in to work like Emily and Rosie The Cleaning lady who lived across the road.



  • Registered Users Posts: 633 ✭✭✭TheBMG


    I never heard that before. From what I know (from the RTE end of things) there was never any plan to locate the studios in Montrose.

    The thinking was to have the studio out around Meath or North County Dublin because it would be easier for big name presenters coming to and from the airport.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,089 ✭✭✭Glaceon


    I always remembered 252 being pitched up but that recording sounds slower than usual to my ears. Then again, that could have been the tape machine it was recorded or played back on.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,313 ✭✭✭Antenna


    Yes listened to bits of it and it does - just over 20 minutes in the voice of the late Henry Owens/Condon on a promo for a cash giveaway with Cadburys - his voice sounds 'slower' than correct speed.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭alzer100


    The Wellington Inn or "The Boot" is located next door to Mornington House and it was the location chosen for the station reunion in September 2009. Charlie Wolf and Tony West attended.

    David Lee Stone contributed more than two weeks worth of shows on Atlantic 252 as did Cousin Matty and Cass Jones (ex Energy103, Wyvern and Radio Luxembourg) and again later as Camin Jones on Virgin 1215. David Lee Sone had connections far back to John Catlett from Laser 558 who wanted him on 252. Ill health and his untimely passing meant David's life and career was cruelly cut short in the early 1990s.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,120 ✭✭✭squonk


    Is that Camin Jones the same person who ran Clare FM for a number of years by any chance? He also did an on air stint on the morning show covering local and national current affairs.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,060 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Another Radio Luxembourg connection: Jeff Graham, one of the original presenters on Atlantic 252, went off to RL to take up the position of PD. He oversaw its move from Medium Wave to the Astra satellite.



  • Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭alzer100


    The Camin Jones you are referring to is ex RTE Radio, it is not the same Camin Jones.



  • Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭alzer100


    For those who maybe interested in Atlantic 252 tribute programs:

    Listen to Atlantic 252 Tribute *33rd Anniversary Special* by Enda W. Caldwell on #SoundCloud

    https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?show_artwork=true&visual=true&url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F42049152#


    Listen to Charlie Wolf who talks to Enda Caldwell In Trim, September 14th 2009 on Atlantic 252's 20th Anniversary by Enda W. Caldwell 3 on #SoundCloud

    https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?show_artwork=true&visual=true&url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F165739290#



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,116 ✭✭✭✭Losty Dublin


    That's what I heard too; it was to allow for the celebs to get in and out of Dublin easier. Not that that was an issue for long after the investors quickly realised that spending £3,000+ for 3 hours of James Whale types wasn't such a sound use of valuable income.

    As regards locating the mast, the massive spread of the stay cables and ground wires quickly eliminated Montrose and Beaumont as potential tx sites.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,060 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh




  • Registered Users Posts: 6,060 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    As far as I know, Mark Byrne is the only person that was involved with both Century Radio and Atlantic 252. He joined the latter in late 1991 after the closure of the former. There were a few people from Atlantic who turned up subsequently on Century's successor Radio Ireland/Today FM. They included Mark Byrne (again!), Nails Mahoney, Derek Flood ("Floodie") and Enda Caldwell.



  • Registered Users Posts: 633 ✭✭✭TheBMG


    John O’Hara too .. he was briefly with Century in about 1991 I think



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,522 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    1990 was probably too late for a big LW station to start broadcasting.

    Can you imagine if Atlantic 252 on LW started 10 years previously in 1980 ?

    From an Irish listeners point of view - would the local and superpirates have been as successful ?

    In the UK - would BBC Radio 1 and Laser 558 have been as successful ?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,060 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Re Century, I forgot about John O'Hara's involvement there. That's two, so.

    As regards Today FM, I have been reminded of some others from a reliable source:

    Cliff Walker

    Steven Cooper - hosted some cover shows

    Producer Emily Owens from Atlantic 252, who was a "spinner" from '95 to Closedown, now is head of commercial production with Bauer IRL and Today FM.



  • Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭alzer100


    I fully understand your point. But just looking at it from the point of view of how things worked out in reality. Radio Nova was the BIG thing, super innovative, it's sound of format and from a technical perspective was far superior to anything around Ireland at that time. So it's a hard one to call from an Irish listener point of view. Atlantic 252 first used the 'HotHits' format back in 1989. That particular format was brought to the attention of Robbie Robinson at Sunshine 101 by Bill Cunningham, who was a successful radio consultant. In 1980 and through up until the mid 80's Cunningham was working at KQKQ, Council Bluffs, Iowa iirc while also acting as a consultant for radio stations through his company based in Omaha, Nebraska. So apart from what was being offered from Radio Nova, we in Ireland didn't really experience a more aggressive CHR until 1986.

    So Bill Cunningham pitched the idea to Robbie and Robbie went it, but that did not happen until July of that year and of course the rest is history. If Atlantic 252 had of come on air in say 1980, it's difficult to predict if the station would have been AS successful as it was regarding breaking into AND offering something unheard of to the UK market. Although Atlantic did go with a more AC type format from 1992 onwards, using the foundation of the HotHits format- style and presentation, it certainly contributed to giving the radio station mega listenership figures at that time. If it started in 1980? I wouldn't be so sure tbh.

    Post edited by alzer100 on


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,651 ✭✭✭Infoanon


    A Big LW station was being planned in '00s and a LW rig was being stored in Surrey to take over the IOM 279 project !

    The original idea for 'export radio ' was Novas 500kw LW project from Mosney , which then became the Exidy 738 project .

    Nova clearly felt that their Dublin FM/MW station would be unaffected by a station aimed at the UK.

    Technical issues which while resolvable, would have been expensive , resulted in Nova replacing Exidy.

    What made things different in '89 and why A252 made an impact in Ireland was the lacklustre new independent stations and Atlantic effectively being the revival of the hugely successful Sunshine 101.

    Would Atlantic have made an impact in the 80s? , probably not ,and even if it did the FM pirates would quickly adjust.

    A252, 500kw by day , 100kw by night , was weak in London so Laser 558 wouldn't have been impacted , BBC potentially. The ILR'S in the UK were already taking a big hit from Nova and later Sunshine and Q - Their FM signals proving crystal clear along the west coast.

    Re using the RTE studios - I doubt that would have been an option - this was also a joint venture with RTL , Dublin was never in the mix as a transmission site , and just to add that initially there was a FM link to the TX site.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,060 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    When Atlantic 252 launched on the airwaves on September 1st 1989, most of the fledging new commercial stations had not started at that point. Only one had started in Dublin: Capital Radio (now FM104). Millennium Radio was gone. It gave Atlantic 252 a bit of a head start for Dublin and even more so outside of Dublin. It even beat Century Radio by a few days. But the "lacklustre new independent stations" point may well have been relevant when more were up and running (98FM arrived in November).

    The subject of the superpirate Sunshine influence has been mentioned a number of times in this thread. I mentioned that there were a number of ex-Sunshine presenters on Atlantic 252, and it was also mentioned that there were a couple of ex-Q102/SuperQ presenters with Atlantic. I was thinking: what about the other two big name superpirates, i.e. Radio Nova and Energy 103? I can think of one each. Paul Kavanagh was actually on Radio Nova before his association with Sunshine, and Liam Coburn (Batman Gomez) was with Energy 103 before Q102. I cannot think of any more examples.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,414 ✭✭✭Tork


    Even if Atlantic 252 had been on the go earlier in the 80s I think most of the Irish pirates would've come along anyway. I grew up outside Dublin so I never heard Nova or any of the other pirates there. But down the country where I was, the main pirate station was a less polished but remarkably similar version of the local station that succeeded it later on. In other words, along with pop music it aired plenty of céilí, country & Irish and showbands. I think they had a bit of local news too but that detail is a bit fuzzy in my mind now.

    No matter how long the station had been running, I think it would've closed at the same time it did. It's one of those things that was good while it lasted but was then overtaken by something better. Also, LW started to disappear from consumer electronics. It wasn't on any of the Sony Walkmans I had in the 90s, nor was it on the double-deck I saved up for. If Google's image search is anything to go by, there was no LW on the radio in our family car. As I got older, the only place I consistently heard the station was on buses.



  • Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭alzer100


    John O'Hara, a legend of Energy 103 evenings. He hosted Schools Out with Club Orange in 87-88. He also hosted breakfast on the station and other main shifts but is best remembered for Schools Out at Energy 103.

    After South Coast Cork, Henry Owens later mid-mornings and then PD as well as MD of Atlantic 252, he was on Radio Nova in 1985 prior to doing middays with Q102 from 1986-1988 as well as Q's Top 40 Countdown at weekends and staying on as a jock for the reformatted Super-Q.


    The late Henry Owens was Nova/Q/Super-102



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,522 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    Walkman's or Personal Stereos never had LW on this part of the world.



  • Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭alzer100


    Earlier on in the thread, I posted a photo of a Sony ICF-SW1E. It's basically the size of a standard Walkman, it had a PLL digital tuner with SW and LW capability. It could receive Atlantic 252 even in Dartford! With high quality headphones I could listen to A252 on the move and the sound quality (although not FM) was pretty good. I paid 200 IRL for it back in 1991. But look, I am a nerd 🙂



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,060 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Again, I forgot about John O'Hara! Now that I think of it, John O'Hara was also with Radio Nova. I did not know that Henry Owens did a stint with Nova.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,522 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    Robin Banks was with Radio Nova (satellite) although he must have been quite young, as he was born in 1972



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