Five ways 2fm can get its groove back
How can Dan Healy, the new boss at 2fm, revamp a station struggling with an identity crisis and rev it out of autopilot?
Here are five pieces of unasked for advice for the new 2fm boss.
New tricks for old dogs
The big guns need to be rearmed and retooled. Too many of the box-office stars like Ryan Tubridy and Colm Hayes are coasting along from day to day with little thought or effort given to new content or story ideas.
Just because everyone else does the same thing (ie ripping off ideas from Twitter or the papers) doesn’t mean you have to copy them. While Healy might not feel brave enough – or desperate enough– to can some of his DJs yet, perhaps he needs to shake up the backroom teams. Many of them would relish a new challenge after the rudderless inertia of recent years.
Healy may boast that the playlist will feature “nothing before 1990” but that’s not the real problem. Healy needs to take a much closer look at the music the station actually plays and promotes rather than go on about what they’re not playing.
2fm needs to get behind the new acts who matter to the target audience and demonstrate that the station can play an important role in building the act’s profile and growing their audience.
Of course, it also needs to choose wisely, but it has proven talent on its books who can help with this task, such as long-time producer Ian Wilson.
Or, if you wish, please forget about Gerry Ryan. Like him or loath him, the late broadcaster was the pop station’s biggest draw and his sudden death destabilised and demoralised 2fm. But a station’s real personality should be collective rather than individual and 2fm’s constant attempts to find the new Ryan has proved counter-productive.
Time to market the station rather than any one ego. It will also save cash when the time comes to renegotiate contracts with the DJs’ agents.
This one is a fine line to walk. While the idea of banishing a DJ once he (and at 2fm it’s nearly always “he”) reaches a certain age is silly. It’s also silly to keep the same names on air year in and year out.
Today FM has always showed great skill in finding, developing and finessing new talent like KC and Colm O’Sullivan, but this is an area which 2fm has never quite mastered.
Take some chances
For a music station, 2fm is far too staid and conservative. There’s little risk taking and no, Nob Nation is not risk taking. Surely it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that 2fm might try some new wild ideas which are knocking around, let down its hair and show its audience that it still knows how to have fun? At the very least, it might boost morale.