Radiocentre Ireland appoints Ciaran Cunningham as first CEO

Former Carat Ireland and Dentsu X chief executive to lead cross-industry alliance

Radiocentre Ireland, an organisation formed by RTÉ and Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) to promote the growth of advertising on radio, has appointed Ciaran Cunningham as its first chief executive.

Mr Cunningham is a well-known figure in the Irish marketing sector, most recently serving as chief executive of Carat Ireland and Dentsu X, which are both part of the global Dentsu Group. He has more than 30 years' experience of working in the media agency business.

The establishment of Radiocentre Ireland was announced in October, when the chief executive position was advertised. Mr Cunningham said he was “delighted” to be taking on the role.

“My ambition is to use my experience to help shape the radio sector for the challenges and opportunities ahead. Radio, in all its forms, is incredibly popular with Irish people. It is also a very powerful medium for advertisers to grow their brands and services and I will be seeking to make radio an absolutely essential choice for advertisers into the future.”


Although RTÉ and IBI have previously collaborated on the Choose Radio initiative on an ad hoc basis, Radiocentre Ireland marks their first formal multi-year agreement with committed funding.

The board of the new organisation comprises seven executives from across the industry. RTÉ is represented by head of 2FM Dan Healy, group head of commercial Geraldine O'Leary and head of trading Debbie Kennedy. IBI is represented by Wireless Group Ireland managing director Sean Barry, Bauer Media Audio Ireland chief executive Simon Myciunka and Radio Kerry chief executive Tim O'Keeffe.

‘Passion for radio’

John Purcell, who is IBI chairman and chief executive of KCLR 96FM, serves as independent chair. He described Mr Cunningham's appointment as "great news" for the initiative.

“Ciaran brings tremendous media experience, passion for radio and a wealth of insights, ideas and creativity to the role. We’re delighted to have him at the helm as we set out on our mission to spread the good news about Irish radio.”

The Irish radio market is estimated to be more than €100 million in size, but the sector has argued in recent years that its share of advertising revenue is lower than it should be, with the popularity of Irish radio stations and their content not reflected in how advertisers allocate their money.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics