Two stations to invest in Radio Ireland company


RADIO Ireland, the national radio franchise due to begin broadcasting in March next year, is completing negotiations to bring two new investors into the company, Downtown Radio in Belfast and Radio Clyde in Scotland.

The Chief executive of the new station, Mr Dan Collins, confirmed yesterday that talks were nearly complete and said he welcomed the inclusion of two such highly experienced radio stations into the consortium.

The Radio Ireland consortium is headed by Mr John McColgan. The other directors are Ms Moya Doherty, Mr Den is Desmond, Mr Brian Molloy, Mr Joe Moreau and Mr Robbie Wooton.

Crosbie Holdings Ltd, the owners of the Examiner group of newspapers, is also involved. Another investor, the Farmers Journal, has withdrawn.

The two new members of the consortium bring much radio experience, something many observers believed was missing when the Radio Ireland consortium was awarded the licence following oral hearings by the Independent Radio and Television Commission last January.

Downtown Radio is taking a 10 per cent share and Radios Clyde 15 per cent.

Both stations are owned by Scottish Radio Holdings, which acquired Downtown Radio last month. Last year, it bought Northern Ireland's Morton Newspaper Group, which publishes local newspapers throughout Northern Ireland.

Downtown has a market share of 31 per cent of Northern Ireland's radio listeners.

Earlier this year, Radio Clyde was disappointed when it failed in its bid for the Irish national commercial radio licence. Mr James Gordon, who is chairman of Radio Clyde and Scottish Radio Holdings, headed the National FM consortium.

Meanwhile, Radio Ireland has confirmed its studios will be based in the new Jervis Shopping Centre, in Dublin, which is opening shortly.

It has also confirmed that Mr Dave Hammond is joining as sales and advertising manager. He was formally with the Sunday In dependent, Dublin's 98 FM and the Scandinavian Broadcasting Service.

Meanwhile, Radio Ireland is going through 17,000 curriculum vitaes and 600 demo tapes, which were sent to the station in response to an advertisement seeking broadcasters.