|Broadcast area||County Dublin, Ireland|
|Frequency||FM: 105.2 MHz
UPC Ireland: 935
|First air date||31 October 2006|
|Owner||Dublin Rock Radio Ltd.|
Phantom played mostly alternative rock with an emphasis on local artists, as well as alternative dance and hip-hop from local and international acts. Apart from general programming Phantom also has run many specialist shows dedicated to a specific genre of rock or to premiering new Irish and international acts.
Until 2003, Phantom operated as a pirate station, staying on air the majority of the time, apart from outages caused by frequency collisions with newly licenced stations, fear of raids by Comreg, and once, the theft of their transmission equipment from Three Rock Mountain. Since 2003, they have operated as an internet radio station, and under two temporary radio contracts (2003 and 2004) from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.
Funding for Phantom during their pirate era came from sponsorship and advertising from local bands and promoters and even contributions from station staff.
A number of times during this period, the station went off air for licence applications. After two successful temporary licenses, Phantom applied for an alternative rock license offered by the BCI for Dublin in July 2004. They finally won a licence for an alternative rock station for Dublin in November 2004, beating the Zed FM consortium, XFM and two other applicants.
Phantom's expected launch was delayed due to a legal challenges against the BCI regarding the license from Scrollside Ltd./Zed FM. An unsuccessful challenge to the High Court was followed by an appeal to the Supreme Court which was rejected on 6 April 2006. Phantom returned to the airwaves on 31 October 2006, broadcasting on 105.2 FM.
Phantom 105.2 won the award for best music driven local station at the 2007 PPI Awards.
In 2010, Communicorp took a 30% stake and the station was relocated to Marconi House in January 2011 where it shares facilities with Today FM and Newstalk. A number of redundancies resulted from the move and cost cutting including the redundancies of Marketing Manager Brian Daly and Traffic Manager Laura Lee Conboy (she continued with her presenter role) along with the resignation of Chief Executive Ger Roe and the dismissal of General Manager Simon Maher. Ricky Geraghty has replaced Ger Roe as CEO and Keith Walsh has replaced Fiona Scally as Programme Director.
In August 2012 it was announced that a number of weekend presenters would be leaving the station in a bid to cut costs. They include Pearl, Dee Reddy, Shane Galvin, James Byrne and Derek Byrne. Co-host of Pure Morning, Michelle Doherty will also leave in mid-September to pursue an acting career. Subsequently, Dee Reddy and Derek Byrne were reinstated.
Keith Walsh left Phantom in December 2013 for 2FM. Although TXFM shares some of the same shareholders and staff as Phantom 105.2, there is no formal connection between the two stations. TXFM is a new station operated by the holders of the Alternative Rock franchise for Dublin City and County.
Job cuts and restructuring plans
On 14 February 2014, the board of directors of Dublin Rock Radio Ltd, trading as Phantom 105.2 announced that up to twenty staff would be made redundant. In a statement issued to the press, managers of the station said that the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland had granted permission to restructure the business "in order to ensure its long-term viability".
In February 2014, it was announced that an agreement had been reached with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to restructure the station resulting in the loss of all full and part-time staff with the exception of three day time presenters. The station would then be rebranded as TXFM with closer operational links with Today FM, also owned by Communicorp and who also broadcast from the same building.
On 16 March 2014 Phantom 105.2 ceased broadcasting. The last live show was Power House presented by John Caddell. Back to back music was then broadcast with identifications announcing "This is 105.2" with no reference to Phantom. The following presentation lost their jobs alongside backroom and support staff: Richie Ryan, Richie McCormack, Ray McGowan, Laura Lee Conboy, Charlotte Flood, Jack Hyland, Sinead Ni Churnain and Will St. Ledger.
It was subsequently confirmed that TXFM would launch on 1 April 2014, with a mix of existing and new presenters. The new lineup would see presented programmes from 7am to midnight on weekdays, including nightly two-hour specialist shows from 10pm; weekends will see a mix of presenter-led and specialist shows, including a Saturday night 'indie anthems' marathon.
List of Phantom 105.2 presenters
The final presenter lineup of weekday programming on Phantom 105.2 prior to its switch to TXFM was:
- Cathal Funge(" TXFM Breakfast", Mon-Fri 07:00-11:00 & The Listening Post, Wednesday Only " 22:00-00:00)
- Claire Beck ("TXFM Daytime, Mon Fri 15:00-19:00)
- Joe Donnelly ("TXFM Drive ", Mon-Fri 15:00-19:00)
- Kelly-Anne Byrne (" TXFM Evenings ", Mon-Fri 19:00-22:00)
- John Caddell ("Revolver ,Sunday " 18:00-21:00)
- Brian Keaveney (" Souled Out, Monday Only " 22:00-00:00)
- Gavin Glass (" The Pick Up , Tuesday Only " 22:00-00:00)
- Derek Byrne (" Transmission , Friday Only " 22:00-00:00)
- Nadine O'Regan (" Songs in the Key of Life", Saturday Only 11:00-12:00)
- Orlagh Donnelly (" Ri Ra , Saturday Only" 07:00-09:00)
- Dee Reddy ( " Sunday Service, Sunday Only" 09:00-12:00)
- Paul Donegan ( " Weekend Wake Up, Saturday Only" 12:00-14:00)
- Niall Byrne( " Nialler9 , Thursday Only" 22:00-00:00)
- Claire O'Dowd ("TX Shuffle , Sunday Only" 12:00-14:00)
- Paul & Johnny (" Park Life , Saturday and Sunday Only" 14:00-18:00)
- Sunday Morning Wake Up Zone 07:00-09:00 Sunday Only
- The Set List 21:00-00:00 Sunday Only
- Late Night Indie Anthems 22:00-02:00 Saturday Only
- Pogo Radio 19:00-22:00 Saturday Only
- Overnight Music 00:00-07:00 Mon-Fri Only
Caddell, Beck and Donnelly will all remain with the station as part of the launch lineup of TXFM, though all will be in new slots with Caddell on Sunday nights, Beck on daytime and Donnelly on drivetime and Cathal Funge on breakfast
The new schedule for TXFM includes some other presenters from Phantom, including an expanded role for Cathal Funge, who will be the new weekday breakfast presenter. Others who kept their jobs include: Kelly-Ann Byrne, Dee Reddy, Derek Byrne, Orlagh Donnelly and Nadine O'Regan
Notable former presenters
- Richie Ryan
- Richie McCormack
- Ray McGowan
- Laura Lee Conboy
- Will St Leger
- Sinead Ní Churnáin (Carraig Chrua,
- Jack Hyland
- Eamonn Fennell
- Michelle Doherty
- Ger Roe - Chief Executive
- Simon Maher - General Manager
- Sinister Pete, aka Peter Vamos
- Edel Coffey (Irish Independent, RTÉ 2XM)
- Cormac Battle (RTÉ 2fm)
- John Walshe (State)FM104, 2FM
- Taragh Loughrey-Grant (RTÉ Online)
- Sinéad Ní Mhórdha
- Louise Byrne (Dublin's 98FM news)
- Jenny Huston (RTÉ 2FM)
- Dan Hegarty (RTÉ 2FM)
- Steve Conway former offshore Radio Caroline presenter and author
- Muireann O'Connell
- Phill Udell
- Ian Long (aka Jon Jetson)
- Gavin Manley (aka Dave K)
- Jim Carroll
- Orla Ormond
- Jason Byrne
- James Byrne
- Gavin Burke
- Will St Leger
- PPI Music Driven Local Station Of The Year (2007)
- Digital Media Awards - Best Entertainment Content (Web/Mobile) (2008)
- Irish Web Awards - Best Radio Station Website (2008 & 2009)
- Highly Commended in the Allianz Business to Arts Awards 2010 (Best Sponsorship of an Event)
- PPI New Irish Music/Musical Talent Programming (2013) Icon - Songwriter Special
- *Wright, Ian "Radio's Phantom Saviour", Cluas, October 2006, accessed 2 July 2009
- *Mulally, Una "Phantom and Zed's rock 'n' roll radio ructions at the BCI", Irish Independent, 12 February 2006.
- *Mulally, Una "Phantom Apparition", Sunday tribune, 29 October 2006.
- *Hickey, Shane "Phantom to go on air at the end of October", Irish Independent, 14 September 2006.
- *Ciarán Hancock "Rock radio station Phantom 105.2 to cut jobs", Irish Times, 15 February 2014.
- "Phantom replacement TXFM launches Monday", RadioToday Ireland