|Broadcast area||Waterford City and County, Ireland|
|Slogan||We Love Waterford!|
|Frequency||94.8, 95.1, 97.5 FM|
|First air date||Friday 8 September 1989|
|Format||Adult Oriented Pop Music with local news, sports and specialist programmes|
|Language(s)||English, with dedicated Irish Language programme and occasional Irish spoken on other programming|
|Sister stations||Beat 102 103
Cork's Red FM
WLR FM (Waterford Local Radio), licensed since 1989 (WLR had previously been a pirate radio station) by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, is the local radio station covering Waterford City and County. In addition to the official franchise area, the station also enjoys a considerable listenership in South County Kilkenny and East County Cork. WLR FM broadcasts on three frequencies: 95.1 MHz for most of the county (and a low-power transmitter also on 95.1 MHz for Waterford city centre), 97.5 MHz for Waterford city and much of East Waterford, and a low-power transmitter on 94.8 MHz to cover the East Waterford coast.
The original WLR, which was a pirate station, launched on 23 June 1978 broadcasting from the garage of Rick Whelan at Killotteran just outside the city. This unlicensed operation was one of the longest lasting in the country and continued for just over a decade until its closure at the end of 1988 - new radio licences were to be awarded by the then IRTC (now BCI) in 1989. WLR, with a number of local businessmen on board formed a consortium to apply for the franchise to broadcast to Waterford city and county. This application had competition from two other applicants, one (Deise Broadcasting Company) involved former pirate ABC Radio and local business people including the Reid family (owners of the well-known 'Egans' licenced premises where ABC was based before its closure), and another application (Waterford Radio/WRFM) which was backed by the then Waterford Foods and The Munster Express newspaper. The IRTC held oral hearings for the Waterford licence at the Tower Hotel in Waterford city on 27 April 1989 where all three applicants presented their case. Shortly afterwards it was announced WLR's consortium was victorious. The licensed WLR FM launched on 8 September 1989 from studios on Georges Street above the Georges Court Shopping Centre in Waterford City. The station broadcast from these studios for many years until the building of the present purpose-built Broadcast Centre, at Ardkeen, Waterford. The station's licence has been unchallenged on subsequent renewals.
|Title||Name||With station since|
|Managing Director||Des Whelan||1989|
|Programme Director||Michael Byrne||2001|
|Head of News||Liz Reddy||1989|
|Financial Controller||Lena Murphy||2009|
|07:00 - 10:00||The Big Breakfast Blaa||Timmy Ryan & Karen Tomkins||Monday to Friday|
|10:00 - 12:00||Déise AM||Billy McCarthy (Produced by Jennifer Long)||Monday to Friday|
|12:00 - 15:00||The Lunchbox||Geoff Harris||Monday to Friday|
|15:00 - 18:00||Drive-Time||Oliver Carroll||Monday to Friday|
|Varies - 22:00||Waterford's Biggest Playlist||Zoe Staunton||Monday to Thursday|
|22:00 - 00:00||Déise AM (Replay)||Billy McCarthy (Produced by Jennifer Long)||Monday to Thursday|
|19:00 - 22:00||The Block Party||Glenn Sheridan||Friday|
|22:00 - 00:00||The Green Scene||Zoe Staunton||Friday|
|00:00 - 02:00||Déise AM (Replay)||Billy McCarthy (Produced by Jennifer Long)||Friday|
|18:00 - 19:00||On The Ball||Kevin Casey (Reporter: Matt Keane)||Monday|
|18:00 - 19:00||On The Fringe||Mark Graham||Tuesday|
|18:00 - 19:00||Sporting Legends||Matt Keane||Wednesday|
|19:00 - 22:00||Farmview||Zoe Staunton||Thursday|
|19:00 - 22:00||Gaelic Ground||Kevin Casey||Friday|
|07:00 - 09:30||Weekend Breakfast||Sean Organ|
|09:30 - 10:00||Farmview (Replay)||Kieran O'Connor|
|10:00 - 12:00||The Saturday Café||Maria McCann|
|12:00 - 13:00||On The Ball||Kevin Casey|
|13:00 - 16:00||The Saturday Jukebox||Geoff Harris|
|16:00 - 18:00||Here's Ricky||Rick Whelan|
|18:00 - 20:00||Totally 80s||Oliver Carroll|
|20:00 - 00:00||Ultimate Floorfillers||Rod Layman|
|00:00 - 02:00||The Green Scene (Replay)||Zoe Staunton|
|07:00 - 07:30||Mar Dhea||Míchéal Ó Drisleáin|
|07:30 - 10:00||Weekend Breakfast||Sean Organ|
|10:00 - 12:00||Timmy On Sunday||Timmy Ryan|
|12:00 - 13:00||The Week||Maria McCann|
|13:00 - 16:00||The Weekend Jukebox||Aoibhin Fallon|
|16:00 - 19:00||Here's Ricky||Rick Whelan|
|19:00 - 21:00||Billy's American Country Show||Billy McCarthy|
|21:00 - 00:00||Guaranteed Irish||John O'Shea|
|00:00 - 01:00||The Week (Replay)||Maria McCann|
The station have purpose built studios at "The Broadcast Centre", Ardkeen, Waterford City (shared with regional youth station Beat 102 103) and at the Dungarvan studio at The Plaza, Dungarvan Shopping Centre. The Broadcast Centre was opened by then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in 2003 replacing WLR FM's previous studio at Great Georges Street in Waterford City, while the new Dungarvan studio was opened by Head of the BCI Michael O'Keefe (a Dungarvan man) on 10 November 2007 replacing the existing studio at Harbour Bay in the town.
The studios at The Broadcast Centre were revamped in late February and early March 2009, to change to a new playout system, from P Squared, and new microphone and computer monitor stands from Yellowtec.
Notable former presenters
- Carrie Crowley – Having worked on WLR in the early 1990s, she went on to compere the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest with Ronan Keating, working on RTÉ Radio and TV and has acted on stage and in film.
- Tony Weldon - The well known Waterford entertainer from days past was also a presenter on WLR FM for many years, and was known for his catchphrase "get up out of the feathers". His last show, Sunday Morning Melodies, popular with older listeners, ended in 2003. Tributes were paid to him by many WLR FM staff, current and former including Head of Programmes Billy McCarthy and former presenter Eddie Wymberry, as well as by other Waterford entertainers such as Val Doonican when he died on Sunday 29 June 2009.
According to the JNLR 2012 National Radio Listenership Survery, WLR FM had an audience reach of 41,000 in Q2 2013.
WLR FM has an outside broadcast unit known as the "Blastercaster". For indoor outside broadcasts they have a fold-up OB desk equipped with an internet connected laptop (allowing access to email and text messaging in addition to IM), an audio mixer, ISDN equipment, wireless microphones (and other assorted mics). Using the outside broadcast unit or the indoor OB equipment, the live feed from the OB is sent back to the studio via a high speed ISDN telephone line.
- "WLRfm is chosen as Local Radio Station of the year- for outstanding achievement in broadcasting". WLR FM Website. 2009-10-03. Retrieved 2009-10-03.[dead link]
- "WLR FM Dungarvan is on the move!". The Munster Express. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- Clancy, Michelle (2009-07-03). "Sad passing of broadcasting legend". Munster Express. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- WLR FM
- Beat 102-103
- Broadcasting Authority Of Ireland
- WLR FM at Radiowaves.fm
- Waterford Local Radio (Pirate Station) at Radiowaves.fm