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Keith Cunningham or "K.C." (born 30 October 1979) is a multi award winning Irish Radio Presenter, Producer and Radio Programmer.
As of April 2014, he is currently Program Director and Presenter of The KC Show at Cork's RedFM. After 4 years with 100-102 Today FM and commuting from Cork to Dublin each week,he left the station to return home to his young family. Cunningham announced he would return to Cork's Red FM as part of a major over haul of the radio station which saw Neil Prendeville leave 96 FM in what was regarded as one of the most unexpected moves.
Cunningham started his radio career with garden shed pirate giant Kiss FM back in 1992/93. He was introduced to pirate radio by his close friend Tony Gallagher.
In 1998 he won the 2fm DJ for a day competition. The prize was a trip to the N.B.C. studios in New York to present two live hotline shows with Dusty Rhodes.
He studied broadcasting and journalism in Dublin for two years before returning to Castlebar to launch Mayo's first 24-hour pirate station, Power FM. This station relayed Virgin Radio by day when Chris Evans was the breakfast show host. Power FM was operated from a tiny apartment in Castlebar for the summer of 1999 and broadcast to Mayo using a Veronica FM 250W stereo transmitter and a three element beam antenna giving the station over 900 Watts of power.
The studio was raided by the Guards in August 1999 after they had received intelligence of "activity involving lots of young males and loud dance music". The authorities apologised and allowed the radio station to continue on the grounds of reasonable noise control. Cunningham caused some controversy with local religious groups after he used an image of the Virgin Mary with superimposed headphones and the slogan "Power FM the immaculate reception" in a poster campaign for the radio station.
In 2000, Cunningham was offered a full-time position with local radio station MWR FM working as an out side broadcast engineer and part-time commercial producer. From there he moved to Galway Bay FM where at 21 he was the youngest full-time breakfast show host on Irish radio and increased the ratings by 40% - he was subsequently sacked after he "forgot to get up" a few times.
He joined Dublin's FM 104 in 2000 as their weekend breakfast show presenter where he remained until he transferred to the newly opened "Cork's RedFM".
Red FM career
Cunningham started at Cork's Red FM presenting DYP OFF, a four-hour dance music show featuring commercial and underground tracks. The early part of the show (6-8 pm) featured new and classic commercial dance hits. Between 8-10 pm the show played underground house and guest mixes. At that time he was also in-house producing the Irish edition of Pete Tongs essential selection from the B.B.C. and Roger Sanchez international show Release yourself, both of which aired on RedFM on Friday nights. In 2004 KC moved to Red Drive from 5-7 pm weekdays and continued to present dance show formats. He appeared in the radio industry Xtrax magazine in their "one to watch" feature, and was positioned in the Xtrax Awards "Irish radio presenter of the year top 5" in 2004, 2005 and 2007. The Sunday business post published a digital audio production's top ten radio talent index in 2005, KC was positioned at No 2 after R.T.E.'s Ryan Tubridy.
The Red Rooster Breakfast Show
In 2005, after the departure of Charlie Wolfe, Cunningham took over The Red Rooster Breakfast Show, initially presenting the show on his own. Here he teamed up with female co-host Viv Crowley, who was also the main producer of the show until she left a year later. Steven Cooper (ex-FM104, Atlantic 252) joined the show in 2006 but left soon after due to family commitments.
Mark Linehan (Lenny from Blarney) joined The Red Rooster Breakfast Show after sending in a comedy song based on Irish politician Jim McDaid, who at the time was embraced in controversy over a drink driving arrest.
From 2007 until the end of the show in 2010, the KC & Lenny formula brought The Red Rooster Breakfast Show to the number 1 rated breakfast show in Cork for under 35s, beating 2fm, Today FM, and 96fm's breakfast shows. The show also won several P.P.I. radio awards, winning best breakfast show in Ireland for 2008 & 2009. KC also won " Music broadcaster of the year" in 2007 and the P.P.I. award for "Best on air promotion".
- Xtrax radio magazine - Irish presenter of the year - top 5 2005, 2006, 2008
- P.P.I. Music Broadcaster of the year - Silver Winner 2013
- P.P.I. Muti Platform Show - Silver Winner 2013
- P.P.I. Music Program General, Winner 2010
- P.P.I. Music Broadcaster of the year - Silver Winner 2010
- P.P.I. Best Breakfast Show, Winner 2009
- P.P.I. Best Breakfast Show, Winner 2008
- P.P.I. Music Broadcaster of the year - Silver Winner- 2009
- P.P.I. Music Broadcaster of the year - Winner - 2007
- P.P.I. Best on air promotion - Winner 2008
- Meteor award - Best Regional presenter - Winner 2008
- Red Rooster redfm.ie