|Broadcast area||Republic of Ireland|
|Slogan||This is Today FM (currently)
Expect Something Different (formerly)
Get Into It (formerly)
|Frequency||FM: 100-101.8, 105.5 MHz|
|First air date||17 March 1997|
|Facility ID||Marconi House, Digges Lane, Dublin 2|
Broadcasting since 17 March 1997 (Saint Patrick's Day), it carries music and talk. Purchased by Denis O'Brien's Communicorp in 2007, Today FM holds a licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland as far as the year 2017. The station recorded pretax profits of €7.4 million on a turnover of €19.4 million in early 2009, more than twice what it was two years previously.
The original Independent National Radio franchise holder in Ireland was 100-102 Century Radio, which launched in 1989 and closed down abruptly in late 1991. The Independent Radio and Television Commission did not re-advertise the contract for several years, until 1996.
Radio Ireland Limited, originally owned by John McColgan and Moya Doherty (and because of their involvement, dubbed "Radio Riverdance"), won the contract when it was advertised. Since the autumn of 1998, experienced broadcaster and radio programmer Tom Hardy had been Programming Director of Today FM. He left in January 2013 and was subsequently replaced by Colm O'Sullivan, a former radio presenter with both Cork's RED FM and Today FM who now serves as the main Programming Director for Today FM.
Denis O'Brien's Communicorp was the highest bidder for Emap's Irish operations when that company decided to sell its radio stations, buying FM104, Highland Radio and Today FM on 14 July 2007. In October 2007, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) approved Communicorp's proposed takeover of Today FM and Highland Radio, but not FM104. The deal was completed by January 2008. Due to a Competition Authority decision, Communicorp was required to sell-on FM104, which it did (to UTV Media) immediately upon its acquisition. The takeover closed in April 2008.
In 2008, Today FM moved their studios from their original base at 112 Upper Abbey Street, Dublin across the Liffey to Marconi House in Digges Lane, Dublin 2 where it shares the building with Communicorp and both TXFM, a regional station that broadcasts to Dublin and its surrounding areas and Newstalk which like Today FM is also a national and independent radio station.
The station went on air on 17 March 1997. At first the station was a mixed network, airing much talk programming and various types of music. However, following six months of disastrous ratings, and with a listenership of just 1%, the station was revamped, and on 1 January 1998 became 100-102 Today FM. The station axed almost all of its programming and changed its music policy entirely. Eamon Dunphy's co-host (Anne-Marie Hourihan) was axed, with him being heavily promoted as a solo act and Ian Dempsey and Ray D'Arcy were poached from arch-rivals RTÉ. The IRTC went along with the schedule changes, though in a statement soon after the relaunch said it was not entirely satisfied with the new schedule. However, within three months, the station's listenership had almost doubled.
Today FM reshuffled its daytime schedule in 2004, reducing The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show to add an extra hour to The Ray D'Arcy Show so that it could compete directly with rival, The Gerry Ryan Show. Philip Cawley's afternoon show was reduced and Tony Fenton was given a lunchtime show.
In April 2006, Ray D'Arcy conducted an interview with comedian Des Bishop. Bishop joked about being gay. D'Arcy asked Bishop to provide an "exclusive". Bishop said, "I'm gay... I'm not, but hey!" D'Arcy said, "You're very comfortable with your sexuality?" Bishop said, "Me and Derek Mooney are doing a show". The audience laughed. D'Arcy moved to a commercial break before, he said, Bishop "outs anyone else". The incident provoked much commentary in the media, with the Sunday Independent observing "Instantly, the Irish-American comedian was the villain of the piece and Derek was all over the front page", while Ray D'Arcy was also criticised for his choice of words.
On 29 February 2008, Matt Cooper's The Last Word was the final show to be presented from the old studios. The first show to be presented from the new Digges Lane studio was Friday Night 80s with Phil Cawley from 19:00. The first song played was "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
On 15 October 2011, Today FM confirmed Sam Smyth's Sunday radio show was being dropped. He had been presenting it for 14 years. Smyth had previously offended his bosses by commenting in a newspaper and on television about the Moriarty Tribunal which criticised Today FM owner Denis O'Brien. Smyth said on air the next morning that he had been told not to talk about the end of his show and stopped one of his guests from talking about it too "before someone comes downstairs and pulls a wire we better move onto something else." The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said it was concerned at the development. The Irish Independent, of which Denis O'Brien is a leading shareholder, reported that Anton Savage was being lined up to replace Sam Smyth. Eamon Dunphy subsequently resigned from Today FM's sister station Newstalk, in solidarity with Smyth and because, he said, the radio station's management wanted "dissenting voices" such as Constantin Gurdgiev off the airwaves.
Today FM airs a mixture of popular music and news and current affairs programming. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, but broadcasts back-to-back music overnight (midnight to 5am weekdays, 1am to 7am weekends) with no presenters or programmes. This is done by many radio stations, Irish or otherwise, usually to save costs in employing overnight presenters and technicians.
The flagship current affairs programme on Today FM is The Last Word, currently presented by Matt Cooper. The latest JNLR figures revealed that this programme enjoyed a listenership of 215,000, over-taking rival Drivetime on RTÉ Radio 1 for the first time ever. The Last Word was preceded from Monday until Thursday by Tony Fenton's self-titled afternoon show (up until Fenton's death in March 2015) and is followed by Fergal D'arcy, the 7pm- 9pm slot having been previously held with The Mix Up presented by former Cork Red FM and Today FM radio presenter Colm O'Sullivan who has since become the new Program Director for Today FM with Undertones frontman and radio presenter Paul McLoone following after D'arcy, McLoone's show airing from 9pm to midnight followed by the Midnight Chill and later Overnight every Monday to Thursday.
Of note is the station's satirical slot, Gift Grub, a feature broadcast during The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, which is performed by Mario Rosenstock and includes popular caricatures of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, current Tánaiste Joan Burton, and singers Daniel O'Donnell and Keith Duffy.
The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show is followed by The Anton Savage Show, the lunchtime show with Dermot Whelan and Dave Moore, and the mid afternoon show with Louise Duffy before The Last Word with Matt Cooper (Irish journalist), the station's flagship current affairs programme followed by Fergal D'arcy and later the "Paul McLoone Show". The station also broadcasts a daily 15-minute news bulletin, the National Lunchtime News, at 1pm during the lunchtime show in addition to its hourly news bulletins, the bulletins having previously been held at 12:45pm
Weekend shows include Saturday Breakfast with Alison Curtis, Sunday Best with Neil Delamere and Premier League Live. The most popular weekend show is The Phil Cawley Show, produced by Jennifer Dollard, the show airs from 11am til 2pm Saturday and from 1pm until 4pm on Sunday live from Dundrum Town Centre.
Other presenters at the station include Derek Flood, Jim O'Neill and Bob Conway. Declan Meehan and Martin King are two weekend-only presenters, with Declan Meehan having been involved with the station from its inception.
Former presenters of Radio Ireland/Today FM include Philip Boucher-Hayes, Mark Byrne, Mark Cagney, Enda Caldwell, Breffni Clack, Tom Dunne (Pet Sounds), Eamon Dunphy (original presenter of The Last Word), Tony Fenton, Bob Gallico, Tommy Greene, Anne-Marie Hourihan (originally Eamon Dunphy's co-host), Bill Hughes, Robbie Irwin (weekend sports programs presenter), Mark Kavanagh (dance show), Ann Marie Kelly, John Kelly,Tim Kelly, Stephen Keogh, Tracey Lee, Nails Mahoney (briefly), Marty Miller (now of Radio Nova 100FM), the late Dermot Morgan, Paddy Murray and Liam Mackey (Murray and Mackey), Ian Noctor (newsreader who also for a period presented Dad Rock), Ed Myers, Paul Power, Ita Ryan (The Celtic Reel), John Ryan (original presenter of The Sunday Supplement), Donal Scannell, Jon Troy (Between The Sheets - love songs), Ray Foley and Karl Tsigdinos (The River of Soul).
Current presenters and shows
The current Today FM schedule and list of shows can be found here.
The weekend schedule is regularly changed at particular times of year to accommodate extra sports programming, such as during the GAA hurling and football championships, when Championship Sunday, hosted by Paul Collins, airs on Sunday at 9am. Similarly, Ross Lindsay's Scrum Saturday airs on Saturdays at 1pm during the Six Nations Championship and other periods when the Irish national side is in action.
Outside of the Premier League season, or on weekends without league games, the Saturday afternoon slot is hosted by Martin King with the program being called "Summer Saturdays with Martin King". Since May 2016, the program has been renamed "Summer Saturdays with Fergal D'Arcy" with Fergal D'arcy currently presenting the slot.
The lunchtime slot was previously presented by Keith "KC" Cunningham, who left Today FM in April 2014 for family reasons to return to Red FM in Cork. Louise Duffy moved from the Early Breakfast to take over the slot from April until August 2014 when she was succeeded by Dermot Whelan and Dave Moore, who left the Dublin regional radio station, 98FM after twelve years to take over the slot permanently from September 2014 onwards, their show airing for the first time on 1 September 2014 with the show continuing to air every Monday to Friday from midday to 2:30pm.
Duffy had also served as a regular substitute for Tony Fenton's mid-afternoon show throughout 2013 and 2014. Following Fenton's death in March 2015, Duffy took over the show on a permanent basis and now presents her own show titled "The Louise Duffy Show" which airs every Monday to Friday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm.
Paula MacSweeney previously hosted a Friday Night Anthems show, moving to Saturday nights in April 2014, when her previous show was succeeded by Friday Night 90's hosted by Shauna O'Reilly who works as a researcher on Today FM's flagship breakfast program, "The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show" and Eoghan Doherty with the show airing every Friday night from 10pm to 1am. MacSweeney has since moved to the 5am weekday slot and now hosts Early Breakfast with Paula MacSweeney which airs every Monday to Friday from 5am to 7am.
Ray D'Arcy originally hosted the weekday mid-morning slot for 15 years but abruptly left Today FM to rejoin RTÉ with immediate effect in December 2014. Alison Curtis served as an interim host until the appointment of Anton Savage who began his show, The Anton Savage Show on January 26, 2015 which now airs every Monday to Friday from 9am to midday. Savage's previous Sunday morning show, "Savage Show" which aired every Sunday morning from 11am to 1pm ended and the slot was taken over by comedian Neil Delamere who now presents his own show titled "Neil Delamere's Sunday Best" which airs every Sunday from 11am to 1pm.
On August 17, 2015, Colm O'Sullivan announced that his show The Mix-Up which aired every Monday- Thursday 7pm- 9pm was ending after three years of being on air and that O'Sullivan himself was retiring from the DJ business after nearly twenty years to take up a position as the new Programme Director of Today FM, O'Sullivan having joined Today FM in February 2013 with his show, "The Mix-Up" airing for the first time on Monday 4 February 2013. Two days, later on August 19, Fergal D'arcy, a radio presenter formerly associated with iRadio, a regional radio station that is primarily located in the North West of the Republic of Ireland was announced as being the newest DJ to join Today FM and also as O'Sullivan's replacement. On August 27, 2015, "The Mix-Up with Colm O'Sullivan" aired for the final time with Cork band, The Frank and Walters serving as the musical guests. Two weeks later, on September 14, 2015, D'arcy's show aired on Today FM for the first time, with Ed Smith continuing to serve on as the producer.
On Friday May 20, it was announced that Fergal D'arcy and Louise Duffy would be permanently exchanging shifts with D'arcy going to Duffy's slot of 2:30pm– 4:30pm while Duffy will take over D'arcy's slot of 7:30pm- 9pm which will occur during July 2016.
- Alice Cooper (Nights with Alice Cooper)
- Radio in the Republic of Ireland
- List of companies of Ireland
- Tom Hardy (broadcaster)
- Carolan, Mary (7 November 2011). "Radio presenter declared bankrupt". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
Mr Fagan, Merrion Woods, Stillorgan Road, Blackrock in Dublin, was working at the Today FM offices at Digges Lane, Dublin 2, when he was served with the petition by the Revenue Commissioners on October 28th last, it was stated in legal documents
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