Make Radio History

No not like Make Poverty History. Radio is 100+ years old, it already has its history. has organised an important radio history event on October 20th in the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin 2-5pm where we want you to tell your pirate radio story. Over 100 people have registered already and it looks set to be the pirate radio gathering of the year. 2018 marks 30 years since the wide scale close downs of pirate radio in Ireland, join us as we look back on these exciting broadcasting decades of the past. has been set up as a home to collect radio stories and your oral history. The period of piracy is important to radio historians and scholars. The material will be recorded for broadcast in December and our archive and will be sent on to DCU Media History Collection also.

If you have a story to tell get yourself a free ticket on Eventbrite.

See you on the 20th.

DCU’s Mark O’Brien discusses the Pirate Radio Archive at DCU & Morning Ireland’s Bryan Dobson talks about the importance of media collection to our social and broadcasting history.

Ahead of the October oral history event in Ballsbridge Hotel Brian Greene spoke to Dave Fanning on RTÉ 2FM

Radio Nova turns 8

In a couple of weeks time Radio Nova turns 8.

Any excuse to play a gem of radio archive.

August 5th 2010 Liveline tackles the Radio Nova name issue with Sybil Fennell, David Tighe, Gareth O’Callaghan, Paul Clarke, Jim Miley.

Radio Nova turns 8

Make listening to radio easier (please)

I have a google alert for the term ‘radio luxembourg’ so when the alert chimes I read the news article. Today it was another ‘listening under the pillow/blankets’ article. Barry Upton on 96FM Pattaya People Radio.

Make listening to radio easier (please)

In the article it says
“The majority of the radio listening audience are travelling in cars but there is a growing number of online listeners and those who are discovering the FM tuning option on their Smartphones. There are also many options to choose a modern style of radio with USB inputs and Bluetooth, some of which include a docking station for your Smartphone so that it can be charging whilst using the larger quality speakers to play through.”

Some comments in review of these points

  • Cars yes but online is not the opposite of car
  • FM is not in the majority of phones and less so in leading models. Either not enabled or no FM chip at all
  • Radio with BT & USB, so just tune to 96FM then
  • There is no link to Pattaya People Radio in the whole article (bar main menu)
  • What is needed is a simple big button on the web page that works on mobile too! see green play button at top of this post

Radio listening is popular because radio is a great communications tool and it should be easy to use out of the box or when the page loads! Don’t complicate it. Use your imagination, and keep it simple stupid (KISS).

Now you have me listening – why? why am i listening. How am I listening? am I an ambient blip never to return? what is my reason for being here? The good news is that you don’t have to find out. You just need to know how interested I am, can you find out who I am so you can remarket to me next week when you have a big guest about to arrive in studio? You can see why this would be a moment to send a push notification to me and the 1000s of other listeners. But you’d need an App for that I hear you say. Nope, just my email on your list. ASK ME.

Right now there are 2 people listening to Pattaya radio online – me and probably the server listening to itself.

Make listening to radio easier (please)

The capacity is 1000, the extra cost of filling the 998 is zero to Pattaya People Radio, they already paid for that. The value in maximising the 1000 listener seats (computer jargon for your 2 ears) is a very excited studio – a happy radio executive and then the possibilities mount. Of the potential 998 extra listeners how many will be brand advocates for the station? how many will buy merchandise in your store and how many will converse with other listeners in a social media environment under your brand?.

Radio is more than talent / automation / adverts / imaging and staying on air. Invent your own healthy back channel with engaged audience and watch the enthusiasm leak on air. Make that phone hop – except nowadays that phone isn’t in your control room – it is in your listeners hand.

Go invent.

PS. this post is in no way an attack on PPR. We all know people with online and on air stations that have small listening numbers. My latest (unpublished) research shows that On Air stations are getting 0.3% to 5% of audience streaming online through web and app players. 1 in 300 to 1 in 20. This is a measurement of web stream server admin logs compared to audience research (face to face) for the Average Quarter Hour (AQH) of local and national stations on air in Ireland (August 2018).

31.12.1988 The day the music died are setting up a tribute station / site for the 30th anniversary of the pirate radio shut downs in 1988 in Ireland. Simply called PIRATE.IE this radio project aims to be a place to create oral history and share memories of December 1988 and before. The small and the not so small radio ventures. I’m looking for help to put this together. If you can help with tapes or tea or studios get in touch via Thanks in advance.

31.12.1988 The day the music died

Bill Mitchell: The Man Who Wrestled Pumas… Probably

I grew up listening to Bill Mitchell’s voice overs and jingles – wow – what a voice. A BBC documentary ‘Bill Mitchell: The Man Who Wrestled Pumas… Probably’ is due for rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra July 18th 06:30am. If you listened to radio in the 70s and 80s you can’t have missed this voice on European radio from Ireland to Israel. The best VO voice you’ll ever hear. Probably.

Here is a copy of the broadcast from when it first aired.

*** Correction: The Radio 4 Extra listing refers to a broadcast in 2013.

Miriam Margolyes presents a documentary charting the life and career of her late colleague and friend Bill Mitchell, the voice-over artist who informed us the latest blockbusters would be ‘at cinemas near you from Sunday’, told us ‘Carlsberg was probably the best lager in the world’, and that Denim was ‘for men who didn’t have to try too hard’.

Born in Canada, he admitted that heavy drinking and smoking from his teens helped preserve the voice, and indeed drove his excessive lifestyle. He ‘had to’ abuse his body to maintain the voice and he ‘had to’ be in a Soho pub because it was handy for the recording studios.

Bill’s career spanned acting, voice-over work, plus a brief spell as 1970s pop outfit Yin and Yan with friend Chris Sandford. His remains ranked as one of the greats within the advertising industry.

Featuring contributions from Bill’s daughter Amanda McAllister, musicians and friends Zoot Money and Kenny Clayton, and industry moguls Nick Angell and Rob Townsend.

Bill Mitchell: The Man Who Wrestled Pumas... Probably

radio for all

radio for all

radio listening was a group event. family time. now radio is personal. the broadcaster is thinking of one listener at a time or in total. the chance that 2 or more people will listen to radio together is rare. but we do listen together, just not in the same room or car or building. we all listen to radio alone but together through the radio.

what is radio doing to utilise this power? are we all individual and there is no such thing as community? (was Thatcher right?) or can radio use social to link people (listeners) with people (more listeners) for a greater good? we know radio can do that. who is willing to give it a try.

update 09/05/2018
What can radio do to harness this power. On Saturday night last RTE Radio harnessed the power of radio across the world in a broadcast link up with outside broadcasters in fields and woods and beaches to record and broadcast the dawn chorus of birdsong. This is an annual broadcast that is a feast of audio. What if such radio link ups were used for peoples voices on important topics.

Climate Change / Homelessness / War / Migration / Data Protection / Mental Health (this list could be longer) What if radio stopped talking at its listeners and started listening to the voices of its listeners. A Big Phone In Show. NO. If the Citizens Assembly showed us anything, it is that ordinary people can grapple with tough topics and deliver reasoned understanding and civil discourse that shapes legislation and the constitution in Ireland.

Radio is a platform. We need to remove the top down megaphone mentality and start to hear the listeners. Digital provides the opportunity to listen and hear (and they aren’t always the same thing) what audience has to say on everything. Community / Local / National / Global radio needs to get the hell out of its studio and meet its people.

Why now? The world became a small place – 25 years of world wide web and we are all connected. 2018 was the year Facebook was turning to community (until it got distracted with data leaks), Movements are global #metoo #blacklivesmatter #TakeAKnee spread at the speed of tweets. Worldwide issues need wide access for everyone to input their views and ideas. Radio can capture this and process the throughput.

We need to begin hearing the listeners.

Shining Bright Radio begins

On May 1st in a beam of light Shining Bright Radio launched. teamed up with self help author Kelly Martin in the UK to develop a mindful radio oasis where there is time to think and relax with the radio. We started with 15 programmers from around the world. Tune in here’s first project is now up and running. The station is collaborative and uses Spacial’s SAM Cloud to distribute programmes. The aggregator updates the station with the latest feeds from RSS polling and WebSub updates keeping programming fresh across the week. There is also an on demand option for each programme behind the tiles on the programme wall below. If linear streaming isn’t your type of radio you can also listen to a quasi stream / demand player at the bottom of this post. If you want to jump to the next latest programme, go ahead.

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Shining Bright Radio begins