Bid to Keep Lyric FM: Lyric FM presenter Lorcan Murray in the Limerick studio. Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22
Bid to keep Lyric FM and regional studio in Limerick
Last Thursday, the staff of Lyric FM’s Limerick had to come to terms with the prospect of losing their jobs as the news was announced about RTÉ’s plans to shut the Limerick studios and relocate their jobs to Cork and Dublin.
As part of cost-cutting measures, the production of RTE’s classical music and arts station will be moved to Dublin and Cork.
There has been a strong reaction to the announcement.
Yesterday, today and tomorrow, we remember our beloved friend and colleague at @rtelyricfm. Thanks for the many great memories. We are heartbroken. Déanamíd comhbhrón le Kathleen, Susie agus Crona. RIP Gay. pic.twitter.com/LbAO5j63El
— RTÉ lyric fm (@RTElyricfm) November 5, 2019
The President of UL wrote to RTE’s director-general, offering to “help sustain” Lyric FM and accommodate the station on campus, in late September. Limerick Fine Gael TD Niall Collins described the news as “devastating”. Now, the Mayor of the City and County of Limerick has called for a meeting with the Ministers for Communications and Culture to try and reverse the plans that RTÉ has announced for the Limerick-based station Lyric FM and the closure of its regional studio.
Mayor Michael Sheahan said: “The news that RTÉ is closing their Limerick offices and moving production of Lyric FM to Dublin and Cork is very disappointing. The establishment of RTÉ Lyric FM in Limerick in 1999 was seen as an important step forward in the regionalisation of the national broadcaster and the cultural life of Limerick.”
“Limerick has embraced Lyric FM and it has been seen as a badge of honour that the national station was based in Limerick. There was always a sense that Lyric was edgier and more innovative as it was located away from the shackles of Montrose.”
Mayor Michael Sheahan went on to say, “I believe that the average cost per transmitted hour of programming on Lyric FM in 2018 was €800 significantly less than the cost for 2FM (€1,300), Raidió na Gaeltachta (€1,400) and Radio 1 (€4,000), so from a cost perspective it’s run extremely efficiently by a dedicated and multi-talented staff who also double as presenters/ producers.”
The Mayor is calling for a meeting with Ministers Richard Bruton and Josepha Madigan, who have responsibility with Communications and Culture and hopes he can encourage them to help reverse this decision.
Lyric FM has been broadcasting on RTE since 1984. RTE announced in 1999 that FM3 Classical Music would be rebranded as Lyric FM and would get its very own station. As part of RTE’s commitment to regional coverage, Lyric FM was relocated from RTE’s studio in Donnybrook to a top of the range studio in Cornmarket Row, Limerick. The station quickly gained a committed following and won the PPI National Station of the Year in 2004.
“I would urge RTÉ to look again at the decision to move Lyric FM and the impact it will have on the people whose jobs are now under threat. RTE must keep Lyric FM and the regional studio in Limerick in the interests of regional diversity and development”, said Mayor Michael Sheahan.
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