Jingles: WBEN

Image courtesy of DX Archive

WBEN was founded in October 1985 by Peter O’Neill and Romano Macari. O’Neill had helped set up Radio City Cork in 1980 and later the original South Coast Radio. WBEN specialised in playing mainly American Top 40 and initially had no presenters. It broadcast on low-power FM in the city centre and therefore coverage was limited, although the station gained a following from shops looking for background music. In summer 1986 they replaced the automated style with presenters and introduced a medium wave transmitter on 1386 kHz.

O’Neill left Ireland temporarily in late 1986 and the station continued under Macari but changed format to mixed oldies, pop, showbands and an infamous late-night phone show presented by Macari himself. WBEN was eventually changed to South Coast Radio using the jingle package from the original station of that name and the station continued until December 31st 1988. O’Neill remains influential in Cork radio circles, having recently put Juice FM on the trial DAB service. He works as a lecturer in radio at CSN College of Further Education, Cork. This jingle package came from the original WBEN in Buffalo, New York.

With thanks to Martin O’Brien for the donation and Gearóid Quill for background information.  

Jingles: South Coast Radio (Cork)

Image courtesy of DX Archive

Another big Cork station from the early 1980s was South Coast Radio which broadcast from 1982 to 1984. Its AM frequency was 1557 kHz (announced as 194 metres), using a powerful 10kW transmitter situated near Cork airport. The station had many high-profile broadcasters including Tony Allan, Nick Richards, John Kenny, Peter Madison, Henry Owens and Hugh Browne. Here are some of the South Coast jingles.

You can hear an interview with Nick Richards here about his involvement in other stations.

Interview: Don Harris – Airtime IRS

Don Harris worked on many of the Dublin AM pirates like ARD and Southside Radio before joining South Coast Radio In Cork. He went on to form the first independent radio sales bureau in Ireland which straddled the pirate era and the legal local radio era.

Airtime advert from Business & Finance 1990
Don Harris on South Coast Radio with Renee & Renato