’88 News’ on Radio Nova in 1981

'88 News' on Radio Nova in 1981
Nova sticker from autumn 1981 (courtesy Ian Biggar).

This snippet of Radio Nova from 1981 gives a sense of the super-pirate after its first few months on air. Beginning testing on FM only at the start of June that year, Nova shook up the Dublin market due to its distinctive sound, professional standards and most importantly the significant investment of station founder and owner Chris Cary. The tape includes station idents and jingles, an advert for upmarket newspaper The Sunday Tribune and the ’88 News’ presented by Sybil Fennell. The news branding reflected Nova’s prioritisation of high quality stereo FM at a time when RTÉ’s use of the superior quality band was limited. In fact, the station did not begin broadcasting on AM until just a few days before this tape was made, adding a 10 kW transmitter on 846 kHz.

This airchecked recording was made from 88.5 FM on 13th September 1981 by British radio enthusiast Leon Tipler during one of his many visits to Dublin in the early part of that decade. It is kindly donated by Steve England.