Time World News Service on Atlantic Sound

Time World News Service on Atlantic Sound
Atlantic Sounds complements slip (courtesy of Ian Biggar).

The Time World News Service (TWNS) was set up in early 1984 in order to bring the work of Time Magazine to radio stations around the world. A letter from the publisher of Time on April 16th that year said that TNWS was ‘a new entry in radio journalism that will draw its material from the pages of TIME and its 87 correspondents and 32 news bureaus around the world’. TWNS was recorded in New York and broadcast in more than 100 US cities and 20 other countries including Ireland, where it was organised by the late Robbie Robinson of Sunshine Radio.

Time World News Service on Atlantic Sound
Atlantic Sound poster from 1984 (courtesy Alan Russell).

One Irish pirate station to broadcast TWNS was Atlantic Sound in Galway, whose founder Alan Russell recalls that they received a special delivery each month with the news features on cassettes.

‘From memory it cost £40 per month – a pint of Guinness was £1.37 back then and £40 would have been an average weekly rent on a good flat or small house’, he said.

It seems that the service was less popular than expected and was phased out from the summer of 1984.

The recording above is an edition of TWNS about the arms race and below is another edition about film releases. Both date from March or April 1984, were broadcast on Atlantic Sound and are donated kindly by Alan Russell.

Dublin Today on Radio Nova

Dublin Today on Radio Nova
The newsroom in Radio Nova, 19 Herbert Street (photo courtesy of Sybil Fennell).

Dublin Today was a daily half-hour current affairs programme broadcast on Radio Nova after the 7pm evening news. This untimed recording was made from 819 kHz AM on Friday 10th September 1982 and features presenters Linda Conway and Michael O’Brien with a range of items including a wine review, a preview of motor racing and an interview with a band.

Although part of Nova’s quest for respectability, Dublin Today was a key part of its eventual closure in 1986. The programme was at the heart of the bitter dispute between Nova boss Chris Cary and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), which began in 1984 after presenters of the programme were sacked without proper notice or redundancy payments.

Peter Mulryan’s book Radio Radio (1988) claims that Chris Cary was still concerned about Dublin Today in 1985, describing it as ‘claptrap’ and ‘dangerous and subversive’. However, when the merger of Radio Nova and Energy 103 was announced in November 1987, an hour-long Dublin Today from 6-7pm was introduced, with an eye to the new broadcasting legislation. For a detailed account of Radio Nova’s history, including the NUJ dispute, see the Radiowaves website.

This recording is from the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection, donated to us by Steve England.

Tony Gareth on Radio Nova

Tony Gareth on Radio Nova
Tony Gareth aka Gareth O’Callaghan in the Nova studio (photo courtesy of Noel Hiney).

Here are two short clips from Radio Nova on Sunday 10th October 1982. The one above features part of the 10am news read by Roland Burke (RIP) followed by the weather with Tony Gareth, aka Gareth O’Callaghan who would become one of Ireland’s best-known broadcasters.

The second clip below is from the religious programme Life is a Celebration, which was launched on Nova on that day. Presented by two priests, it featured music and spiritual reflections and was an example of the early experimentation in specialist programming by Chris Cary.

We thank Paul Buckle for his donation of both recordings, which were made from 88FM near Belfast.

More shortwave DXing on Galway’s KFM

More shortwave DXing on Galway's KFM
KFM rate card from 1988 (courtesy of Ian Biggar).

This is another selection of undated excerpts from the DXers’ programme on Galway pirate KFM in the final months of 1988. Presenter Shane Keating chats to contributor John Breslin from north Co. Clare about shortwave DXing. John lists DX clubs and shortwave stations he has heard recently including Radio Budapest, Transworld Radio, Voice of Ethiopia and Radio Finland. Shane provides addresses of European stations so that listeners can request QSLs.

Shane Keating also presented a Saturday morning children’s programme on KFM and there are excerpts of this including phone calls from young listeners. The recording ends with Shane signing off for the last time on 31st December 1988, the day that KFM closed and the Irish airwaves fell largely silent.

We thank John Breslin for his donation of this recording, which was made from 95.99 FM in north Clare. Reception is variable as it outside the core KFM coverage area.

DXers’ programme on Galway’s KFM

DXers' programme on Galway's KFM
KFM flyer (courtesy of Ian Biggar).

Programmes for radio anoraks or DXers were a feature of some Irish pirates during their 1980s heyday. One such station was KFM, which broadcast from 1986-1988 from a village near Galway before moving into the city itself. In the last few months of its existence from October to December 1988, KFM broadcast a weekly programme for DXers with a focus on the shortwave band.

This is a selection of airchecked undated excerpts from the DXers’ programme from that period, presented by Shane Keating. The programme is aimed at listeners new to the band and there are explanations of shortwave propagation, QSL cards and SINPO codes. A regular contributor to the programme was John Breslin, who is heard describing his experience of shortwave DXing during a phone-in to the show. There is also a recording supplied by John of Radio Berlin International from East Germany.

We thank John for donating this recording, which he made in north Co. Clare from 95.99 FM. Reception is fair because of the distance from the transmitter.