Afternoon talk show on Magic 103

Afternoon talk show on Magic 103
Magic 103 studios in Leeson Street (courtesy Paul Buckle).

This recording of Radio Nova offshoot Magic 103 was made in the new station’s first week on air. It features the end of Morning Magic with Bob Gallico (RIP), including a promo for the new Nova Boutique at 144 Upper Leeson Street where the studios were located. The main lunchtime ABC Network News is read by Bob and Mark Weller and is followed by an afternoon talkshow presented by Jenny McIver and Linda Conway. The show includes interviews with guests in studio and promises to bring listeners news and views from around Dublin.

The recording was made from 103.5 FM on 1st May 1985 from 1242-1328 and is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Radio Skywave International was a 1980s shortwave station operating from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.

Opening day of Magic 103

Opening day of Magic 103
Bob Gallico in the Magic 103 studio (courtesy Paul Buckle).

Magic 103 (103.5 FM and 1521 kHz although AM was never announced on air) was set up by Radio Nova in 1985 and was one of many examples of Chris Cary’s innovation in splitting AM/FM services to expand programming. Magic was a mostly easy-listening and talk service in contrast to the chart music format of Nova. Its first full day on air was April 29th 1985.

Opening day of Magic 103
Image courtesy of DX Archive

‘ABC Network News’ was broadcast on both Nova and Magic, and the journalists also presented programmes on Magic. These recordings of the opening day begin with the segment above from 0900 with the shared news bulletin, followed by the first hour with Dave Harvey who describes Magic as the ‘new chat and information station for Dublin’. He invites listeners to call in and give their opinions on joyriders but the callers are often off topic and some of the conversations sound staged. There’s a news bulletin on the half-hour and a round-up of British news, strange for a station that was aimed at Dublin.

Opening day of Magic 103
Original label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

Part 2 below runs from 0945 and includes news with Bob Gallico (RIP) and then Bob’s own show, ‘Morning Magic’ from 1000. He promises chat, easy listening music, racing news, recipes, features, film scores and news about events around town. The first two segments are from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Part 2 from 0945.

Part 3 below is of the evening programme with Shane Mac Gabhann from 1823-1909. Listeners from around town send in their good wishes but one caller describes the musical selection as ‘ancient’ and wants more Lionel Ritchie. The main evening ABC Network News is read by Bernie Jameson and Mark Weller. Shane Mac Gabhann is now a newsreader on RTÉ, Mark Weller (Costigan) would become political correspondent on licensed national commercial station Today FM and Bernie Jameson continues to read news today. This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection and there is some breakthrough in the background, due either to a problem with recording or deterioration of the cassette.

Part 3 from 1823.

The final snippet is an undated airchecked recording of an evening show in the first few days of the station. Dave Johnson (aka Andrew Hanlon, later head of news at independent station TV3) is both presenter and newscaster. A listener in Co. Down says Magic is coming in ‘crystal clear’, evidence of how far the FM signal travelled on a relatively uncrowded band. Sound quality is variable on this recording (it may have been recorded from AM), which is from the collection.

Part 4 from around 2000.

Magic 103 was short-lived and closed at the end of September 1985, citing financial difficulties. Its closure led to the worsening of a bitter dispute between the National Union of Journalists and Radio Nova that contributed to the main station’s demise in 1986.

Radio Nova on Good Friday 1985

Radio Nova on Good Friday 1985
Nova flyer from 1984 with claimed coverage area (DX Archive).

This is a recording of the popular breakfast show with John Clarke and Bob Gallico on Radio Nova from Good Friday 1985. There is no paper review given the holiday but the programme features the normal friendly banter between the hosts and Bob reads out a fan letter from a group of listeners. John gives a traffic report for the northwest of England but by contrast the streets of Dublin are quiet. Although Nova was still a leader in the Dublin radio market in early 1985, new Irish-owned station Q102 would soon make its presence felt and Chris Cary’s radio empire began to unravel by the autumn of that year. Nova closed suddenly on March 19th 1986.

Radio Nova on Good Friday 1985
Original cassette label lfrom Anoraks Ireland Collection.

The recording was made from 102.7 FM from 0703-0751 on 5th April 1985 and is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Tony Allan on KISS FM

Tony Allan on KISS FM
Tony Allan pictured at the Nova “closedown” in May 1983 (courtesy Joe King).

Tony Allan (1949-2004) was one of the most iconic broadcasters of the pirate era, whose distinctive voice was heard on offshore and Irish stations from the late 1960s, including Radio Caroline, Sunshine Radio and Radio Nova. This is a recording of Tony presenting a mid-morning show on Radio Nova offshoot KISS FM. The music is an eclectic mix of chart sounds, rock and even country but is linked effortlessly by the flawless presentation. Commercial breaks feature many agency adverts, reflecting the station’s impact on the Dublin market. News is read by another Radio Nova veteran, the late Bob Gallico.

Tony Allan on KISS FM
Original cassette label from the Anoraks Ireland Collection.

Part 1 above runs from 1002 and Part 2 below from 1053.

Part 2 from 1053 – news is airchecked.

The recording was made from 102.7 FM on Thursday 10th October 1982 and is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson. in three minutes in three minutes
Nova’s big giveaway as advertised in the Sunday World, 19th June 1983 (courtesy Alan McSimoin).

This three-minute clip gives a sense of the variety of content in the archive. It covers stations big and small, in Dublin and elsewhere, playing mainstream pop or featuring specialist programming. The first segment features Ireland’s best-known pirate Radio Nova and its ‘Dublin Today’ programme on 30th August 1983, the day of the giveaway. in three minutes
ICBS flyer from the station’s later years (courtesy Ian Biggar).

The second segment is from the Irish Christian Broadcasting Service from 3rd September 1983, just four days before a divisive referendum about inserting a ban on abortion into the Irish constitution. The presenter announces an interview with a US campaigner. in three minutes
BLB car sticker from c. 1986 (courtesy DX Archive).

The third segment features a promo for community radio broadcast in 1987 on Bray Local Broadcasting south of Dublin. Among the voices is the then Minister for Communications, the late Jim Mitchell, whose party did not favour community radio. BLB was a leading member of the National Association of Community Broadcasters. in three minutes
Boyneside Radio North’s AM mast right on the border (courtesy Eddie Caffrey).

The next segment is a jingle for Boyneside Radio (1978-1988) based in Co. Louth which became a regional station covering an area stretching from Belfast to Dublin. The station had transmitters along the border and an opt-out service aimed at Northern Ireland. in three minutes
John ‘the Man’ Frawley of Raidió Luimní (courtesy Svenn Martinsen).

The next segment features one of Ireland’s best-known pirate broadcasters, the late John ‘the Man’ Frawley opening Raidió Luimní on 20th April 1983. The station broadcast from Limerick for ten years from 1978-1988 and the popular Frawley had listeners over a wide area. He begins by greeting listeners in Irish. in three minutes
Energy 103 flyer signed by Bob Gallico (courtesy DX Archive).

Finally we hear the late Bob Gallico reading the news on New Year’s Day 1988 on Energy 103, a popular professional station that emerged from the ashes of Radio Nova in 1986.