Various shows on Donegal’s KTOK

Various shows on Donegal's KTOK
1988 KTOK studio shot with owner Russ Padmore in the blue shirt (courtesy Andy Carter).

KTOK was a successful commercial station broadcasting from Donegal Town between summer 1987 and the end of 1988. This recording features airchecks of various programmes between Christmas 1987 and February 1988. First up is Dave James, formerly of offshore station Radio Caroline, recorded between 1400 and 1800 on 27th December 1987. Frequencies mentioned are 103 and 96 FM and 1566 kHz AM. There are plenty of requests, promos for Christmas holiday events and gigs, the ‘gosh factor’ trivia segment and a television guide. The KTOK Cinderella Christmas Pantomine is mentioned but is unfortunately edited out of the recording, as are most of the adverts for local businesses. News on the hour with John Breslin is similarly cut, but the DJ is heard reading the headlines at half-past the hour.

At 17 minutes, the recording switches to airchecks of the Dave James show from 8th February 1988 between 1000-1300. 99 FM is heavily promoted as the new transmitter for North Donegal, with 96 FM serving South Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo. There is no mention of the AM transmitter as it may have been discontinued at this time.

At 58 minutes, station founder Russ Padmore is heard from 18th February 1988 between 1500-1800. Local gigs and discos are promoted and news on the hour is read in English and Irish but edited out. The inclusion of Irish may have been as much due to impending broadcast legislation as the fact that many parts of Donegal are Irish-speaking. Music is mostly pop but includes some oldies and country, reflect the huge popularity of the latter in rural areas of Ireland.

It is unclear which FM frequency the recording was made from. It is from the Anoraks Irish Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.