Infobox Radio Station

name = WLR FM
frequency = 94.8; 95.1; 97.5 FM
slogan = First For Waterford
webcast = [http://www.wlrfm.com/listen-live-player.html Here]
format = Adult Oriented Pop Music with local news, sports and specialist programmes
area = Waterford City and County, Ireland
owner = Thomas Crosbie Media; Des Whelan
website = [http://www.wlrfm.com/ wlrfm.com]

WLR FM ( [http://www.wlrfm.com Waterford Local Radio] ), licensed since 1989 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_pirate_radio#Pirate_Radio_Outside_Dublin:_Waterford (WLR had previously been a pirate radio station)] the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, is the local radio station covering Waterford City and County. In addition to the official franchise area, the station also enjoys a considerable listenership in South County Kilkenny and East County Cork (although WLR FM can be heard further west than Bandon in County Cork). WLR FM broadcasts on three frequencies: 95.1 MHz for most of the county (and a low-power transmitter also on 95.1 MHz for Waterford city centre), 97.5 MHz for Waterford city and much of East Waterford, and a low-power transmitter on 94.8 MHz to cover the East Waterford coast.

On April 13, 2007, Cork based Thomas Crosbie Holdings (TCH), owner of the Irish Examiner and 17 other Irish newspapers, announced it had acquired a 75% stake in WLR FM and Waterford based regional station Beat 102-103 [http://www.radiowaves.fm/newsstand/munsterexpress/070420.gif] , [http://www.radiowaves.fm/newsstand/laoisnationalist/070419.html in a deal worth a combined €14 million] while managing director of both stations Des Whelan kept 15% of each [http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/?jp=MHAUGBCWIDGB] . TCH already had a significant media presence in Waterford in its ownership of the The Waterford News & Star, one of the three ‘paid-for’ Waterford city based local newspapers (The others being The Munster Express and The Waterford People while the free paper is [http://www.waterford-today.ie Waterford Today] )


The original WLR, which was a pirate station broadcasting from a shed at the home of Des Whelan and his brother Rick Whelan at Killotteran just outside the city, launched in 1978. This unlicensed operation was one of the longest lasting in the country and continued for just over a decade until its closure at the end of 1988 - new radio licences were to be awarded by the then IRTC (now BCI) in 1989. WLR, with a number of local businessmen on board formed a consortium to apply for the franchise to broadcast to Waterford city and county. This application had competition from two other applicants, one (Deise Broadcasting Company) involved former pirate ABC Radio and local business people including the Reid family (owners of the well-known 'Egans' licenced premises where ABC was based before its closure), and another application (Waterford Radio/WRFM) which was backed by the then Waterford Foods and The Munster Express newspaper. The IRTC held oral hearings for the Waterford licence at the Tower Hotel in Waterford city on the 27th April 1989 where all three applicants presented their case. Shortly afterwards it was announced WLR's consortium was victorious. The licensed WLR FM launched on the 8th of September 1989 from studios on Georges Street above the Georges Court Shopping Centre in Waterford City. The station broadcast from these studios for many years until the building of the present purpose-built Broadcast Centre, at Ardkeen, Waterford. The station's licence has been unchallenged on subsequent renewals.


The station have two purpose built, state of the art studios, at "The Broadcast Centre", Ardkeen, Waterford City (shared with regional youth station [http://www.beat102103.com Beat 102 103] ) and the new Dungarvan Broadcast Centre at The Plaza, Dungarvan Shopping Centre. The Ardkeen studio was opened by an Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in 2003 replacing WLR FM's previous studio at Great Georges Street in Waterford City, while the Dungarvan studio was opened by Head of the BCI Michael O' Keefe (himself a Dungarvan man) on November 10th 2007 replacing the existing studio at Harbour Bay in the town.The station made the decision to move to the Dungarvan Shopping Centre to be right at the centre of life in the town, as their previous studio was relatively out of the way situated in an apartment block two minutes walk from Grattan Square in the town

[http://www.wlrfm.com/component/option,com_gallery2/Itemid,94/?g2_itemId=324&g2_GALLERYSID=9d10e5ce9c49468cfd3e862ad419d8f5 Pictures of the Ardkeen Studio Opening]

[http://www.wlrfm.com/component/option,com_gallery2/Itemid,94/?g2_itemId=1070&g2_GALLERYSID=811d74d8ea38ec8aa001bcb7241c82e3 Pictures of the Dungarvan Studio Opening]

[http://www.wlrfm.com/component/option,com_gallery2/Itemid,94/?g2_itemId=909&g2_GALLERYSID=d7ec01bc572fb3775dc2084c665cbe65 Pictures of the Dungarvan Broadcast Centre]

[http://www.radiowaves.fm/newsstand/munsterexpress/070907.gifA newspaper clipping about WLR FM's move in Dungarvan]

Department Heads


On Monday 31st March 2008, WLR FM introduced a new jingle package, two new shows "The Late Show" Sunday - Thursday from 22.00 - 00.00 with John O' Shea and "Faith Matters" Sundays from 07.00 - 07.30 with Billy McCarthy, while Mar Dhea Le Caoimhe Ní Mhuirithe from 07.00 - 07.30 moves from Sunday to Saturday to free the slot.

Liam Merriman's "Secret Chord" moves to Saturday nights at 23.00, Siamsa Sathairn moves to the earlier time of 20.00 to facilitate this.Trevor Condon has been promoted from The Weekend Jukebox (Saturday Night), to Sunday Sportsline (Sunday Afternoon), Geoff Harris now moves from "Sunday" Sportsline to present "Saturday" Sportsline. It appears that Cephas Power (formerly Saturday Sportsline) is now a stand-in DJ, as he is now a qualified barrister elsewhere in the country. Finally Seán Organ's "Organ 'Till Ten" has changed format to become a request show with "Waterford's Biggest Jukebox".

Notable Former Presenters

*Carrie Crowley - Having worked on WLR in the early 1990s, she went on to work on RTÉ Radio and TV and has acted on stage and in film.
*Tony Weldon - The well known Waterford entertainer from days past was also a presenter on WLR FM for many years. His last show, "Sunday Morning Melodies", popular with older listeners, ended in 2003.
*Eddie Wymberry - A Waterford city based writer and raconteur, Eddie was another presenter popular with older listeners, presenting many shows during his time working at the station. He occasionally appears on Deise AM and commentates on the St. Patrick's Day Parade over Tannoy speakers in Waterford city centre

Technical Info

Outside Broadcasting

WLR FM have fantastic outside broadcast possibilities. Their OB unit the "Waterford Credit Union Blastercaster" can regularly be seen all around the city and county. For indoor outside broadcasts they have a fold-up OB desk equipped with an internet connected laptop (allowing access to email and text messaging in addition to IM, a portable mixer, ISDN equipment, a pair of wireless microphones (and other assorted mics), and various other equipment available to them from Frankie King of the newly formed [http://frontlineaudiovisual.com/ Frontline] Audiovisual company, who manages all outside broadcasts with the help of Michael Byrne, Sinead Flynn, Roddie Cleere and the Blaster Caster Crew.

*Using the Blastercaster or the indoor OB equipment, the live feed from the OB is sent back to the studio via a high speed ISDN telephone line. This method provides great sound quality and a reliable connection

External links

* [http://www.wlrfm.com WLR FM]
* [http://www.beat102103.com Beat 102-103]
* [http://www.tch.ie Thomas Crosbie Holdings]
* [http://www.tcm.ie Thomas Crosbie Media]
* [http://www.wlrfm.com/index.php?option=com_peoplebook&Itemid=71 List of WLR FM Presenters]
* [http://frontlineaudiovisual.com/index.html Frontline Audiovisual (Frankie King & Tom Russell)]


1. [http://www.wlrfm.com WLR FM] 2. [http://www.bci.ie/licensed_operators/local_radio_wlrfm.html BCI] 3. [http://www.radiowaves.fm Radiowaves.fm] 4. Personal knowledge

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