2fm boss claims rival stations 'won't play' Nicky Byrne's Eurovision song
Published 31/03/2016 | 07:16
The head of 2fm has hit out at the lack of airplay for Nicky Byrne's Eurovision song, claiming that rival Irish radio stations were deliberately avoiding playing it.
Radio boss Dan Healy made the scathing comments amid frustration at the lack of air time for the song Sunlight, which will represent Ireland at the Eurovision contest in Stockholm this May.
The outspoken media man said he has been told that the under-rotation was due to Nicky's position as a 2fm presenter.
"Independent radio stations won't play Nicky's song," Healy (inset) told the Herald.
"Nicky Byrne is representing Ireland and some local and national radio stations will not play his song because he works for 2fm. I've been told that. I've spoken to Nicky about it.
"Some stations wouldn't even interview him, except one. Ultimately it is a good song. The song could be in the top five in Ireland," he added.
Healy - who has seen ratings soar for 2fm's mid-morning show since recruiting former pop star Nicky - also said that the decision not to air the track was a result of the station's improved performance.
"What's interesting is we have been told they won't play the song because he is in 2fm. We were told specifically by one individual that if it was three years ago, they would have played it because 2fm were not a threat, but now they are.
"They should play it. It's a great song. And at some point Westlife could come back - they're bound to. Will they not talk to Nicky when he gets back with Westlife?
"It's a pity. Nicky is patriotic ... he's representing the country and we would love the radio stations to play it.
"If Dermot Whelan, who has a band apparently, had a song for the Eurovision we would play it.
Healy added: "As a matter of fact when it was announced that it was Nicky for the Eurovision, we actually stood back and we didn't do the first interview. It went to Ian Dempsey."
Nicky's trip to Stockholm means he will miss 20 days from his 2fm show with Jenny Greene.
The Herald contacted a number of leading Dublin stations, but none was available for comment. A spokesperson for Nicky said he would not be making a comment.