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Monday 15 September 2014

I have to destroy 2fm to return it to glory days, says radio boss

Published 25/03/2014 | 02:30

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Singer Kim Wilde and her brother Ricky Wilde play her classic hit Kids in America at the Radio Days Europe Event in the Convention Center in Dublin this afternoon. Photo: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
Singer Kim Wilde and her brother Ricky Wilde play her classic hit Kids in America at the Radio Days Europe Event in the Convention Center in Dublin this afternoon. Photo: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and radio presenter and singer Kim Wilde at Radio Days Europe at the Convention Centre Dublin. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and radio presenter and singer Kim Wilde at Radio Days Europe at the Convention Centre Dublin. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
Delegates at the Radio Days Europe at the Convention Centre Dublin, Ireland. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
Delegates at the Radio Days Europe at the Convention Centre Dublin, Ireland. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Head of 2fm radio Dan Healy has to "destroy" the station in order to return it to its "glory days".

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The radio boss says that the major revamp "better work out" because a lot of listeners believe he is Ireland's "biggest idiot".

At Europe's largest radio conference 'Radiodays Europe' at Dublin's Convention Centre yesterday, he was described as "radio's ultimate impostor" as he took to the podium.

Radiodays Europe takes place over three days with over 1,300 delegates from 50 countries attending a series of lectures about the future of radio.

This year's theme is 'Connecting Radio' and aims to highlight the connection between the international radio community and their audience.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny gave a keynote speech about radio's enduring strength and its importance in the digital age.

"Radio has lost none of its currency, urgency or intimacy – in the white noise of social media, radio endures," Mr Kenny said. He credited radio's "sense of shared connection, community and the idea that, although we might be on our own or even lonely, we are not entirely alone in our world".

Mr Healy, who has been heavily criticised over his rebranding of 2fm, used the opportunity to defend his decisions. "I'm 51 years old, I have a one year old child and no pension so this better work out," he said.

RADICAL

Mr Healy was appointed head of 2fm in April of last year and has made radical changes to the selection of music played and the types of programme transmitted on the station.

In the last eight months, 2fm has launched several new shows including 'Breakfast Republic', 'The Nicky Byrne Show', 'The Early, Early Breakfast Show', fronted by Lottie Ryan, and 'Bottom Of The Barrel' with Chris Greene and Ciara King.

Mr Healy admitted the station had suffered greatly in the wake of Gerry Ryan's death.

"When Gerry Ryan passed away so did 2FM," he said. "We had a 12pc share at the time of his death and that has dropped. We have to return 2fm to its former greatness."

During the course of the conference, Mr Healy was criticised by several of his contemporaries including Liam Thompson of Communicorp. Mr Thompson questioned the recruitment of former Westlife star Nicky Byrne, reminding Healy that "not all famous people are talented presenters".

Radio host and former '80s pop sensation Kim Wilde performed a live version of her 1981 hit 'Kids In America' with her brother Ricky Wilde.

"It was an acoustic version, good fun and a good way to show people what I'm up to at the moment," Wilde said after her performance.

Wilde presents a radio show on UK station Magic FM and is touring with Alice Cooper. "I'm a singer and I'm a presenter, it's nice to keep working in the music industry in different capacities."

Today, legendary British broadcaster Tony Blackburn will discuss his 50th year in the radio business.

Irish Independent

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