iRadio boss to extend stint at IRS helm
THE search for a new chief executive at local radio sales house IRS has been postponed for another year after iRadio-boss Dan Healy agreed to extend his interim stint by 12 months.
Mr Healy has been at the helm of IRS since mid-October, coming to the job after an acrimonious split between the local radio sales house and its former boss John O'Connor.
At one point, Mr Healy's tenure could have been very short indeed, as Mr O'Connor pursued a court battle against his dismissal, claiming the IRS board failed to follow fair procedures when they accused him of gross misconduct for the early part-payment of a €165,000 bonus.
Mr O'Connor's return has now been effectively ruled out after that case was settled, and Mr Healy has just agreed to extend his stint.
"The board has asked me to stay on for another 12 months and I've said yes," the one-time Communicorp executive says. "There's a great opportunity here -- IRS has an average quarter hour of 220,000 at peak time, we've the opportunity to really sell that against Today FM and UTV."
He added that IRS could "absolutely" survive without the recently-collapsed Independent Network News, which provided a syndicated news service for most of the country's local radio stations.
That service was financed through 'Bullseye' and 'Drivetime' ad packages sold by IRS, which also shared its Mount Street headquarters with the news agency.
"There's still a big IRS business there," stresses Mr Healy.
As for the Mr Healy's own two stations, the north-west's i102-104 and the north-east's i105-107, the radio man will be staying involved at board level but leaving day-to-day running to local management.
"We've got a very strong management team, and at the end of the day, a strong IRS is good for iRadio as well," he says.