Tuesday 22 May 2018

RTE objects to former 2fm boss John Clarke hosting 'Ireland's Biggest Jukebox' show on Radio Nova

John Clarke
John Clarke
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

RTE has objected to former 2fm boss John Clarke fronting 'Ireland's Biggest Jukebox' on Radio Nova.

Clarke presented the show on RTE for several years until 2014 and he was today scheduled to host a show of the same title on Radio Nova.

However, RTE issued a legal letter threatening an injunction should Clarke present a show called 'Ireland's Biggest Jukebox'.

While the show is no longer broadcast on RTE's terrestrial channels it is broadcast on digital channel RTE Gold with veteran broadcaster Larry Gogan presenting.

According to RTE the show had been in existence before John Clarke began presenting it on 2fm several years ago.

However, Nova claim RTE does not own the title 'Ireland's Biggest Jukebox'.

"They don't have a trademark registered and we've challenged to prove their ownership of the show name," says Kevin Branigan, Chief Executive of Radio Nova. 

"They actually took that name from the now-defunct Century Radio, in fact."

While RTE insists their objection refers to the show's title and not John Clarke, Kevin says, "Given that John Clarke was bringing his "Ireland's Biggest Jukebox" show to Nova, we are in no doubt that their action related to the show that John was going to present today, not just the name."

Asked why John did not host the show under a different title this morning, Kevin added, "John did not want to host the show under a different name today. I can't speak for him but I sensed he was upset at the action."

John, who was head of 2fm for 11 years until 2009, was due to host the show from 10am-2pm today but Brian Walsh broadcast the usual show Classic Gold Sunday instead. 

He read out a statement at the start of the show which read, "Unfortunately, we have received a threat of legal action from RTE Radio, specifically “by means of injunctive relief or damages against us” if we proceed to broadcast “Ireland’s Biggest Jukebox”.  As a result, we are not in a position to bring the show this morning."

He said they hoped to bring the one off show to Radio Nova at some point in the future.

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