Friday 16 November 2018

Ocean FM retains licence

The future of local radio in the Northwest will continue with Ocean FM.

The station, which went head to head with Coast FM for the franchise, was granted a second ten year licence yesterday afternoon.

The Broadcasting Authority will now proceed to contract negotiations with Ocean.

Further details regarding the award of the contract will be issued in the coming months.

Tim Collins, CEO Ocean Fm, said: "We are delighted and relieved that the process is now over, and the success of the station in delivering a

high quality local service for the region has been recognised, and confirmed with this long-awaited decision.

Niall Delaney, Station Manager and Programme Director, said that Ocean had consistently been in the top five most-listened to local stations

over the past ten years and is the most decorated in terms of programming awards, both nationally and internationally.

The board of Coast FM has expressed disappointment in failing to be awarded the licence for Sligo, North Leitrim and South Donegal.

Coast FM had promised a broad-based programme schedule that would incorporate a number of shared programmes with Midwest Radio

Managing Director Paul Claffey said:

"It's disheartened to say the least but we must respect the decision - difficult and all that it is - and move on.

"We gave it our best shot."

Tommie Marren, of Coast FM, said: "We felt that we had put in a very strong proposal. In our view, we felt that there was a huge appetite for change, however it was not to be.

"One of the reasons the BAI said that we didn't get it was in relation to programming.

"We were baffled about this as it was one area that we felt we were stronger."

Sligo Champion