RTÉ’S BRENDAN BALFE HOSTS MW SWITCH OFF
RTÉ Radio 1’s Medium Wave service played out on 24/03/2008 at 3pm with O’Donnell Abú, the tune which was chosen democratically by listeners in 1936 as the signature tune for Radio Athlone. To mark the end of the eighty-two year old Medium Wave (MW) service Brendan Balfe presented Medium Wave Goodbye today on all RTÉ Radio 1 wavelengths, on the internet and on RTÉ’s digital radio trial service from 1.30pm to 3pm.
Brendan assembled a nostalgic 90 minute programme with memories of a service which has brought the world into homes all over the country since 1926. The programme included archive audio of request programmes, early sponsored radio programmes from the likes of Chivers and Frys chocolate, well known radio voices such as Eamonn Andrews, Terry Wogan and Gay Byrne, the advent of rock and roll in Ireland, ‘dancing on the radio’, as well as excerpts of pop and trad music, features, documentaries and commentaries.
RTÉ’s broadcasts began life on the MW service as 2RN, later known as Radio Athlone, Radió Éireann and in more recent times as RTÉ Radio 1. RTÉ introduced the superior sound of the FM service in 1966 to counteract interference and poor reception on the MW band. Listeners can continue to enjoy RTÉ Radio 1 broadcasts not only on FM and LW 252, but also via cable television, satellite, the internet and in pilot areas (Greater Dublin, Cork and Limerick cities) on RTÉ’s DAB digital radio trial service. Listeners who tune into MW specifically for extra RTÉ Radio 1 programmes including weekday sports broadcasts and Sunday religious services will find those programmes on LW 252, cable television and the internet. For an alternative to sports broadcasts on Saturdays and Sundays listeners will find a selection of RTÉ Radio 1 arts, features and drama on RTÉ’s digital radio test station, RTÉ Choice, and as downloadable podcasts from www.rte.ie/radio1.
Further information on retuning to FM and/or LW 252 is available from www.rte.ie/staytuned. RTÉ is offering assistance, in the form of half price radio vouchers and free radios, to those listeners without any access to FM, LW 252 or the internet. Information on this scheme is available from RTÉ’s Information Unit on 01 208 3434.
Stay tuned to RTÉ Radio 1 on FM, LW252, DAB, www.rte.ie/radio and via Sky and NTL digital