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01st Apr 2016

TXFM may have a future after all if this Dublin politician gets his way

Tony Cuddihy

Jimmy Dignam of The Workers’ Party has called for RTÉ to take over the license of alternative music radio station TXFM, which is due to come off air later this year.

The representative for Dublin North-West feels that diversity ‘across the spectrum’ is important and that the national broadcaster has a duty to cater for those who have been listening to alternative music on the airwaves since Phantom FM started up in the 1990s.

“As with all forms of art and music, it is essential that diversity is provided across the spectrum,” he wrote in a statement on the Workers’ Party website.

“TXFM, and before it Phantom FM, has provided Dublin’s radio listeners with a great service, by broadcasting alternative music since the 1990’s. It would be a real shame to see it go.”

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) confirmed on Wednesday that no applications had been received for the music-driven (alternative rock) sound broadcasting service that had been advertised shortly before Christmas, and TXFM confirmed the news in an emotional farewell to listeners on their Twitter account.

A petition has been launched to save the station, and Dignam feels that alternative music should not be ignored by RTÉ given the similarly niche listenership of its classical music station, Lyric FM.

“The national broadcaster has a duty to cater for a variety of tastes and niches across its television platform, so why not radio too? Just because TXFM isn’t “commercially viable” does not mean its service isn’t appreciated or needed,” he continued.

“Last month’s JNLR (Joint National Listenership Research) survey showed that RTÉ’s Lyric FM, which caters for the classical niche part of the music market, had 5% of Dublin’s listenership.

“In contrast, TXFM had 2% of Dublin’s market. Whilst these numbers are relatively small, that does not mean that these genres of music should be ignored or appropriately resourced.”

Dignam concluded: “TXFM’s listenership is relatively younger compared to the other bigger mainstream radio stations. Furthermore, radio listernership is dominated by the category of people aged above 35, so TXFM’s figures would not be directly representative of wider society’s music tastes.

“The Workers’ Party calls on RTÉ to nationalise TXFM by taking over its broadcasting license, save the at-risk jobs and continue to provide this much needed service.”

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