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Irish alternative rock station to close down

By | Published on Thursday 31 March 2016


Dublin-based alternative music radio station TXFM is to close, with its owners saying they just haven’t been able to make the set-up commercially viable. They should have rebranded as Radio TX and pitched themselves at the sorts of people who, when asked to vote for the best four British records of all time, pick all Oasis tracks.

Actually, when Dublin station Phantom 105.2 rebranded as TXFM in 2014 there was speculation that it was becoming an Irish outpost for the London station then known as Xfm. The rumour was fuelled by the fact that one of Phantom’s owners, Communicorp, had just done a deal with Xfm owner Global Radio to run some of the Capital FM outposts in the UK. But in the end it turned out that the rebrand to TXFM was a bid to ally the Irish station with another Communicorp service, Today FM, rather than any link to Xfm.

Ahead of the name change, Phantom had downsized its staff considerably in a bid to make the station profitable, but it seems that even a streamlined station of the alternative music variety couldn’t make ends meet in the Dublin market.

TXFM needed to renew its licence with the Broadcasting Authority Of Ireland, but its owners have decided not to go through that process. Communicorp boss Gervaise Slowey, whose company owns a third of the alternative station, told reporters: “It is with great regret that we have come to this decision. Despite a recent rebranding and a restructuring of the business, it has not been possible to make the station commercially viable”.

The decision means six full-timers will lose their jobs, while a number of part-time presenters will also lose regular work. According to the Irish Times, no other party had applied to take over the FM frequency use by TXFM as of Tuesday, which was the deadline for such applications. Though also Dublin-based independent classic rock station Radio Nova has now expressed an interest in taking on the TXFM licence, and says it will speak to the BAI about that possibility.