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Xfm not coming to Ireland

By | Published on Tuesday 18 February 2014


Xfm is not – repeat not – coming to Dublin. OK? And before you get all hissy and claim you never said it was coming Dublin, please note all the online chatter yesterday that said it was. You did note all that chatter, right? No? Oh well, everyone was saying yesterday that Xfm was coming to Dublin. But it’s not. So now you know.

The gossip began as it emerged Dublin-based alternative rock station Phantom FM was wielding the axe bigtime (well, 20 people are going, but that’s big for a station of this size) in a bid to reduce ongoing losses.

Irish media firm Communicorp owns just under a third of Phantom FM, and – as previously reported – has also just gone into business with Xfm-owner Global Radio, in that it’s bought a number of British FM licences off the UK radio giant and concurrently licensed the rights to use Global-owned brands and programming on those channels.

To top all that off, it emerged that someone at Communicorp had registered the domain name. To be fair to the gossipers, as conspiracy theories go, “Communicorp plans to force a rebrand on Phantom and pump in a load of Xfm content from London” seemed quite credible (opinions from the Broadcasting Authority Of Ireland pending).

But Global Radio has told Radio Today that Xfm will not be expanding to Ireland anytime soon, via a rebranding of Phantom or otherwise. So take that rumour fans.

Though the brand reshuffle instigated by the aforementioned Global/Communicorp deal does mean Xfm is coming back to Scotland. Well, Glasgow. Well for the time being. We’re waiting to hear back from George Osbourne whether an independent Scotland would be allowed to share content with an English Xfm; though Treasury insiders reckon Scotland won’t be allowed to use the Arctic Monkeys or Bastille once outside the United Kingdom, and use of Kodaline and U2 will be dependent on EU membership. Though we’ll give you Wild Beasts if you’ll take Jake Bugg off our hands. I mean, Kendal’s nearly Scotland anyway.