Rivals submit bid for Highland Radio license

radio application2

THE final leg of the battle to secure the radio broadcasting license for Donegal took place today (Monday) with the submission to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland by the rivals to Highland Radio.

Donegal Commercial Radio Broadcasting Limited – the local group led by Inishowen businessman Paddy Simpson and local broadcast veteran Charlie Collins – formally submitted their application for the licence to broadcast here for the next ten years.

The proposed name of the service is DLFM. The full submission – which runs in excess of 30,000 words over 250 pages – delivers a comprehensive strategy for how the DLFM team would run the local radio service for Donegal over the ten year period from October 1, 2014.


The core of the plan is significant investment in high-quality speech-based programming with a variety of changes proposed throughout the schedule.

The DLFM proposal goes into great detail on their broadcasting philosophy, described as “Local, First”.

The DLFM team identify key elements like news, sport, local organisations, and the wider community of Donegal, as the driver of the broadcast service.

They are planning high quality local current affairs coverage and debate leading the morning show, with a magazine-style afternoon discussion show running from 3pm to 5:30pm. Music output is balanced throughout the day, varying between Irish and American country, classic hits, through to modern music in youth-focussed shows.

Commenting on Monday after submitting the application in Dublin, former Highland Radio manager Charlie Collins said he was “delighted” with the support the group have received.
“We have been working on this for many months, using our own local experience and the input of industry experts from across Ireland and abroad. We want to build a radio station that reflects Donegal and that will grow with Donegal,” Mr Collins said.

Group Chairman Paddy Simpson was also present in Dublin. He commented “Local media is vital in building close communities. DLFM will be a strong, open, transparent radio station that delivers for the audience. We will deliver a service in Donegal that will be among the best in the world. We have put in place the expertise and resources needed to do this. This is a serious application”.

Among the new information to come out today is the identity of the final shareholders and directors.
It was previously known that Simpson and Collins were joined by Philip O’Doherty of E&I Engineering, Letterkenny businessmen Enda Nicholls of Arena 7 and Mark McCloskey of Evolve Menswear, as well as Glenties man Brian McGill of the Harcourt Hotel and the Falcarragh-born publican Danny Doohan. The final shareholders are former Mayor of Letterkenny and digital media expert Damien Blake, who is joined by his wife Mary G. Blake, a teacher from Ballybofey. The non-shareholder directors are local journalist and broadcaster Lisa Burkitt, internationally-respected media ethics expert Professor Roy Greenslade, and businesswoman Grace Ann McGarvey of GA Consultancy in Letterkenny.
DLFM will make their application available on their website at once it has been published by the BAI.


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