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103FM County Sound

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Title: 103FM County Sound  
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Subject: Cork's 96FM, Cork (city)
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103FM County Sound

This article is about a radio station in Ireland. For the radio station in Georgetown, Ohio, USA that also uses this name, see WRAC.
File:C103 Logo.png
Broadcast area Cork City and County
Slogan The Best of The Seventies, Eighties and More
Frequency 102.6 – 103.9 FM
First air date Friday, 26 January 1990 (as County Sound 103FM)
Format Oldies
Language(s) English (One Irish language programme)
Audience share 14% (Thursday, 20 August 2009, JNLR)
Owner UTV Media
Sister stations Cork's 96FM (Dual franchise)[1]
Webcast West (Bandon)

C103 is one of three local radio stations licensed by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland[2] for Cork City and County in Republic of Ireland (the other two being its sister station 96FM and youth music station Red FM). It broadcasts from studios at the Majestic Business Park, Goulds Hill in Mallow (its headquarters, North Cork Studios and official postal address), Weir Street in Bandon (its West Cork Studio) and St. Patrick's Place in Cork City[3] (the headquarters of sister station 96FM).[4]

C103 is operated as a dual franchise with 96FM by County Media Limited which is owned by UTV Radio, part of UTV Media plc.[5][6]

The station launched on 26 January 1990 (as County Sound 103FM) and was originally licensed for the north of County Cork. The franchise was subsequently expanded to cover the whole county. As a dual franchise, the station's sound broadcasting contract (and thus its broadcasting licence) is advertised together with that of 96FM and one company is required to operate the two stations, in a similar situation to that of Shannonside FM and Northern Sound Radio in the north-west of Ireland. Most of the management are based at Broadcasting House in the city and are in charge of both stations. The only senior position which is separate for each station is that of the head of music.[3]

In 2008 as part of a refresh of the station's sound, it was re-branded as C103, a reworked schedule which saw an end to networked programmes broadcast on both C103 and 96FM and a new music format, consisting mainly of music from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, in addition to a limited amount of more recent chart hits.

Current Affairs – Cork Today programme

The 'Cork Today' programme, presented by Patricia Messenger, weekdays 10AM-1PM, is the station's main current affairs output.

The show also incorporates 'regional reports' from various areas – one every hour, and regular features each day as follows:

Mondays: regional reports from Beara (John Murphy), East Cork (John Cashman) and Buttevant (Mary O'Donoghue). Monday's features include Nutrition & Health queries with Nutritionist Anneliese Dressel and towards end of final hour the Sports Roundup with Paudie Palmer. Tuesdays: regional reports from west Cork's Islands (Josephine O'Donnell), Millstreet (Eily Buckley), Dunmanway (Mary Bannon). Boherbue based counsellor Joe Heffernan joins the programme after midday on Tuesdays to discuss a different subject each week. Wednesdays: regional reports from Ballyhoura (Annette Nagle), Mizen (Pauline Cotter), Bantry (Rose Tobin). Wednesday also has the weekly Gardening feature. Thursday: regional reports from Avondhu (Paddy Ryan), Killavullen (Norma Walshe), Roscarbery (Mike Keohane). Thursdays also has Pet Questions with vet Ita Walshe and the Garda File. Friday: regional reports from Duhallow (Tim Lynch), Skibbereen (Sue Harrington), Clonakilty (Eileen Kingston). The final hour on Fridays has Mark Malone with the Movie Review and Sports Preview with John Cashman.

West Cork studio

Since the expansion of the original County Sound 103FM into West Cork in November 1990, the area had its own daily 'opt-out' programmes from a studio in Bandon, originally for 8 hours on weekdays, and less at weekends.

This was reduced significantly following the relaunch as C103 with current affairs show "West Cork Today" presented by David Young then becoming the only opt-out on weekdays.

"West Cork Today"

In what proved a controversial development in April 2009, C103 cancelled the popular show without warning, merging it with Patricia Messenger's "North Cork Today" to become the new county-wide "Cork Today" presented from the main C103 studios in Mallow by Patricia, with David being left go.[9] Protesters claimed that 'West Cork Today' had been one of the very few radio programmes serving the needs and addressing the issues of people in the far South-West.[10][11][12]

From then until the November 2009 flood damage of the Bandon studio, the only remaining regular programmes specifically for the West Cork region were the "Saturday Sports Preview" on Saturday mornings, and Tim Coughlan's 'Irish Sunday' show on Sundays from 10am until 2pm. Occasionally there has been also separate GAA sports coverage on C103 West Cork.

Other output from the Bandon studio was broadcast county-wide:

  • The C103 Drivetime Show with Martina O’Donoghue was broadcast from Bandon each weekday.
  • Tim Coughlan's Sunday night programme also broadcast from Bandon.

All programmes from the Bandon studio were indefinitely suspended after the severe flooding damage on 19 November 2009, the separate programmes for west Cork were discontinued, and the above mentioned countywide programmes, which previously broadcast from Bandon, were transferred to the main studio at Mallow.

In May 2011 broadcasting resumed from the Bandon studio. Tim Coughlan's Sunday night programme moved back to Bandon on 1 May, with the show also being extended by one hour, whilst on 15 May a separate west Cork 'opt-out' Irish Sunday show from 10AM to 2PM on Sundays resumed, presented by the well-remembered John Greene, who had last worked for the then 103FM over seven years previously and in the interim had worked for Radio Kerry. John Greene had been known to West Cork listeners since the days of the pirate WKLR radio from Bandon in the 1980s (on which Tim Coughlan and C103 head of sport Michael Scanlon had also broadcast) and had presented on County Sound from the launch of its West Cork service in 1990.


  • 102.6FM Cork City and areas of East Cork
  • 102.7FM Bantry
  • 102.9FM Fermoy – Mitchelstown area
  • 103.0FM (a) Youghal, (b) Kinsale
  • 103.3FM West Cork
  • 103.5FM Carrigaline & Cobh
  • 103.7FM (a) North Cork, (b) Macroom
  • 103.9FM Clonakilty

(main frequencies in bold)

External links

  1. C103 Website
  2. BCI licencing details
  3. UTV Media PLC
  4. 96FM, C103's Dual Franchise Sister Station


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