IT’S EXPECTED DUBLIN radio station Phantom 105.2 will be rechristened in the coming weeks, as the station is restructured and its schedule chopped back.
A raft of job losses were confirmed at the rock and indie broadcaster last week — eight full-time positions are being cut, with on-air, marketing and sales staff all affected. A number of part-time and weekend presenters are also being dropped.
Communicorp, which has executive control of the station, confirmed last weekend that the BAI had granted shareholders permission to restructure “in order to ensure its long-term viability”.
A statement said the station’s niche market had been “disproportionately affected by ongoing reductions in advertising revenue in an increasingly competitive market”.
TheJournal.ie understands that several new station names are being considered by Communicorp executives in order to help achieve their stated aim of continuing “to deliver an alternative music service for young Dubliners”.
The doman name xfm.ie was registered by the company’s Chief Technical Officer Pat Balfe earlier this month. However, radio industry sources say that name is no longer being considered, and that several other options are now on the table.
The name change is expected to happen sometime in April.
Phantom FM has been part of the radio landscape in Dublin for the best part of 15 years. Initially set up as a pirate operation, the team behind the station gradually built up a dedicated listenership — occasionally going off air to bid for broadcast licences, before finally being granted one in 2004.
A legal challenge meant the legal incarnation was delayed from going on air until late 2006. However, the effects of the downturn led to financial strains by 2009, and a year later Communicorp came on board as shareholders. Most of the original ‘pirate’ team have since parted company with the station.
The staff given notice last week will finish up in three week’s time.