Dr. Bill O' Gorman, from WIT, speaking about this site on WLR

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The origins of WLR

WLR FM has become an integrate part of the fabric of Waterford city and the South East region since it first launched in 1978. The station has played a key role in the development of the city by providing a platform through which local businesses can communicate and interact with their customers as well as giving local people a chance to voice their opinions on all aspects of life in the region.

WLR originally started as a pirate station, when brothers Des Whelan and Rick Whelan first broadcasted from a shed at their home in Killottern, just outside Waterford City. This unlicensed operation was one of the longest lasting in the country and continued for just over a decade until its closure at the end of 1988, when new radio licences were to be awarded by the then IRTC (now BCI). WLR, with a number of local businessmen on board formed a consortium to apply for the franchise to broadcast to Waterford city and county.

This application had competition from two other applicants, one (Deise Broadcasting Company) involved former pirate ABC Radio and local business people including the Reid family (owners of the well-known 'Egans' licenced premises where ABC was based before its closure), and another application (Waterford Radio/WRFM) which was backed by the then Waterford Foods and The Munster Express newspaper.

The IRTC held oral hearings for the Waterford licence at the Tower Hotel in Waterford city on the 27th April 1989 where all three applicants presented their case. Shortly afterwards it was announced WLR's consortium was victorious. The licensed WLR FM launched on the 8th of September 1989 from studios on Georges Street above the Georges Court Shopping Centre in Waterford City. The station broadcast from these studios for many years until the building of the present purpose-built Broadcast Centre, at Ardkeen, Waterford.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WLR has been great for Waterford