RTÉ lyric fm

RTÉ lyric fm
Broadcast area National – Ireland
Slogan Where Life Sounds Better
Frequency FM 96.7–99.6 (95.2 northeast) MHz
Digital terrestrial television
First air date 1 May 1999[1]
Format Classical music and the arts
Language(s) English, Irish
Audience share 1.6% (February 2009, [2])
Owner Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
Sister stations RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ 2fm
Webcast WMA, Real
Website rte.ie/lyricfm/

RTÉ lyric fm is an Irish classical-music and arts radio station, owned by the public-service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). The station, which is based in Limerick, was launched in 1999 and is available on FM (99.2 in Pembrokeshire About 30 miles away from fishguard all year round) in Ireland, in the South East of Ireland on DAB, on satellite, on Sky Digital in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and via the Internet.


RTÉ lyric fm developed from FM3 Classical Music, which began broadcasting in November 1984.[3] FM3 broadcast classical music on the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta network at breakfast time, lunchtime and in the evenings. The station was rarely marketed, except via promotions on RTÉ Radio 1, and had low listenership ratings. It was probably best known for occasionally simulcasting the stereo sound track of movies being shown on the RTÉ television channels prior to RTÉ's deployment of NICAM digital stereo.

As Raidió na Gaeltachta expanded broadcast hours FM3's service hours changed to 19:30 till 01:00 and 06:30 till 08:00. Eventually it stayed on air until breakfast time when RnaG came back on.

In 1999, RTÉ put in place an additional national FM transmitter network, and it was decided to separate FM3 from Radio na Gaeltachta, and expand its remit to include other types of minority music.[4] The resulting station was Lyric FM (currently styled RTÉ lyric fm). It also moved from Dublin to Limerick as part of a policy of regionalisation.[5] At the time of the station's launch, RTÉ lyric fm’s digital studios in Cornmarket Row, Limerick, were the most advanced in the country.

RTÉ lyric fm won PPI National Station of the Year for the second time in 2004.[6][7]

Recent history

In May 2009, the station celebrated 10 years broadcasting.[1][8] This was celebrated with a concert by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir.[9] Current presenters include Marty Whelan, George Hamilton, Gay Byrne, Liz Nolan, Carl Corcoran, Eamonn Lenihan, Paul Herriott, Niall Carroll, Lorcan Murray, Tim Thurston, Bernard Clarke, Aedín Gormley, Trish Taylor Thompson, Donald Helme, Ellen Cranitch, Gerry Godley and John Kelly.[10][11]

RTÉ lyric fm attracts an audience share of 1.6%.[2] The current head of the station is Aodán Ó' Dubhghaill.[12]

Recent schedule changes have caused some dissent amongst listeners and the station has been accused of dumbing down.[13] [14] A petition was also launched to save the Sunday early morning programme "Gloria" presented by Tim Thurston.[15]



The following figures were issued by RTÉ as part of their Annual report 2012[16]


Income Type 2012
Licence Fee €5,871,000
Commercial Income €700,000
Total Income €6,571,000

Total Costs

Cost Type 2012
Network and other related costs €1,319,000
Sales Costs not given
Acquired Programming N/A
Irish Productions €5,252,000
Total Costs €6,571,000

Profit and Loss


Breakdown of Irish Productions

Production House 2012
RTÉ €5,177,000
Independent Producers €75,000
Total €5,252,000

The table below outlines RTÉ LyricFM's total in-house and commissioned programming by genre in 2008 and 2012:

Genre 2012
Factual €345,000
Drama n/a
Entertainment €577,000
Music €3,724,000
News,Current Affairs and Weather €523,000
Sport n/a
Young Peoples Programming €83,000
Total €5,252,000


  1. 1 2 "RTÉ lyric fm's 10th Birthday". RTÉ lyric fm. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  2. 1 2 "RTÉ lyric fm JNLR". RTÉ. Archived from the original on 21 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  3. "RTÉ Radio's New Quality Service (Subscription required)". The Irish Times. 6 November 1984. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  4. "Classic Moves (Subscription required)". The Irish Times. 9 September 1998. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  5. "The Man From Lyric (Subscription required)". The Irish Times. 4 April 1999. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  6. "2002 PPI Radio Award Archive". PPI Radio Award Archive. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  7. "2004 PPI Radio Award Archive". PPI Radio Award Archive. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  8. "A treasure trove of the world's greatest music for the past 10 years". The Irish Times. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  9. "BIRTHDAY SALUTE". RTÉ Performing Groups. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  10. "RTÉ Radio new season 2009" (PDF). RTÉ Radio. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  11. "Presenters: Frank McNamara". RTÉ lyric fm. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  12. "RTÉ Entertainment: Gay Byrne Interview". RTÉ Entertainment. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  13. http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/gloria-choral-music-and-lyric-fm-1.2481263
  14. http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/changes-to-lyric-fm-s-schedule-1.2502643
  15. http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/declan-lynch/the-inexplicable-vanishing-of-some-of-lyric-fms-finest-34331333.html
  16. RTÉ News (PDF) http://static.rasset.ie/documents/about/2012-english-annual-report-for-the-web.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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