September 29, 2020
Business News

WLR gets more nominations for Irish radio ‘Oscars’ than any other local station

WLR has received seven nominations for this year’s IMRO Radio Awards – more than any local station in the country.

The IMROs recognise the ‘creme de la creme’ of radio broadcasting each year and is a major highlight of the radio calendar for both national and local radio stations in Ireland.

A total of 673 entries were received for this year’s Awards, which will be a Virtual Live Stream event on Friday, October 2 due to government guidelines.

Last week the 105 judges led by Chair, Peter McPartlin, spent over 42 hours on Zoom narrowing down the entries to form the shortlist.

Peter and the judges commented the outstanding creativity and broadcasting quality this year particularly through the difficulties of lockdown when so many radio programmes were being broadcast from the homes across the country to the homes of listeners.

WLR are shortlisted in the following categories: Best Current Affairs Programme – Damien Tiernan, Best News Reporter of the Year –  Damien Tiernan, Best Speech Broadcaster of the Year – Damien Tiernan, Best Documentary – Breast Cancer and Me by Sinead Aherne, Best Arts, Music & Culture Documentary – The Road Less Travelled by Cyril Stack and John Stack, Best Short-Feature – Big Breakfast Little Stories by Karen Tomkins and Best Drama – Youthquake by Aoibhin Fallon.

Michael Byrne, Programme Director at WLR, said he wasn’t surprised the station had received seven nominations.

“In a year when radio has shown its continuing importance to Irish life, programming that’s being produced since the pandemic started has been world-class here in Waterford. To get seven nominations is well deserved” said Michael.

Jennifer Long, Current Affairs Editor and Producer of ‘Deise Today’, said that three nominations for Damien Tiernan and ‘Deise Today’ was a massive boost for the news and current affairs department.

“Damien has put his own stamp on the show in the past two years and these nominations are recognition of the huge work he has put in, particularly with his ‘out and about’ reporting in communities across the county and indeed, in the city.”

Shortlisted in the Best Documentary category for ‘Breast Cancer and Me’, Sinead Aherne said; “It’s such a tough category so to be shortlisted is fantastic. I know that months, if not years of work went into each one of the documentaries on the list. It’s a very personal documentary but I couldn’t have produced this piece without the three women who shared their stories about being diagnosed with breast cancer in their 30s.”

Karen Tomkins who is short-listed in the Short-Feature category said; “Little Stories was so much fun to make at a not so fun time for so many children during Covid lockdown. I really enjoyed exploring the creative side of children’s storytelling through the medium of local radio. To get an IMRO nomination for producing something that was such a passion project is lovely and I’m delighted that it was recognised. I’m equally delighted for all my WLR colleagues. Seven IMRO nominations is already a win for local radio.”

Judges this year include Colette Fitzpatrick from Virgin Media News, Stuart Clark from Hotpress and Ray Foley from Virgin TV and Red FM. WLR’s Des Whelan and Michael Byrne are also judging in the non-WLR categories.

Chairperson of Awards title sponsors IMRO Eleanor McEvoy said: “In the bizarre times of the COVID-19 pandemic, radio has kept us entertained, kept us informed and kept us sane.

“We now have an obligation to keep everyone safe, so we are very much looking forward to taking the radio awards on line on October 2nd to celebrate the excellence and creativity of broadcasters from right throughout Ireland and would like to congratulate those of you who have been shortlisted and we wish you the very best of luck for the awards ceremony.”

Dungarvan man Michael O’Keefe, who is chief executive of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, added: “The BAI is once again delighted to support the annual IMRO Radio Awards. 2020 has seen the most challenging times for the radio sector for many years. It is to the tremendous credit of the sector that it has continued to deliver top quality programming to its listeners throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This would not be possible without the station personnel who deliver such a wide and diverse range of high-quality programming every day. The BAI congratulates all the nominees for their continued excellence in serving the listening public in Ireland with great radio and we wish them all the best of luck on the Awards night in October”

WLR has been very successful in winning awards in the past. At this year’s IMROs, WLR is also in for contention for Local Station of the Year, an award the station has won three times in the last decade.

Shane Doran

Shane Doran is founder and Co-Managing Editor of News Now Media, incorporating, and He is a former newspaper editor who has held senior executive roles across five national newspaper titles, both broadsheet and tabloid. He was News Editor and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent for more than seven years and spent a number of years in South Africa where he worked as editor of The Daily Voice newspaper. Shane has held senior editorial position with The Sunday Independent, The Herald and The Irish Daily Star and has served as Executive Editor (Group) of Independent News & Media (INM), Ireland’s largest newspaper group.

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