RTÉ Radio 1 will cease broadcasting on Long Wave 252 (LW 252) from Friday 14th April 2023.
RTÉ bosses have confirmed that listeners in Ireland will still be able to access RTÉ Radio 1 on FM, but also on Saorview and Saorsat or on the RTÉ Radio player or Irish Radio player apps.
The broadcaster says the decision to take the Long Wave service off air is based on three interrelated factors including reducing energy usage, widespread availability and the launch of the new RTÉ Radio App on mobile devices.
It said: “Like all businesses, RTÉ is seeking to reduce its energy usage in response to the climate crisis, public expenditure efficiency, and to reduce the burden on the national grid – and LW consumes significant energy.
“Widespread availability of connected devices, which gathered pace during the global pandemic, is giving access to almost unlimited choice. RTÉ must adapt to meet this growing demand for a diverse range of audio services and must be able to make choices regarding investment.”
RTÉ said in a statement that the LW 252 is no longer sustainable as the transmitter in Summerhill, Co Meath uses up 2.5% of the organisation’s energy use.
The current cost is €250,000 a year and this could rise to £400,000 next year, it says.
When the move was announced originally there were complaints from Irish people in Britain, particularly the elderly, who would no longer be able to get RTÉ Radio 1 on their transistor radios.
The phasing out and closure of the Long Wave service was one of the recommendations of the Future of Media Commission report which was published by the Government in July 2022.
In 2019, the Government announced major upgrade works to an antennae in Co Meath to ensure that the transmission of longwave radio continued for the Irish diaspora.
At that point, the chair of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, Hildegarde Naughton said the works on the equipment would guarantee the continuance of the longwave service for a minimum of two years.
Steve Whitt to mwcircle iog (2023-03-31)