RTÉ lyric fm

RTÉ Lyric FM (stylised as 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 throughout Ireland (in some areas also on DAB), on Sky Digital satellite in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and via the Internet worldwide.

RTÉ lyric fm
Broadcast areaRepublic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
Worldwide (mainly the United Kingdom on satellite)
SloganWhere Life Sounds Better
FrequencyFM 96.7–99.6 (95.2 northeast) MHz
Digital terrestrial television
First air date6 November 1984 (as FM3 Classical Music)
1 May 1999 (as Lyric FM)[1]
FormatClassical music and the arts
Language(s)English, Irish
OwnerRaidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
Sister stationsRTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ 2fm
WebcastWMA, Real


RTÉ Lyric FM developed from FM3 Classical Music, which began broadcasting on 6 November 1984.[2] 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.

On 1 May 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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5][6]

Recent history

In May 2009, the station celebrated 10 years broadcasting.[1][7] This was celebrated with a concert by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir.[8] Current presenters include Marty Whelan, George Hamilton, John Kelly, Liz Nolan, Paul Herriott, Niall Carroll, Lorcan Murray, Bernard Clarke, Aedín Gormley, and Ellen Cranitch.[9][10]

RTÉ Lyric FM attracts an audience share of 1.6%.[11] 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]


  1. "RTÉ lyric fm's 10th Birthday". RTÉ lyric fm. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  2. "RTÉ Radio's New Quality Service (Subscription required)". The Irish Times. 6 November 1984. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  3. "Classic Moves (Subscription required)". The Irish Times. 9 September 1998. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  4. "The Man From Lyric (Subscription required)". The Irish Times. 4 April 1999. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  5. "2002 PPI Radio Award Archive". PPI Radio Award Archive. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  6. "2004 PPI Radio Award Archive". PPI Radio Award Archive. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  7. "A treasure trove of the world's greatest music for the past 10 years". The Irish Times. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  8. "BIRTHDAY SALUTE". RTÉ Performing Groups. Archived from the original on 13 March 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  9. "RTÉ Radio new season 2009" (PDF). RTÉ Radio. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  10. "Presenters: Frank McNamara". RTÉ lyric fm. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  11. "RTÉ lyric fm JNLR". RTÉ. Archived from the original on 21 July 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  12. "RTÉ Entertainment: Gay Byrne Interview". RTÉ Entertainment. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  13. "'Gloria', choral music and Lyric FM". irishtimes.com.
  14. "Changes to Lyric FM's schedule". irishtimes.com.
  15. "The Inexplicable Vanishing of some of Lyric FM's finest - Independent.ie". independent.ie.
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