Today FM

Radio Ireland Ltd, trading as 100-102 Today FM, is a commercial FM radio station which is available nationally in Ireland.

Today FM
Broadcast areaIreland
SloganOh It's On (currently)
Formerly: Expect Something Different; Get Into It; "Like There's No Tomorrow"
FrequencyFM: 100-101.8, 105.5 MHz
First air date17 March 1997
Facility IDMarconi House, Digges Lane, Dublin 2[1]
Sister stationsNewstalk
Dublin's 98FM
Spin 103.8
Spin South West

Broadcasting since 17 March 1997 (Saint Patrick's Day), it carries music and talk. Purchased by Denis O'Brien's Communicorp in 2007, Today FM holds a licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland as far as the year 2027.[2] The station recorded pretax profits of €7.4 million on a turnover of €19.4 million in early 2009, more than twice what it was two years previously.[3]


The original Independent National Radio franchise holder in the Republic of Ireland was 100-102 Century Radio, which launched in 1989 and closed down abruptly in November 1991 amid heavy financial losses. The Independent Radio and Television Commission did not re-advertise the contract until 1996.

Radio Ireland Limited, originally owned by John McColgan and Moya Doherty (and because of their involvement, dubbed "Radio Riverdance"), won the contract when it was advertised.

In 2002, Scottish Radio Holdings plc acquired Radio Ireland Limited from its shareholders. In June 2005, an agreed takeover offer for that company was made by Emap. Denis O'Brien's Communicorp was the highest bidder for Emap's Irish operations when that company decided to sell its radio stations, buying FM104, Highland Radio and Today FM on 14 July 2007.[4][5][6] In October 2007, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) approved Communicorp's proposed takeover of Today FM and Highland Radio, but not FM104.[7][8] The deal was completed by January 2008.[9] Due to a Competition Authority decision, Communicorp was required to sell-on FM104, which it did (to UTV Media) immediately upon its acquisition. The takeover closed in April 2008.

In 2008, Today FM moved their studios from their original base at 112 Upper Abbey Street, Dublin, across the Liffey to Marconi House in Digges Lane, Dublin 2, where it shares the building with its Communicorp sister station, Newstalk. The building also housed another Communicorp station, Phantom (later TXFM), until it ceased broadcasting in October 2016. In June 2017 it was announced that the group's other Dublin-based stations, 98FM and Spin 1038, would also be moving into the same premises.[10]

The experienced broadcaster and radio programmer Tom Hardy served as the station's Director of Programming from 1998 until January 2013, when he was replaced by Martin McGuire. The position was later taken up by the station's former evening presenter Colm O'Sullivan, now of Cork's Red FM, and is now held by Adelle Nolan.

Broadcast history

The station went on air, originally known as Radio Ireland, on St. Patrick's Day, 17 March 1997. At first the station was a mixed network, airing much talk programming and various types of music. However, following six months of disastrous ratings, and with a listenership of just 1%, the station was revamped, and on 1 January 1998 became 100-102 Today FM.[11] The station axed almost all of its programming and changed its music policy entirely.[11] Eamon Dunphy's co-host (Anne-Marie Hourihan) was axed, with him being heavily promoted as a solo act and Ian Dempsey and Ray D'Arcy were poached from arch-rivals RTÉ.[11] The IRTC went along with the schedule changes, though in a statement soon after the relaunch said it was not entirely satisfied with the new schedule. However, within three months, the station's listenership had almost doubled.

Today FM reshuffled its daytime schedule in 2004, reducing The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show to add an extra hour to The Ray D'Arcy Show so that it could compete directly with rival, The Gerry Ryan Show.[12] Philip Cawley's afternoon show was reduced and Tony Fenton was given a lunchtime show.[12]

In April 2006, Ray D'Arcy conducted an interview with comedian Des Bishop. Bishop joked about being gay. D'Arcy asked Bishop to provide an "exclusive". Bishop said, "I'm gay... I'm not, but hey!"[13] D'Arcy said, "You're very comfortable with your sexuality?"[13] Bishop said, "Me and Derek Mooney are doing a show".[13] The audience laughed.[13] D'Arcy moved to a commercial break before, he said, Bishop "outs anyone else".[13] The incident provoked much commentary in the media, with the Sunday Independent observing "Instantly, the Irish-American comedian was the villain of the piece and Derek was all over the front page", while Ray D'Arcy was also criticised for his choice of words.[13][14][15]

On 29 February 2008, Matt Cooper's The Last Word was the final show to be presented from the old studios. The first show to be presented from the new Digges Lane studio was Friday Night 80s with Phil Cawley from 19:00. The first song played was "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Today FM had a crucial role in the Brian Cowen nude portraits controversy of March 2009, specifically Will Hanafin and The Ray D'Arcy Show.

On 15 October 2011, Today FM confirmed Sam Smyth's Sunday radio show was being dropped. He had been presenting it for 14 years. Smyth had previously offended his bosses by commenting in a newspaper and on television about the Moriarty Tribunal which criticised Today FM owner Denis O'Brien. Smyth said on air the next morning that he had been told not to talk about the end of his show and stopped one of his guests from talking about it too "before someone comes downstairs and pulls a wire we better move onto something else."[16] The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said it was concerned at the development.[17] The Irish Independent, of which Denis O'Brien is a leading shareholder, reported that Anton Savage was being lined up to replace Sam Smyth.[18] Eamon Dunphy subsequently resigned from Today FM's sister station Newstalk, in solidarity with Smyth and because, he said, the radio station's management wanted "dissenting voices" such as Constantin Gurdgiev off the airwaves.[19]


Today FM airs a mixture of popular music and news and current affairs programming. Its main breakfast show is The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, followed by Dermot & Dave. Its afternoon host is Fergal D'Arcy. The afternoon current affairs programme is The Last Word, currently presented by Matt Cooper, followed by Louise Duffy with Lost in Music, & finally Paul McLoone. Weekend shows include Saturday Breakfast with Alison Curtis, Premier League Live and The Phil Cawley Show.

Of note is the station's satirical slot, Gift Grub,[20] a feature broadcast during The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, which is performed by Mario Rosenstock and includes popular caricatures of former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, former Tánaiste Joan Burton, and singers Daniel O'Donnell and Keith Duffy.

Other occasional presenters at the station include Shelly Gray, Muireann O'Connell, Tara Harrison. and Declan Pierce.

Former presenters of Radio Ireland/Today FM include Philip Boucher-Hayes, Mark Byrne, Mark Cagney, Enda Caldwell, Breffni Clack, Bob Conway, Tom Dunne (Pet Sounds), Eamon Dunphy (original presenter of The Last Word), Tony Fenton, Derek Flood, Bob Gallico, Tommy Greene, Anne-Marie Hourihan (originally Eamon Dunphy's co-host), Bill Hughes, Robbie Irwin (weekend sports programs presenter), Mark Kavanagh (dance show), Ann Marie Kelly, John Kelly, Tim Kelly, Stephen Keogh, Tracey Lee, Nails Mahoney (briefly), Marty Miller (now of Radio Nova 100FM), the late Dermot Morgan, Paddy Murray and Liam Mackey (Murray and Mackey), Ian Noctor (newsreader who also for a period presented Dad Rock), Ed Myers, Jim O'Neill, Paul Power, Ita Ryan (The Celtic Reel), John Ryan (original presenter of The Sunday Supplement), Donal Scannell, Jon Troy (Between The Sheets - love songs), Ray Foley, Karl Tsigdinos (The River of Soul) and Al Porter.

Current presenters and shows

The current Today FM schedule and list of shows can be found here.

The weekend schedule is regularly changed at particular times of year to accommodate extra sports programming, such as during the GAA hurling and football championships, when Championship Sunday, hosted by Paul Collins, airs. Similarly, Ross Lindsay's Scrum Saturday during the Six Nations Championship and other periods when the Irish national side is in action.

Outside of the Premier League season, or on weekends without league games, the Saturday afternoon slot is, in the case of 2017, hosted by Muireann O'Connell.

2014–present changes

The lunchtime slot was previously presented by Keith "KC" Cunningham, who left Today FM in April 2014 for family reasons to return to Red FM in Cork.[21] Louise Duffy moved from the Early Breakfast[22] to take over the slot from April until August 2014 when she was succeeded by Dermot Whelan and Dave Moore, who left the Dublin regional radio station, 98FM after twelve years to take over the slot permanently from September 2014 onwards, their show airing for the first time on 1 September 2014 with the show continuing to air every Monday to Friday from midday to 2:30pm.

Duffy had also served as a regular substitute for Tony Fenton's mid-afternoon show throughout 2013 and 2014. Following Fenton's death in March 2015, Duffy took over the show on a permanent basis and presented her own show titled "The Louise Duffy Show" which aired every Monday to Friday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm before ending in July 2016.

Paula MacSweeney previously hosted a Friday Night Anthems show, moving to Saturday nights in April 2014, when her previous show was succeeded by Friday Night 90's hosted by Shauna O'Reilly who works as a researcher on Today FM's flagship breakfast program, "The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show" and Eoghan Doherty with the show airing every Friday night from 10pm to 1am. MacSweeney has since moved to the 5am weekday slot and now hosts Early Breakfast with Paula MacSweeney which airs every Monday to Friday from 5am to 7am while Friday Night 90s ended in July 2016 and was replaced by "Friday Night Anthems" which is hosted by Phil Cawley.

Ray D'Arcy originally hosted the weekday mid-morning slot for 15 years but abruptly left Today FM to rejoin RTÉ with immediate effect in December 2014. Alison Curtis served as an interim host until the appointment of Anton Savage who began his show, The Anton Savage Show on January 26, 2015 which now airs every Monday to Friday from 9am to midday. Savage's previous Sunday morning show, "Savage Show" which aired every Sunday from 11am to 1pm ended and the slot was taken over by comedian Neil Delamere who now presents his own show titled "Neil Delamere's Sunday Best" which airs every Sunday from 11am to 1pm.

On August 17, 2015, Colm O'Sullivan announced that his show The Mix-Up which had aired every Monday-Thursday 7-9pm was ending after three years of being on air and that O'Sullivan himself was retiring from the DJ business after nearly twenty years to take up a position as the new Programme Director of Today FM, O'Sullivan having joined Today FM in February 2013 with his show, "The Mix-Up" airing for the first time on Monday 4 February 2013. Two days, later on August 19, Fergal D'arcy, a radio presenter formerly associated with iRadio, a regional radio station that is primarily located in the North West of the Republic of Ireland was announced as being the newest DJ to join Today FM and also as O'Sullivan's replacement. On August 27, 2015, "The Mix-Up with Colm O'Sullivan" aired for the final time with Cork band, The Frank and Walters serving as the musical guests. Two weeks later, on September 14, 2015, D'arcy's show aired on Today FM for the first time, with Ed Smith continuing to serve on as the producer with the show itself ending in June 2016.

On Friday May 20, it was announced that Fergal D'arcy and Louise Duffy would be permanently exchanging shifts with D'arcy going to Duffy's slot of 2:30pm– 4:30pm while Duffy would take over D'arcy's slot of 7pm - 9pm. D'arcy began his new show, "Off the Charts with Fergal D'arcy" during July 2016 while Duffy's new show, "Lost in Music with Louise Duffy" aired for the first time on Monday, August 8, 2016.

Anton Savage left the radio station on 2 December 2016 due to a disagreement with the radio station, and was replaced by Dermot Whelan and Dave Moore.[23] On 25 January 2017, comedian Al Porter was announced, live on air, as the new host of the midday show, moving into Whelan and Moore's old slot. [24]

On February 13, 2017, Porter's show aired for the first time. However in November 2017, after allegations of sexual misconduct made against Porter, he decided to resign from Today FM with immediate effect. Porter's midday slot was taken over by Muireann O'Connell.[25][26]

Additional Stations

On March 26,2018 Today FM launched sister streaming stations which focus on music from the 80’s, 90’s and alternative indie music, these being Today FM 80’s, Today FM 90’s and Today XM all three stations are available exclusively through and app.

See also


  1. Carolan, Mary (7 November 2011). "Radio presenter declared bankrupt". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2011. Mr Fagan, Merrion Woods, Stillorgan Road, Blackrock in Dublin, was working at the Today FM offices at Digges Lane, Dublin 2, when he was served with the petition by the Revenue Commissioners on October 28th last, it was stated in legal documents
  2. "Contracts Signed for Four Radio Services" (Press release). Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  3. Kenny, Colum (3 February 2009). "What will RTÉ do without Pat?". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  4. "Denis O'Brien's Communicorp to acquire Irish radio stations -Today FM, FM104 and Highland Radio - in €200m deal". Finfacts. 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  5. "Emap sells radio stations to O'Brien". RTÉ News. 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015.
  6. "O'Brien buys Emap radio stations in €200m deal". The Irish Emigrant. 18 July 2007. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  7. "Blow for O'Brien's €200m radio bid". Irish Examiner. 9 October 2007. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  8. Beesley, Arthur (9 October 2007). "Denis O'Brien cannot buy FM104 as part of €200m deal". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  9. Hancock, Ciarán (12 January 2008). "O'Brien seals €200m deal for Emap's three Irish radio outlets". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  10. "98FM & SPIN to move from Malt House to Marconi". 11 June 2017.
  11. Corless, Damian (30 September 2006). "Battle stations". Irish Independent. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  12. "RTÉ and Today FM suffer as regionals thrive". The Sunday Business Post. 22 August 2008. Archived from the original on 16 July 2005. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
  13. "Accidental outing of Derek Mooney may not be so bad after all". Sunday Independent. 23 April 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2006.
  14. "Having a gay old time on Ray's show". Irish Independent. 21 April 2006. Retrieved 21 April 2006.
  15. O'Connor, Brendan (30 April 2006). "Gays and lads gang together to go wild on mild Mooney". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 30 April 2006.
  16. "Today FM's Smyth changes topic during discussion about his own sacking". 16 October 2011. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015.
  17. Taylor, Charlie (16 October 2011). "Smyth show to end on Today FM". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  18. Quinlan, Ronald (16 October 2011). "Savage to replace dropped Smyth on Today FM slot". Irish Independent. Denis O'Brien. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  19. "Eamon Dunphy leaving Newstalk with a bang". 30 October 2011. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  20. "Lasting impression". Irish Examiner. 24 December 2005. Archived from the original on 17 August 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  21. "KC leaving Today FM's lunchtime slot. Rumours abound regarding who's taking over..."
  22. "Louise Duffy takes on Today FM daytimes".
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