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    RTE move affects emigrants in Britain, beyond

    By Noreen Bowden | February 8, 2008

    RTE has announced that it will shut down its medium wave service on March 24th. This means that those who listen to RTE Radio 1 on the AM dial will no longer have that option. RTE suggests that listeners can turn to FM or longwave.

    RTE says that less than 10% of their listeners listen on medium wave, and suggests that those who do listen “largely based on habit rather than necessity”. Presumably this 10% figure is based on listenership figures for the Republic of Ireland, and does not take into account those who listen in the North and in Britain, where the FM option does not exist.

    Ean is concerned about the effect of this move on emigrants, particularly those in Britain, where the most vulnerable elderly are likely to be disproportionately affected. The medium wave signal also reaches Northern France and the Benelux countries, and interference on the long-wave signal means that for some people, Radio 1 comes in better on the AM dial.

    RTE has pledged to assist the vulnerable elderly in Ireland who may have been depending on the AM service all their lives with vouchers to reduce the cost. They are not, however, offering similar assistance to the vulnerable among the emigrant communities, who are likely to be disproportionately affected by the move.

    Will the loss of Radio 1 on medium wave affect you? Do you have an opinion on this issue? Ean is eager to hear it. Drop a line to Noreen Bowden at, or use the comment feature below.

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