As many as twenty staff members from Dublin-based radio station Phantom FM have been laid off after the board of directors announced the cuts "in order to ensure its long-term viability" of the station.
A number of staff were made redundant - with one month's notice - on St. Valentines's Day, with a small number of staff set to remain at the station. A statement issued yesterday evening confirmed the news, saying that the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland had given permission to the station's board of directors to significantly restructure the business, which directly contributed to the series of lay-offs.
It said: "Phantom 105.2 has competed strongly in Dublin as an alternative rock music station since it launched in 2006. Despite the stations point of difference in music its market position is niche and has been disproportionately affected by ongoing reductions in advertising revenue in an increasingly competitive market."
Trevor Bowen, chairman of Dublin Rock Radio Ltd (the parent company of Phantom FM), said: "Phantom has been a labour of love that has paved the way for many up-and-coming bands over the years and, as a result, the station has a core loyal following. That is testament to each member of the Phantom team – whose personal passion for music shines through on a daily basis. It is with regret that we are announcing the station’s proposed restructuring plan to continue to deliver an alternative music service for young Dubliners. However, in doing so, we are ensuring the future of the offering and we aim to return to growth in the future. I would like to thank the team at Phantom for their ongoing dedication and patience during this difficult time."
Phantom FM initially launched as a pirate station in 1996 and won a full license in 2004. The station has proved to be a hotbed for Irish broadcasting talent, launching the careers of many household names in the Irish radio community.
All of us here at entertainment.ie are tremendously saddened by the news and wish all of our friends at Phantom FM well in this testing time.