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WLR named Ireland's Top Local Radio Station for second year in succession

WLR Top StationIt may have been a virtual ceremony this year but that didn’t stop the virtual celebrations for local radio station WLR who lifted 7 awards at Friday night’s national IMRO Radio Awards, including IMRO ‘Local Station of The Year’ for the second year in succession!

WLR had been nominated in 7 different categories, more nominations than any other local station and were delighted with their haul of awards.

These included a first double win for Damien Tiernan who was named Speech Broadcaster of the Year & Current Affairs Show of the Year, making it a bumper year for the Deise Today presenter and his Editor Jennifer Long, plus News Editor Julie Smyth.

The awards ceremony was live streamed this year, presented virtually by comedian and Today FM presenter Dermot Whelan from the RDS in Dublin and celebrated the best of radio talent across the country.

A total of 106 judges took part, all of them drawn from the radio industry across Ireland and beyond. They were required to shortlist from over 650 entries.

Inspired by her own personal experience of lockdown with her children Karen Tomkins’ brilliant children’s story series Big Breakfast, Little Stories, got the Gold nod for Best Short Feature.

WLR received 2 silver awards on the night for Sinead Aherne’s daringly honest documentary “Breast Cancer and Me” about her own personal battle with cancer and Damien Tiernan won silver for News Reporter of the Year.

There was also an award for WLR’s radio drama series “Youthquake” for which the station teamed up with transition year students from 4 Waterford schools, The Ursuline Convent, De La Salle College, Newtown School and The Friary Dungarvan. The radio plays about teenage life beat off competition from professional actors and writers to lifted the Bronze award for Best Drama.

WLR Managing Director Des Whelan welcomed the awards, saying “WLR is very pleased to win 7 IMRO Awards this evening and particularly pleased to retain our Local Station of the Year title.

My congratulations to Damien Tiernan on winning 2 gold awards and to Karen for the gold win. The Station of the Year win underlines the talent and hard work of a wonderful bunch of people who work in the Broadcast Centre. While it has been one of the stations most difficult periods as a business due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is also brought the best out in us and I think the past six months has been possibly our best ever on air and also a period of real progress, so hats off to the management and all working in WLR on being Ireland’s Local Station of the Year”.

WLR’s Programme Director Michael Byrne said the station, despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation, has had a very good year.

“We have produced some excellent award-winning programming that has now been recognised at national level,” he said.

“To win 4 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze award is a fantastic return for us. We have a great, very together and experienced team in place in the station and we are absolutely delighted with the win tonight. It’s a real boost for all involved.”

Accepting the award for Local Station of the Year, Damien Tiernan said the team in WLR are passionate about providing our listenership with programmes that reflect their lives and their interests.

“We work hard to deliver fresh, engaging and informative content both on-air and online.” he said.

The National IMRO awards celebrated their 20th anniversary this year. Sponsored by IMRO and the BAI they mark the best in Irish radio broadcasting while also recognising those who have made contributions to the world of broadcasting over the past year.

 

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