NSR 105

The Beginning

NSR 105 was set up in October 1991 by Kevin Branigan and Ronan Scanlan and rose from the ashes of Community Network Radio - an initiave that had planned to apply for a community radio licence for the Stillorgan, Blackrock and Foxrock areas. Following the failure of the Independent Radio and Television Commission to issue ‘town’, ‘neighbourhoud’ and ‘community’ licences’ in the early 1990s, the founders of CNR decided to launch an unlicenced operation. NSR 105 launched, after several weeks of testing, on October 30th 1991 on 105.1 Mhz FM. Several frequencies had been considered, including 103.8 but, as that had been used for temporary college stations, 105.1 was thought to be a better long-term option. The launch of the station was preceded by a long period of testing, in mono, on 103.8FM and, later, 105.1 FM while the studios were being constructed.

The name NSR was intended to stand for New Southside Radio. In reality, the owners had ‘found’ a jingle package from a US station called WNSR. With the ‘W’ expertly cut out, the name NSR was chosen and history was made!

The station’s original lineup included: John McKensie, Ronan Scanlan, Ronan Clinton, Mike Ormond, Roxanne Redmond, Gerry Gallagher and Colm Houlihan. Such was the smaller power used by unlicenced pirate stations at the time that the station’s 10 watt signal travelled well around the locale, and into the city centre and northside of the city. It was a different era for radio than the current day, and the launch of NSR was a reasonably exciting event in Dublin pirate circles – as the launches of Sunset Radio and Coast Radio had been earlier in 1991. DLR was considered to be the largest unlicenced station on at that stage and was attracting a good amount of press coverage and a big listenership. DLR had started in 1990 and had a powerful signal on 106 FM (previously 105.9 FM). At that time, the only two licensed radio stations in Dublin were 98FM and FM104 and both were exceptionally boring and played virtually the same music, catering for a ‘classic hits’ format.

NSR was using a Dynamix mixing console (formerly used by KLAS 98.5) and a Veronica 10 watt transmitter, fed into a ‘folded' dipole antenna; the station continued broadcasting on 105.1 throughout early 1992. It was an exciting time for music. There was a great deal of new dance music coming out, as well as some great chart music and the existing Dublin radio stations, 98FM and FM104 were playing none of it. In fact, they would wait up to four months before playing even the safer songs in the Top 40 chart – it was as if they were afraid of shocking their listeners by playing anything new!

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