Hot Press partnership with IBI pays off as Irish Music Month wins Best Initiative at IMRO Radio Awards 2022


It was a big night in Kilkenny as the IMRO Radio Awards took place in person for the first time since 2019. Big winners also included Today FM, Cork’s 96FM and WLR FM…

There was great excitement this weekend in Kilkenny as the IMRO Radio Awards returned to the Lyrath Estate in the city. Among the big winners was the heat press partnership with Ireland’s Independent Broadcasters, Irish Music Month, which won the gong for Best Irish Music Initiative.

Supported by 25 radio stations across the country, Irish Music Month’s various activities included the first A New Local Hero award, which was won by charismatic Dublin singer-songwriter Chameleon (pictured above with Hot Press editor Niall Stokes).

His prize stash included the release via Rubyworks of his acclaimed single, “Show Me Where Your Heart Is”, which received wide airplay on all participating stations and confirmed Chameleon as one of Ireland’s brightest young talents. .

Irish Music Month was supported by XL-Retail, MCD Productions, IMRO, RAAP and X-Music and funded by the BAI through its Sound & Vision programme.

“I think everyone involved in the initiative can be proud of what we have achieved with the first Irish Music Month,” heat press editor Niall Stokes reflected upon hearing the news. “When we initially came up with the idea of heat press, there was a general realization that this was a powerful, one that would have the potential to make a real difference to Irish artists. But we needed to gain buy-in from the majority of independent radio stations and build a partnership with Independent Broadcasters of Ireland to make this a meaningful reality. And that would only happen if radio people across the country were completely into the idea.

“That’s why it was so encouraging when first the IBI and then 25 stations came on board. It was really a powerful statement from Irish Radio that there is an opening in the industry. to Irish music and Irish culture. And the response from the artists was amazing too. Being chosen for an IMRO award for Irish Music Month gives the project a boost. Hopefully with the continued support of the BAI, we we will be able to take it to an even higher level in its second year.

Leading the way for 2023, it was announced last week that the BAI had again selected Irish Music Month as one of the projects to be financially supported under the Sound & Vision programme.

Other finalists in the Irish music program or initiative category this year include BBC Radio Ulster Across the Line Presentationwho won silver, and iRadio Saturday sessionswho won bronze.

Meanwhile, the coveted Stations of the Year Awards went to:

Full Service Station of the Year – Today FM
Music Station of the Year – Cork’s Red FM
Local Station of the Year – WLR FM

Presented by Dermot Whelan to a packed house, the first in-person IMRO Radio Awards since 2019 also included the celebration of Hall of Fame inductees Rachael English (RTE Radio 1), Keith Finnegan (Galway Bay FM) and Albert Fitzgerald RIP (Midlands 103).

Galway Bay FM’s Keith Finnegan was inducted into the IMRO Hall of Fame at the 2022 IMRO Radio Awards held at the Lyrath Estate Hotel. Keith is pictured receiving his award from Celene Craig, CEO of BAI. Image Andrés Poveda.

Awards Chairman Chris Doyle said: “The atmosphere tonight was incredible, with the industry celebrating together for the first time in many years. Well done everyone on another year of high quality radio broadcasting across Ireland and congratulations to all the winners recognized tonight.

Eleanor McEvoy, President of IMRO, also extended her congratulations to the stations.

“On behalf of IMR, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the winners of this year’s IMRO Radio Awards,” she said. “We have all witnessed over the past 3 years how much we rely on radio to keep us informed, connected and entertained during very difficult times. The winners of these awards were chosen because of their excellence in broadcasting , and I would like to say a heartfelt thank you for their service to radio in Ireland.

Celene Craig, chief executive of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, highlighted the BAI’s support for the awards.

“It’s wonderful to see the return of the in-person awards night,” she said, “and the BAI would like to congratulate all of the nominees tonight. It’s important to recognize and celebrate creativity and skills of those working in the radio industry.Each year, the IMRO Awards serve to illustrate the breadth of talent in the industry, and the range of categories reflects the diversity of quality programming available to listeners at across the country. The BAI is delighted to continue its support and sends its congratulations to all involved.”

Other notable winners included The Pat Kenny Show who won Current Affairs Show – Full Service; K.C. & Ross 96FM from Cork which won Best Breakfast; Newstalk off the ball who won the Sports Program – Full Service; TEN Radio 1 Getting Freshin’ who won the specialized music program; Dee Woods of Radio Nova who won Radio DJ of the Year; and Dermot Whelan who won Music and Entertainment Presenter of the Year.

Ralph McLean, Neil Prendeville, Gift Grub and Declan Harvey are other big names who will have to find room on the mantel for their 2022 IMRO Awards.

See the full list of winners here.


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