Cork’s 96 / C103

Though effectively operating as two separate stations with separate schedules, Cork’s 96FM and C103 are both part of the News Corporation-owned Wireless Group and are considered sister stations as they are both part of the same dual franchise. That is the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland requires that one company operate both licences.


96FM began broadcasting in 1989 as Radio South but had switched to 96FM by 1990. It was licenced to operate in the Cork City and County area from its inception. C103 was launched as County Sound 103 in 1990, a name it retained until the 2008 switch to C103. County Sound’s franchise area was initially limited to north Cork but this was subsequently expanded to include the entirety of the county.


In 1991, the ownership of 96FM and C103 was merged under County Media as it became apparent that the original franchises for the Cork area were not viable. While the stations maintain separate schedules, they share the same management. Though both stations include music and talk content, 96FM places a greater emphasis on the former, while C103 is more talk-oriented.


The owners of County Media sold the company to UTV Media in 2000 for €32.2m. 96FM and C103 subsequently became part of the UTV Media-owned Wireless Radio Group which was sold to News Corporation in 2016.

Key facts

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Content Type

Free content

Data Publicly Available

ownership data is easily available from other sources, e. g. public registries etc.

2 ♥

Media Companies / Groups

News Corporation


Ownership Structure

96 FM and C103 are both owned by Radio County Sound Limited which is owned in turn by County Media Limited. County Media Limited is 100% owned by Anotherway Unlimited Company which is in turn 50% owned by Wireless Radio (Roi) Limited and 50% by Wireless Group Limited (incorporated in Northern Ireland). Since Wireless Group Limited is also 100% owned by the Wireless Group Limited the latter effectively owns 100% of both stations. The ultimate owner of the Wireless Group Limited is News Corporation.

Voting Rights

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General Information

Founding Year

1989 (C96) / 1990 (C103)

Affiliated Interests Founder

Pat Casey, Denis Reading, Brendan Mooney and Peter Cluskey

96FM was originally founded by four former Cork Examiner journalists who bid for the initial Cork City Licence in 1989 as Cork Media Enterprises Limited.The four owned 50% of the share between them with the remainder held by a number of Cork business people.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Kieran McGeary

While still a teenager (educated at De La Salle College) in the late 1980s, McGeary started out his broadcasting career with Crystal Radio, a pirate station in his native Waterford. He studied business and finance at the University of Bedfordshire in the UK, before completing a postgrad in broadcast journalism at Falmouth University. A sequence of roles in local radio followed, working as a journalist  with BBC and ITN stations before becoming Managing Director of The Wolf, a commercial station based in Wolverhampton. He returned to Ireland in 2003 as one of the driving forces behind Beat 102-103, the first regional radio station in Ireland.  He remained with Beat as Chief Executive until 2006 when he left to take on the role of Chief Executive at County Media, owner of both 96Fm and C103FM.

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Emer O’Hea

has been programme editor at 96FM since September 2022. She initially took a Bachelors Degree in Media and English at the University of Limerick between 1997 and 2001 and has studied Spanish at University College Cork. She worked in a number of positions at 96FM between 2002 and 2014 culminating in her role as Senior Producer. In 2014 she moved to rival Cork station Red FM, again as Senior Producer. She remained there until 2022 when she moved back to 96 FM.


Broadcasting House

St Patrick's Place


T23 E183

Telephone: + 353 (0) 818 96 96 96


Financial Information

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Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

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Advertising (in % of total funding)

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Market Share

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Further Information

Meta Data

National audience share is not available because C96 and C103 are local stations serving the Cork market. Within the Cork market C96 has a 22.4% share by minutes listened during weekdays by adults. The figure for C103 is 16.7%. This places 96Fm and C103 in first and third place respectively within the Cork market. The Bauer Media-owned Red FM occupies second place with 21.2%. All figures courtesy Ipsos MRBI.
96FM and C103FM revenues are not reported individually. Wireless Radio (ROI) Limited reports financial results for all six of the Group’s Irish stations cumulatively. According to the Financial Statements for the year ended 3 July 2022, the Wireless Group made a loss of €2.6m on sales of €22.1m. The bulk - €22m of group revenues come from advertising.

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