Belfast Telegraph

Citybeat becomes Q Radio: Mixed reception as glitches hit radio station relaunch

By Lesley Houston

People tuning into a newly rebranded Belfast radio station have complained that their listening pleasure was ruined by technical hiccups, with some struggling to receive a clear signal on launch day.

The glitches which marred Q Radio's grand launch on Monday - replacing Belfast Citybeat - including an unscheduled religious programme, have been described as a "storm in a teacup" by its managing director Robert Walshe.

The radio boss conceded a number of listeners had complained on Monday when the new station went live, but stressed all the issues had now been ironed out.

He further confirmed that the religious programme, Faith Matters presented by Bob Huggins, which surprised regular Citybeat listeners a day before Q was officially unveiled over the airwaves the following day, should never have aired for Belfast listeners.

Mr Walshe said it had been intended for its regional listeners, including the north west, Tyrone and Fermanagh, mid-Ulster, mid-Antrim, the north coast and the Mournes, and will not be a regular Sunday feature on Q Radio.

He conceded the Sunday show's airing was down to a "technical issue" and would not be repeated.

Addressing complaints of a poor signal, which some listeners took to a DJ's Facebook page to complain about, Mr Walshe insisted the issue was a "storm in a teacup".

"There were some complaints, mostly from car users who had to retune their sets," he said.

He said the complaints had been received on the first day of transmission on Monday, which he said was due to the station joining the Q network of stations, serviced by its nine transmitters across Northern Ireland.

He stressed no further "major complaints" had been levelled at the station.

"It was mostly just in cars and people just had to turn off their radios and retune their sets, because the cars have memories and they remember the codes and it was resolved."

Listeners first vented their anger on Sunday when the usual musical line-up was interrupted by the religious programme.

They took to posting on DJ Stephen Clements' Facebook page, asking the station to "bin the religious nonsense".

Clements asked for fans to cut the new station some slack, stating the new owners were "tuned in to" the audience.

"Teething troubles are only to be expected. The new local management are really fantastic," he said.

"The new management are very tuned in to what's going on in Northern Ireland."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph