Having spent most of this year under contract at a certain workplace, I was forced to listen to Today FM most days. Here’s some thoughts on their typical daily schedule.
Ray D’arcy 9-Noon
I hate Ray D’Arcy with a passion. He really is one of the most irritating people to listen to. There is no issue too trifling that D’Arcy will not waffle on with his inane stupid opinions, pontificating with an idiocy that is truly staggering. He is one of the snarkisest, enraging people on the airwaves. When is isn’t annoying me about the political issues he sounds off on, he’s boring me with his bland segments on whatever issue he’s decided is worthy of his time. He is as biased an interviewer as I have ever heard, softballing the likes of Michael D. Higgins and Martin McGuinness, while going after Dana and Gay Mitchell vehmently. He has an extraordinary anti-religious bias, made worse by his rage when someone claims that he does. Along with his wife and a host of other people just as annoying as he is (a true echo chamber), on and on he goes.
I just can’t overstate it enough. I really, really, don’t like him at all. I don’t remember being this much of an idiot on the Den.
Ray Foley Noon-2.30
I would compare Ray Foley and his gang to a hyperactive child: they may make you laugh with their antics occasionally, but a lot of the time you want them to shut the hell up. Foley is trying way too hard to be a zany radio DJ, American-style, and he only succeeds some of the time, falling way too easily into annoying, repetitive segments of half baked frivolity. Foley is the kind of man who thinks he is hilarious, but really isn’t. Most of the time, it is the people he has on with him who provide the laughs.
That is not to say that these few hours of radio are a complete write-off. They do make me laugh every now and then. But it is far more hit then miss.
Tony Fenton 2.30-4.30
Fenton is just really, really boring, a bog standard DJ who plays the same music over and over again, filling the intervals with the same old talk. I have nothing else to say about him, he is so unexceptional and un-noteworthy.
All three of these shows suffer from the same problem, which is playing the same songs every day, almost at the same time of day. Three or four songs, interchangeable throughout the few months I was there (Rihanna, Red Hot Chilli’s, Sawdoctors) are played in each show without fail. It’s just repetitive, shows no imagination. I recognise that Today FM is simply playing what is popular in the charts, but even they ignore certain artists completely, in favour of others (the aforementioned Sawdoctors being a big example, the station heavily pushing their Christmas single).
Matt Cooper 4.30-7
Much better. Cooper I actually kinda like, even if he does have some bit of bias in his interviewing style, especially on certain economic matters (on which he’s written books). His show does get a bit repetitive at times (every day there was another guest about the Euro crisis, even if there was nothing new to say) but he usually has enough variety to keep things interesting.
Paul McClune 7-late
Dear Lord. McClune claims to play a series of “classics” yet I can only recognise one in every five songs and artists that he chooses to play. A hideous collection of really bad indie crap, some of it so terrible its actually hard to listen to. I mean, the sort of stuff the US Army could be pumping into the cells at Guantanamo.
Overall, it’s pretty bad. Most of the day stuff is poor, or outright annoying, and the schedule is only really saved for a few hours in the evening. One of the only reasons I’m glad to not be working their anymore.