Clare FM has announced the retirement of Liam O’Shea, after 22 successful years at the helm, as Managing Director/CEO of both Clare FM and Tipp FM Radio Stations.
The Cloughjordan native joined Clare FM in 1998 and during his tenure there has overseen the station’s many successes at Local, National and International level.
Before joining Clare FM Liam spent fourteen years in RTE and another fourteen years in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan working in Radio and Television with Channel 3 Television in Saudi Arabia and with CNN during the Gulf War. Returning to Ireland to take charge of the Clare radio franchise, he oversaw the modernisation of the station’s infrastructure, culminating in Clare FM’s relocation to state-of-the art studios in Francis Street, Ennis in 2011, which were opened by the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
In 2012, when all media organisations were dealing with the challenges of the recession, Liam brokered a unique and innovative alliance between Clare FM and Tipp FM thereby reducing costs for both stations considerably through the sharing of non-broadcasting roles. Under the arrangement Liam acted as CEO for both stations. The successful operation of the alliance led the following year to Clare FM acquiring the majority shareholding in Tipp FM.
Chairman of Tipp FM, Mr. Michael Crowley paid tribute to Mr. O’Shea saying: “Liam’s association with Tipp FM has been a critical factor in the success of our station over the last decade. The station is consistently the number one choice for listeners in the county and this is due in no small part to Liam’s efforts in bringing Tipp FM and Clare FM together”.
In addition to his roles with Clare FM and Tipp FM, Liam is a leading figure in the Irish radio industry. He was also one of the founders and the first Chairman of Spin South West. He is also a co-founder and former Director of Newstalk. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2013 in recognition of his industry achievements. In recent years, Liam has been a member of the Shannon Group Board.
Commenting on his imminent retirement Liam said: “It has been the most amazing and enjoyable journey and adventure for me; when I took on the role at Clare FM on my return from the Middle East, I certainly did not foresee that I would spend 22 years here but it’s been an incredibly enjoyable time and I have been extremely fortunate over those years to have worked with such a talented team in a county that is so rich and proud of its heritage.”
“I want to thank sincerely the people of Clare for their continued belief in and support for Clare FM as a trusted media source. Clare FM has one great community out there, Clare people and, indeed, non-Clare people not just here in the Banner County but right across the world who week-in, week-out continue to keep the dial turned our way and for that I’m truly grateful.”
Mr O’Shea also thanked the Board of Clare FM for its support over the years. “I want to thank the Board for its support down through the years and the staff who are an amazing collection of dedicated and hard-working people committed to their craft. I leave with great memories and look forward to the next phase of the journey and achieving other goals over the coming years”.
Clare FM Chairman, Maurice Harvey said: “Liam has steered Clare FM through some extremely challenging times for the radio and media industries in Ireland. The station has benefited from his deep understanding of all aspects of the radio business, and his appreciation of the role local radio can play in daily Irish life”.
On an interim basis, management of both stations will continue under the existing management team with active support from the Boards of both stations.