09 Dec 2021

Waterford woman lands top role with WLR FM

WLR FM has appointed Julie Smyth as News and Sport Editor

WLR FM has appointed Julie Smyth as News and Sport Editor

Waterford's WLR FM has appointed Julie Smyth as News and Sport Editor.

The Tramore woman, who began her career with the BBC, has recently taken over the position with the award-winning station. 

Julie will be responsible for day-to-day management of the station’s news and sports output, implementing the station’s strategy, and identifying and training new talent. She will also be in charge of evolving the news and sport offering to maximise listenership growth in news and current affairs programming.

'Grew up listening to WLR'

Reacting to her appointment, Julie said she was delighted and honoured to take on the role and said she looked forward to working with staff in meeting the challenges of the future.

"I grew up listening to WLR and did my very first work experience in radio here, so I know how important the station is to the people of Waterford," Julie said.

"Now more than ever, people need information they can trust and that is relevant to them. There is no doubt this is a challenging time for local radio and for journalism, but I'm excited to meet those challenges head on. There's a great team in place, and I'm privileged to join them and to play my part in ensuring that WLR continues to represent the voices of the people in Waterford long into the future."

'Very accomplished journalist'

Announcing the news this week, WLR FM managing director Des Whelan said: "Julie is a very accomplished journalist and broadcaster with over two decades of experience across print, broadcast and digital media. As a former award-winning senior producer and reporter with BBC Northern Ireland, we are delighted that Julie is joining WLR full-time to lead a very talented and enthusiastic news and sports team, and we wish her every success”.

Also paying tribute to the incoming editor, programme director Michael Byrne said: "Julie brings a vast amount of experience to the role.

"Julie has served in a variety of roles in WLR in recent years and has proven to be a leader in ability and in actions. Julie is one of our own in Waterford and we are confident she will guide the news department through the challenges ahead. We are delighted to have Julie on board.”

Aoife Kearns has also joined the WLR team as a multi-platform journalist. Aoife makes the move from regional music station BEAT FM and brings a fresh view on news in a digital age.  

The two new recruits join a full-time team of journalists including Damien Tiernan, Jennifer Long, Sinead Aherne, Eoghan Dalton and Nigel Kelly.

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