Back in late June, Tramore-born Teresanne O’Reilly became Timmy Ryan’s new co-presenter
on WLRfm’s ‘Big Breakfast Blaa’ show, and she’s also working as Assistant Programme Director.
It’s the latest move for the talented broadcaster who last week she spoke about her career to date both on and off the airwaves.
“My parents are Pat (a Tramore AFC stalwart) and Mary and I have one sister, Sinead and one brother, John who lives and works in Hong Kong. He is a doctor of Sport Science and he loves his life out there. I worked in Hong Kong myself for a year in the Deutsche Bank but I returned home just before the big financial crash so I suppose that was good timing!”
Teresanne added: “I was educated in the Ursuline and after completing my Leaving Certificate I went to UCC and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree. I suppose I didn’t know what path I wanted to follow but eventually it became clear to me that radio was the job for me and I spent four wonderful years with Beat 102-103.
“For the past year and a half, I worked for Today FM and that was a great experience but I missed my runs along Tramore Beach with Sinead and many other good friends back home,” stated Teresanne before talking about her life in Dublin and presenting on Today FM
and indeed with Spin 1038 in the capital.
“Yeah, I had been in Dublin for quite a while, and I loved it. It’s a great city with loads going
on and plenty to see and do all the time.
“I didn’t mind living way from home too much either although obviously I missed my friends and family but having lived in Hong Kong that two hour spin down the road was never a hassle, compared to the 18 hour journey home from South East Asia! I loved my job too, but ultimately it was a better job that brought me home,” as she explained.
“I was working within the Communicorp group while I was in Dublin; initially presenting on air with Spin 1038 and generating and developing digital content for the brand. I was also
Editor-in-Chief of their online magazine IN.
“I then progressed to a role with Today FM as part of their daily schedule presenting the Early Breakfast Show as well as working on the Ian Dempsey Show. It was the dream job, or so I thought until WLRfm called!”
She continued: “I had listened to the station since I was very young and despite being happy in Dublin this was an opportunity I could not turn down and after talking to my family I decided to make the decision and come back home.”
Before I moved to Dublin, I’d spent four years with Beat and I got to work across all
departments in the station.
Primarily I worked on air, but I also acted as Promotions Executive during my time there and worked closely with the in-house and agency sales teams. I got to work closely with the programme directors too who really bring everything together and I knew that’s a position I wanted – to be a driving force behind the scenes working across departments pushing the whole station forward.
“So in my new role in WLR, I get to do exactly that. I’ll still be on air co-presenting the Big Breakfast Blaa with Timmy Ryan every morning, but I will also be working directly with the management team behind the scenes as Assistant Programme Director. It’s a challenge I am really looking forward to.”
She believes that the experience she has gained previously with the other radio stations will prove vital in her new role.
Teresanne has always had a deep love for radio and all of the ups and downs that comes with it.
“Back in 2009, I was taking a break from studying for my exams in college when I heard an ad recruiting for new Beat Fleet team members for the summer.
“I was waiting to hear about another summer job at the time and thought, I’ll apply for the Beat Fleet anyway in case the other one falls though – thankfully it didn’t and I was offered both).
“I double-jobbed for the few months but got totally bitten by the radio bug, so once I graduated from UCC, I got stuck in to my job in Beat working on everything from Beat Fleet promotions to assisting the sales and programming teams behind the scenes.
“Now I’m a few years in and that part-time summer job has become a career that I’m really proud of. I didn’t think I’d progress this quickly. So to answer your question, what is my ultimate goal? I genuinely don’t know. I am ambitious, but I just know I want to give this new job everything I can, and I’ll see where things go from there.”
Some people claim that it’s harder for women to succeed in the radio business compared to men. Not so says Teresanne.
“Never once have I felt that my gender has held me back, not just in my career, but in my life. Maybe that’s down to how I was raised at home, or perhaps it’s my co-ed primary school
education, or maybe it’s just naivety on my part because it never occurred to me that being
female could hold you back.
“There are so many people I look up to within the industry and many of them are women. Gabrielle Cummins is the CEO of Beat and is one of the most respected people in radio. The programme director I worked under in Spin is Shona Ryan, and Communicorp (which is one of the biggest radio groups in the world!) is headed by two women; Lucy Gaffney is the Chairperson while Gervaise Slowey is the CEO and group director.
“People think radio is just the voices you hear on air, when in many cases, the men with those voices present shows directed and produced by women, in companies run by women.”
Away from work, Teresanne knows how to relax and take things easy when she is away from the studio.
“I’m always busy with something outside of my day job. Currently, I have one or two business projects in the pipeline which unfortunately I can’t talk too much about just yet, but I’m also busy helping my boyfriend with his new business venture, Evoke German Kitchens which is flying since they opened earlier this year.
“Outside of work completely though, since I’ve come home I’ve been spending loads of time with friends and family, and I’m really looking forward to the summer; running in the evenings, a few swims in the Guillamene or Portally Cove and just making the most of the good life in Waterford!
“The hours I am now working are a lot more sociable also and that makes a huge difference. It’s great to be back home and the challenge is something I am really looking forward to. You never know what is around the corner in life but for now I intend to give my new positions everything I have got and hopefully my decision to return home will prove to be a good one not only for myself but of course for the radio station also. It’s an exciting time for us all.”