The two Dublin-based national independent radio stations, both owned by Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp company, have been in talks with Cork Opera House management for several months about the project.
The new studio replaces Newstalk’s existing studio on Opera Lane, which will revert to commercial use.
The studio has been developed in a section of the disused Half Moon Theatre space, to the rear of the Opera House. The building hosted its first broadcasts last week but a formal launch is not expected to take place for some weeks.
Newstalk began broadcasting from its Opera Lane studio six years ago. Its lunchtime news and current affairs programme, Lunchtime with Jonathan Healy, is broadcast up to three times a week from the studio.
However, it is understood the terms of the joint venture includes specific commitments from both stations that will see other top broadcasters from right across their schedules broadcasting a set amount of hours from the new Cork studio.
The chairman of Cork Opera House, Damian Wallace declined to discuss the financial aspects of the partnership but said it was a win-win for all involved.
“This partnership is a major boost for the theatre and will help us build a greater national profile. We see this as a relationship we can build on and we look forward to developing other aspects of it,” he said.
Top acts performing in the Opera House are expected to feed in to radio shows being broadcast from the studios, and it’s also hoped to broadcast more national events live from the Opera House.
The partnership will not affect the theatre’s existing media partnership with Cork-based RedFM.