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technology April 2008 | Vol: I | Issue: 6 Rs. 50/-

India’s first radio monthly

The Ultimate Music Experience Harshad Jain 20 Gungunate Raho Nishant Mittal 23

26, 29 Host Talk Dheena, BIG 92.7 FM; Kaushi, Hello 106.4 FM Technology Mobile Phones Spell Success for Radio Advertising The Growing Radio Buzz




29 - 31 July 2008 Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

Block Your Calendar Today!

editorial Bridging the Gap Communication is the key to better understanding and relationship building. Radio Duniya believes in bringing together the industry and the policy makers, to discuss issues and formulate ideas effectively, in order to propel the growth of radio in the country. FM radio broadcasting due to its versatility is considered as the main medium to provide entertainment, information and education. The issue being raised is that the benefit of such advancements should also be extended to other smaller areas not covered so far. Moreover, demand of the local content is increasing because India is a vast country with mixed population. There is a pressing need for expanding FM broadcasting keeping in view the size of the country. Thus, demand for additional FM radio channels is also picking up. In addition to country wide spread of FM, the subjects relating to FDI, permitting News and current affairs, networking in FM broadcasting, and reduction of license fee in certain identified areas also need to be addressed. It is with this objective that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting sought recommendations from TRAI on issue of policy for FM radio broadcast. The authority has in-turn sought suggestions from all the stakeholders. To facilitate this process and in line with our aim to be the voice of the industry, we bring forth the views of the industry players on these issues. Our attempt is to present the industry opinion, in the best possible manner, to the policy makers and the readers at large. Hope the industry voice reaches the right authorities and their views are incorporated in the policy framework. Looking forward to the continued support of all stakeholders in the future!

Ravi Gupta Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Ravi Gupta President Dr. M P Narayanan Group Directors Maneesh Prasad Sanjay Kumar Marketing Team Bharti Malhotra Sr. Manager Marketing Bharat Jaiswal Sales Executive Email:

Content Team Sanjana Sharma, Research Associate Ayesha Khanom Research Assistant Design Team Bishwajeet Kumar Singh Chandrakesh Bihari Lal (James) Om Prakash Thakur Web Programmer Zia Salahuddin Amit Pal Anil Kumar Santosh Kumar Singh Shyam Kishore

Subscriptions & Circulation Lipika Dutta Manoj Kumar Prabhat Tripathi Editorial and Marketing Correspondence Radio Duniya G – 4, Sector 39, NOIDA 201301, India Tel: +91-120-2502180-85 Fax: +91-120-2500060 Email: Web: Printed by Vinayak Print Media, Noida, Gautam Budh Nagar (U.P.) India Email:

It is hoped that Radio Duniya will serve to foster a growing network by keeping the community up-to-date on many activities in this wide and varied field. Your involvement in providing relevant information is essential to the success of this endevour. Radio Duniya does not subscribe to the views expressed in the publication. All views expressed in this issue are those of the contributors. It is not responsible for any loss to anyone due to the information provided.

Radio Duniya is being published by Elets Technomedia pvt ltd. in collaboration with Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS ) Š Elets Technomedia Pvt Ltd. (

knowledge for change


April 2008

Cover Story Industry Opines



Industry Updates Campaign

20 35


CR News

26 23



Harshad Jain CMO, WorldSpace


Gungunate Raho !!! Nishant Mittal CEO, Radio Misty



Dheena Radio Host, BIG 92.7 FM

Radio Host Should Sound Genuine Kaushi Radio Host, Hello 106.4 FM

Relevant Content and Talent Development

The Growing Radio Buzz




Mobile Phones Spell Success for Radio Report by TNS

Community Radio

Host Speed Dheena



Station Talk The Ultimate Music Experience




Radio with a Difference



Voice of Rural People

Radio Jamia FM 90.4

National Workshop on Community Radio in Bangladesh

Dear Sir/Madam,


Firstly, I should congratulate the Radio Duniya Team for doing such a wonderful job, both in terms of the magazine and for organising the very successful Radio Duniya conference. Your publication is a great learning tool to know how the radio industry is doing and what should be the measures to increase the pace of radio or to make radio better than television and print.

First of all, let me congratulate the entire team of Radio Duniya for such a fantastic job and bringing out a superb magazine every month, which covers the whole radio industry.

With best compliments and wishes, Shameek Nag Lodestar Universal

I feel that if your magazine starts advertising the job openings in radio sector it would be a great help to people like us who have always been looking for an appropriate opening in the radio industry, but never get to hear anything about the vacancies. Regards Anaya Saha

Dear Mr. Ravi Gupta, Let me congratulate you and your team on behalf of the entire Big FM Agra Station for giving a common platform to the entire radio industry to interact and share. Radio Duniya is a fantastic initiative, which will undoubtedly help all the radio professionals to be updated and well informed regarding the latest in the industry. Looking forward for some great stuff in next issue of Radio Duniya. Warm Regards Hanumant Singh Big 92.7FM, Agra

Dear Radio Duniya Team, The Radio Duniya magazine is a great attempt by you guys to bring to the forefront the issues that are of importance to the radio industry. I would also like to take this opportunity to applaud the effort put in by the entire team for the Radio Duniya 2008. Kudos to you for pulling out an event of this magnitude. It will get better from here! All the best, Vinay K. S. Manek Radio City 91.1 FM, Delhi Hey Radio Duniya team,

Hi, I just happened to chance upon your website and am pretty happy that there are sites which are exclusively monitoring and reporting on the radio industry. It was a pleasure reading your magazine, feels great to see a radio dedicated publication. I’ve been with 107.1 FM Chennai for 2 years and am in my 4th year with 101.3 FM in Bangalore. You could add me to your radio panel too. I could certainly offer my inputs where required. Cheers Sanjay 101.3 FM, Bangalore Hi there,

I absolutely love your magazine. It gives me all the latest information of the radio industry in the country and is guiding me in understanding radio better. I want to become a radio jockey and Radio Duniya has become my most trusted guide and closest friend in this wonderful radio journey. Regards, Chaitanya Bangalore

TALK2US Send your feedback and job openings to us

I would like to congratulate Radio Duniya for bringing out a fabulous magazine that offers all the information, happening and issues of the radio industry to the people. It is truly a great magazine. Hats off to the team behind it! Regards, Aman Vashishtha Big 92.7 FM, Amritsar April 2008 | Radio Duniya

TRAI released its recommendations, so as to incorporate modifications, if any, in the new framework for FM radio broadcasting Phase III. This story is an attempt to bring forth the industry views and opinions on these recommendations. We hope that this attempt, will be helpful in bridging the gap between the industry and the Government so that it will be beneficial for the future of FM radio broadcasting in India

The radio industry in India is currently going through a very crucial phase of development and evolution. Radio has no doubt, announced its arrival in the media scene in India, but has a long road to cover before it can reach the heights of popularity which has been achieved by its counterparts like television and newspapers. Pricewaterhouse Coopers estimates that the radio industry is likely to become Rs 1400 crore industry by the year 2010.

All India Radio (AIR) was the sole broadcaster when radio became operational in India. The first phase of private sector involvement in FM radio broadcasting was initiated by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India in the year 1999. The objective behind this was to attract private agencies to add on to the

efforts of AIR in disseminating information by operationalising FM radio stations that provide programmes of relevance with a special emphasis on local content, increase content generation, and improve quality of accuracy in reception. The last few years have seen a tremendous growth in FM radio stations in India and till date 205 stations are fully functional and many more are slated to come up very soon. Radio industry has witnessed two phases of licensing for setting up radio stations and there is already a talk about the third phase. During phase I, a total of 108 channels were offered to private agencies in 40 cities. One channel in each of these cities were earmarked to broadcast educational content. 101 applications were received, out of which 37 could deposit the money required for operations. However, only 21 private channels could get operationalised during this phase. Based on the experience of phase I, the Government of India introduced the Phase II with certain modifications on 13th July, 2005. In this phase, a total of 337 channels were put up for bidding encompassing 91 cities across the country. Letters of Intent (LOI) were issued to 245 channels and out of this 136 channels have become operational Key Issues:•

News and current affairs in FM

FDI limit in radio operations

Multiple licensing and intermixing of frequencies

License tradability and networking among stations

Entry of other entities in radio operations

Basis of classification for licensing


Subsidy to operators in

till now. Recently, the Government invited bids for 97 vacant slots. The city of Dehradun got an allocation of four slots. Private FM broadcasting will soon be extended covering 92 cities in total. In the Tenth Five Year Plan (2002 – 2007) the objective was to expand the coverage of television and radio services to the underserved areas, particularly north eastern states, border regions, hilly terrain and enhance population coverage of FM radio broadcast from 30% to 60%. The plan also stipulated that private operators be encouraged to provide FM radio service in metros and smaller cities. An element of revenue sharing was introduced for FM licenses. The Sub-Group on Information and Broadcasting while formulating the 11 th five year plan (2007 – 2012) noted that FM coverage remains at a level of 40% by population as against the 10th Plan target of 60%. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India has sought recommendations of TRAI on issues of allowing news and current affairs, multiple ownership, tradability of licenses, increase in FDI in FM radio, networking and multiple channel ownership in a city, etc. so as to incorporate modifications, if any, in the new framework for FM radio broadcasting Phase III as broadcasting is a telecommunication service under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act. They have also forwarded the report of the Broadcasting Engineering Consultants India Limited ( BESIL) and a representation from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) regarding augmentation of private FM broadcasting to TRAI along with references.

Monica Nayyar Patnaik Director, Radio Choklate 104 FM

News and current affairs in FM Among the countries where radio is an important tool for communication, India is perhaps the only country where broadcast

Broadcast news of national and international importance without any mention of local news does not have any significance to its listeners Monica Nayyar Parnaik of news and current affairs is not allowed in FM radio. Nonetheless, this can change very soon if the Government decides to implement t h e T R A I r e c om m e n d a t i on s for allowing news broadcast. However, if we observe the content of any of the FM stations April 2008 | Radio Duniya

it is clearly evident that news and current happenings are being discussed in some form or the other. Allowing broadcast of news can help the stations in offering varied content and highlight local issues. At present there is no regulatory body in place, for monitoring content in FM radio. The industry argument that a monitoring body is not required, as most frequencies are operated by existing media companies, who run networks responsibly does not hold water. Just because a company runs their other media networks successfully does not necessarily mean that the same will hold true for radio, which is a very sensitive medium. The advantages of broadcasting news is undeniable, but all this should be done with a monitoring body looking after the contents. “In the interest of listeners, news and current affairs must be allowed on FM radio. Information requirements of a large section of population, lacking access to information through other means like television, Internet, etc. can be conveniently met, through FM radio only. Also there is no additional cost involved here for the listener”, says Harrish Bhatia, Business Head, MY FM.

Harrish M Bhatia Business Head, 94.3 MY FM

Due to the huge reach that radio has, it can become a great source of news and information to a large section of population that has access only to radio. Allowing news and current affairs on air will surely help operators in diversifying content and their programme format. Broadcasters feel that considering the immense reach of radio, not allowing the broadcast of news and current affairs is something that goes against the basic principle of radio broadcast besides hampering the growth of the radio in India. TRAI recommends that broadcast of news and current affairs should be allowed on FM radio. One clause in the recommendation says that the content for news and current affairs programmes should be taken from an approved source. According to Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Director, Radio Choklate, this is not of much significance to broadcasters who cater just to the local areas. Agencies through which approved news can be obtained do not contain local news. So, for a station to broadcast news of national and international importance without any mention of local news will have no significance to its listeners. Says Monica, “Allowing news on FM is good and it will be an added advantage for broadcasters. However, local news and happenings must also find mention here as that will be more relevant to local listeners”.

Nishant Mittal CEO, Radio Misty 94.3 FM FDI limit in radio operation One of the TRAI recommendations in the consultation paper says, that the currently permitted FDI limit of 20% should be increased to 26% for stations that choose to broadcast news and current affairs. It further says that stations that opt not to broadcast news and current affairs programmes should be permitted 49% FDI. Undoubtedly, facilitating more foreign investment in radio will usher in a new phase in broadcasting where more high end resources can be used. By and large this recommendation has been appreciated and applauded by the industry, but the views expressed in this regard are varied.

Government can stipulate that the administrative control must rest with Indian shareholders M V Sreyamskumar

Nishant Mittal, Chief Executive Officer, Radio Misty, expressing his opinions on this says, “This is a welcome suggestion by TRAI, but irrespective of whether a station 

The general perception of the industry is that inflow of more money is a good sign, as this is required for a growing industry like radio. With the input of more money, stations will have access to high end resources, which will help Apurva Purohit in streamlining CEO, Radio City 91.1 FM the broadcasting process. The decides to air news and current move will also help in bringing affairs programme or not, the about a uniformity in foreign FDI limit should be 49% for all investments to the media industry stations”. as a whole. This will mean easier fund raising for broadcasters, Currently, FM radio is still at which will aid in the overall a very nascent stage in India. development of the industry and Pouring in of money from outside also bring about a uniformity to the country will fuel further the media industry as a whole. growth and reaching the break even point will surely become M u l t i p l e l i c e n s i n g a n d easy. intermixing of frequencies Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Director, Radio Choklate, sharing her views on this says, “Increasing the FDI limit is a very positive move. However, the gap between allowing 26% FDI as against 49% for non news broadcasting stations is too much, this should be less”. Some industry players voiced that the FDI in radio industry should be made in line with the FDI permitted in the print and electronic media. On the security concerns raised by some quarters due to an increase in FDI, M V Sreyamskumar, Director Marketing & Electronic Media, Mathrubhumi Group opines, “FDI limit should be raised to 49%, but the Government can stipulate that the administrative control must rest with Indian shareholders, and all senior executive positions be held by resident Indian citizens”.


The issue of intermixing of frequencies which makes reception of signals difficult for stations needs to be addressed urgently. Signal interference is happening with many radio stations and the main reason for this is the fact

The FM radio industry

no regulatory authority in place, so broadcasters that have more funds are using high powered transmitters to capture the signal alloted to them. This automatically means that the operator who is using low powered transmitter will not be able to transmit the programmes properly. Tarun Katial, Chief Operating Officer, BIG 92.7 FM expressing his concerns on the issue of intermixing of frequencies says, “ This can be avoided if one particular frequency is alloted to one operator, not only in metros, but also in small towns”. Based on the recommendations given by BECIL, the Ministry has allocated identical frequencies to various stations owned by the same license holder, in some cases disregarding the mandatory minimum distance separation between two stations says Sreyamskumar. Operators in Metro cities, were required to form a consortium and co-locate their transmitters and transmit the same power (between 10KW and 20KW). This would reduce the inter frequency seperation requirements from 800 Khz to 400 Khz, thereby increasing the number of available frequencies. Expressing her views on this, Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City,

in India is too new to have multiple licenses Anil Srivatsa

that one particular signal is being alloted to different players. What is very much required right now for the industry is a regulatory body like Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India (BR AI) to keep a tab on the frequencies being allotted, the content being broadcast and also the technology being used. At present as there is

M V Sreyamskumar Director, 94.3 Club FM April 2008 | Radio Duniya

Anil Srivatsa COO, Meow 104.8 FM says “There should not be any limitations on the number of channels operating in a city, especially with the opening up of news and current affairs.” There should be guidelines in place for the same so that the growth in the field of radio does not get hampered. Signal interference is happening and to avoid this the Government must consult the experts in this field before frequencies are being alloted. Elaborating on this, S. Keerthivasan, Business Head, HT

The industry will do lot better if tradability is permitted under strict guidelines. Anil Srivatsa Music and Fever FM Entertainment Co. Ltd. says, “The Ministry should set up an expert body (with industry representation) to study international practices. We should look at the systems being used in other countries, where the number of stations is much more and try to implement them in India.” With the Government nod to start community radio in India, it has opened up the prospect for more

broadcasters to enter in this field. Expressing his views on this issue, Anil Srivatsa, Chief Operating Officer, Radio Today, says that there are various technology options available to solve this issue. Operators must find out about this and make use of it to avoid the problem of intermixing of frequencies. There is a growing demand by the industry that they be allowed to operate more than one channel in a city. The argument given in favor of this is that, with more channels, operators would be able to target listeners of particular genres, as prevailing in the television industry today. Keertivasan feels that, operating multiple channels in a city is welcome as listeners will get a different fare in terms of content.

be allowed. One clause in bidding for a license says that only one license per city can be applied for by one bidder. The license had a validity of 10 years and was issued on a non exclusive basis for free to air broadcasting, excluding the broadcast of news and current affairs. Anil Srivatsa, COO, Radio Today, says “Tradability should be allowed under certain considerations, which needs to be deliberated. Market cap of how many licenses to be owned by an operator could be one of them. However, it is too early for monopolies or duopolies. The industry will do lot better if this is permitted under strict guidelines”. Networking among different stations is not allowed by the Government. Initially, when the Government invited private parties to enter to the field of radio broadcast in India, the sole purpose was to supplement the efforts of All India Radio with special emphasis on local content. Allowing networking among different channels will mean that this very purpose will be defeated. The licensees were not permitted to carry out networking of FM broadcasting stations provided, however, on special occassions networking may be done on prior written approval of the licensor.

However, Anil is not in favour of issuing multiple license to one operator in a city. Elaborating on this he says “The FM radio industry in India is too new to have multiple licenses. Gradually this can be done, and it can be based on content differentiation and the use of low powered transmitter by the single operator.” License tradability and networking among stations On the issue of tradability of licenses, the Government has clearly stated that this will not

S Keerthivasan Business Head, Fever 104 FM 11

Balendran Kandeban Head of Creative & Marketing, Aahaa 91.9 FM

Anil says that networking among stations should be permitted, but with a percentage cap on it up to about 50% of the programming. Entry of other entities in radio operation At present, in India, the activities relating to the broadcasting sector, which include owning a TV or a radio channel as well as its distribution through various distributing platforms, are mainly in the hands of Prasar Bharti (an autonomous body created by an Act of Parliament) and the private sector. The Government has received several applications for operating radio from entities like State Governments, urban and local bodies and Panchayati Raj bodies. Allowing such entities will mean that a completely new category of stations will come up and the current scenario of FM radio broadcast in India is not conducive for this. The commercial feasibility of radio stations is completely dependent on the station’s potential to provide a viable advertising platform to the marketers. If the Government opens up broadcasting to these newer players, it will only end up adding more confusion the existing FM scenario. Anil feels that operating private FM radio stations is business oriented and entities like State Government, Panchayati Raj or religious bodies are not private entities, so they should not enter this sector. 12

Community radio licenses are a p e r f e c t place for such organizations, H o w e v e r , decentralizing AIR (which has two FM frequencies Rainbow 102.6 FM and Gold 106.4 FM), one of them could serve the needs of the government/local bodies.

Viewing the entire thing, Rajeev Nambair, President and Chief Operating Officer, Hello FM says, “This is not an advisable move, given the fact that AIR is already available for the Government. Also, the frequency that is available now is not adequate. We private stations, are here to disseminate news and information”. Some industry players support the view that such entities be allowed to enter the sector of broadcasting under the same rules and regulations as applicable to private operators. Panchayati Raj bodies can be allowed to broadcast programmes that highlight the issues of their area, which will be in the line of community radio.

promoting a certain religion while demoting the others. Unless there is a regulatory body in place for regulating the content, allowing these entities to enter the broadcasting sector can be dangerous. Balendran Kandeeban, Head of Creative and Marketing, Aahaa FM feels that these category of broadcasters do not fall under the business model and their objective is entirely different. He further adds, “Even if these bodies are allowed to undertake broadcasting, disputes can easily arise in regards to their motive in doing so, irrespective of the fact that broadcasting could be used to spread goodwill.”

Entities be allowed to enter the sector of broadcasting under the same rules and regulations as applicable to private operators

Differing from the general industry view, Ke e r t h i v a s a n i s o f the opinion that such entities should be permitted license for broadcasting. He feels that FM radio can be a very useful medium to the poorest of the poor to give out information o n v a r i o u s Government schemes. If a religious body is allowed permission, there is a risk that the station could be misused by using it for

Rajeev Nambiar President & COO, Hello 106.4 FM

April 2008 | Radio Duniya

Basis of classification for licensing Cities are classified into five divisions based on population in phase I. All the metro cities come under the category A+, cities with population of 20 Lakhs come under category A, cities where the population is less than 20 but greater than 10 Lakhs are category B, population in city where it is below 10 Lakhs but more than three Lakhs are in category C while D category cities are those having a population below three Lakhs. There is a general view among the industry players that categorisation should be done on a district basis and also

Clubbing together into a bouquet of state-wide frequencies might be a good idea. Tarun Katial on the basis of population as is the current practice. In Phase II the target of the Government was to cover 60% of population and 40% of the geographical area. Rajeev says that classification should be done on their market potential value, factor proximity to the existing market, need for local entertainment/engagement, size and spread, besides the recognition as a district capital. So, based on this aspect, Chennai cannot match Mumbai as category A+, ideally it should be A! Industry operators want to enter the smaller towns and for this, they recommend that the Government should make things conducive to them at the categorisation level itself. Elaborating on this Tarun says that an individual small town may not be economically viable, so clubbing it together into a bouquet of state-wide frequencies might be a good idea. This will ensure the overall viability of

all the frequencies under the bouquet and this clubbing should be done on a state wide basis not a district basis. A few operators were clearly of the opinion that they are in this field to earn revenue, so the classification has to be done based on the business revenue potential. Balendran says that none of the private operators are running a charity, and as businessmen they look for revenue. Echoing similar views Nishant says, that the classification should be on the basis of population and income index. Some other parameters for categorisation as put across by the industry includes, district, GDP, per capita income, geography and market potential value basis. According to them, this will help in bringing more revenue and improve the quality of programmes. Subsidy to operators in remote areas Radio is still a growing industry in India, in certain areas like Jammu and Kashmir and the North East, private players have not yet been

Low business potential, besides other social and geographical issues deters the industry

able to operate fully due to several constraints. To ensure that the FM revolution reaches all parts of

Tarun Katial COO, BIG 92.7 FM

India, TRAI has recommended the relaxation of the annual license fees to operate FM in these areas. During the Phase II bidding it was seen that not many players were interested in these areas given the low business potential and other social and geographical issues. By and large the industry is of the opinion that relaxation of license fees in these regions is probably a step in the right direction for developing FM broadcast in these areas. Apurva is of the opinion that license fee relaxation is a very positive move and it will certainly result in the development and operation of private FM radio in these parts of the country. Tarun says, “Another requirement is the setting up of boosters in the region, given that the terrain is hilly and hence the need for clearer transmission�. The Government can also consider granting special concessions to other similar areas like Andamans, Lakshwadeep and other D category towns as the private players are reluctant to bear high costs, including the steep license fees, feels Sreyamskumar. Annual license fee takes up large chunk of the cost of operating an FM station, so lowering the license fees will certainly help broadcasters meet the break even point earlier. 13

The subsidy if given will at best be 4% - 6% of the license fee and this is certainly not enough, feels Rajeev. He is of the view that this support should be extended to music royalty, incentives to advertisers, Government sponsored advertisement and the rationalisation of the bank interest as this will help in bringing about better fidelity from operators. Balendran feels that the relaxation in license fees should not be given. He however says, “If in future, the Government permits the broadcast of news and current affairs porgrammes in FM radio, perhaps this relaxation can be validated. This is for the simple fact that areas like Jammu and Kashmir are areas of central importance with regard to the border dispute. So, scarcity of monetary resources must not be an obstacle in the process of conveying information�.

Conclusion One view that came across very strongly in the forefront during our attempt is that broadcast of news and current affairs must be permitted on FM radio. The basic principle of radio broadcast is to disseminate information to the listeners, and this principle cannot be fulfilled till news and current affairs programmes are allowed to be broadcast. Radio is the sole means of information and communication in several parts of India where technology like Internet and regular supply of electricity to watch television have not yet reached. In such a scenario it becomes all the more important for the Government to allow the broadcast of news due to the simple fact that there should not be any obstacle to the process of conveying of information to the general public in India. The issue of allowing maximum permitted FDI of 49% in FM radio broadcast in-line with other media is something that the industry supports wholeheartedly. The Governments view point to allow 49% to stations that do not air news and current affairs also holds ground considering the fact that radio is a very sensitive medium. To tackle the issue of threat to security and integrity of the country, the Government can make it mandatory that the the administrative control will rest with Indian citizens. Undoubtedly, this is a very positive move with regard to the entry of more funds and ultimately it is the listeners who will benefit from this. The FM sector in India is certainly poised for bigger things and both the Government and the private players must make sure that they utilise the potential of this medium to the maximum. In our attempt to bring forward the industry opinion, we came across many views and counter views to the TRAI recommendations. One thing that came out very clearly during this, is the fact that the industry needs a regulatory body in place to look after the various concerns it is facing. This regulatory body must consist of professionals, who have a thorough knowledge about all the aspects, related to the field of radio broadcasting in India. Once there is a regulatory body in place many things can be taken care of and FM radio broadcasting can be streamlined. Through this attempt, we hope that we have been able to put across what the industry feels and has to say about the different issues for which TRAI has sought recommendations. If any rules are being framed by the Government, the input of the people of that sector are very crucial to ensure that they get exactly what is required to serve the public in an efficient manner. For getting a complete copy of TRAI recommendations log on to:


April 2008 | Radio Duniya

Radio Mantra turns one G Srinath quits as Club FM COO G Srinath has put in his papers as Chief Operating Officer at Club FM, Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Company’s FM radio venture. He had joined Club FM in February 2007. Srinath is all set to start his own advertising agency, called Hammer India. The agency is set to commence operations from April 1. Confirming the development, Srinath said, “We are already on the verge of signing two clients, but I can not disclose the names of those clients at this point of time.” At Club FM, Srinath had spearheaded the business and played a pivotal role in the high-decibel launch of Club FM in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kannur. He has 18 years’ experience in both advertising and sales. He began his career in sales with ITC, before joining the sales operation of Shaw Wallace. Prior to joining Club FM, Srinath was Head of Mudra’s Kochi branch. He was with the agency for 10 years where he handled clients such as Manorama Classified, Federal Bank, Muthoot Finance, Greojit Financial Services and Pankaj Kasturi.

Celebration, cake, masti & flashback of cherishable moments was the mood of Radio Mantra team, during the first birthday of Radio Mantra’s 1st station in Hisar. The studio flashed “on-air” on 6th March 2007. “Victorious & in high spirits” thats what Rahul Gupta, Director, SPML, was feeling on the occasion of the 1st anniversary of Radio Mantra’s first FM station. As far as on-ground activities go, Radio Mantra began placard promotion on 6th March 2008. The sky was painted red in Hisar, with birthday balloons reading out birthday greeting to Radio Mantra. This was accompanied with a re-branding activity with stephny covers and other branded merchandise. “It gives immense pleasure and satisfaction as team of Radio Mantra has successfully been able to provide good quality music listening experience to Hisar’s listeners and able to connect with emotions of people and hit the airwaves with the interactive shows,” said Rupali Khanna, Chief Technical Officer, Radio Mantra. Acording to Kanwar Sameer, Programming Head, Radio Mantra “It feels great to be a year old. I would like to thank the people of Hisar who helped us rock the city in our own special way. Mantr-isation of Hisar is still on”.

BIG 92.7 FM gets new cluster head Sunil Kumaran has been appointed the Cluster Head of BIG 92.7 FM for Karnataka & Kerala. Sunil has over fourteen years of media experience in strategic media planning and buying functions in India and in the Middle East. In his new role as Cluster Head, Sunil will overlook the entire station’s functioning along with cluster responsibilities for Karnataka & Kerala. Sunil started his career as Marketing Executive but quickly moved his focus toward the media industry. He has worked across agencies which include P&G, Titan, Tata Tea, Bajaj Auto, Heinz, Parle like HTA, Lintas, Rediffusion and handled clients across categories Products etc. Prior to joining BIG 92.7 FM, Sunil was the Media Head for Universal Media in Bahrain. As Cluster Head, BIG 92.7 FM- Karnataka & Kerala, Sunil will bring in his international & media exposure to the fore in building and sustaining the brand equity of BIG 92.7 FM radio. Commenting on his appointment as Cluster Head, BIG 92.7 FM (Karnataka & Kerala), Sunil Kumaran said “We have a great product to offer and the challenge that the Bangalore market poses for me, is very exciting. We have some very talented people on board, and together with the entire team, we are confident that we will continue to put up a great show, as has been done this far.”


Chhota Choklate Jockeys rule the airwaves

MY FM ties up with CNBC TV 18 for ‘Emerging India Awards 2008’

Radio Choklate, known for its innovative steps in Oriya programming has introduced child jockeys, popularly known as Chhota Choklate. Their new show is called “Chhota Choklate”, and is being aired weekdays from 4 to 5 pm by children in the age group of 6-12 years. Everyday one Chhota Choklate Jockey or Chhota Choklate comes to the radio station and talks about his/her ‘area of specialisation’ like music, sports, fashion, masti, movies and stories. The week begins with Chhota Choklate Monsoon who is stunnning and all with her knowledge of sur, tal and everything about music. She is followed by Chhota Choklate Viraj who gives an update on the present sports scenario. Chhota Choklate Nikshita tells listeners all about fashion and style every Wednesday. While, Chhota Choklate Masti-guru Milan is there every Thursday to fill up listeners prank-bank. On Fridays it is the turn of filmy-guru Chhota Choklate Varun to give pointers on the current movie buzz. The week ends on a soothing and very basic need of listening to a story with Chhota Choklate story-guru Annie. According to Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Director Radio Choklate, “Traditionally, Oriyas are very emotional people, they are also very home loving and kids form an integral part of their lives. Even in movies, songs etc., kids are featured and these become hits. That is why we started this show. It has been such a success, that requests have come from all over and we are planning to do an all-school competition soon for this slot.”

94.3 MY FM, is the official radio partner for Emerging India Awards 2008, India’s first awards for Small and Medium Enterprises and now India’s Biggest Business Awards. CNBC TV 18’s ‘Emerging India Awards in their 4th year now, recognizes the leading Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) performers and have opened up a world of new business avenues for SME’s all over the country. All 17 stations of 94.3 MY FM are highlighting the awards and the nominees. Listeners are being informed about the on-air episodes on CNBC encouraging SME’s from across the country to take their businesses to the next level of growth. Harrish M. Bhatia, Business Head, 94.3 MY FM says, “Our states being the economic belt of the country are the gold field of SME’s redefining Indian business’ stature on the global map. Giving CNBC a platform to highlight these awards in our markets is a pleasure.”

‘Sing with Sonu’ on BIG 92.7 FM BIG 92.7 FM, in another ‘category first initative’ announced an exclusive association with none other than the young music legend ‘Sonu Niigaam’ for his latest single ‘Punjabi Please’. Punjabi Please is an exclusive pulsating single composed and sung by Sonu Niigaam and BIG FM has entered into a joint partnership with the artist to exclusively market this song. This song, saw an artist and a radio station coming together to launch a music single for the first time on Radio! Punjabi Please premiered across the stations in the North, East and West in addition to the Bangalore station of BIG 92.7 FM, on March 3, 2008. An exciting interactive contest ‘Sing with Sonu’ is being organised, wherein 5 lucky singers from across the country will get the lifetime opportunity to sing with Sonu Niigaam Live during a 5 city tour comprising Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chandigarh. According to Anand Chakravarthy, Vice President, Marketing, BIG 92.7 FM, “We are extremely excited to partner with the highly acclaimed and India’s best singer, Sonu Niigaam. For the first time in the history of radio entertainment a radio station has tied up


with an artist to market an excellent product that will make for great entertainment for listeners. The multimedia platform and multi phased approach to marketing ‘Punjabi Please’, is sure to make it an instant hit across the country. Aspects like ‘Sing with Sonu’, a lifetime opportunity for any listener, as part of the plan, truly make it a Life Banao offering from our station.”

April 2008 | Radio Duniya

Aparna Sen at the BIG 92.7 FM Studios BIG 92.7 FM, played host to internationally acclaimed film maker and actress Aparna Sen who visited the studio on the show ‘Chalte Chalte’, hosted by Kolkata’s favorite RJ duo Rakesh and Pragya. Aparna Sen who is known for her passion for poetry was at the studios to promote her father, Chidananda Dasgupta’s translation of Jibananda Das’s poetry. RJ Rakesh and RJ Pragya were on a trip down memory lane with Aparna as she recounted her childhood memories about Kolkata, her passion for Jibananda Das’s poetry and how her father has transcreated the imagery which is so peculiar to Das’s works. The show saw high levels of interactivity from listeners with calls from across the City pouring in to chat with the actor on subjects ranging from her latest film The Japanese Wife, her passion for films, acting as a profession, her love for the City and much more. Speaking on the occasion, Bodhayan Roychaudhury, Station Director, BIG 92.7 FM, Kolkata said, “To have an icon like Aparna Sen interact with the local populace of Kolkata on a one on one basis is a great programming spike and the response that we received from listeners was phenomenal. We have in the past too created some excellent programming offerings for our listeners, and given the feedback we have received for this show… we are only encouraged to continue offering them with such programming offerings that cut above the clutter and ensure high listener engagement.”

Friends FM completes one year Friend’s 91.9 FM, the radio initiative from The ABP Group, completed one year on February 28, 2008. The FM station embarked on a three-day music carnival in Kolkata to celebrate its first birthday. The station aimed to build a better bonding with its listeners through this music carnival. The first day of the ‘Friends Music Carnival’ saw Rabindra Sangeet and folk performances by Suchitra Mitra, Susmita Goswami, Agnibha Bandopadhyay, Lopamudra Mitra, Kartick Das Baul and Dohar. The second day was reserved for more contemporary fare. Modern Bengali songs were presented by Rupankar, Nachiketa, Subhamita, Raghab Chattopadhyay, followed by Hindustani classical music recitals by Ustad Rashid Khan, Kaushiki Desikan, Tejendra Narayan Majumdar and Anindo Chatterjee.

94.3 MY FM brings RJ DJ to Ahmedabad Listeners in Ahmedabad could not have wished for better mornings. ‘Salaam Ahmedabad’, the morning show of Ahmedabad, hosted by RJ Krupa, has got better with RJ DJ (Dilip Jain) adding spice and fun quotient to the show. The talented RJ has more than 8 years of rich experience in radio industry. RJ Dilip Jain alias DJ is known for his witty and humorous style. He started his career with AIR FM Rainbow and AIR Gold, Mumbai as a Radio jockey and was with AIR for 4 years. According to Harrish M.Bhatia, Business head, 94.3 MY FM, “DJ is a sure short asset. Salaam Ahmedabad with RJ Krupa is very popular in Ahmedabad, with DJ on board, listeners will love 94.3 MY FM even more.” As per DJ himself, “Salaam Ahmedabad is all about energy, fun and morning zeal, Ahmedabad is already addicted to RJ Krupa and Salaam and I am going to make sure the good times continue and Ahmedabad enjoys a great morning everyday.”

The Grand Finale saw performances by Bangla bands like Fossils, Chandrabindoo, Bickram Ghosh’s Rhythmscape and new talents like Eldorado and Phoenix.


Naved Abbasi wins ‘City Ki Chaka Chak Bike’ contest In a unique ‘Whatte Fun’ endeavour of sorts, Lucknow’s Radio City 91.1FM organized a 2 week City Ki Chaka Chak Bike contest that invited Lucknow’s bike enthusiasts to showcase their most innovatively modified bikes. With over 40 entries pouring in from all across Lucknow, 21 year old Naved Abbasi from Razman Bazaar bagged the City Ki Chaka Chak Bike winning exciting goodies courtesy Radio City. Helping the Radio City team identify the winner was Deep Saxena from Hindustan Times an automobiles enthusiast and an expert in information technology. Naved modified his 150 CC all terrain bike into a motocross bike ready for a mountain ride. Replacing the twin shockers on the bike’s mono suspension, he changed the fuel tank along with the body fibre as well. With changed mudguard and a short handle the bike is a real delight to eyes. Commenting on the response Rana Barua, National Head Marketing & Programming, Radio City 91.1FM, said “We,

at Radio City, strive on enhancing our connect with our listener time and again. City ki Chaka Chak Bike was an initiative well received and supported by Lucknow’s Radio Cityzens. We are thankful to them for their overwhelming support and appreciation and shall continue to bring such exciting initiatives in the future!” Elated at winning the City Ki Chaka Chak Bike contest Naved Abbasi said, “This has been one of the most exciting initiatives by any company - not just because I won but due to the fact that City Ki Chaka Chak Bike was a different experience for the people of Lucknow! A biker’s passion is always his bike and giving a platform to showcase the prized possession is recognizing a talent of sorts. Three cheers to Radio City for making this a ‘Whatte Fun day’ for me!”

Exchange4media conclave discusses on radio Kolkata hosted the last leg of the four city exchange4media conclave 2008. In the session CONCLAVE at Kolkata, Radio 2.0 was the topic for discussion. The session was moderated by Shashi Sinha of Lodestar and he began the session by giving an overview of the medium. According to him the neglect of radio is due to the inattention given to the available data. He urged the industry to ensure differentiation of content to reach out to audiences. In the first panel Abraham Thomas of Red FM lamented the ignorance of even the top ad agency professionals about the medium and its potentials. Radio’s ability to build up brands have been proved time and again and today with 45% of cell phones having inbuilt FM radio it is only going to get better. So, marketer’s must understand the unique properties of radio and make the best use of it. The opportunity to create successful brands in radio will increase all the more with TRAI’s plan to upscale coverage of FM Radio. Speaking on the topic Harrish Bhatia, MY FM said that if marketers wish to build successful brand stories, they must be ready to allocate the fund required for this. Saregama’s Sandip Chaudhuri replying to why the company’s spending on television was more than radio, said this is because television was targeted for distributors to stock on new music before the film release while the music samplers on radio are sales multipliers targeted towards consumers of music CDs. While talking on the topic of advertisement Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Radio Choklate, said that local advertisers made up 70% of revenue for her station while national advertisers contributed 30%. The speakers felt that radio is a good medium that can be used for brand building as this medium makes the listener more involved than television.


Radio Mirchi reshuffles top management Radio Mirchi has initiated a major reshuffle in its top management. Three key staffers, Kaushik Ghosh, Riya Mukherjee and Kavita Bagga, have been given new roles and responsibilities. According to sources this massive reshuffle exercise has been undertaken with the aim of further strengthening the existing management. The idea is to infuse new, fresh ideas into the radio channel and ensure proper implementation of strategies in order to take Radio Mirchi to new heights. Kaushik Ghosh has been appointed national head, business development and corporate strategy. Earlier, he was handling the marketing and communication portfolio as national marketing head. In his new role, Kaushik is expected to generate business out of key advertisers that still do not use radio as a medium of advertising in a big way. Kavita Bagga will take over as national marketing head of Radio Mirchi. Earlier, Bagga headed the fashion and lifestyle business at 360 Degrees for two and a half years. She will now be responsible for devising and implementing key marketing strategies for Radio Mirchi. Riya Mukherjee has been promoted as national head, CSR and brand integration, Radio Mirchi. Till now, Mukherjee was working as national content head. Mukherjee’s key role will be to position Radio Mirchi as a responsible media entity. She will strive to identify, evaluate and adopt causes that are in sync with the radio channel’s image. Mukherjee’s profile now includes Bollywood and TV content, corporate communication and events.

April 2008 | Radio Duniya

Delhi’s Radio City 91.1FM celebrates City ke Rang It was a ‘Whatte Fun’ riot of colours as Delhi’s Radio City 91.1FM celebrated this season’s Holi with great pomp and fervour! Celebrating the festival of colours, the FM station hosted ‘City ke Rang’ – an on-air activity concluding with an on-ground activity at Ansal Plaza on March 20, 2008 where listeners were invited to paint the City Mural called ‘City Ke Rang’. Joining in the revelry with Delhi Radio City’s RJ Varun, RJ Riccha and RJ Ved was social activist Naina Balsavar and renowned singers Ashok Masti, Rekharaj and Niki Mehendi who belted out popular Holi melodies. Radio City’s ‘City ke Rang’ was a great success with Delhi’s Radio Cityzens thronging the mall to celebrate this year’s Holi with their favourite FM station. Splashing strokes of colours with paints and brushes, listeners decorated the ‘City Mural’ with vibrant festive messages. The evening had its share of fun contests, shayari from ‘Babber Sher’ and high value goodies courtesy Radio City. Live performances by upcoming talent – Sameer and Nishant added to the ‘Whatte Fun’ element making the activity even more interactive and enjoyable! MY FM celebrates ‘Dry Holi’ Keeping up with its CS initiative ‘Dry Holi’ all 17 stations of MY FM celebrated holi with ‘gulal’ and RJs went out to the listeners home to play Holi with them. Kids and youngsters were invited to the studio to play innovative games. MY FM announced a unique competition in its afternoon show ‘Khichdi’. They asked all the female listners to bring their decorative “Thaali” (a prominrnt custom in Gujarat) to the studio and win prizes for the best decoration. The response was overwhelming, winners won gold ornaments.

Sharing his thoughts on the celebrations, Rana Barua, National Head – Marketing and Programming, Radio City 91.1FM said, “Being part of the fabric of the city’s rich culture, we greatly cherish the equity we share with Radio Cityzens across the nation. Our bouquet of innovative programming and on-ground initiatives for the season ensured that Radio City delivered a ‘Whatte Fun’ Holi to everyone! Celebrating the festival of colours together with our listeners is just another way of making ‘Whatte Fun’ come alive for them!” BIG 92.7 FM to make Delhi’s Holi more colorful! Delhi’s BIG 92.7 FM, in keeping with the vibe of the city this Holi, added more colors to the already colorful festival Holi with tons of exciting on- air & off-air initiatives for its listeners. BIG 92.7 FM, offered its listeners ‘Kyunki Rang Achchey Hain’ contest, as part of its onair celebration. This innovative on-air contest invited listeners to participate and win exciting shopping vouchers to ensure that they play Holi without any inhibitions of their clothes getting spoilt. Taking the initiative to a different level altogether, BIG 92.7 FM also offered on-ground Holi celebrations to its listeners with its ‘BIG RJs ki Toli’, a brigade of BIG 92.7 FM RJs with their BIG Pichkari visiting various localities playing music and celebrating the festival in true style with colors, water etc. Commenting on this occasion, Punit Mathur, Station Director – BIG 92.7FM, Delhi said, “Holi is a time for celebration and BIG 92.7 FM is riding high on its colorful airwaves and hence keeping up with the ‘vibe of the city’. We are offering our listeners a date with colors who are usually apprehensive to play Holi, packaged with great on-air content & off-air content and celebrations. We are confident of providing listeners a great time through the innovative packaging on-air and off-air celebrations with colors and making their Holi special and memorable.”


The Ultimate Music Experience Harshad Jain, the Chief Marketing Officer of WorldSpace India Pvt. Ltd., has a result driven track record of over 14 years in FMCG business. He has worked across various functions ranging from marketing, sales and sales operations to developing and running new business and joint venture operations. Harshad thrives on creating and building businesses and is leveraging his skills across management functions as WorldSpace builds its business in India. Here he talks about the journey of WorldSpace in India, the music experience it offers and his plans for the future. How has the journey of WorldSpace been since the launch? It has been a very exciting journey for WorldSpace. We launched our services in India in 2000 and introduced the concept of satellite radio to the country. In the past seven years we have expanded our retail presence to reach out to customers across India. We offer a choice of over 40 radio stations playing the widest range of music, entertainment and information. All our channels are devoted to particular genres of music. We have an entire regional set-up, through which we cover all major regional languages and we have been able to put together a series of content line-up. What were the major obstacles and achievements in this journey? I would not term what we faced as obstacles because any new concept takes time to build-up. WorldSpace is a subscription based, paid radio service and people are used to free to air radio channels, so the idea has to be sold to people and slowly they realise the benefits of our services. For instance, nobody would have thought of buying packaged drinking water ten years ago, because water is something 20

April 2008 | Radio Duniya

that is readily available. Why should a user pay for it? But now you see, people don’t hesitate for a minute before buying a bottle of water when they need it. Similarly, if you look at the rapid growth of coffee bars in the cities, you realise that a few years ago, no one would have thought that it was possible to sell coffee to a nation of tea drinkers and that too at higher rates, but it is happening now. Similarly, the concept of subscription based satellite radio will also be accepted by greater number of people as they realise its benefits. We are increasing our subscriber base steadily, and there have been many achievements in the time gone by. We have about 40 stations and we are adding to our content line up regularly. So we are in the process of establishing WorldSpace in the minds, hearts and life of people in India. What are the reasons for the success of WorldSpace? The fact is that music lovers still find a dearth of variety in the Indian radio space, to which we offer an effective solution and so our subscriber base is increasing steadily. We offer a unique value proposition, with quality content that is clutter-free for the discerning listener. The subscription model actually lends a new dimension to marketing of the concept because when customers have to pay for content, very clearly, they are looking for a distinct proposition. These include quality of choice, diversity of programming, and range of content. Indian listeners have never had the luxury of such a variety and choice of music, 24 hours a day. It is a new experience for music lovers, wherein they can choose to tune in to any genre of music as per their mood and taste. How has the association with A R Rahman proved beneficial in branding and appeal of WorldSpace? Rahman is the most phenomenal music director today and WorldSpace prides itself on its association with a true musical genius. WorldSpace is all about music and everyone loves listening to Rahman’s music, so it is a perfect marriage. The audiences know that if a musical maestro like Rahaman is endorsing a musical product such as ours, there must be a lot that it has to offer, in terms of musical experience..... and we offer the ultimate musical experience to our listeners. How challenging has it been to educate Indian consumers about satellite radio? The Indian audience just has to be made used to the concept of satellite radio. To educate the consumers we have provided a 360-degree experience by generating consumer education and awareness. This has been done by launching an advertising

A satellite radio customer is an evolved radio consumer who is looking for specific niches that satisfy his radio entertainment needs and communication campaign, providing better product availability through an enhanced sales and distribution network and customer service set up. We undertook a sustained campaign that involved consumer education and trial initiation, below the line activities, retail network expansion and a host of experiential marketing strategies that involved establishing tie-ups with retail outlets as well as expansion of the Worldspace Lounge concept to more cities. An aggressive product strategy also helped bringing more people into our subscriber base. How different would your listener be from an average FM radio listener? In terms of a customer profile – a satellite radio customer is an evolved radio consumer who is looking for specific niches that satisfy his radio entertainment needs. WorldSpace offers a unique value proposition to the music loving listener, where there is a whole variety and choice of music, available 24 hours a day. Music that suits all the different moods of a listener and the tastes of a variety of listeners. What are the genres of music that are more popular with the Indian listeners? Popular genres of music include music of mother tongue and Bollywood numbers, also Carnatic Music, Rock and Pop and other genres of niche music. We have a wide base of listeners across our bouquet of stations. ‘Shruthi’, our 24 hour Carnatic classical channel; ‘Farishta’, the 24 hour channel that plays old Bollywood hits; ‘Spin’, the 24 hour International Pop and Rock music channel; and ‘Jhankaar’, the 24 hour new Hindi and Indipop music are the most popular channels. 21

What has been your strategy to promote satellite radio as different from terrestrial radio? Satellite radio is a new category and right now, we are the only player in the Indian market. The biggest challenge the medium faces currently is the lack of understanding of the concept and its features. We are focusing on expanding our reach and educating music lovers across the country on the value proposition that we offer them. Our strategy has been early adoption and creating the brand image through effective advertising. Our advertising campaign includes print, radio and outdoor advertising, BTL (below-the-line activities) and customer contact programs by way of one-onone interactions; all aimed at inducing experience of the service. Experience is definitely a key factor in marketing our service. We offer music lovers several options where they can experience the value of the satellite radio services. This can be experienced at our exclusive Worldspace lounges in Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida, Kochi, Chennai and Hyderabad. Plus, our mobile experience vans and our participation in a range of ground events and concerts brings our music closer to music lovers. Our marketing alliances with brands such as Café Coffee Day and Barista ensure that Worldspace entertains their customers. Our partnership with Music World and Planet M offers people a taste of the Worldspace experience as they shop for their music. What is the scope for marketing campaigns on WorldSpace as there are no conventional advertisements? WorldSpace radio is virtually advertising-free, and the programs, channels and RJs are music-focused and committed to leading listeners through a journey of musical exploration on our channel. We offer ad-free music experience to people, ours is a subscribed service and we promise music to people, we will therefore not be asking them to pay and listen to advertisements. Co–branded promotions are a great way for brands to leverage each others’ strengths, and we might look at them in times to come. How do you intend to take WorldSpace to the next level, given the rapid growth in FM radio? Over the last four-five years, radio has made a huge comeback. Radio jockeys are becoming popular now and enjoy celebrity status. As the market expands we’ll see many more people and channels coming in. And there is space for everyone as consumers keep moving up the value chain. 22

Satellite radio has been acknowledged as one of the fastest growing entertainment media. This is evident by the fact that in USA alone there are over 10 million subscribers of satellite radio services, despite hundreds of FM stations being available there. For our growth, we plan to dedicate significant resources to our current business strategy, including increasing our visibility to support our marketing efforts, developing our product offerings in India through partnerships and agreements. We also intend to increase the points at which consumers can experience the Worldspace service by ensuring our presence in malls, colleges, theaters, coffee shops and other places where we can reach people. What are the kinds of radio stations that you see growing in the time to come? In times to come, I am sure niche radio stations will come into play in a very pronounced manner. What are the unique attractions at WorldSpace which attract the attention of audiences? There is a wide range of channels. And you get to listen to “your” kind of music all the time, and the experience is totally uninterrupted and essentially clutter-free. Are any more channels being planned or sought by the listeners? As and when consumers demand more channels, we deliver more channels. According to our usage and attitude studies, stand-up comedies are very popular now, so we have started a dedicated comedy track called ‘Punchline’. Similarly, when subsequent studies show that people want more, we will add to our content line up and channel offerings. April 2008 | Radio Duniya

Gungunate Raho !!! Nishant Mittal is probably the youngest radio CEO in the country today, leading from the front at Radio Misty. A postgraduate in Marketing from Manchester Business School, Nishant began his career with the PCM Group and is currently heading its FM division. He has made Radio Misty 94.3 FM a household name within a few months of its launch in North Bengal and Sikkim.

How did the idea of Radio Misty come about? Radio Misty is a part of the PCM Group, one of the largest groups of Eastern India, which has interest in tea gardens, construction work, ISP and Cable TV. We as a group, believe in doing new things and practicing innovation and diversification. So, Radio Misty was part of our diversification plan. When the radio scene developed in the country, we decided to apply for licenses and we obtained licenses for Siliguri and Gangtok. PCM group already had a strong presence in the media, with a local cable television network in North Bengal, in which we were a subsidy company. So we decided to diversify and enter the radio business. What was the reason behind naming it as “Misty”? Bengal is well known for its rich culture and heritage. There is a famous saying which says, ‘what Bengal thinks today, others think tomorrow’. Bengal is famous for its sweets, which is called “misti”. We wanted to integrate that in the name of our radio station. We wanted to give it a name which would suit the local people, and be a part of their day to day life! A name with which they could establish an instant relationship and connect. By naming it Misty, we are able to effectively convey that we have the sweetness of Bengal in our programmes and our musical offering. So, Radio Misty is one of the sweets of Bengal that not only represents the local flavour but also promotes bengali culture elsewere.

What has been your strategy for establishing Radio Misty in the people’s hearts? First of all, we have a wonderful name, which established a strong connect with the masses, as it is something that is a part of their everyday life. Our motto was to make it a station for the local people. We wanted to promote local talent, songs, culture, artists etc. We have a station motto, which is local people – local voice, local station – local choice. We believe that our station should be for the local people, so all the programmes and the whole flavor is very localised. Although we have added a modern touch to it, but it is essentially localised. We have programmes in all the four major languages of the area, Hindi, English, Nepali and Bengali. Regarding our strategy to estblish Radio Misty, we organised the launch in a very well thought out manner. We began with a teaser campaign one month before the launch, saying that in the land of innovations and sweets like chamcham and rasgulla, there is a new sweet coming up. And after 15-20 days, we officially announced that there is a new station coming up called Radio Misty. Also we connected with the local people through our creatives, by using the toy train and the tea garden visuals in our campaign. We showed musical notes emerging from the smoke of the toy train and a woman plucking musical notes in the tea garden. We also established a connect with the people through a month-long special contest coinciding with the launch, that helped us establish a great rapport with the masses. 23

You launched in November 2007, how have these past few months been? It has been a wonderful experience for us. Radio was a new thing for everyone here. We were the first FM channel in Siliguri and I am glad that we were accepted whole heartedly by the people. For us, these past few months have been very exciting and we have been able to sweeten the lives of the people of Siliguri with Radio Misty. Looking back, what would you say were the most memorable and the toughest time you faced during the journey? The best moment we had was when a few blind people came to our station and thanked us. They said, Misty had become their only friend, it was their world and that proved that we had connected with the people. Their words were our reward and validation of the fact that we had made an impact in the lives of the people of Siliguri. The toughest time was when we were trying to set up a studio and getting the right people to work for us. FM was the new media here, and people were totally unaware of it. So, getting the expertise and the correct professionals to work here and at the same time educating the local population was a hard task. We faced hardships while establishing the whole set up, but we faced them all with a smile on our faces and made Radio Misty successful. We succeeded because we encouraged our people to think of solutions, not just bring up problems and that really helped us stay strong. What is your target audience? Have you been able to reach out to them and engage them? Our target audience is from 10 to 80 years of age. We have programmes for all ages on our radio station. We are not targeting any niche markets or segments. We have established Radio Misty totally for the masses. We have programmes in English, Hindi, Nepali and Bengali. The reason behind this is that Siliguri has a unique geographical location. It has four international borders surrounding it - Nepal, China, Bangladesh and Bhutan. Our transmission goes deep inside Nepal and Bangladesh, around 30 kilometers inside these countries. So, we have to target that crowd, as well the people of the hills. We have targeted the masses in all these sectors and our programming reflects that engagement. We have been able to reach out to the audiences and also engage them in our programmes. This is evident from the amount of phone calls, SMSes and letters we receive from them regularly. We get around 400 phone calls daily, requesting songs and telling us what kind of programmes they want. We get almost 20-30 letters per show on an average day, 24

giving us suggestions and feedback. The workers of the tea hills area have responded very well to our radio offering, and radio has become their constant companion today. How has the market response been to the station? The market response has been very positive, in terms of the ads we are receiving today. We had to convince people that if they advertise on radio they will benefit a lot. Traditionally, print and television have been the most important mediums of advertising in Siliguri. We had to ensure that these advertisers shifted their emphasis from TV and print to radio. We have been able to tap the local market now. Initially, we had to struggle a bit, but now I can say that the response from advertisers is really good and it is going up every day. What are the challenges and benefits of running a radio station in a non-metro city like Siliguri? One faces a lot of challenges whenever an attempt is made to do something new. Radio Misty too had to face many challenges. Siliguri is a small town and one of the challenges we faced was with regard to getting the right professionals to work for us here. The standard of living here is low as compared to metro cities, so it is difficult to find people who would be willing to come and work here. However, we have overcome most of the challenges and one of the major reasons for this is the fact that Siliguri is developing rapidly; the lifestyle is changing and so is the attitude of the people towards the city. It is coming up as the second major city in West Bengal after Kolkata and once this process is completed, things will become easier for u s . We have also benefited greatly from the unique location of this place. Siliguri is a tourist spot and is considered as the gateway to the North East, which means that our listenership base can only increase with time. There is lot of tourist movement and with the kind of development happening, the number of people tuning into Radio M i s t y will only increase. April 2008 | Radio Duniya

Can you elaborate on the content line up offered by Misty? We offer varied content to our listeners, keeping in mind their choices and preferences. Our listeners include children, youth, working professionals, soldiers and the elderly. The day starts with Misty Aradhana where we play bhajans and other devotional songs for two hours, next we have Misty Subah which is a youth-based show catering to the needs of this age-group. Baton Baton Mein is our afternoon programme that is targeted towards womenfolk and the city crowd that mainly consists of Marwari population and it is broadcast in Hindi. We also broadcast programmes in Nepali, Bhojpuri during the weekend as there is a sizable population interested in listening to these programs. Besides, broadcasting programmes for kids, we also have a programme for the 25,000 Gurkha soldiers in this area, which is our way of reaching out to our fauji brothers and engaging them with Radio Misty. Considering your brand line - Gungunate Raho – what is the kind of musical experience that you offer listeners? The main idea behind our brand line is to convey the fact that it is very normal for people to keep humming songs. You will find people humming various kinds of tunes almost all the time. We just wanted to show that we are not different and hence the brand line Gungunate Raho. The musical experience that we offer to our listeners is a blend of all cultures prevalent in this area. We air the latest numbers, as well as old numbers; our song line-up includes slow songs from the 70s to 80s and also the rocking numbers that come out these days. Percentage wise, the music that we play is 75% Hindi, 15% Bengali, 5% Nepali and 5% English. However, this can change depending on the kind of programme that is being aired at a given time.

not yet over. The main focus for us right now is the launch of our station is Sikkim, which we should be able to accomplish in three months time. What were the most crucial man power challenges and how did you overcome them? FM radio is a new medium in Siliguri, so the local people were not really acquainted with terms like RJ, producer and programmer. They had no clues about the kind of work that is involved in running a radio station. The most crucial issue for us was getting the right people for the right work at the right time. In order to overcome this challenge, we trained RJs in-house and tried to develop the local talents available in the area. It took us about three months to train them and help them overcome their fear of talking on radio, besides training them about console handling and editing.

Our station motto is local people – local voice, local station – local choice

We encourage local talent and invite local bands into our studios to perform and be heard live across Siliguri. We have had bands like Euphoria coming and performing in our studios for our listeners. There is demand for all genres of music, but the general trend is towards soft numbers. What are your plans of expansion considering that the third phase of licensing may be announced soon? In Phase III, we plan to expand our operations in West Bengal and the North East. Whenever bidding is opened for the next phase, we would like to bid for setting up stations in these areas. As of now we have not decided on particular cities, as phase II is

Now manpower is not an issue for us, we have successfully dealt with it since the launch. We now have a backup in place for most of the processes. Currently we have about 12 RJs and all of them are locals, who have been trained by us in-house. Getting RJs from outside was never an option for us as they would not have a clear idea about the place, its people and its issues. Non-locals would not have been able to establish the connect with listeners, the way locals have been successful in doing. Does proximity with countries like Nepal and Bangladesh lead to signal interference? Thankfully we do not face any signal interference from the radio stations that operate across the border. According to our research in Nepal there is no signal interference as frequency of the closest radio station is different from ours. Also, because it is a short wave radio station, there is absolutely no interference with our signals from anywhere. Bangladesh does not have FM radio till now, so there is absolutely no chance of signal interference. Actually, people here cannot listen to radio from either Nepal or Bangladesh, but listeners from across the border can listen to our transmission very clearly. So, as of now you can say that Radio Misty rules over these areas as well. 25

Speed Dheena

Speed Dheena is already every Chennaite’s favourite. Hailed as one of the most popular RJs amongst Tamil radio listeners, he is well known for his ability to find humour in various situations. Indeed, his ability to see different sides of things makes him a humorous person. And now, he is all set to enthrall the male audiences with his new show, Speed. The humour-based show, hosted by the sharp and quick-witted PJ King, will be a take on the day-to-day happenings in and around the city. He salutes thalaivar Rajnikanth, who is his all time favourite. After Chennai, Ooty and Kodaikannal are the places where the RJ would prefer to unwind. He finds humor in everyday happenings and believes in entertaining people with clean and sensible humour. Approachable, friendly and a person who can easily have the audiences singing his tunes, Speed Dheena can jump from one topic to another at lightning speed. He takes entertainment a bit too seriously, but only because he seriously wants to keep his audience entertained! His objective is to keep the listeners pepped up till the end of his show. RJ Dheena has been recognised as the best Tamil RJ and has recently completed an on-air marathon for 92.7 hours continuously to enter the Limca Book of World Records.


April 2008 | Radio Duniya

What made you choose radio hosting? I was always passionate about media and got the right opportunity at the right time. There was no turning back after that.

What is that one most important factor that makes listeners connect to an RJ?

What are the pros & cons of the job?

An RJ should try and be one among the listener. If you are able to make them feel that you are just like them then they will accept you as their close buddy and that is what I always try and do.

The advantage is that everyday we are (a)live and we get the chance to interact with and entertain so many people.

A radio station is known by its RJs, particularly in these times when all stations sound alike. Would you agree?

As far as the cons go, we don’t get too many holidays and that’s something negative.

Not really, it also depends on your content, music strategy and sound of the station along with RJs.

If not Radio Hosting, then what?

Where do you see yourself a decade from now?

Well if I was not a radio jockey then I would have been a marketing engineer. Describe your most memorable radio moment?

In my listeners hearts. A radio jockey is “born” or “made”? Certainly “made”

When I successfully completed 92.7 hours of non stop on-air marathon to get a place in the Limca Book of World Records. My record attempt started on 20th August 2007 at 3.00 pm and ended on 24th August 2007 at 11.07 am. What inspired you to take up radio hosting as a profession? I don’t think any one person or thing inspired me to take up radio as a profession. What is your USP? Frankly speaking, my USP is my ability to mimic people well and the manner in which I crack instant PJs. What are the essential requirements for being a Radio Host? In order to be a good radio host, one must constantly work at keeping oneself fit and developing the skills of a good listener. How do you prepare yourself for every show? I usually do a thorough study of the topic which I am going to talk about. Does hosting a particular prime slot matter to you? Time does not matter; it’s just about performance and being able to connect with your listeners at any given point of time.


What would be your message to the budding radio hosts? My message for the upcoming talent is that if you want to be an RJ, make that as your dream and live for it. And just dreaming alone won’t help, get to acquire the necessary knowledge, be yourself and don’t imitate. Be confident and courageous.

Most treasured possession

My mobile phone. Can’t live without it Favourite music director

AR Rahman Favourite films

Films that basically entertain Hobbies

Fitness, music, movies Mantra of life

Being vegetarian Can’t stand

People who don’t have civic sense Will never forget

me My 92.7 hours of on-air marathon which got of world records

a place in the Limca book

Five most important things in life

sed by everyone, respecting

Commitment, happiness, laughter, getting bles oth ers 28

April 2008 | Radio Duniya

A livewire on air, Kaushi connects with Chennai every morning through her show ‘Eepeeko 106.4’. According to her, offering something different to listeners is vital. She loves travelling, is adventurous and believes in the mantra ‘Be happy and keep others happy too’.

What made you choose Radio Hosting? I didn’t choose radio… radio chose me! Basically I’m a student of electronic media. I was in my college final year when me and a few of my college friends happened to attend an audition for radio jockeys, more out of curiosity than anything else! Surprisingly it clicked! Few weeks of rigorous training followed and as I liked the team I was working with, I took up radio hosting as part-time assignment. Everyday, after college, I used to host the evening drive-time show called ‘Cummercut’. The fun part was that my friends at college were as excited as me about this and it was one of my friends who suggested the name for my show. Though I never thought I’d be a radio host myself, I’ve enjoyed listening to radio since my childhood days. What are the pros & cons of the job? Radio hosting is so much fun! Enjoying good music, playing it to whole city, talking your heart out and making people like you for what you are doing…Could there be a better job that one could ask for? Cons…? Yes, of course! Sometimes we have to shy away from ice creams and cold drinks to maintain our voice. Giving in to temptations can sometimes result in some undesired special effects.

Kaushi 29

A healthy and friendly personality, with clarity in speech is important. But, honesty is the key virtue for a radio host! What is your USP? Being myself. Eventhough I haven’t figured out what kind of a person I am. I bet the listeners are as confused as I am, pleasantly though. What are the essential requirements for being a radio host? If not radio hosting, then what? If not radio hosting then maybe one could’ve caught me on some news channel reporting a story or fighting for a cause. Describe your most memorable radio moment? It would be my first show and my first-ever live jock link. I was thrilled, nervous, excited, fervent, passionate, ecstatic and scared, all at the same time! I knew the expectations were high…and I didn’t want to let them down. I even had a few RJ’s with me in the studio for support! My friends were also glued to the radio sets to hear me on air for the first time. I was fast, energetic and breathless, they said. I had put all my life in to it! I finished my first jock link and came out of the studio eager to get some feedback, and was surprised to see my teammates waiting. They cheered and hugged me! Have never felt so special ever in my life. Was there anyone or anything that inspired you to take up this profession?

Flair for language and expression of thoughts, a healthy and friendly personality. Clarity in speech is also important. But, honesty is the key virtue. How do you prepare yourself for every show? I connect with Chennai every morning from 7 to 10, with my take on the day’s news and views. This warrants me to go through newspapers and magazines every morning. News channels and the Internet help me stay updated. Before every show of mine I make it a point to go through the songs scheduled for the show and think of interesting ways to present them to the listeners. I also listen to any of my favorite songs in full volume in the studio before starting with the show! It helps increase my energy level. Does hosting a particular prime slot matter to you? Not at all! I would rather like to experiment with different time bands and show formats. At anytime

Yup! It was during an inter-college cultural event, where my friend and I performed together in an on-stage competition. The judge for the event was so impressed that he went ahead to say that I would have a brilliant future if I chose radio as a career. The judge for the event was one of the prominent names in the radio industry! He later happened to be the person who trained me and shaped me as a radio host! If not for him I would’ve never been here. Another inspiring event was when my most favorite radio jockey chose me as his favorite student radio jockey among many others, in a college cultural event.


April 2008 | Radio Duniya

to pose you all w o n rn u t y m Hello, this is

of the day I want to make sure the listener’s enjoy what they listen to! I would want my show time, no matter when, to be known as primetime. What is that one most important factor that makes listeners connect to an RJ? Radio hosts should sound genuine. Trying to fake, putting on an accent, trying to be hip might put off listeners. When we have this ‘I mean what I say’ attitude in our voice, listeners might just like us for what we are. A radio station is known by its RJs, particularly in these times when all stations sound alike. Would you agree? Apart from radio hosts, there are other things that set a radio station apart from others, like the music they play, the overall soundscape of the channel, the content, the creative quotients and the show formats! But there could be nothing better than people tuning into your station to listen to you! Where do you see yourself a decade from now? Two years back I couldn’t have told you I would be a radio host today! Whenever I plan something in life, the cosmos conspires to make sure that things don’t work out the way I want them to! But at the end of it all, things turn out to be good for me… better than I could have planned for! So, I’m not complaining! The moral of the story is to give your best to whatever you are doing currently and have fun. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing! A decade is too long a period to foresee! At best, I see myself ten years wiser and ten years younger. A radio jockey is “born” or “made”? Born. Or may be made too. Or born to be made an RJ could also be a possibility. Thank God, they can’t be cloned. What would be your message to the budding radio hosts? Be genuine and honest with the medium, be passionate about what you do and make sure you have something different to offer your listeners. That’s when we’ll stand out from the rest. Most importantly Khush raho aur sabko khush rakho! (Be happy and keep others happy too).

a question...

What would you do if there was no radio broadcast for one day? a) Contemplate suicide b) Lodge a police complaint c) Break hundred coconuts. Kaushi

Snapshot Queries

The 5 most important things in life1) Parents 2) People 3) Experimenting and learning 4) Travel and adventure 5) Solitude for self-introspection When not on-airI am off-air! ha ha ! I live by the mantraTo be good on air, have no airs. Will never forgetMy first live jock link on air. Can’t standPeople spitting on roads. Love listening toAny music depending upon my mood. Love watchingWith butter popcorns and cold drink any kind of movie should seem good.


Relevant Content and Talent Development

Radio is an emerging needs of information and medium of communication development, the content The article discusses the need for in India, one that gives on such stations has to be radio training programmes to ensure greater power to people. It locally relevant and able to community participation is the voice of the masses, establish a strong connect so they should realise that with the local population. it is their tool for empowerment, advocacy and To take care of the huge demand for the need of bringing in change. Radio is an aural medium, so appropriate content we need fully equipped and the programmes broadcast on it are unlike the ones state of the art training centers and studios. These produced for any other media, like television or can be developed into centers of learning for the the Internet. There is a huge need of appropriate community and enable people to utilise the power content, and broadcasters must keep all limitations of radio and ensure development of society and and advantages of radio in mind before producing nation as a whole. Responsible governments cannot any programme. ignore the benefits of community radio to good governance, sustainable development practices, There is a mushrooming growth of private FM and empowerment of women and of marginalised community radio stations all over the country. The groups. There is a need for capacity building and growth of community radio in the country can be training to ensure that the purpose of community judged by the fact that the Ministry of Information radio is realised effectively in the country. and Broadcasting plans to launch close to 5000 community radio stations in times to come. Hence, Unlike other radio stations, private or public service there is a huge demand for relevant content to broadcasters, who work for people, the community be aired through these stations. Creating content radio station not only works for people, but also that is socially relevant and that which can reach belongs to people. The radio listeners are not mere out to the desired listeners in the best manner receivers, they also form the team of programmers, possible is very important. As community radio announcers, performers, technicians and station focuses on particular communities and their administrators. Community radio gives people a 32

April 2008 | Radio Duniya

medium to express themselves, a platform to air their concerns to be heard, considered and acted upon, thereby increasing their self esteem and self-confidence. Communities thus, appreciate the importance of radio for their development and get further involved in the process. It is with the aim of providing training and institutional facilities to the communities for the development of community radio in India that centers like the Diana Princess of Wales Health Education and Media Center has been producing programmes that can be used by several private and Government run radio stations. The media center produces audio and video programmes related to health besides providing training to professionals. With its state of the art audio and video production and editing studio, the media center produces various types of programmes for both radio and television. Vincent Victor, Chief of Media and Communication, Media Centre says, “In our studio, the programmes that we make for radio broadcasting are generally based on health, social and developmental issues�. Community radio is a concept that has proved to be hugely successful in several countries of the world, both developing and developed. Now, the time has come for India to use community radio, in order to bring about a revolution in the radio broadcasting and it is here that content of the kind developed at the media center can be very useful. The Media Centre has several divisions and they consist of research, evaluation, testing, designing of posters, shooting and editing among others. Training models for ICT centers are also made here. Professionals are given adequate training so that they are able to produce programmes that can be used for training, advocacy and behavioral change communication, to ensure that all round development takes place. The idea of the Centre is not only to provide training to people to produce programs, but also to ensure that they deliver results that benefit the community and help them in developing their community in a better way.

particular community is facing, radio can be used effectively to solve various problems and reduce constraints on development. To ensure the best use of community radio, the people need to know how to use it to their advantage. Considering a target of 5000 community radio stations, there is a need to sensitise lakhs of people and to provide basic training to thousands of volunteers. This is a huge task which cannot be performed by any centralised agency. Such trainings can also not be planned in big cities or professional training institutes. The best methodology for training volunteers to reach out to them. This calls for organising training camps with skeleton studio facilities at every district level. Deployment of mobile training units to impart training at their doorsteps is another way of achieving the goal. A carefully planned orientation process is very important to map the potential of individuals and find out committed volunteers to form the core team. Community radio stations are generally run by a team of dedicated volunteers. They perform almost all the functions such as field recordings, editing, announcements, dubbing, play back and above all, maintenance of the hardware. It is important to determine at the first instance what jobs are to be done by volunteers, their rights and responsibilities, process of orientation and training etc. There are different ways to motivate people to volunteer for community radio stations. Almost all

There are many success stories in the field of community radio around the world, which could act as role models for newer entrants into this field in India. Zimbabwe has a community radio station, which is operated and run very successfully by women. Mogadishu has hugely benefited with the growth of community radio, where the rate of corruption has come down drastically due to the spread of community radio. Based on the specific issues that a


of these volunteers would be exposed to the broadcasting environment for the first time. They therefore need a step-bystep training. Such extensive training cannot be provided in typical class room environment as such. Special efforts and mechanisms have to be arranged to groom their skills and induct them in the broadcast chain. The basic radio skill programme may contain sessions on access to the equipment, console operation, recording on cassette and computer, using appropriate softwares, microphone use, using the telephone hybrid systems etc. Volunteers should also receive orientation lectures on community radio history, legislation and regulations etc. At least a week must be dedicated for training on radio presentation. This may include presentation, programme planning, change overs, links, cue sheets, writing radio scripts, vocal exercises, community announcements, sponsorship announcements etc. Being a diverse nation, India needs radio programmes in different regional languages to cater to the need of listeners across the country.

Community radio came into being to address specific community issues. It is therefore very important for community radio station to do a thorough research and find out what exactly their audiences want to hear so that they can reach out to their listeners. Any programme that is made in regional language is bound to connect with the listeners. To sustain community radio in long run it is very important for the members of the community to get fully involved with the programming and functioning of the station. Also there can be programmes that invite people from the community to air their their views about issues that they feel strongly about. Constant inflow of money is crucial for the development and sustainability of any community radio station. Sustaining the radio station in the long run can be tough, and one of the best ways to ensure that money does not becomes a hindrance in the smooth running of the station is to get the people from community involved. All community radio stations must ensure that community participation is maximum in all the aspects of running the community radio station. For having a regular inflow of cash, various innovative methods can be undertaken to collect money from within the community. Methods like auctioning the vegetables and fruits produced in gardens and entertaining people in the locality through singing and dancing, besides others can be some methods for raising money. As the community radio process progresses in India, it is time for the stake-holders and the support agencies to consider evolving a support mechanism for the community radio operations in the country and facilitate training, capacity building and sustainance.


April 2008 | Radio Duniya

The Growing Radio Buzz With its fast spreading reach, increasing advertising revenue and growing accountability, radio in India is finally coming of age.

According to a recent report, the Indian radio industry can experience at least one year of 100 per cent growth, either in fiscal 2009 or in fiscal 2010. This is subject to the approval of TRAI recommendations to allow sports and news broadcasting on radio and to allow broadcasters operate multiple channels in a city. Always considered as the poor cousin of television and a secondary source of communication by advertisers, radio in India is finally coming of age. With its fast spreading Divya Pratap Mehta, VP, reach, increasing Strategic Planning, Lowe Lintas advertising revenue and growing accountability, radio is now whipping up an aural revolution across the country, adding a new dimension to the media spectrum. Radio advertising in India is still at a nascent stage and contributes a very small fragment to the total advertising pie. It is a medium which needs to be explored extensively by the radio industry, as well as by the advertising fraternity, before its true potential can be fully exploited. There is a need for radio, especially FM radio, to sell itself as a concept to the advertisers. For that, radio must position its strengths effectively, and allow its clients to experiment with the medium at a viable cost. Innovative programming, pilot projects, effective guidance on campaign approaches and so on, can help clients experience the potential of radio advertising. Shankar B, Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Hello FM says, “Radio being a local medium, the market it caters to, is extremely localised. Stations must provide proper counselling to their clients, in terms of developing creatives, briefing them on the audience base etc., so that effective campaigns are created, and clients can observe tangible benefits for their investments.”

An issue which has always been at the forefront of the debate on radio advertising is, how to attract significant local advertising and expand the base of the advertising clientèle. Local advertisers are yet to tap radio, and the industry has to rely on national advertisers for almost seventy five per cent of their advertising income. Divya Pratap Mehta, Vice President, Strategic Planning, Lowe Lintas, articulates, “The positives of radio, like low production costs, choice of multiple creatives, localised content etc., are very well suited to local players. But, most radio stations go to large advertisers, who give greater emphasis to mediums like television. The industry needs to talk to the local players, and focus on the smaller retail base, and make them understand the ethos of the radio offering.” So far, the industry has had to rely on devices such as customised SMS codes for clients, to establish its credentials as an accountable medium. But the arrival of audience measurement meter on the scene, has provided a much needed shot-in-the-arm to the industry. Aditi Mishra, General Manager, Lodestar Universal says, “Today, a client seeks maximum output for his investments and it is important that radio be able to position itself as a stand Chandradeep Mitra, President, alone medium. Used primarily Optimum Media Solutions in synergy with other mediums, it is often difficult to determine the individual contribution of radio to an overall campaign. A development like audience measurement meter, is a step in the right direction, in establishing the accountability of the medium.” She goes on to add that such methods need to be incorporated extensively, across the country, because radio being a local medium, its markets are extremely localised and hence results of audience measurement cannot be generalised. 35

At present, radio needs to focus on growing beyond its current stage of extending print/TV communication, and becoming a part of campaign plans at the creative brief stage. This is critical if the share of radio advertising in campaign budgets has to grow to healthier levels. By leveraging its advantages, such as its ability to carry out innovative activationsled ventures and micromarketing, ability to work in synergy with other mediums, and its competitive edge in terms of production costs, radio can present itself as a compelling m e d i a Aditi Mishra, General Manager, solution to Lodestar Universal advertisers. Another ingredient, which can provide a vital edge to the radio advertising package is radio programming. It is a matter of concern for most people from the advertising fraternity that currently, there is a serious dearth of innovative programming and distinctive content on radio. In spite of the growing number of FM stations, there is not much to choose from, in terms of programming mix, audience profiles and listenership levels. Low content differentiation in turn, spells low loyalty among listeners and an absence of strong brand identity among stations. As Chandradeep Mitra, President, Optimum Media Solutions puts it,“At the very basic level, advertisers look for audiences, either large in numbers or sharply defined in nature. Right now, radio has not been able to ensure either. Similarity in content has resulted in similar listenership profiles for most stations. There is no brand loyalty among listeners, as a result of which, stations have to resort to bribing their listeners through contests and promotions involving huge cash prizes.” For the advertiser, most of these stations are replaceable and the lack of defined listener profiles makes sharp targeting of audiences impossible. Needless to say, this significantly impacts radio’s attractiveness as an advertising medium. Chandradeep Mitra believes that radio, right now, needs to build itself in richness and make value additions through strong content development, synergies with other mediums, sonic branding and so on. According to Aditi Mishra, radio stations can effectively pursue niche programming on the 36

lines of MTV, targeting a specific segment of the audience base. She says, “This way the station will be able to create its own niche audience, which in turn will help the advertisers know who they can reach out to. Inevitably, this will ensure assured revenue for the station, based on which it can even charge a premium.” It is important to acknowledge at this point that in the last few years radio has seen a vast improvement in the quality of its creatives. From adapting TV / print ads for the air waves to creating advertisements that do justice to the unique characteristics of the medium, radio advertising has undergone a constructive process of evolution. Efforts are being made to capitalise on the opportunities that radio provides, by integrating brand messages into RJ scripts, contests, studio guests / experts etc. Ye t a n o t h e r aspect of radio campaigning is sonic branding. Traditionally, advertisers have always favoured the visual medium over other mediums when it comes to branding exercises. But in a country like India, where we have always Shankar B, Vice President, had a strong Sales and Business Development, aural culture, Hello FM brand building through audio innovations holds tremendous potential. In fact, brands such as Britannia, Airtel, Lifebuoy etc. have effectively harnessed the aural sense for its branding purposes. Through astute positioning and creative programming, radio can augment its marketing arsenal and develop the audio advantage into an exclusive branding tool. The radio industry in India has indeed come a long way in recent years but to grow from here, it must transform itself from a media multiplier to an effective stand alone medium. It has the unique advantage of being a cheap yet high penetration medium which is neither time nor space bound. Careful packaging of its strengths, creative programming and effective implementation will ensure that it moves up the value chain for advertisers and evolves into a strong medium of communication. Sukanya Kashyap April 2008 | Radio Duniya

Radio-enabled mobile phones spell

success for Radio

Mobile phones are music to the ears for radio industry, says TNS survery Music applications are the fastest growing services on mobiles today, a report from TNS Global Technology has found. The survey has found that music via mobile is leading the way to a wave of new customers for mobile operators. The TNS Global Telecoms Insight study, which interviewed 16,000 respondents across 29 countries, found in the last year that the use of MP3 players on mobile phones has risen by 78% and the use of radio via mobile by a massive 140%. Growth has occurred in every region with particularly rapid adoption seen in Latin America and in emerging Asia, where 45% of users list FM/AM radio as one of their top-3 choices for purchasing a mobile phone – making it a more popular application than SMS (texting), internet access or even a camera.


Parijat Chakraborty, Vice President - Technology, TNS India adds, “Demographic diversity, coupled with differences in culture and taste, has made India an ideal breeding and testing ground for many mobile value added services. Though India is quite behind in terms of contribution of VAS in overall revenue, the country is much ahead of many developed countries in terms of variety of VAS for consumers. Naturally, music loving Indians finds it a winning deal to have their mobile handset doubling up as centre of entertainment on the move.” Matthew Froggatt, Managing Director of TNS’s Global Technology sector says, “Radio-enabled mobiles take away the need to have a separate music device like an MP3 player and should lead phone manufacturers to win the battle for control of the earphones. The increased use of radio in the Asian markets is also extremely important. It is driving a whole new wave of customers to service providers and has massive implications for spreading media communications out to a wider audience more quickly. The radio is a hugely underrated media tool which has suffered at the hands of TV music channels and the internet – this new outlet through mobile phones may help to sustain its life well into this millennium. In some markets, like India, launching a mobile phone without radio-listening capabilities is a major barrier to winning consumer sales.”

However, the music industry needs to be cautious of seeing this as a money-spinner: 22% of global users now sideload music (transfer from PC or laptop) compared to just 16% who download

Two thirds of young people aged 16 - 21 now listen to some form of mobile music on the go, but it is also surprisingly popular with more senior generations: The study shows that 20% of people aged 51 – 60 tune in to music on their handsets. Globally, 43% of all mobile users and 73% of Smartphone users now listen to some form of mobile music. directly. Many consumers already have their music libraries in a digital format and are often put off downloading directly to their mobile because of high price perceptions. Using the phone as a music player gives device manufacturers an opportunity to increase consumer involvement with their products, but for network operators and music rights owners, incremental revenue growth through downloading may be limited. Froggatt concludes, “For the networks, enhanced real-time data services, like mobile internet or location specific information may be a better bet to increase consumer spend.”

For further details contact:


April 2008 | Radio Duniya


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Akola tunes in to Radio City Akola has reason to celebrate as Radio City 91.1FM,brings FM radio to the city! Bringing’Whatte Fun’ to their 17th city in India, Radio City 91.1 FM has taken the airwaves in Akola by storm. Infusing a refreshing wave of ‘Whatte Fun’, the FM station has introduced a fresh and lively radio listening experience for the people of Akola! This launch marks Radio City’s 6th FM station in Maharashtra. Known for its innovations in programming, Radio City 91.1FM will delight Radio Cityzens in Akola with a host of programmes along with an interesting Hindi music mix with a window for melodious Marathi tracks which Akola wants to listen to! The music will be in sync with the station’s vibes – an invigorating new music format of adult contemporary (AC) music. The AC music format is all about soothing, melodious music comprising songs across different genres which have been hits over the last two decades; it is melodious music that lasts over a period of time. Radio City 91.1 FM will cater to the tastes of discerning music enthusiasts cutting across Akola’s young and urban adults. This will ultimately give advertisers a great value for their money spent. Commenting on the launch of the Akola station, Apurva Purohit, CEO Radio City 91.1 FM said, “We are thrilled to be a part of the lives of the people of Akola. Combining our musical expertise, innovations and creativity, Radio City brings to Akola compelling content and a music mix strategically planned to uplift the mood of its listeners. We are certain that our brand promise of ‘Whatte Fun’ will catch on very well with Radio Cityzens in Akola giving them an unmatched radio experience.”

BPL launches mobile radio service BPL Mobile Mumbai has announced its mobile radio service, ‘BPL Mobile Jukebox’. The service available to both post-paid and pre-paid subscribers, will allow BPL Mobile subscribers to listen to their choice of music while on the move. The service will be accessible on a basic entry-level non-data enabled handset. Commenting on this new service, S Subramaniam, CEO, BPL Mobile, said, “With our new BPL Mobile Jukebox service, we are not just making music of our subscriber’s choice affordable, but also easily accessible on their mobile phones. It addresses the mood function of each of our users and offers them a huge variety of high quality, legal music at their fingertips.”

Playing truly popular melodious music in the language of the people, with fun contests, events, humour and gossip delivered by a hugely popular team of Radio Jockeys, Radio City will greet Akola every morning with the lively, fun-filled and energetic Whatte Fun Mornings. Helping young homemakers in Akola add that extra ‘spice’ to their persona, City Spice will skilfully address relevant issues coupled with solutions and interesting contests each day while Radio City Joyride will see Akola unwind with some great music and entertaining updates on the day.

comes at an affordable monthly subscription. The service also enables the listeners to download the ringtone of the songs as well as dedicate those songs. More than being user friendly, this service also greets its listeners in their preferred language, remembers their favourite songs and presents them with their previously chosen song categories. It allows the user to skip songs that they are bored of or replay the ones they crave to listen to more often. Also, in the event of one skipping a certain mood/category over five times, the user gets an option of switching the category/mood.

The subscriber can dial a specific number to listen to the complete song from the Jukebox Catalog, which has over 1,000 songs and 42

April 2007 | Radio Duniya

Meow 104.8 FM presents The Golden Ovary Award Meow104.8 FM and Guild of Women Archivers (GOWA) on the occasion of International Women’s Day, announced the launch of ‘The Golden Ovary Award’. As part of this initiative, women from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata were invited to share the stories on their ‘acts of courage’ and inspire the rest of the women folk to follow suit and brave the odds to become achievers in their own right. The activity culminated on 23rd March with a felicitation ceremony, where five women were presented ‘The Golden Ovary Award’. The event started on 8th March with Preity Zinta endorsing the event by her presence at a press meet and co-hosting a 2 hour Radio show on Meow104.8 FM inviting women to share their stories of bravery and how they have overcome the odds. The winners Aahaa FM Chennai, Celebrated womenhood in Aahaa Style. Twenty-one women walked the stage, amidst continuous applause, unable to hide their excitement on the occasion of the grand finale of “Aahaa Angel” contest conducted by Aahaa FM on International Women’s day at Music Academy, Chennai. The participants had to answer questionnaires, distributed by the AAHAA team over the past one month. The questionnaires were also available in magazines like Kumudam, Snegithy, Mangayar Malar & Kalki.. A panel of celebrity judges selected the winners after scrutinizing the answers. The event saw participation from Aahaa FM breakfast

were presented with an exclusive diamond jewellery set and a certificate from Meow104.8 FM. The event saw the participation of about 200 women, out of which five were shortlisted as the winners to be honoured at Shangri-la hotel at New Delhi on 23rd of March. Chaya Srivasta, Founder of Guild of Women Achievers, said, “A women is either a victim, survivor or a contributor. Their story is no different from others who suffered in a similar manner, but they took up the opportunity to turn the threat into an opportunity for them.” The event was marked by a classical performance by Shovana Narayan on ‘Koham’ and a cultural performance by a Rajasthani dance troupe depicting the various colors of a woman’s life. show host and play back singer Chinmayee, Harish Raghavendra, Rehana and Bhavatharani who belted out popular numbers. Special guests during the occasion included Carnatic legend Sudha Ragunathan, poet Thamizhachi Thangapandiyan and TV host Uma Sukesh. According to Balendran Kandeban, Head of Creative & Marketing, Aahaa 91.9 FM, “Aahaa Angel was a contest that captured the imagination of women due to its innovative nature. We got a tremendous response with over ten thousand application forms being filled by women from various walks of life. The Aahaa FM team worked endlessly, going to colleges, IT offices, government offices, and housing societies to create awareness about the contest and getting women to fill up the forms. It was a tribute to womanhood by Aahaa FM - the Aahaa way.”


ommun ty Rad o

State-run radio in demand The state governments of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka and Punjab have expressed their desire to start their own radio stations and FM channels and have put in applications to this effect with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. According to states officials, All India Radio does not do justice to region-specific issues. Hence the need for a locally-run and dedicated station. The states have been pushing for their own radio stations despite a 1995 Supreme Court

ruling that the ‘broadcasting media should be under the control of the public as distinct from the government’. TRAI has also hinted that it was undertaking an exercise to explore the feasibility of allowing states to operate their own radio stations. After the Ministry’s approval, some states have even tentatively named their radio stations. So there is the Karnataka government’s Namma Banali (Our Voice) and MP’s Azad Hind Radio, both waiting for frequencies to be allocated to them. The Delhi government’s plans too are awaiting a go-ahead from the ministry. The Rajasthan Government is giving shape to its broadcasting ambitions to promote community radio. Karnataka is going to the extent of picking and choosing governmentfriendly NGOs to transmit its message. The state will be putting in two-thirds of the finances. While the MP government has already sanctioned rupees one million for Azad Hind Radio project.

Kalpakkam to get community radio station Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu will soon launch its own community radio station. The population in Kalpakkam, which houses the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS), Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) and Fast Breeder Reactor, will be served by this local community radio station. The radio station will help the community, consisting of thousands of scientists, engineers and technicians and related professionals, to interact and strengthen their relationship, apart from being used during natural calamities.

Bihar plans school radio project The Bihar government has proposed a community radio project for schools. In this regard, the state government has selected 11 highschools of Patna and Nalanda.The main aim of the project is to disseminate information on government and other socially useful schemes, encourage local participation by the community, revival of local and folk art forms, employment of local youth in the community, thus discouraging migration, and aid the process of disaster management. The state government has already applied for license and once the license is issued, the state government will set up FM broadcasting stations at selected schools that will relay programmes related to local issues. The core programming will be done in Patna while peripheral programming would be done in districts. The capital cost for setting up one Community Radio Station (CRS), including equipment and installation charges, is rupees 0.48 million. The cost of studio, which would be optional, would be rupees 0.23 million. The operational cost per CRS, as worked out by the government, is rupees 46,965 per month while the expected monthly revenue per CRS is rupees 50,400.


April 2008 | Radio Duniya

Bangladesh announces CR policy

Jadavpur Univeristy to launch Community Radio

The government of Bangladesh announced the Community Radio Installation, Broadcast and Operation Policy 2008 on 12th March 2008. The Ministry of Information of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has invited applications for Community Radio installation, broadcast and operation from interested organizations till 15th April 2008.

Kolkata’s Jadavpur University is the latest entrant in the Community Radio arena. Radio JU 90.8 FM, will hit the airwaves on the Bengali New Year Day, 14th of April 2008 and will have a reach of up to a radius of 10kms. With the launch, it will be the first of its kind campus community radio in East India. The one minute signature tune for the station consisting of both classical and folk music has been composed by renowned percussionist Bikram Ghosh.

The policy document has been put on the ministry’s website. An English translated copy of the same has been made available by Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) on its site. BNNRC has already opened the Community R a d i o Help Desk, offering its services to interested initiators. This assistance will include – help for community radio enthusiasts in the form of technical assistance; guidance for filling the form and following up with the concerned department; technical guidance for studio setup, broadcasting equipments; assistance in acquiring relevant software; baseline studies and need analysis; monitoring and evaluation; capacity building including training; transmission management; library and archives; feedback; identifying partners and funding agencies.

Nilanjana Gupta, Director of School of Media Studies says, “The station will have slots for physically challenged people, youth and schoolchildren. This Community Radio station might well turn out to be the first station that gives a break to talented singers.”

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) has welcomed the community radio policy. Commenting on the policy, Ashish Sen, Vice President for the Asia Pacific region of AMARC said, “We welcome it and thank the Government of Bangladesh for this initiative. We also congratulate our colleagues in Bangladesh for their unrelenting advocacy work, which has finally manifested in the form of this policy.” Following the congratulatory remarks Sen noted, “AMARC has taken a serious note of the fact that ‘political news is not allowed in the ‘pilot phase’. We feel that such provisions are against fundamental communication rights and freedom of expression and can seriously jeopardize development prospects of the community radio sector in Bangladesh.” AMARC has questioned the relevance of equating ‘government research institutions and development organizations’ for receiving licenses under the same policy. It is also concerned about the high license fees mentioned in the policy, and the limitations imposed on programming. It has urged the government of Bangladesh to make the necessary amendments in the policy so that it can be in complete agreement with the internationally accepted policies and principles of community radio.


Mumbai university launches community radio station Mumbai University will soon operate its own community radio station with the launch of Mumbai University Students’ Transmission or ‘Radio MUST’ on February 29, 2008. The radio station will initially bring information and entertainment and broadcast community-related programmes as well as public lectures and discussions dealing with students’ issues. Later on, the station will broadcast classroom lectures. The radio station will be on air on the frequency 107.8 GHz, the station’s range will be restricted to a radius of 3 km around the campus. But it will be accessible worldwide through the Internet. The campus radio will take up issues related to health, address biases and superstitions and involve all stakeholders to produce joint programmes. Significantly, a section of the programmes will address queries related to the university system through a phonein system, to be conducted by students in collaboration with the university administration.

CRF, India registers under Society Act Community Radio Forum (CRF) of India has been registered under the Society Act. The process initiated in the 1st CRF Meeting held in New Delhi on 1st February 2007 has come full circle. CRF has been formed as a nodal agency for the community radio movement in India to facilitate a better interface between the government and communities, funding agencies, and other broadcast media, and also to help communities / organizations to set up and operate their own community radio stations. CRF has played a key role in the process of democratizing community radio in the country over almost a decade. CRF activities would include – policy reforms and advocacy, documentation, monitoring and evaluation of CR initiatives, awareness building conferences, capacity building, technology options, setting up a help desk and fund raising.

Ashish Sen, Balakrishna, General Narsamma, Geeta Malhotra, Mitu Varma, Nimmi Chauhan, Priti Soni, PV Satheesh, Stalin K. and Vinod Pavrala. According to the forum, these founding members have no special powers apart from founding the organisation. The first General Body Meeting comprising of all the institutional and individual members, will be held within six months of registration of CRF.

The process of membership of CRF has already begun. CRF has two categories of membership, Institutional Membership for any Not for Profit organization who is practicing and/or promoting the concept of community radio and Individual Membership for community radio broadcasters, community radio programmers, researchers, activists, engaged in and/or interested in promoting community radio. The founding members of the Community Radio Forum include 46

April 2008 | Radio Duniya


MCRC). After one year of formal inauguration the transmission hours of Radio Jamia was extended from one and a half hours to three hours. Today the station broadcasts live programme from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, and this broadcast is repeated next day from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Very shortly the station will broadcast programmes for 12 hours. Keeping in view the interest of listeners, the programmes have been made attractive and focus on all sections of the society. The students of Jamia Millia Islamia participate in the live programmes broadcast on Radio Jamia and are not only trained for programme presentation but are also provided with technical knowledge. On various occasions, radio professionals from outside Jamia also present the programmes. The programmes are basically broadcast in Urdu, however, any Hindi and/or English speaking student can also participate and present the programme in any of these languages.

The first community radio was established in Anna University in the year 2004 which was named as ANNA CR (FM) . Jamia Millia Islamia decided to follow suit and on 21st September 2003, approached the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to avail community radio license. In this regard the then Vice Chancellor, Syed Shahid Mahdi, took much interest and his efforts succeeded when Radio Jamia went on air in March 2005. Initially the programmes were of one hour duration. In April 2006, this duration was extended up to one and half hours. Jamia Millia Islamia’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mushirul Hasan, formally inaugurated this Radio station on 16th March 2006 and currently, the station is working under the guidance and supervision of eminent broadcaster like Dr. G. R. Syed (Reader, AJK


In foreign countries, community radio stations broadcast news but in India this has not yet been permitted. Here, the focus is on general awareness and entertainment, so that maximum number of people become responsible citizens. Generally F.M. 90.4 programmes start with Hamd, Naat and Manqabat, which are very popular among the Urdu listeners. It is the responsibility of Radio Jamia to promote healthy values so that a healthy nation can be built and to achieve this purpose, a series entitled Fikr-o- Nazar is being broadcast. In this programme the focus is on the moral values and the philosophy of life. Besides, the radio station also broadcasts Ghazals, Qawwali, Bhojpuri, Haryanvi and Punjabi songs and other musical programmes. Radio Jamia takes in to account the tastes and likes of every section of listeners. In the half an hour programme based on Ghazals it broadcasts the Ghazals of renowned Urdu poets sung by eminent singers. The most popular voices are Jagjit Singh, Chitra Singh, Mehdi Hasan, Munni Begum, Abid Parveen, Nayyara Noor and Ghulam Ali. At the moment, Radio Jamia does not broadcast original film songs, these songs are presented on music track by students of Jamia. The listeners very much enjoy the programmes on Radio Jamia and many times people visit the studio to encourage the young artists. The station also broadcasts “Jamia Nama”, a weekly programme based on day-today activities of Jamia campus and this is very popular among the student community. In “Sports Zone”, views and April 2008 | Radio Duniya

reviews on sports are broadcast for 15 minutes from 3:15 to 3:30 PM daily. Besides this, Radio Jamia also provides information about admission and job opportunities in different universities and institutions in its programme “Education Zone”. Along with this, Radio Jamia broadcasts some special programmes in collaboration with BBC and other NGO’s, like Butterfly and Pratham. They take part in the live programmes which deal with the issues of child labour and women empowerment. In this way, Radio Jamia is catering to almost all sections of the community and working like a complete Community Radio. In the programmes broadcast at the station, special emphasis is given to child and women related issues. In this regard,


R. Sreedher Director, CEMCA

a programme for empowerment of women called Parwaz is broadcast fortnightly and a programme for children called “Honhar”, devised and produced by Suresh Kumar Verma, is broadcast weekly. School students of Jamia Millia Islamia and the community children take part in this programme. The station also broadcasts talks, drama, features, discussions, music and interviews. Besides studio–based programmes, live coverages are also part of the broadcast. The radio station covers the annual Convocation of Jamia Millia Islamia live. In addition to this, it had also broadcast live, the visit of Saudi King, Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, to the campus in 2007. In this way, on one hand community is served and on the other Mass Communication students also get practical training of live Radio Broadcast. “Talimi Mela” is one of the main events of Jamia Millia Islamia, the station promotes this event in a big way by broadcasting radio reports. Senior citizen’s information and entertainment needs are also taken care of by Radio Jamia in the form of health and musical programmes. Weekly programmes of mushaira are also broadcast to cater to those who have interest in Urdu poetry. On the whole, Radio Jamia 90.4 programmes have different shades of colours, it is like a garden full of fragrance. Being a part of Anwar Jamal Kidwai Mass Communication Research Center, the station has a qualified team of broadcast engineers in different capacities. The station has a well equipped broadcasting studio with all the state–of–art technology. Speaking to Radio Duniya, Dr. Shakeel Akhtar, Producer, Jamia CR 90.4 said, “My personal and professional experience is that community radio is not so viable in urban areas and the reason is that the communities are not homogeneous in big cities. In a real sense, I think community radio will be successful in rural India, which is still deprived of information, education and entertainment.”

We only wish that Jamia CR goes full stream for 24 hours in the near future and serve the community by throwing open its gates to the marginalized community around the university. Jamia CR has also been entrusted with the broadcast of Science for Women’s Health and Nutrition by the Rashtriya Vigyan Evam Prodoyigi sanchar Parishad of the Department of Science and Technology Government of India reacently. CEMCA has already completed its base line studies and capacity building exercises. The project is going to take off soon and it is being watched by a large number of CR enthusiasts for some really innovative, interactive participatory programmes from Jamia .


Community Radio: Voice of Rural People A report of the national workshop on Community Radio Awareness held in Bangladesh For the first time in Bangladesh, a national workshop on Community Radio Awareness was held from 2nd to 4th March 2008 at the Bangladesh Open University (BOU) campus. The workshop was jointly organised by Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) and Development Research Network (D.Net) in collaboration with Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) of Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Bangladesh Open University (BOU). The workshop was held at the media centre of Bangladesh Open University at Gazipur, Dhaka. It was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of Bangladesh Open University, Dr. M Farid Ahmed. Speaking at the occasion, he said, “Our day to day life is now highly influenced by technology, and this particular workshop is going to contribute in a big way to the social and economic development of Bangladesh.” Rumkini Vemraju, the Programme Officer of CEMCA and Firoj Ahmed, Joint Director of BOU jointly supervised the three day workshop. During the inaugural ceremony, Rukmini said, “CEMCA is working closely with more than 30 community radio stations in India.” She shared the experiences of India and stated that CEMCA would contribute to the community radio movement in Bangladesh in every manner possible. As the special guests AHM Bazlur Rahman, the Chief Executive Officer of BNNRC and Ananya Raihan were present during the inaugural session. They expressed the view that CEMCA and BOU would join hands and contribute endlessly to the emergence of Community Radio in Bangladesh. Officials from the Media Centre and the Regional Directors of BOU as well as the officials of the NGOs

that are working in the remote and coastal areas of Bangladesh participated in the workshop. The participants from the commercial phone companies who have established Internet outlets in the rural areas in Bangladesh also joined the proceedings. During the workshop, all aspects of broadcasting, from technical aspects and content making, studio designing and maintaining, radio station management and broadcasting were taught with tremendous care and practical demonstration. Amit Chakrabarty, the former top ranking official of the very popular Bangla TV Channel of India ‘Tara Bangla’ and Programme Director of World Space Radio, Monoranjan Das, the advisor of Radio Today and the former Additional Chief Engineer of Bangldesh Betar and the consultant of ABC Radio Jamal Uddin Mawla Newaj facilitated in the workshop. The perspective and social aspects of community radio was demonstrated by AHM Bazlur Rahman, the CEO of BNNRC. At the end of the three-day workshop certificates were distributed to participants in a gala closing ceremony. Honourable Vice Chancellor and the Treasurer of Bangladesh Open University were present at the closing ceremony. In his closing speech, the Vice Chancellor said that BOU would facilitate skill development of the station managers of community radio stations in Bangladesh in the future. The workshop ended on a positive note, with the expectation that the government of Bangladesh would soon open up the doors for the pilot project of community radio in the country. As the direct result of the workshop the participants have been prepared to run more than fifty community radio stations as soon as the government approves the establishment of community radio in the country.


April 2008 | Radio Duniya

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