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technology May 2008 | Vol: I | Issue: 7 Rs. 50/-

India’s first radio monthly

Let’s Connect Locally

Stand out from the clutter Balendran Kandeeban 17 Dhum Mitha Monica Nayyar Patnaik


25, 29 Host Talk Jaishree, Meow 104.8 FM; Amit 93.5 S FM Technology The Next Big Thing: Mobile Radio



29 - 31 July 2008 Pragati Maidan, New Delhi eINDIA2008 Thematic Tracks


knowledge for change


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editorial Fine Tuning Radio Content Radio is unique in its reach, appeal and strength. Till date, two phases of licensing for private FM have been completed in the country, and there are a total of 205 radio stations on air at present. These radio stations cover more than seventy-six cities across the country and reach out to two-fifths of the total population. In the coming years, the number of FM stations in the country is set to go up to 500, while the reach is expected to be 75 percent of the population. In such a promising scenario, it is time that the radio industry focuses on the programme offerings to attain differentiation in terms of content line-up. In most radio stations the focus is on music, which is essentially from films. Nothing much is really given prominence, from the programming point of view. The radio industry has to understand that it is competing, for the same audience attention, not just with print and television, but also with the emerging medias like Internet and new age music gadgets like i-pods and MP3 players. The potential of radio to establish connect with the masses increases manifold, if it understands the pulse of the city and creates the right kind of programming mix. The audience is bombarded with a plethora of sounds everyday and if radio has to capture them and make its mark, it needs to give the audience what they really want and that includes local happenings, issues and events. To tap in to people’s heart and mind local issues and concerns should be addressed. The industry has started shifting its focus towards the social and civic duties and spread awareness about issues of local relevance. In this issue we spoke to various radio stations – regional and national and tried to know how they establish local connect with the masses. Hope this is an interesting and informative read for you and we look forward to your feedback on this effort.

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

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: is published by Ravi Gupta on behalf of Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. in technical collaboration of Centre for Science Development and Media Studies India’s first radio monthly

Web Programmer Zia Salahuddin Amit Pal Anil Kumar Santosh Kumar Singh Shyam Kishore

Printed at Vinayak Print Media E-53, Sector-7, Noida, U.P. and published from G-4, Sector-39, Noida, U.P. Editor: Ravi Gupta

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 a n d v a r i e d f i e l d . Yo u r 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.

© Elets Technomedia Pvt Ltd. ( knowledge for change


May 2008

Cover Story Let’s Connect Locally




Industry Updates Events




25 17




Station Talk Stand out from the clutter Balendran Kandeeban Head of Marketing and Creative, Aahaa FM

Dhum Mitha 29

Manica Nayyar Patnaik Director, Eastern Media Limited




Host Conviction equals to success Jaishree Meow 104.8 FM

Totally Charged Up Amit 93.5 S FM

Survival of the Fittest Sandeep Marwah, President AAFT



Mobile Radio The Next Big Thing in Radio Industry

Community Radio

25 29


City Montessori School Community Radio 90.4


Radio for the People

Voice of the Students

MOP FM 107.8


Hey Radio Duniya team,

Dear Friends,

I’m a new voice in the radio industry. I’m doing my graduation along with working at Suryan FM 93.5, Coimbatore for the past one year. I just happened to flip through your magazine one day after my show and ever since I’ve been an avid reader.

The magazine is simply superb. I really like the layout and play of colours that you guys attempt every time. I love the way the stories are classified and the addition of lots of pictures makes the magazine more interesting, specially since the public now gets to “see” the radio people and not just “hear” them.

This magazine is giving a lot of information on the happenings around the country in the “Radio World”. Its nice to know about various radio stations and radio jockeys around the country. Keep up the great work. All the best Radio Duniya!!! Swati Suryan FM 93.5, Coimbatore Hi, I am a radio host, TV anchor and singer. I want to salute the whole team that is working at Radio Duniya. The magazine helps me keep up with all the developments in the world of radio and makes me realize that I too am part of this great radio movement and I can do my bit for the industry.

Regards, Raja Marthnadan Big 92.7 FM, Chennai Dear Radio Duniya Team, Thanks for bringing out such a wonderful magazine for the radio industry. Your magazine regularly updates us with the happenings of the radio industry and the articles are very interesting and insightful. It is always a pleasure to pick up the monthly magazine and get lost in the world of radio. Regards, Anruag Sharma Jaipur

Sushmita Bhattacharya Meow FM, Kolkata Hi, Hi, It was amazing to read your magazine and get to know all that is happening in the world of radio through one magazine. I found it to be very nice and interesting and innovative. Your team must be working really hard to garner all the latest information from the radio industry and present it to the people in such a lucid and comprehensive manner. Hats off to all you hard working people! Regards, Chethan Shetty, Bangalore Dear Sir/Mam, Greetings from Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), an autonomous body of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. We also have a Community Radio Station for effective implementation of the programs. I would like to congratulate you on the magazine and would also like to request you to provide information on the best manners of functioning of community radio station in the country, because we will get a chance to learn more and we will have a chance to interact and share ideas and thoughts. Thanks and Regards, Srinivasan, RGNIYD


I have seen your site and magazine and I really appreciate the effort you guys are putting in and the result as shown by the response it has generated. I am really keen on working for radio and I would appreciate your comments and suggestion on how radio can be used more effectively as a medium of communication. I am sure your advise will help me gain direction. It would be great if you could also add a section on radio programming and the process of creating a show in the magazine as well. Thanks a lot, Debashish Chakrabarty

TALK2US Send your feedback and job openings to us May 2008 | Radio Duniya

Let’s Connect Locally The first phase of private sector involvement in FM radio broadcasting, amied to attract private agencies to add on to the efforts of the public broadcaster, All India Radio, to broadcast programmes of relevance with a special emphasis on local content and increased content generation. As the journey of private FM in the country nears its third phase of licensing, it is probably the right time to check how local content is being provided by the numerous radio stations across the country. This story is our attempt to find out how various private FM operators are giving a platform to local issues, local people and local cultures through their programming.

Thinking Local and Staying Connected Unlike print and television, radio constantly stays on the move with the listener. This makes it very important for radio to convey to the listener, developments which are relevant to him and impact his daily life. The shows on a radio station should not only offer local flavour and city-connect through relevant content and interesting information and updates, but also play music which appeals to the local tastes. India is a vast country, with diversity in culture, language, and catering to the likes and dislikes of such a huge population is a humongous task. In order to say the right things - the right way, a radio station must know its audiences really well. So, how does any radio station capture the hearts, minds and ‘ears’ of the listener’s and ensure local connect? According to Tapas Sen, Chief Programming Officer, Radio Mirchi, “The structure of the radio station allows local connect, because the head of programming at every Mirchi station is always somebody from that place and he/she knows the city like the back of his/her hand. They understand the sensibilities, the ethos and what really gets the town going.” “The programming head is actually the key person in establishing local connect. The entire programming team in the station is local, including the RJs who are locally hired and trained”, he added. 7

through our local issue based programmes. Through this we are able to interact to the public and our channel is able to relate to them. We have been really successful with this strategy and our programmes talk about Gwalior, its local people and local language.”

Radio City’s Bye-Bye Thand Campaign Elaborating on how the programming of his station includes local issues, problems and concerns, Ashit Kukian, National Head, Sales, Radio City 91.1FM says, “Our programming includes everything that affects our listener’s life. This could vary from a cricket match in the city

“Our programming includes everything that affects our listener’s life Ashit Kukian, Radio City 91.1FM to a transportation strike, a new musical in the city to the state of the roads or civic problems! Our RJs discuss issues and concerns with listeners on-air encouraging them to voice their opinions and perspectives on the matter.” He says that the station encourages listener participation through various mediums like ongoing contests, sms voting, on-ground campaigns and activities, onair discussions among others. The interactivity not only keeps people informed of developments within the city but also makes for very meaningful local content. Adds Ravindran Nair, Programme Director, Radio Mango, “There are 8

certain basic factors which ensure local connect for our station. Firstly, we believe in recruiting locally, so, that our programming team knows the pulse of the city they are in. Secondly, all the jocks are encouraged to use local colloquiums in their banter. Thirdly, we adapt a lot of user generated content which are extremely local as on air material. Also our show fabric across the day touches upon stories and events that is the current buzz in the city. Fourthly, a lot of utilities we have on air like traffic updates, train timings, weather, city happenings, etc. are completely city specific.” Tarun Goyal, Director, Radio Chaska brings out the national versus local debate when he says, “While deciding the programming for our channel we have very carefully decided to keep a good mix to compete with our competitors who have large presence in Indian radio m a r k e t . We h a v e g a i n e d a competitive edge because of our all-local shows.” He elaborats, “where the other national players are broadcasting the same programme all over India we compete and differentiate

Kunal Pruthi, Head – Content Creation, Suno Lemon adds a new dimension to the debate by bringing in the argument that it is very difficult to define “local content” today since, “we are not dealing with just physical aspects (geographical aspect) of being in the city but we are dealing with a generation which is completely global with their information and aspirations. Any thing that is being played on-air is content - we may call it local or global. The idea is to maintain a domain and then function inside the domain. At Suno Lemon, we have a domain where we invite or facilitate local participation both physically and emotionally.”

It is very difficult to

define local content as the current generation is global

Kunal Pruthi, Suno Leman

Nonetheless, ensuring local connect is a tough task and radio stations have to constantly innovate in order to keep pace, as PB Ramaswamy, Cluster Head, Tamil Nadu, BIG 92.7 FM says, “Recently BIG 92.7 FM Chennai re-positioned itself as a station which celebrates “Tamilian’s Pride” as we found that Tamil is a unifying factor for Chennaites because Chennai is essentially a city of Diaspora of Tamilians from various parts of Tamil Nadu. The programming mix of our Station has been put together after much research and understanding of our listeners’ requirements.” To emphasise Tamilian’s pride through programming content, the station featured a celebrity May 2008 | Radio Duniya

from different fields on-air, where his/her traits and achievements were discussed by fellow colleagues, family, friends and fans in general. This interactivity saw a further surge with listener’s opinions being given importance. There was a wonderful response from the listeners as they loved to hear about achievement of Tamilians. In this way the station ensured local connect through greater programme offering. Another pressing issue of debate is how does a radio station ensure local connect in terms of programming? According to Ritu Chhabra, National Head – Brand, 94.3 MY FM, “MY FM understands the nuances in the lifestyle, leisure, pass-time of its listeners well, given its deep understanding of the markets it operates in, which helps us ensure the content that has local flavour. For instance, we know that the people in Ajmer like fast music versus the listeners in Indore who prefer music high on melody. She says that such understanding and insight allows them to tailor make the content station wise. In stations like Jaipur, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad, they cater to the demand of international music by running a dedicated English music show on our station. In places like Ahmedabad, there is the need of regional music and hence they play a dedicated Gujarati music show called Swargurjri on the weekends. Local connect is ensured by constantly customising content to reflect the pulse of the city. For example, the biggest thing in the country right now is the IPL, and many radio station have tied up with teams to provide a continuous flow of exciting content for the entire season. Fever FM has focused on maximising the involvement with the audience in terms of activities; for example, in ‘Captain’s Knock’, they got

top players Virender Sehwag, Glenn McGrath, Daniel Vettori, G a u t a m Gambhir, D i n e s h Karthik and others to visit listeners at their houses and invite them for the first match.

Many a times, national or international issues are made local with the infusion of a local flavour Tapas Sen, Radio Mirchi So, most radio stations do take up local themes for their programmes and if the theme is not local, the treatment would surely be local and the local connect is always weaved in.

Taking up socially and locally relevant issues Radio is the real medium of the masses, in the sense that it reaches out to all the people across socioeconomic divisions and diversity, so the role of radio in taking up and creating awareness about local issues and concerns are very important. Many radio stations therefore organise special campaigns to fulfill their social and moral responsibility towards the masses who religiously tune in day and night. Radio Stations use a lot of user generated content that has social or cultural issues and give it their own touch on air.

Many a times, international or national issues are made local with the infusion of a local flavour, like the way Radio Mirchi Pune localised a world event like 9/11 by speaking to the family of a local As Tapas says, “All the campaigns resident whose family members on radio have local flavor since were present at Manhattan we engage pubic with high end that particular day, when the guests which are mostly local World Trade Centre fell. Thereby, authorities thereby not only establishing My FM World AIDS Day Campaign an immediate local connect by talking about 9/11 in Marathi. Such programming initiatives add that something extra to the normal programmes and facilitate g r e a t e r interaction with the listeners.

our Corporate Social Responsibilty activities on-air. The local flavour is implemented by taking the voice of the children from various sections of the society in the show. Some of the issues that are highlighted during the show were save electricity, save trees, donate blood, be hygienic, avoid alcohol etc. Campaigns by Radio Choklate include ‘children against child labour’ and ‘clean Bhubaneshwar drive’. Radio Choklate’s Campaign against child labour giving solution of the problems but also instant implementation. The local authorities are also more keen to use radio as medium to solve problems.” Radio has its own ways and means of solving problems and campaigning for issues. For instance, Radio Mango has a segment called “Upakara Smarana” which translates to thanks for the favours. Here, some specific problems like, lack of street lights is taken up with a “Munnabhai” touch. The segment thanks the authorities for improving their sight and enabling them to walk in the dark.”

Radio Mango takes up social issues with a touch of humour but with underlying seriousness Ravindran Nair, Radio Mango So, the station without sounding like activists radio provides a tongue in cheek address to a local issue. Likewise, there is another segment called “Love Story” which is in the form of a love letter between two things that should be together but seem to be missing each other, like municipal tap and water. So, essentially Radio Mango takes up social issues with a touch of humour but with underlying seriousness. As Kunal Pruthi, Head of Content, Suno Lemon says, “Till now we 10

have successfully combined social awareness with our mainstream content, we have never done any social campaign in isolation. We blended all the elements of entertainment to promote any cause, so that it reaches out to the right people with right notes. We have shows that speak about Gwalior along with a radio character who provides minutest of details of the city. The effort is not to present city as it is but to provide an insight along with a new version. We also have a show where we call up “ordinary people as guests”. The idea is to give time and attention to the common man and make him feel special.” Lucknow’s Radio City organised the ‘Bye Bye Thand’ campaign to support the slum dwellers of Dalibagh with a generous helping hand from the people of Lucknow. Surat’s Radio City 91.1FM took the lead to observe World AIDS Day on December 1, 2007 arm in arm with the Radio Cityzens of Surat city. Bridging the distance between citizens and administrators with a ‘Whatte Fun’ zing, Lucknow’s Radio City 91.1FM also observed ‘Civic Week’ in Lucknow. Hosted by RJ Vera, the FM station invited Lucknow’s top Government officials to go live on-air and interact with listeners for an entire week. Radio Choklate has an in-house programme, “Meri Awaz Suno”, which is specially designed for

Campaigns can be of local, national or international nature. Many a times radio stations tie up with big civil society organisations or groups to bring about a change. Recently BIG 92.7 FM supported Greenpeace’s “Blue Alert” campaign in Chennai which called for Chennaites to be aware of the adverse effects of global warming and requested people to participate in the signature campaign organised by Greenpeace. BIG FM also organised the ‘Rahat Abhiyan’ during the winters. On World Water Day, MY FM Jaipur organised the ‘Bus 2 Balti Pani: Jagrukta Abhiyaan’ and made the public aware about the importance of water conservation. The activity not only helped people realise the importance of water but also established an emotional connect with the listeners. The station also organised a huge rally to spread awareness on World AIDS Day and Human Rights Day. While Meow does its own style of campaigning, in sync with its brand identity of being the only allwomen radio station. Its activities include the Meow Walkathon and the Pink Ribbon Day celebrations on the 14th of October, where it raised awareness about breast cancer. Ensuring local participation and highlighting people’s voices Radio can give the listener an opportunity to contribute to opinion formation and sharing. May 2008 | Radio Duniya

Big FM’s Rahat Abhiyan

Most radio shows attempt to be interactive with the RJ asking questions based on issues, events, contests and also by inviting listeners to share their views with other listeners. Stations go with the usual radio patterns of SMS, call-ins, call-outs, OB jocks and show guests to ensure local participation. On issues concerning the city, radio stations invite and encourages a high level of interactivity and listener participation. To make shows participatory, majority of the shows are call driven. The trend is to open a topic for discussion or a debate and let the listeners react to it. Thus communication becomes two-way and very interactive.

The trend is to open a topic for discussion or a debate and let the listeners react to it. Given their very city-based nature and small area of functioning, smaller city stations can devote special shows on a long term basis to discussion of local issues and get people to speak on air. Radio Choklate has designed a programme called “Kya Bole Public” where the station ensures local participation, by choosing an important question for debate and encourage public to give their opinion.

The daily programme “CID 104” deals with local problems and issues, thus highlighting local voice. On Radio Chaska, every day a local person is called on air for “Chaska Mission” to discuss issues raised in a particular week. This helps listeners interact with the administration. Fever 104 addresses and discusses local issues like safety, electricitywater, traffic etc through on-air RJ talk and interactions with listeners. On Meow, “Top Cat”, hosted by Dr Kiran Bedi, takes up all local issues pertaining to Delhi women. Working to promote folk art, culture and music One area in which radio can contribute immensely is in the spread and promotion of folk art, culture and music. Being a local medium radio can play a great role in helping local and folk art forms gain popularity and value by providing a platform to local artists to perform on air and establish a fruitful relation with the masses. Sadly, this is not happening in the manner that it should be taken up by radio stations. The predominant form of music is always film based and pop music, which is belted out every hour. The radio stations

Nowadays in movies, folk songs are gaining lot of importance and we play these kinds of songs very often

P.B. Ramaswamy, Big FM

reason that people like listening to this kind of music and folk music is being integrated into film music. As Ramaswamy says, “Nowadays in movies, folk songs are gaining lot of importance and we play these kinds of songs very often. We don’t touch upon too much of folk in our daily content.” Adds Radio Mango’s Ravi, “Our programming essentially encompasses popular culture and music so per se there is no folk music in our repertoire. We show our respect to these art forms through some of our station and show promos as well as getting folk artistes as on air guests.”

Meow Walkathon for breast cancer awareness


Tapas Sen of Mirchi also confirms that “Our identity is that of a contemporary mainstream film music playing station. In the north it is Bollywood music and for Southern stations it is again film music. Though we do play some amount of indip-pop, but, folk music is not directly promoted or played on our station. According to Neeraj Chaturvedi, Station Head, Fever FM, “The music format of the station is mainstream and while we play new music and artistes, this is done keeping in mind the mainstream potential of the music. Hence, the exposure of niche music is limited on Fever 104.” According to Monica, programmes on Radio Choklate promote folk culture. She elaborate, “We have designed a programme called “Radio Orchestra”, as orchestra and folk songs are integral part of Oriya culture and a major source of entertainment in Orissa, The show is a full 3 hour programme loaded with folk songs and music which is the soul of our station.” Meow 104.8 FM also invites musicians and bands who sing folk songs. In the past they have invited East India Company, who are into Assamese folk music; Pushpa Bagga, who sings North Indian folk and Ramlila songs; the band Jigri, who travel round the country and pick up folk songs and songs from movements.

Radio Choklate’s cleanliness drive realise the great service they can do to the cause of local forms of music, traditional instruments, arts of storytelling, etc, the better it will be for the people who practice these art forms and for connoisseurs of arts and culture. It does seem like the local radio stations are better equipped and devoted to promoting folk art and culture than the bigger national players, up to a certain extent. Differentiated content and b r e a ku p o f t h e c o n t e n t line up According to the FICCI Radio Forum, while the number of FM radio channels has grown from 10 to more than 200, the penetration of radio – number of listeners as a percentage of the population – has only risen from 45 per cent to 53 per cent. The Forum has noted that an 8 per cent rise is not commensurate with the large increase in the number of radio stations. And in order to create a larger audience base for FM radio, diversity in content has to be significantly higher.

Irrespective of whether a station is run by a small group or an allIndia player, not enough is being done to promote folk/local music and culture. The very nature of radio makes it very local and If we talk about the breakup of the personal and if radio stations content line up in terms of time allocated to Big FM’s Greenpeace Rally songs, talk, contests and ads, the break-up of all stations is pretty much the same, with 40 12

On an average, the major part of the day is devoted to playing songs, mostly film music and some amount of Indi-pop minutes of an hour given to songs, and the rest 20 divided among advertisements, programme promos, RJ talk or host links, stationalities etc. At Big FM for instance, for every 60 minutes there is 44 minutes of music, commercials are given about 10 minutes. Hence, the jock has to speak about 4 minutes per hour. According to Ravi, Radio Mango divides an hour in a manner that gives 40 to 45 minutes to music, around 2 minutes is given to RJ talk time, commercial time averages 6 to 8 minutes. The rest is taken up by stationalities like segments, promos, endorsements etc. On an average then, the major part of the day is devoted to playing songs, mostly film music and some amount of Indi-pop. Whatever is lef t is devoted to host talk, stationalities and advertisements. This, when there is so much that radio stations can offer to listeners, and offer differentiated content to them. There is an urgent need for different themes to be incorporated May 2008 | Radio Duniya

Conclusion in the programming to offer variety to the listeners. All radio stations divide the day in to day-parts and create content to target particular sections of the population. As the audience differs, so does the focus and theme of the programme. At Big FM, the shows are meant to be entertaining and humourous. Whatever is offered to the listener has these two factors attached to it and it is their USP.

It is only through differentiated content that the engaging stations will be distinguished from the mundane, the talked about from the easily forgotten According to Neeraj, “Fever 104’s format is intended to serve a consistent experience to the listener at any given point in the day. We therefore do not subscribe to the concept of theme based day parts. We do have an interactive breakfast show, an evening drive, a daily 20 song countdown and a 3 hour request show at night; however, we do not actively day-part based on themes.” While at Radio Mango the programming is designed to reflect a listeners daily routine. The non-music content provides entertainment with adequate doses of utilitarian segments. The station has consciously tried to stay away from creating thematic shows since it is like creating a sub segment within your own target segment. It aims to target the young at heart who can be 15 years or 50 years.

Radio has always been for the people, by the people and of the people. The concentration should always be to touch the local flavor. One radio station cannot give all things to all people. A station has to be different from another in its appeal, its relationship with listeners, and its personality, which are its unique point. The only way to beat listener fatigue is constant innovation. The trick is to personalise listener’s entertainment experience to whatever situation or mood they are in, through music, its genres, and immense variety. The very focus of the content aired on the station should differentiate them. If the stations draw themselves to this sea of uniformity, it will not serve any purpose but only stagnate our radio industry. The way forward is programmes that ensure local connect and continued emphasis on diversity of content, which are both very important for any radio station to do well. My FM’s Human Walk

Radio being closely associated with the ‘spoken word’, inherently has the higher pervasiveness quotient but it is important that we leverage this to the maximum especially in this overcommunicated society. While there can never be any recipe for creating listener focused magnets for the station, content differentiation seems to be a possible solution. The present ‘me-too’ radio phenomenon is stagnating the Indian radio industry. It is only through differentiated content that the engaging stations will be distinguished from the mundane, the talked about from the easily forgotten.


The ultimate Santana challenge with HIT 95 FM The Ultimate Santana Challenge is an initiative from HIT 95 FM to commemorate the music greats, and this time it’s arguably the world’s number one guitarist and the very popular “Carlos Santana”. For the first time in Delhi, a personally autographed original Red Paul Reed Smith guitar of Carlos Santana can be won through “IDEA presents The Ultimate Santana Challenge”.

A 6 week long promotion, initiated with an invitation to Delhi Bands to participate in the Santana Challenge, where the winning music band will win Carlos Santana’s personally autographed “Red Paul Reed Smith” guitar. All bands from Delhi can send in their work to the Radio station to qualify via live and recorded performances. The live performance of the Delhi’s biggest bands will be at a South Delhi venue in front of a jury across 3 weekends starting from 12th April, 19th April culminating with the Finals on 26th April with bands vying for the “Prized Possession”– the autographed guitar!. This is the biggest initiative from HIT 95 FM in the month of April 2008 Says the Programming Head, Neetu Puri Mathrani, HIT 95 FM, “HIT 95 FM highlights the need for a vibrant Delhi to have specialized content developed to their liking and listening habits”. Atul Chaturvedi (COO – Idea Cellular Limited, Delhi Circle), “It’s a proud moment for us to partner “The Ultimate Santana Challenge” as the Presenting Sponsor on HIT 95 FM, this is an appreciation of music and music related talent we have been associated with, in Delhi”

Delhi’s BIG 92.7 FM presents ‘Take it Easy’ with RJ Ravi BIG 92.7 FM, in its endeavor to provide wholesome entertainment to its listeners, has brought on board RJ Ravi to host an all new and fresh reverse drive time show –’Take It Easy’, every evening between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm - Monday to Saturday. ‘Take it Easy’ promises to energize the reverse drive and will be unique in its own way: extremely high on listener interaction, plenty of quick wit and spontaneity and of course unparalleled humor and entertainment. Besides ‘Take it Easy’, RJ Ravi will also be heard every Sunday between 6:00 –

9:00 pm counting down the top 30 chartbusters of the week on the show – ‘The BIG Chartbuster Countdown’. The show is full of Bollywood gupshup, lots of information on the top chartbusters for the week, trivias on songs and Bollywood and much more. Commenting on his new assignment at BIG 92.7 FM, RJ Ravi says “It is a wonderful feeling when you know that you are heard by so many people. You become a quintessential part of their lives and they in turn become your extended family. As a career option, it is quite challenging but at the same time gives you immense pleasure when you know you have made some difference in your listener’s lives. Working with BIG 92.7 FM is a great opportunity, as the station not only offers excellent radio entertainment; it also has a tremendously huge listener base.” Welcoming RJ Ravi, Punit Mathur, Station Director, BIG 92.7 FM - Delhi said, “We are extremely proud to have RJ Ravi on board with us. An ardent cricket enthusiast and fun loving person, I am confident that with Ravi doing the evening drive time will not only bring freshness to the time band but also help us generate a new wave in radio entertainment that our listeners in Delhi will experience. At BIG 92.7 FM we always offer our listeners the most innovative and entertaining programming mix, with all his experience Ravi would definitely help to strengthen our offerings in keeping with the vibe of the city all the times.”


May 2008 | Radio Duniya

The Hottest mix of dance music on Indigo

Radio Mirchi Mumbai is six years old

On 11th April, Radio Indigo 91.9 FM became the prime dance destination this side of the world. The weekend premiered a giant dance line up with some of the biggest DJs in the world. The console had the likes of DJ Swerve, Carl Cox, Armin Van Buuren, John Digweed and Matt Darey with Bangalore & Goa’s very own favourite DJ duo Rohit Barker & Ivan, all exclusive only on Radio Indigo. The radio dance party traversed into the best of hip-hop, R&B, trance, house, progressive, and electro and bring some of the most exclusive dance mixes. The nights will never be the same with the monster names in the global dance industry. The swell dance line up clocked into past midnight making it the most sweltering dance destination for everyone. Keeping true to the International music station label, Radio Indigo will be the first station in the country to stream the dance mixes from around the world. Radio City 91.1FM reinforces Strategic Team Strengthening its leadership position in the Indian private FM space, Radio City 91.1FM, recently announced key changes in senior management to reinforce National teams with a driven, committed team of professionals at the helm. These changes include Rana Barua - National Head Marketing who now also spearheads National Programming at Radio City while Nik Martin shares his expertise as Creative Consultant, Programming. Sagorika Kantharia now leads the HR function nationally as Head -HR, Radio City. The recent senior appointments include Carl Avari who comes on board as Head of the FM station’s activations cell Radio City Connect along with Ganesh Bhagwat - Sales Head, Radio City Connect. Subhashis Roy joins National Sales as Head, Key Markets along with Vinita Bhatia - Market Head, Delhi. Carl, Ganesh and Subhashis will report in to Ashit Kukian, Executive Vice President and National Head – Sales, Radio City 91.1FM.

It’s celebration time at Radio Mirchi Mumbai, the FM venture of Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL), as the station completes six years. To fortify its popularity, Radio Mirchi has come up with a host of new shows, besides revamping its existing shows. The six years of Radio Mirchi have witnessed a number of accomplishments, from a mega contest for children ‘Destination NASA’ with actor Aamir Khan to ‘Hello Mumbai’ initiative for victims of the building collapse in Borivli to ‘Vote for the Taj’ campaign to Mirchi Mumbai Watch Brigade – the station has been very much a part of Mumbaikars’ lives. Speaking on the occasion of Radio Mirchi Mumbai’s 6th Anniversary, Sriram Kilambi, Station Director, Radio Mirchi Mumbai, said, “It has been a memorable journey for the last six years, and I would like to extend my gratitude to the listeners for their overwhelming response. Moving forward, we will endeavour to provide our listeners with a musical retreat by continuously introducing new innovations in programming and content.” The new look has ‘Mirchi ka 6 pack’ with shows such as ‘Just Lose It’, ‘Hi Mumbai’ with Jeeturaaj,‘Khoobsurat’ with Sana, ‘Total Filmy’ with Anmol, ‘Sunset Samosa’ with Neha and Tarun, and ‘Nightrogen’.

Commenting on these changes Apurva Purohit CEO, Radio City 91.1FM said, “These are exciting times for Indian private FM and Radio City in particular! I am delighted to welcome each one of these Senior Officials at their new positions at Radio City. Known for our people practices, we invest in our people and these key appointments will go a long way in taking Radio City even further! Bringing on board unmatched competencies, invaluable experience and acumen, these senior officials will contribute in developing robust processes which will help raise the bar for private FM in the years to come! Integrating their rich experience with our in-house talent, we are sure to delight our listeners, providing them an unparalleled radio listening experience!” Rana Barua assumes the responsibility of National Programming Head along with spearheading National Marketing for Radio City 91.1FM. As National Head for both Programming and Marketing, Rana will supervise the integration of these key functions and work towards taking the product and brand to the next level. In his new capacity, he will lead all national programming initiatives besides working on the programming mix for Radio City. 15

Radio City simulcasts first episode of ‘Paanchvi Pass’ for listeners across India. Knowing the fact that a large number of regular listeners may miss the 8:00 PM premiere on Friday, April 25, 2008 owing to their hectic schedules, the station in association with Star Plus premiered ‘Airtel Presents Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?’ through a live and exclusive, commercial-free, real-time simulcast of the show on radio! With the FM station booming with the Premiere Episode of this much-awaited program, listeners could catch all the gripping action as Bollywood Badshah - Shah Rukh Khan skilfully posed questions to the contestants, engaging them in an interesting exchange of wits. As a build-up to this simulcast, Radio City had also designed a special on-air contest segment called ‘Paanchvi Pass Pathshala’ wherein the RJ, keeping in tune with the theme of the show, posed upto 5th grade questions to all their listeners. The FM station also seamlessly showcased ‘Airtel Presents Aap Kya Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?’ through innovative content integrations. In addition to the integrating elements of the TV show in the RJ speak on-air and airing the show song, Radio City also integrated the concept with its popular preproduced feature ‘Goldie Gill’s Golden English Speaking School’.

With the entire nation gearing up to view the much-awaited show ‘Airtel Presents Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?’, Radio City 91.1FM had their own innovative surprise in store lined-up exclusively

Commenting on the unique initiative Rana Barua, National Head – Programming and Marketing, Radio City 91.1FM said, “With our ongoing quest to provide innovative and refreshing content to our listeners, we premiered the radio adapt of the show which is creating raves all over the country. Our listeners’ experienced a real-live simulcast of television’s very own Pathshala, which incorporated each and every segment of the program – right from the starting school bell to the final story-telling session voiced SRK himself! With this initiative, we keep up to our promise of ‘Whatte Fun’ and assure our listeners that there are many more of such unique initiatives to look forward to!”

Radio Misty brings BBC to FM in North Bengal and Sikkim Audiences in North Bengal and Sikkim can listen to the BBC’s special FM programming for the first time. Thanks to a partnership agreement between the BBC and Siliguri-based Radio Misty 94.3 FM, listeners in the region can now tune in to the BBC’s infotainment updates and chat shows tailor-made for India’s FM market. The BBC programming includes infotainment updates, BBC Ek Minute - taking listeners inside the world of sports and entertainment every half-hour. Every Sunday, audiences will be treated to the BBC’s weekly chat show, BBC Ek Mulaqat, presented by BBC India Editor, Sanjeev Srivastava. The show profiles India’s prominent people from the world of media, films, sports, business, arts and politics, showing ‘the other side’ of celebrities’ lives and playing their favourite songs. In addition, BBC Take One will feature previews and box office reports of new Bollywood and Hollywood films releasing in the week. The unique sports magazine, BBC Fun and Games, will provide a weekly round up of the recent sporting action from around the world. Nishant Mittal, CEO, Radio Misty 94.3 FM, commented: “I am delighted that our radio is the first FM station in the region to enter 16

into partnership with BBC. The alliance with the BBC is a major boost in our station’s efforts to offer quality content and entertainment to our listeners. The BBC programmes will keep the listeners in North Bengal and Sikkim updated about sports and showbiz happenings around the globe and will enable them to enjoy unique chat shows with their favourite celebrities – all from their local FM station of choice.” Vineeta Dwivedi, Business Development Manager, BBC World Service, added: “The BBC’s programmes tailored for India’s FM market are appreciated by audiences of our partner FM stations. Partnership with Radio Misty 94.3 FM means we can now connect with the audience in this region. Our special infotainment programming adds an edge to a local FM station, and we are hopeful that Radio Misty’s audience will welcome the addition of BBC programming to their favourite station’s radio mix.” May 2008 | Radio Duniya

Stand out from the clutter! Balendran Kandeeban, Head of Creative

and Marketing, Aahaa 91.9 FM is a MBA from Victoria University Australia. Kandee started his career as a Radio Jockey with Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. He joined Kumudam publication’s radio division as Programming Head in November 2006 and designed the programming strategy. Here he talks about the journey of Aahaa FM and its emphasis on ‘differentiated’ content.

How is the experience of handling radio different from that of working for television? I started my career as an RJ with Radio Ceylon, since then I have handled several positions and responsibilities both in radio and television. I have worked as an RJ, a news reader, a news reporter, executive producer, political show host, sales manager, programming head and currently I am working as creative and marketing head for Aahaa FM. I have worked with Radio Ceylon, ABC Radio Networks, MBC/ MTV Channel - The Capital Maharaja Group and AAHA FM and can safely say that I have gathered the knowledge of handling anything that is connected to radio. You can say that I am a hardcore radio person now. With regards to television, I have hosted several programmes like morning shows, special programmes during elections, political interview’s etc., besides working as a sales manager. In reference to the experiences I have gathered over the years, I feel I am more comfortable working in radio. I prefer multitasking for radio as opposed to television. Radio is more accessible by the public, they can tune into radio irrespective of where they are and what they are doing. During the tsunami disaster I was working with Sooriyan FM - ABC Radio Networks, and at that time of grief and distress radio was working as a medium of connecting people, especially those

who were stranded and could not contact their family. Radio was also being used effectively for relief work. According to me radio is the most powerful medium among all other mediums of communication and it is also a free medium. I feel there are many differences between these two forms of communication, but radio wins hands down over television in many aspects. Having seen the radio scenario in both Sri Lanka and India, how would you compare the two? Sri Lanka created broadcasting history in Asia, by starting the first radio station in Asia with Radio Ceylon. With all the experiences I have gathered over the years I can safely say that radio is more powerful in Sri Lanka than in India. In fact some of the programmes broadcast on Radio Ceylon used to be very popular even in Tamil Nadu and some of its radio presenters are very popular with listeners in Tamil Nadu even today. Radio is undoubtedly the medium for the masses. As news and current affairs were allowed in Sri Lanka, the listeners thus become more attached to this medium. Radio has many advantages over all the other medium of communication and unlike radio stations in India, programmes by a particular radio channel can be heard all over the island with the single base studio only at the head querters. The same programmes are broadcast on different


Tamilians all over the world. We are very happy and satisfied with our achievements and the response of the people. We are adopting a consistent methodology, to get what we had aimed for initially while setting up the station, of being the top radio station in Chennai.

frequencies, so any occurrence taking place in one part of the country immediately reaches out to all the people across the country. Radio in Sri Lanka is a very wide and effective source of communication and competition between private radio stations sprang into life in Sri Lanka about a decade ago. In India the real journey for radio has just begun. It is only after the bidding of licenses in phase II, that radio is being seen at par with the print and electronic media. With fresh creativity and successful strategic efforts, it is clearly visible that the Indian radio industry can overtake others in the near future. With regards to advertising, the budget allocated for advertising on radio in Sri Lanka is more. After seeing the growth of radio industry in India, now advertisers are smart enough to choose a medium which is better equiped for communicating with the general public directly. Radio is a powerful medium for advertisers as it is more personalized and can reach out to the masses on a wider scale. These are some of the basic differences between radio in India and Sri Lanka. I feel with the kind of development and progress taking place, India’s vision in the radio industry will be far ahead than others in this planet. It has been more than a year since Aahaa FM was launched in Chennai, how has the journey been? We started Aahaa FM in Chennai to address the competitive nature of radio and to ensure that we stand out from the clutter. At Aahaa, we have undertaken extensive and in-depth analysis and research of the likes and dislikes of the people of Chennai, before putting up a host of innovative programmes. We began our journey with two visions in mind, first to secure the 1st position among the radio stations in Chennai and second to cater to


Our vision of reaching out to Tamilians across the globe has also become true with the launch of our live audio streaming website where many new features like podcasting and Aahaa Club have been introduced to increase user interactivity. Our 24 hours audio streaming website is the first of its kind to be launched by any private FM station in India. Most of the leading corporates and brands are under our accords, and some of them are exclusively associated with us. How did your print base, in the form of Kumudam Publications, help Aahaa FM? Kumudum is a household name in Tamil Nadu, enjoying the highest reach and circulation consistently over the last five decades. It is one of the leading magazines in Tamil Nadu and has been among one of the five leading magazines in India. Aahaa FM operates under Noble Broadcasting Corporation Private Limited, a subsidiary of Kumudum publications. The powerful backup of Kumudum is an asset to us in more than one ways. All our brand promotions are done through these magazines, and also the publicity of any event or campaign that we undertake on our station. This back-up also helps us from the marketing point of view. Whenever we offer a sales package to our clients, they benefit from us. Recently we had a campaign for women’s day called ‘Aahaa Angels’ , where the sponsors were given full page advertisements promoting the campaign in the Kumudum magazines. Through this there is more value-for- money as advertisers are getting greater value through the advertisement in the magazines as well as on radio. Right now we provide a 360 degree marketing activity for our clients. For this we do outdoor events, provide them spots on radio and list their banners on our website. So, being a part of Kumudum publications is not only an asset for us but also for those who approach us for advertising. What was the prime objective behind launching the 24 hr live web portal for Aahaa FM? As I have already said, one of the aims of Aahaa FM is to reach out to Tamilians globally. The 24 May 2008 | Radio Duniya

Aahaa FM’s 24 hour live portal reaches out Tamilians globally hour live web portal was launched to realise that goal and it is the first of its kind from any private radio station in India. Since, we have set out to provide differentiated content to our listeners, we feel that the Internet is the most effective way to reach out to Tamilians globally. Through the site we reach out to those working professionals who can access it through Internet and listen to their favourite programmes all the time.

to be part of our show and share their thoughts with the listeners making the show all the more special. We have many outdoor shows as well making it more public oriented and facilitating people’s participation. We are also the only private FM radio station in Chennai that plays Hindi songs, thus catering to all sections of population in the city. What was the prime reason behind getting celebrity hosts to do shows on a regular basis? How has the public response been? Aahaa FM is not just any other radio station, we strive to be unique in whatever we do and having

The launch of our site has enabled us to look forward towards achieving our vision. Even if listeners miss out on listening to a live show, they can simply log on to our site and listen to the recorded version of the broadcast. We also have podcasting on our site and there is also Aahaa FM where listeners can interact actively with each other. What would be average number of unique visitors per day / month and the number of hits on the site? is among the most visited portal today with high number of hits from all over the globe. So, we are quite pleased and thankful with the response to our website. But that isn’t all. We will make sure that this portal always keeps pace with our listeners. There are lots more surprises in store for them. Aahaa FM offers differentiated content to its listeners, would you please elaborate on this content? All the channels that are operating currently do not offer anything different in terms of content except changing the RJ from one programme to another. When we started, we took a risk and gambled to be different from the existing players and the strategy has worked well for us. Unlike the other radio stations in Chennai Aahaa FM is not an RJ dependent station, rather it is a content dependent station. We offer something for everybody in our own unique way and we stand out in all aspects. With regards to the RJs on our station also we stand out from the crowd. Celebrities from the music industry like Chinmayi, Bhavatharani, Harish Raghavendra and Rehana host shows regularly at Aahaa FM. The programmes that they host offer the best music from the stalwarts in the music industry like A R Rehman and Illiyaraja to our listeners. Many popular artists are also invited to our studios


Celebrity hosts bring about a high element of class celebrity radio hosts is a part of that endeavour. They are not merely guests on our shows, but they are regular RJs of Aahaa FM. Celebrities on our station are not of the usual blink and you will miss category, as it generally happens with other stations. They host the programmes throughout the year and round the clock and this is the perfect statement of our uniqueness. A high element of class is brought about by getting celebrity hosts. All the celebrities are masters in their own field and they bring their expertise to the show, which is enriching for our listeners. The public response to this has been unimaginably favourable. We chose them to be RJs on our station as music is the core of all entertainment that takes place on Aahaa FM. Surveys have shown that these programmes are the most widely loved and listened to in Chennai.

difficult is it to maintain the right balance between the two arms of the radio station? A person working for the creative division has to come up with innovative ideas in terms of content so that it appeals to the advertisers to invest money in it. They also face the difficulty of attracting advertisers as there is a lot of competition, their work is to make the offer as attractive as possible to bring in the maximum numbers of advertisers. While in marketing a person has other duties as well. He must come up with effective marketing strategies and must also know when exactly the advertisers are considering advertising on radio. He must combine his intelligence and imagination to come up with innovations in a strategic and effective way. Since I am working as the marketing and the creative head, I have been able to grasp and understand the strategies of both the divisions without any difficulty. The marketing aspect never dictates the programming or vice versa. This is a joint mechanism, and I have been able to handle both these aspects without any problems.

You have a regular Hindi show on Aahaa FM, called ‘Gaane Anjane’. What made you decide to include such a show in your content line-up and how has the public reaction been to the show? At Aahaa FM we thrive to be unique and hosting a regular Hindi show is part of our effort to offer diverse content to listeners. Radio should cater to the needs of all people and not just to some particular section or community. Our aim is to cater to the entertainment needs of all the people in Chennai, whether it is the Tamilians, the Hindi speaking public or others from North India living in Chennai, because as entertainers it is our duty to cater to their needs as well. Apart from ‘Gaane Anjane’, we also have a weekend programme where we play Hindi tracks. Music lovers appreciate all kinds of music irrespective of the language, so we play hits of legends like Lata Mangeskar, as well as songs by new artists like Shreya Ghosal. It is a show appreciated by all and we are proud of the fact that we offer something to everyone in the society irrespective of the language or any other barriers. You handle both the marketing and the creative divisions of Aahaa FM. How


May 2008 | Radio Duniya

Dhum Mitha Monica Nayyar Patnaik,

Director, Eastern Media Limited, is a management professional with an experience of 13 years. She is the brain and strength behind Radio Choklate 104 FM, Orissa’s own 1st private FM station, operating in Bhubaneswar/Cuttack and Rourkela. She is also the General Secretary of AROI. Here she talks about the journey of Radio Choklate and the advantages of operating from a non-metro city.

How did the name Radio Choklate come about? After our parent company Easterm Media Pvt Ltd, got the license to operate a radio station in Orissa, we were searching for a brand name that would go well with the Oriyas. We wanted the name to be understood by Hindi and English speaking people but a word which would not be typical Oriya. Chocolate is a very common word, used by everybody from a seven year old kid to a seventy year old, it denotes sweetness. So, we decided to use it as our name. In normal usage, chocolate is a three syllable word, but to make it more people friendly we decided to use it as Chokolate, thus, making it two syllable. Moreover people here pronounce it as chokolate and the alphbet ‘K’ has a special significance in our life and family business. It also gelled very well with everything that we wanted to project about the station. It is now on the top of the mind of

everybody and has a very catchy tag line as well, which is Dhum Mitha. Our tag line puts a punch into the sweetness (with dhum) so that the sweetness does not become too much for the people. How has the journey been so far for Radio Choklate? Radio was not very well known here when we started off, so I thought it would take some time for me to first establish radio in the minds of the people and then establish my station as a brand. Surprisingly, as soon as we launched Radio Choklate here, it spread like wildfire. The public had a fair idea about the medium and because radio is very accessible, it caught on from day one. In fact soon after the launch, we found people around Orissa selling radio sets in baskets, going door to door with their offering. Music is revered in Orissa and when we offered local content and fervour on Radio Choklate, it just 21

Operating from a

clicked with the people of the state. Bhubaneshwar is a small city, so the number of people who listen to radio in cars while traveling long distance is very less. So our main target were the retail shops and malls where radio played for a longer duration. Car radio picked up later on and with the coming of radio enabled mobile phones on a large scale, our task to reach out to people became all the more simple.

we have a show called Radio Orchestra, where we have people performing in front of a small audience. This show is done live from various places in the city. It is easier to organize events in smaller places as compared to a metro city.

small city has its own advantages

Are there any difficulties that one faces in running a radio station in a small town? I feel it is rather easy to set up a radio station in small town as compared to a bigger city. I have not come across any difficulties in terms of setting up Radio Choklate. However, it can be difficult for you if you are trying to set up an entirely new thing in terms of educating the people about the medium. Some of the issues that I faced were in regards to educating the people about the the programmes that were being broadcast. They just thought that some music was being played and somebody was speaking, though they picked it up very quickly. Educating the people about a new medium of which they had very limited knowledge took some time but then the names of our programmes began to register in their minds. Our RJs talk in the regional language and that is one factor why they were able to establish a connect with the masses very soon and become friends with the listeners. After that masses just picked up the names of the programmes and the RJs and started calling on the shows regularly. What are the advantages of operating in a non-metro city?

Are there any disadvantages that you have faced while operating in a non-metro city? One disadvantage could be the lack to the kind of access that big metro players have to music on their stations. Music royalty is a huge part of our expenditure and for a station in C category it can get really difficult at times. It can also get a little problematic when you want to get big names in the field of entertainment to perform in any event in a small city. First it may not go down well with the local population and second it would be difficult to come up with the kind of money that big artists would demand. How did your print base, in the form of Sambad help you in establishing Radio Choklate? When we launched the station it defiantly helped us as the public was aware that something new called FM radio was being offered by the media division of Sambad. The fact that we have been publishing an Oriya newspaper for a long time definitely helped us in understanding the psyche of the local people and we could cater to them accordingly, with the local flavour that they were looking for. It helped us create awareness about our radio division, but otherwise these two are completely different entities. The initial synergy was just up to the launch. Gradually we could give value addition to

I feel that the major advantage of running a radio station in places like Cuttack/ Bhubaneshwar and Rourkela is the fact that these places are very compact. Due to this compactness, my station can reach out to almost anybody and everybody who lives here. I do not need to put too much of an effort to reach out to the people, they are easily accessible and I can reach out to many districts in and around the city. My station reaches out to about 20 lakh people. Since the area is small, it is possible to get celebrities to our studios for special shows, in fact we are the first ones in Bhubaneshwar to do that. Instead of recoding the programmes with celebrities, we did the shows live, which might not have been possible in a metro city. Another advantage of operating from a small place is that we can organise events easily, 22

May 2008 | Radio Duniya

We have a healthy mix of both local and national advertisers

our advertisers, which is something that can be done only in a small city. Elaborate on the segmentation, programming and elements of marketing for the station? The programming that we had in the initial stage was changed after about seven to eight months of the launch and even after the change we got a very good response from our listeners. The programming was decided largely keeping in mind what our audiences would like to hear at a particular time of the day. We have segmented our programmes as per the requirements of our listeners. Segmentation was not a problem for us, and we have programmes for youth, children, housewives, professionals, etc. Our station did very well in terms of marketing as we were the first people to bring FM to the city. Once people got to know the whole concept of private FM radio they realised the importance of advertising with us. Later on we became an established name, and we did not face any difficulty as our brand had become very popular with the people. So, now our objective is not only to maintain our position, but to go a step higher and stay ahead of our competition. Who are the prime advertisers on Radio Choklate? What do local advertisers want, which is different from what pan-India advertisers are looking for?

deeply religious. Some of our other programmes are Choklate Mornings, Choklate Madam, Choklate Retro, Choklate Melody, which is a song request show. We also have a special show called Chota Choklate, where kids host the show, this is a first of its kind show in the country. Choklate Masti is a show totally devoted to the youth, for discussing their issues , while Choklate Gupsup is the celebrity talk show and Cholkatee Raat Choklatee Baat is a a relationship based show which is very popular among our listeners. All radio channels are trying to develop a brand identity. What is Radio Choklate’s brand strategy? Our target is to be heard by the masses, everywhere. I feel that radio is medium where anyone and everyone can tune in, identify and participate. One important aspect of our brand identity is not to miss out on the youth and their aspirations and to create a channel that is know to all, and acceptable to all including the listeners, consumers and advertisers. Our brand is well identified and we have established a connect with our listener. There is now a movie song titled ‘Dhum Mitha’. I recently came across a book that was named Dhum Mitha being sold in the market. When we asked the publisher why he was using our name, he said that since our brand is so well established he thought he could also sell his book by putting our brand name on the cover. I want this identity to connect and linger on in the minds of my listeners, and from what I have seen till now, I am sure it will.

We have a healthy mix of both local and national advertisers, but we have tapped the local market very well. We have about 160 – 200 local advertisers on board, besides several national brands. What a national advertiser seeks from us is slightly different from what a local advertiser wants, because the markets and orientations of both are different. We do have advertisers who want to advertise their products during some particular programmes only, like we have an incense manufacturers who wants his advertisement to go on air only during the time when the devotional songs are being played. What is the diverse content line-up that is offered to listeners at Radio Choklate? In the morning slot, from 5 to 7 we play devotional songs and bhajans. As you know the sun rises in the East, people get up really early here and are


BIG FM Chennai presents “BIG Singaara Singer” In an initiative to identify and gratify ‘Tamil’ talent from the streets of Chennai, BIG 92.7 FM, Chennai’s only radio station that celebrates ‘Tamilian’s Pride’ in everything that it offers, has initiated the ‘BIG Singaara Singer’, the biggest ever talent hunt on radio in Chennai. Through the BIG Singaara Singer contest, BIG 92.7 FM will identify two golden voice of Chennai from aspiring singers and will gratify them by giving them an opportunity as playback singers in a forthcoming Kollywood movie. The contest commenced on 21st April 2008 and consists of rigorous and meticulously put together on-air and on-ground auditions, to ensure the best are selected. The contest will culminate on May 17, 2008, with two winners being announced. To give a fair opportunity to every talented enthusiast in Chennai, BIG 92.7 FM has categorised Chennai and auditions will be conducted separately in 4 categorized locations. Ten participants will be selected from each location who will be eligible to participate in quarter-finals. Out of Forty participants ten will advance to semi-finals and out of which one male and one female will be crowned as the “BIG Singaara Singer”.

The contest will be judged by famous Kollywood playback singers like Tippu, Harini, Ranjith and Vijay Yesudas among others. The winners will be featured as playback singers by famous music director Vijay Anthony in his forthcoming movie. Participants who qualify into semi finals will be judged based on various attributes of Tamilian like unique styles adopted by the participants, how informed the participants are about raagas, song to be sung in different raaga, song to be sung in re-mix version and the humour content of the song. Speaking about the initiative P.B Ramaswamy, Cluster Head, BIG 92.7 FM TamilNadu said “There is a plenty of talent hidden in every Tamilian and this is part of BIG 92.7 FM, Chennai’s endeavour to live the Tamilian Pride in everyday offerings. Through this initative we are providing the talented with a platform to be recognised and get an opportunity of a lifetime. We are thankful to Vijay Anthony for agreeing to feature the winners of the contest as playback singers.”

94.3 MY FM brings kids into the limelight

1,000 nominations for RAPA Awards 2007

MY FM 94.3 has brought a wonderful opportunity to the young guns of India – the MY KA LAAL where every Sunday school children are invited to be Radio Jockeys for a day. The initiative not only binds the listeners to MY FM, but also provides young children with a window into the Radio Industry and an opportunity to talk about issues of their choice.

The Radio and TV Advertising Practitioners Association of India Ltd. (RAPA), which honours outstanding creative work in the radio and television field, has attracted 1,000 nominations (up 43% from 700 entries obtained last year) for the 33rd All India RAPA Awards for Excellence 2007.

“More exposure to the kids is provided by such a show and the city is motivated to encourage kids to talk aloud about problems and have fun A platform to express kids thought is MY KA LAAL” – Sandip Pandya, Principal (ASIA English School – Secondary) Currently on air in Chandigarh and Ahemdabad, MY KA LAAL has been viewed as an innovative programming show. It has caught the attention of kids, youngsters and elderly alike. Sundays in these stations have become MY KA LAAL days for listeners wait to listen to a kid RJ every Sunday. Commenting on its importance Nivedita Gouthi, a parent said “The city gets a new perspective, a fresh thought when kids give their opinion to it… I felt thrilled when my child was MY KA LAAL…” MY KA LAAL invites fierce competition between the top schools of these cities to get their kids as the RJ for this show. An audition is done by MY FM and every selected kid is trained by MY FM on the various aspects of Radio handling. Underlining the importance of the show, Jayanti Banerjee, Senior Counsellor St. John’s School, Chandigarh said “MY KA LAAL was definitely a beneficial experience for my students as it allowed them to talk on important social issues close to their heart. It also ensures commitment because children love to live up to the public image they get out of this programme.” Talking further about the show, she added - “It is definitely a good and healthy combination of entertainment with a purpose. It certainly proves that entertainment need not be mindless rather it can be nicely merged with conscience development in students.” 24

Mr. Viresh Chaddha, Chairman, RAPA Awards committee, said, “We are happy to get a phenomenal increase of more than 43% in the number of nominations for the 33rd All India RAPA Awards for Excellence 2007. These awards are one-of-a kind as they honour creative excellence in radio and television in all the Indian languages including Hindi and English. On the judging panel, we shall have several eminent luminaries from the media and entertainment field, many of who are linguists. We are hopeful of getting quality entries that will raise the creative standards.” There are a total of 63 awards up for grabs. This includes 9 awards in the Radio category in each language and 6 more for all languages combined. There are 2 awards in the Television advertising category in each language and 9 awards in all languages combined. There are 7 special RAPA awards for all round contribution to Radio/Television; outstanding voice performance; best performance on TV for male and female; campaign of the year on TV and on radio; and outstanding copywriter. May 2008 | Radio Duniya

Conviction equals to success! Chirpy and enthusiastic on air, Jaishree brightens up the day for listeners through her show Meow Zindagi, that she co-hosts with Rochie. Radio for her is therapeutic and she feels that it is the best form of communication where one can work wonders with their voice. How does it feel to be judged as the best radio host at the Radio Duniya Awards ? It is overwhelming to receive the Radio Duniya award for the best host as it strengthens my decision to become a full time on air host. Finally I have reached where I belong to. Also my belief in the engagement driven radio has become stronger. Radio Duniya is a great platform to encourage true talent and innovative radio. Meow to Radio Duniya

While I was pursuing my Masters in Mass Media and Creative Writing from Jamia Milia Islamia, I was open to working with any kind of media. I dabbled a bit in theatre and television before opting for radio. I started my career with Yuva Vani in 1996, after that I worked with Vivid Bharti, then I moved to AIR. Next, I moved to Dubai, where I worked with HUM FM for sometime. I came back to India and joined another station before joining Meow. I have been in the industry for about ten years now, and I have learnt a lot on the job. I feel very comfortable working with the medium. I believe that you can work wonders with your voice, it is more powerful than the visual medium and I guess that is what made me choose radio. What is the best thing about being a Radio Host? The best thing is that I can get callers to confess their deepest feelings of joy, happiness, fear, and ambitions on air. Sometimes, even I end up confessing many things, something that would not have been possible in any other job. The freedom of space and expression on radio is the best thing about the job. The topics that are dealt with on my show deal with day to day life, so somewhere my listeners feel the connection and they bond with the topic. By sharing my own stories and experiences I transfer that bond to the listeners. Radio is therapeutic for me and I feel good that I am contributing, in my own small way, in making a difference.


What made you choose Radio Hosting?


Often while discussing a topic, I end up getting answers to issues that I have been facing difficulty in handling. The four hours where I host my programme ‘Meow Zindagi’, is my own ‘Happy Space’ where I can be myself without any inhibition. Is there any aspect of the job that you don’t enjoy? Getting up early in the morning to reach work is something that I don’t really enjoy. It takes me about 45-50minutes in the morning to drive to office from home. And as my show starts at eight in the morning I have to get up really early. I miss those heavenly 3 hours of sleep from 4 to 7 in the morning. Apart from that there is nothing that I don’t enjoy about my job. Describe your most memorable radio moment? When I was in Dubai, I was dealing with the topic of joint family vs. nuclear family in one of my shows. Being the host, I was taking a neutral stand on

the topic. Callers were coming up with depressing stories about how things were not working out for them in the joint family set up. So, I just quoted an example from the film Sansar where Rekha says that instead of living together and fighting, it is better for families to stay separate and meet up on occasion and be happy. After the show, I was bombarded with emails from listeners saying that I will never be happy in my life as I had implied that it was better for families to stay separate. That incident was a learning experience for me, as it taught me the importance of maintaining a balance while talking about any topic. Another time there was a caller who called up and said that he was taking his son, who was suffering from jaundice to a jhar phuk wala baba (local witch doctor). I was shocked, and I just asked him that in today’s age if he still believes in such things , and he said that he does. I told him that according to me taking his son to a doctor was a better option. On hearing my view, he said, you tell me if I should take my son to the baba or not. Dealing with that situation became very tricky and finally, I told him that it was up to him if he wanted to to take his son to the baba or not. Eventually, he said he was not taking his son to the witch doctor. This incident made me realise that every word uttered on air counts, and as hosts we must be extremely careful about what we say. How do you establish connect with listeners? When I pitch a topic, first I keep myself and my cohost in the forefront, and try to find out how we would react if this question was put to us. We share anecdotes and experiences , as a result the listener opens up and feels comfortable enough to share his or her story. The topics in my show deal with the day to day life of an individual, their achievements, goals and aspirations . Everyone is not comfortable sharing their stories on air, but while talking to us,

‘Make love to the mike and you will be a successful host’


May 2008 | Radio Duniya

the kind of comfort they feel helps establish the connect with the listeners. I project what I am, without faking anything. I sound very normal, talk about normal things as one would talk with a friend and this image of girl next door helps in binding the listeners. I have worked in the industry in various categories as a host, a producer and programming head, so I am able to understand the audience easily now. With the experience I have, I can anticipate how the audience will react to certain topics and this helps me connect with them as well. Is there anybody who has really inspired you to take up media as a profession? While I was doing my Graduation, I used to watch Renuka Sahane host the weekly programme Surabhi, and she inspired me a lot to work in the field of media. Back then, I did not know that I would be on radio, I just knew that I would work in the media. I believe that if you do anything with conviction, you will attain success, so I went by that belief and it has worked out for me. Do you choose the music for your shows or is it decided by the station? The songs played during the show are chosen by the station, and they are not decided by me or by my co-host. However, sometimes we do play songs depending on the mood of the caller and the topic being discussed. Like, if a caller mentions a certain aspect during the conversation we try to play songs related to that, but this happens very rarely.

been conducted on the topic and what results have come up, if any facts and figures are available. I read magazines and newspapers and then try to find out how we can deal with the topics. There is also a team of producers to help us with the content of the programme. Given a choice, with whom would you like to host the show other than Rochie? If not with Rochie, I would rather do the show alone. I am saying this because we share a certain chemistry, which is very important with a co-host. Both of us know each other very well, we know when one is feeling low and then the other can take over and talk more. Besides a professional relationship we share a personal bond as well. We give enough space to each other and respect each other. We just clicked instantly and you do not build up that kind of rapport with everybody .

What are the essential requirements for being a radio host?

What was the most difficult topic that you have done till date and how did you treat the topic?

You just have to be yourself. A former boss once told me ‘make love to the mike, and the day you do that you will become a successful host’. You just have to speak out your mind to be a good host. Along with that, certain prerequisites like command over language, clear diction, good pronunciation, well-read, updated with the latest happenings are essential. While you are doing a programme, you have to detach yourself from the outside world, forget about everything else. If you do that you will enjoy hosting. Doing this well will take some time, but eventually you will get it right.

Some topics have been difficult in the sense that we expect many responses to them , but while doing the show we get very few responses. Sometimes, we take up some intellectual topics, but we do not get the expected response from callers and sometimes we find it difficult to put across a topic to the listeners. However, since I have a co-host, difficult topics can be managed, because both of us can keep on talking throughout the show. It might be that probably they are embarrassed about disclosing something, so we try to give our own examples and time just flies.

How do you prepare yourself for every show?

What has been the funniest on-air moment?

We have a content meeting daily, to decide on the topic for the next day. The entire team sits and discusses about the topic, we talk among ourselves what answers will we give if we are asked to respond to certain topics and in this way we cover a lot of ground in the meeting itself. We discuss how to go about treating the topic and what all angles can be covered. As far as the research goes, I surf the Internet to try and find out if any studies have

We have a section called Top 5, where we ask listeners to list their top five version for a particular topic that is decided for the show. Once, the topic was to list the top 5 pets used in movies. There was this caller who insisted that in the film Sholay, Basanti was the horse and Dhaano was Hema Malini. I tried reasoning with her that it was the other way round and she was getting it wrong but she just refused to accept it. According to her, the


dialogue in the movie was “Bhaag Basanti, aaj teri Dhanno ki izzat ka sawal hai”. I told her that it was true that Dhannno’s izzat (honour) was at stake, but the dialogue was the other way round. After about 5 minutes of arguing with her on-air, where my cohost was laughing full throttle, I finally told her that if I meet her someday, I would clarify her doubts. That incident was hilarious, I can never forget it. Anytime I need a good laugh I go back to the archives and listen to it. Where do you see yourself a decade from now? A decade from now, I would surely be making a movie. I have always wanted to be a film maker. It is an unknown territory for me so there is some amount of fear , but I will definitely make a movie someday. A radio jockey is “born” or “made”? A radio jockey is definitely made in today’s age. Everybody has a good voice, you just need to polish your sound and control your breathing to sound good on air. Whatever I have learnt about hosting, I have done that on the job. However, with so many institutes operating in the market today, new professionals do not need to spend 5-6 years on the job to learn. They can do that while doing the course. So a good jockey is definitely made and not born according to me. One may have the gift of gab, but that does not necessarily mean that one can be a good host. Which segment of your show Meow Zindagi do you enjoy the most and why? I love the segment from 9 to 10. In this hour we have a section called Ladies Seat where we talk to people from the field of entertainment. This section helps one learn a lot from the lives of these remarkable women. The debate that we have in the 1st hour of Meow Zindagi is very stimulating for me as we deal with intellectual topics. Top 5 is another interesting section where callers come up with their version of top 5 on a chosen topic.

monosyllabic answers. We could not have fun during her interview as the answers were very short and diplomatic.We could not bring out the fun element in her interview. Have you ever faced a difficult caller? How do you handle such callers? Some callers call in to the show and keep on praising us and totally deviate from the topic, which is very annoying at times. So we have to constantly remind them to speak about the topic. One time there was a caller who said that a friend had come from abroad, and she and her husband were teaching him how to greet people. She said that they had taught him local slangs, which he was to say anytime someone greeted him and she used that word on-air. We immediately dumped the caller, put the fader down and we told our listeners that we dumped the caller as she did not maintain the basic decency and decorum while talking on air.

Snapshot Queries The 5 most important things in my life peace of mind, love, family, money and fame My USP the smile that reflects in my voice Love listening to semi classical songs, bollywood numbers, retro Love watching bollywood films, especially comedies Will never forget first time I went on air I live by the mantra take life as it comes When not on-air I am dreaming

Who was the most difficult celebrity on your show, how did you deal with that? Television actress, Shweta Kawatra was the most difficult celebrity because she was giving 28

May 2008 | Radio Duniya

Totally Charged Up How does it feel to be judged as the best radio host at the Radio Duniya Awards ? I am feeling on top of the world. This award means love and affection and recognition by listeners and the radio community. It is an encouragement for me to strive and improve upon further and entertain the listeners. What made you choose radio hosting ? I landed up incidentally. It was never pre-planned, just heard that All India Radio is conducting auditions for empanlment of radio hosts. I walked in and appeared for the same. They selected me and that’s how I got in. After one year, Nisha called me and offered me the chance to work with S FM and so here I am.

Amit Om Sharma is popularly known as Power Point Dharam Dhwaj Sankat Mochan Narayan Prashad Singh Pandey Dharamveer Kumar Chakravarty Sharma Urf DDSMNPSPDKCS. His voice rules the air-waves during the evening drive time infotainment show ‘Recharge’ on 93.5 S FM Jaipur. He is someone whose immense creative bent of mind would leave most wondering! He is a lot of fun on air but there is always a certain underlying message in what he says. He dabbles in theatre and also writes for newspaper.

What are the pros & cons of the job ?

An assignment which makes me listen good music, gives opportunities to make my listener think and enjoy as well as allows me to pass on few social or civic messages on a lighter note, can possibly have no “CONS”. What else can one want in life ? If not radio hosting, then what ? Then I would have been making movies, anchoring, writing more articles and listening to radio. Describe your most memorable radio moment?

Amit Om Sharma

I always wanted to be a Pilot. I still gaze up in the sky to follow a flying plane. It gives me the same feeling when I am operating a console in the studio with the lights switched off. The music makes me speak and let me be a free man, its just another world.

As far as I know I am the only one who has a very long on air name. I was overwhelmed when a lady caller, who happened to be teaching 12th standard students in a prominent school of Jaipur, told me that the students are trying to follow my style and using abbreviations to make their names lengthy. That is when I realized the importance of being a jock how big a responsibility it is.


Was there anyone or anything that inspired you to take up this profession ? I was involved in dramatics, elocution and debating since my school days. Therefore, radio was an ideal platform for me to showcase my talents. The desire to be in the entertainment field was lurking somewhere inside me and radio just happened! But, had it not been for my friend/guide/counselor Shradha Singh, who is in the same profession, I would have never got the opportunity to work with 93.5 SFM. I am also grateful to Ms. Nisha Narayanan National Co-ordinator SFM, and Ms. Reena Rathore (Programming Head, Jaipur) who recognized my talent and allowed me to work as a part-time Jock. What is your USP ? Its my voice, which can be modulated according to the needs and is also soothing to listen. The style of presenting information or the generic content in a link is also different. My takes always leave my listener wondering and making him / her think and feel concerned or connected. They take me as their friend, just like them. What are the essential requirements for being a radio host ? Clarity of thoughts and reproducing them through words, knowledge about happenings and general affairs, the power to serve the content in a different and better manner than others. These are few of the essentials for being an acceptable radio host. How do you prepare yourself for your show ? I pick the contents according to the mood and sentiments of my TG. Make them listen to what they would want from me. It’s an ongoing process. The preparation for the show never stops, the mind has to be so fertile with creativity that even as I am doing this interview I am thinking if I could use

any of this conversation for my listeners. The show cannot thus be prepared in advance. I have heard few stations asking for preparatory sheets with scripts, with due regards to their policies I think that it is actually killing the creativity of the Jock. Let the ideas flow instantly and freely. If the channel thinks that the Jocks are responsible enough to be left alone with a Live Mic with hundred thousand listeners than the channel should also trust their creativity. Does hosting a particular prime slot matter to you ? Yaar which shaayar does not want his shaayri to be heard by maximum, which painter does not like his painting being looked by many, which theatre artist doesn’t expect the house to be packed, can you think of a name of the producer or director of a movie who does not expect the Government to exempt his movie from entertainment tax so that he gets the halls packed. I am an artist too, want maximum number of radio sets switched on and tuned into my show. What is that one most important factor that makes listeners connect to an RJ ? The listener should have a feel that an RJ matches his lifestyle, caliber and share the same thoughts. An RJ cannot establish eye contact, an important / easy way to establish relationship or one to one connectivity. So, never ever try to be a damn fool or supper intelligent with the links. Don’t force them with thoughts; lead them gently as if teaching a toddler how to walk. A radio station is known by its RJs, particularly in these times when all stations sound alike. Would you agree ? No individual can actually be bigger / larger than the organization he / she belongs to. The popularity of a RJ solely depends on the station. The station makes a star out of him. It is the station the listener would like to tune into. The station spends money


May 2008 | Radio Duniya

on outdoor publicity and creates properties to run on air. I am of an opinion that it is not only RJ who can sustain a regular listenership on his own. His efforts would only be fruitful with the contribution from the station. Where do you see yourself in ten years ? See myself owning and running an FM station and making commercial cinema. A radio jockey is “born” or “made” ? ‘Born’. God gif ted just like any other talent. Training can only polish and teach the ways and manners to be an RJ. It is not just a job where in a person goes, pulls up the mic fader and speaks. It sounds damn easy, but trust me on this an RJ is not only about speaking live. It is about how, what, when, why and for whom to speak. The quality can only be improved but not incarnated.

where a listener gets to call me and we play games. The tongue twister section is another favourite, I call it Dance and its real fun doing it How did you come about using this unique name? This name was always there, as a kid when people used to call up my mother or father, I used to receive the calls and play a prank on them saying the name. One day after joining SFM, Nisha, Reena and myself were sitting together and I happened to tell them about my childhood pranks. At that time, no name was decided for me, so they just told me to go ahead with that name and Nisha added the abbreviations to the name.

What would be your message to the budding radio hosts ? Do not take this assignment lightly. We can make the difference in the society. Though we are not reformist but yes, we are responsible citizens and should always keep that in mind. A majority of people still think and believe that what they read, watch and listen is true. Hence, please keep in mind that there is someone out there who has faith in your voice, respect his faith and your assignment. GOD BLESS.

Snapshot Queries--

What is your programme Recharge about? My programme Recharge is all about the chit chat between two people after a day’s work in the evening. Here the talk is generic about any aspect, it can be about the delay in construction of the flyover in Jaipur that is due for a long time and causing huge traffic jams, it can be about the speed breakers in the city not having those white marks, it can be about anything. There is another interactive section in the programme

The 5 most important things in life ..... music, note book, freedom, schedule and sleep When not on-air, I am .... excercising in gym or watching a movie I live by the mantra ........ 18 till I die Will never forget ....... my mentors Can’t stand ........ hypocrisy Love listening to ...... jhoomnay kay liye chale koi bhi bahana Love watching ...... all films, never miss them as film teaches u either what not to show or what to show, for getting a hit 31

Survival of the Fittest Sandeep Marwah, President Asian Academy of Film & Television, has been leading from the front to establish AAFT as one of the best film and media schools in the world today. The academy has trained 3000 students from 40 countries across the globe since it was established in 1993. He is committed to excellence in film, television and radio education and training so that its alumni, through their work, contribute to the making of a better world.

What is your view on the Radio industry in the country? Radio broadcasting being instantaneous in nature and pervasive in reach, is a very powerful means of, entertaining, informing and educating the masses. The process of conveying the contents of radio is akin to sowing seeds and we must keep in mind that as we sow so we will reap. There are long term consequences of broadcasting and, therefore, time must be devoted to their study. Radio is already an established area of study in the institutions of higher learning in many countries of the world. In India though, radio related training has not picked up at the same pace as the spread of radio stations. Radio is coming up in a big way, people are realising that they still want to hear more. Radio is an old means of mass communication, but old is still gold. The industry is growing by leaps and bounds. There are going to be around 500 radio stations in the country by next year. Every city is going to have its own radio station, the way every city now has its own cable network. People would love to know what is happening next door, in and around the locality. It is only local radio that is going to give you that information. Now with so many radio stations, there will be an immense need for trained manpower and that is what we are trying to give to the industry. How did AAF T decide to enter Radio training? Radio as a medium of mass communication has great merit which needs to be understood. Study of radio is important because it is a means of understanding, learning to make use of and controlling the medium of mass communication. Beside the creative aspects the technical and business aspects of radio presentations too have to be understood by the radio professionals. Initially, we started off with courses of cinema and television, but with time, we realised that radio is also an important aspect of the electronic media. People thought radio is going to die with the growth of television and resurgence of cinema, but radio has grown and become stronger in the past few years. Radio is back in peoples hearts and ears and it is growing steadily


May 2008 | Radio Duniya

with the growth of Internet and music on it and the use of the i-pod to listen to music. What kind of radio training does your institute offer? Is it only focused on RJ training or it trains people for all kinds of radio related jobs? We have different courses for different sets of people. There are people who have completed their schooling and would like to get into a proper degree / diploma course, they want hardcore training in electronic media, they can enroll for the under graduate course. Our radio course of three years provides the students with appropriate knowledge necessary skills and prepare them for a successful career in the radio industry. Students can enroll in the BA in Radio & Television Studies course of Asian School of Media Studies, degree granted by Punjab Technical University. Then there are those who have a bachelors degree in some other stream and suddenly they have realised the importance of electronic media, they can join the masters course. This course provide the students with necessary skills and prepare them for a successful career in radio industry. Those with a graduate degree from a recognized Indian or foreign university and who may be interested in understanding the electronic media and how it is going to the transformed in the twenty first century with a view to providing good radio and television fare to the masses are welcome to enroll in MA in Radio & Television Studies course of Asian School of Media Studies, degree granted by Punjab Technical University. There are times when people come from different fields, they are working professional like doctors,

engineers, lawyers who realise that they love radio and they come and join the three-month and oneyear courses. Most of the other institutes are only running radio jockeying courses, but jockeying is a very small part of radio training. We teach both parts – total training inside the control room and inside the recording studio. We don’t give a one-week short term course on jockeying or any other aspect of radio and promise total training in that time. We are very serious about our work an our students future, so we offer them the best training and help them add value to the entertainment industry. What sets AAFT apart from other media institutes in the country? We guarantee 100% placement to our students, which no other institute can afford to give. This is because of our industry contact and the goodwill we have been able to generate within the industry. Today is the age of multi-tasking so a student should not limit himself only to radio stations. He can be an audio master, a sound engineer, or he can be a creative person writing for radio. What we are teaching here is an overall knowledge of audio communication.

Our curriculum includes hands-on training.


We are the only ones giving a total training on how to run a radio station in our course called MBA in Media Management. What are you views on the growth of radio training institutes in the country, with the growing number of FM channels? There are many institutes being set up everyday all around the country. People who are not radio professionals and knowledgeable in terms of the medium are getting into radio training. And the point is I can attract people from certain areas, those who can come here for training. But there are many who don’t want to leave their houses. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is now opening up a training institute, but it is the survival of the fittest. Those who provide quality education will survive in the long run, the others will perish. Of all those who seek employment in radio, obviously some will be untrained, some will be semi-trained; some will be skilled, while some will be unskilled. And some people who will rule the airwaves will be the masters trained by our institute, just like what we’ve done in television and cinema. Do you feel there should be greater synergy between the industry demands and the kind of training given to students? Lack of synergy is one of the biggest drawbacks of the existing radio training system. We must train the students in such a manner that the moment the student steps out of the institute after finishing his course, and joins any organisation, he should immediately relate his education. If the people running the training academy are not well-educated themselves and are not from the industry, they cannot provide the right kind of training from the point of view of the industry. For the right kind of synergy between training and work requirements, the training at the institute must be co-ordinated by media professionals themselves. What is the kind of placement guaranteed to the students by AAFT? Is there any tie-up with the industry? We have 100% placement for all our courses, because the curriculum includes the best of university syllabus and practical, hands-on training. The reputation of the institute is very good and the industry readily pick up students from here. Other than that, the caliber of the students is also an important aspect. If they are not prepared well, they will be thrown out of the studios. But the training we give them is so thorough that where ever they go they prove their capabilities. There is a very old saying which I keep telling my students, first deserve, then desire. Go there, work 34

hard, do your work well and the rest will follow. You will get paid in accordance with your worth. What is the present size of your batches? Our focus is on each and every student, so we keep the size of the class small. We have about 12 students in each class so that the faculty can focus their attention on each and every student. We give very personalised training and long hours of classroom teaching, which extend from 9 in the morning till 4 in the evening. Can you tell us about the faculty at the institute? We have the best faculty possible. There are three categories of the faculty, number one is the permanent faculty, residing within the campus. Second is visiting faculty, people who are masters in their trade come and talk on certain subjects. The third category is the guest faculty who are celebrities in their field. We have masters in the trade as in-house faculty, like Prof. Harsh Wardhan, who is our Dean, is from All India Radio, Prof. Satish Garg is from All India Radio as well, and was Director General in Doordarshan. So, we have the best faculty from the country and abroad. We have recently tied up with TISCH School of Arts, New York University and the London College of Communication, so we have foreign faculty coming in to teach our students and provide them an international exposure to the media industry. Do you have any plans to set-up your own community/campus radio? We are starting our own community radio station very soon. We have already started working on it and are preparing to go on air in August this year. The studios are being set up in July and now I guess I’ll have to call back my student who are senior professionals in the field of media to help me set it up and run it smoothly. We have started working on the content already and the students from the academy are actively involved in the process. Are there any plans of expansion to other cities? It is not possible to set up an institute of this magnitude in every city or establish franchisees. AAFT is a seat of knowledge and we are committed to quality education, which cannot be diluted at any cost. Media training is the buzz word right now and you will see new institutes in every nook and corner of all cities today. But I cannot leave a place like this and move out to smaller areas, because people who are committed to knowledge will come to us, we don’t have to go to their localities. May 2008 | Radio Duniya

Red FM partners with Mumbai Indians It’s the beginning of a new era for Indian Cricket as the DLF Indian Premiere League kickstarts its inaugural season. Mumbai Indians – Duniya Hila Denge Indians and RED FM, have got together in a historic partnership to bring alive all the excitement, fun and frenzy for the cricket enthusiasts across the city of Mumbai. In an ultimate show of support for Mumbai Indians, Mumbai’s favorite team, unveiled a huge surprise for Mumbaikars. In a first of its kind brand integration, ‘Red FM’ became ‘Blue FM’, for a whole day, on the 20th of April when Mumbai Indians played their first match. It all started when Sachin Tendulkar captain of the Mumbai Indians team challenged Mumbai’s No.1 jock, RJ Malishka to become the team’s lucky charm by turning RED FM to Blue FM for a day. Malishka then hatched a conspiracy internally, got all the jocks to rally with her and started putting pressure on the Boss to change Red FM to Blue FM in support of Mumbai’s home team. But to no avail! In the end it was the Captain of the Mumbai Indians, Sachin Tendulkar along with all the Red FM RJs who managed to convince the boss to turn Red FM to Blue FM as a good luck charm for the Mumbai Indians. On Sunday, to everyone’s surprise, the station name Fever 104 signs up with Delhi Daredevils Fever 104 FM has signed a partnership with Delhi Daredevils – the Delhi home team in the biggest cricketing event in India this summer – the Indian Premier League. India being a cricket crazy nation, this association provides a unique opportunity for the Delhi Station to forge a stronger relationship with the people of Delhi. Celebrating the spirit of IPL, Fever 104 FM will be rooting for the home team and will provide lots of exciting on-air content, activities and interaction opportunities with their cricketing heroes over the next 2 months. Listeners will get to know their team better, hear their favourite players talking about themselves, hosting shows and will also have the opportunity to win match tickets, official merchandise,

actually changed to Blue FM, the official color of the Mumbai Indians team. Commenting on this first of its kind initiative, Anuj Singh, National Marketing Head and Station Head (Mumbai), Red FM, said, “Red FM goes down in the pages of history as the first radio station to change its name, identity and jingle in support of a cricket team. Red FM is known for always doing things differently, and with this initiative the station once again proves it mettle in setting the standards in the industry. I hope that every Mumbaikar can relate to this spirit of solidarity and come together to support and cheer the Mumbai Indians to victory!” practice session tickets and possibly even welcome the players to their homes! Based on the partnership, some cricketers will also go to various listeners homes and meet them and generate support for their teams – a winwin situation for all – the team gets a more involved and popular support within the city. It will be Daredevil Deewangee on Fever 104 FM this summer; a station that is in touch with the city’s pulse, urbane, contemporary and innovative in all that it does. Daredevil Deewangi will rule the airwaves and give listeners the best Daredevil experience – from leading the teams out onto the playing field, winning Official Merchandise and winning match tickets to listening to their local heroes co-hosting shows on-air; getting a chance to see practice sessions; getting a chance to have Virender Sehwag knocking on their door to personally invite them to the first match!


The next

big thing in

Radio Industry:

Mobile Radio

Mobile Internet radio caters to those customers who want to listen to their favorite radio from around the world on their mobile phones without being confined to their desktops

The radio industry in India is currently going through a very crucial phase of development in terms of technology, expansion and innovation. New modes of radio broadcast like Internet radio, mobile radio and satellite radio have come up to cater to the needs of listeners. Satellite radio is in fact becoming one of the fastest growing entertainment sectors globally, and slowly but surely its presence is being felt in India as well. With the coming of newer modes of radio broadcasting in Indian market, the industry is able to offer interactive services to listeners and reach out to a wider group of audience beyond local market. So,

Features of Mobile Radio


Personalised radio

Digital quality sound

Internet radio on the go

Visual radio

Menu based user interface

Advertisement free for premium music

Radio in various regional languages

May 2008 | Radio Duniya

now listeners in India can tune in to radio stations anywhere in the world. Internet radio is essentially ‘personalized’ radio through which one can get to listen music of his or her choice and have access to over 100 thousand radio stations, currently being broadcast from internet sites and being offered either for free (advertisement supported) or on payment of certain amount of money for premium music. The user experience varies depending on the features that are offered to the listeners.

Mobile phones and mobile radio are one of the fastest growing sectors in India. According to TRAI, the number of mobile phone subscribers in India was 233.62 million in December 2007. The radio industry in India is projected to grow at a rapid

Mobile Internet radio caters to that group of customers who want to listen to their favorite radio from around the world on their mobile phones without being confined to their desktops. Today is the age of mobile phones, and consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on their handsets for various things including their entertainment needs. According to a recent survey conducted by TNS, almost two thirds of students worldwide who use a mobile phone will use some form of mobile music. Those who commute long distance for work are most likely to use mobile music than those with shorter commutes. In such a scenario, mobile Internet radio has come as a boon to them where they can get their dose of entertainment on the go. Mobile Internet radio is unlike the terrestrial radio (AM and FM), whose signals are limited to a certain area depending on the broadcasting capacity of the station. The trend suggests that the number of people who will access internet mobile radio will definitely increase in the future.

pace. Statistics indicate that 50 per cent to 60 per cent of mobile phones have in built FM radio, so the numbers can only increase. Mobile network providers in India have realised this huge potential and the need for mobile radio. Due to this, a large number of mobile service providers have launched services for their subscribers. In India, mobile network service providers like Idea, Tata Indicom, Spice Mobile, Reliance have entered in to the field of mobile radio. An easy to use and customisable mobile Internet radio solution is provided by Mundu Radio, a product of Geodesic. This is an Internet radio solution for mobile phones, PDA and Pocket PC handsets. It consists of a client-side application that is installed on the handset and allows the user to select and playback s t r e a m s f r o m ex i s t i n g Internet radio stations. It also consists of a server side component that manages the personalization of the stations for the user. The solution is available on more than 100 popular handset based on J2ME, Symbian Series 60,Windows Mobile and Palm OS platforms.


Anand Virani, Associate Vice-President, Geodesic says, “Our software is available across popular phone brands and models in India and allows the user to personalize the available list of stations. These are the reasons why we believe that it will be a preferred option when compared to other mobile

Internet radio software and separate music devices like ipods. It will also be preferable to international choices like WorldSpace radio since the user does not need to buy a separate receiver and as compared to WorldSpace, Mundu radio provides thousands of radio channels.” A study conducted by Arbitron and Webcast Metrics has found out that currently there are over 7,000,000 average quarterly hour listeners to online stations. Mobile music has witnessed a tremendous growth in past couple of years. Two major reasons have been cited for this growth and adoption of mobile radio. First, consumers are increasingly accessing internet from their mobile phones and secondly, they prefer carrying their favourite songs around on their mobile handsets.

Internet Radio as a viable proposition to provide access to a wide variety of music and other broadcast content.” Another avenue in mobile radio is the interactive radio service or visual radio offered by some service providers. Through visual mobile radio subscribers can get visuals, information and details about the singer and the song being played. Apart from all these services, visual radio offers listeners instant access to factual content related to the songs playing, the group or the singer playing, their background details, history, related quizzes, the chance to participate in audience polls and even the facility to download ring tones and wallpaper related to the song. Depending on the additional services provided by the service provider, visual mobile radio users can also buy tickets for movies from which the song is being played. Mobile radio besides being beneficial to the listeners also benefits mobile operators, handset manufacturers and radio stations Through this, mobile operators can promote their brand of mobile Internet radio in the preferred language of the subscribers besides deploying multiple usage and pricing models to cater to various categories of subscribers for their diverse music choice. Handset manufacturers can increase the attractiveness of their music phones by crossselling mobile radio services to customers. Radio stations can reach out to their listeners in any corner of the world and create a new revenue stream for premium and niche content, besides reaching out to new listeners beyond their existing markets. Source: Mundu Radio

Anand further says, “The Indian mobile music market was worth more than Rs 900 crore in 2007. And the number of mobile phones sold with Internet capability was over 30 per cent. Additionally, Internet usage charges in India are among the cheapest in the world. Looking at these market trends, we are confident of mobile


May 2008 | Radio Duniya


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Sonu Rocks India! BIG 92.7 FM left the local populace enthralled and cravingfor-more as it traveled across 5 cities of India to present the much-awaited Close-up ‘Rock with Sonu’ Concert with none other than the country’s young legend Sonu Niigaam. The whole country swayed with each beat as the talented singer belted out some great foot tapping numbers along with the 6 ‘Sing with Sonu’ contest winners, chosen from the cities of Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi & Chandigarh. The talented crooner along with the ‘Sing with Sonu’ contest winners charmed the audiences leaving them with nothing but asking for more! The winners Sulabh, Manjira, Samaayan, Deepak & Rohit wowed the audiences and gave away glimpses of a true performer, as they enthralled and entertained them with some of the best music hits. The winners, who got to realize their dream of sharing the stage with none other than Sonu Niigaam for the concert, were selected after going through the rigorous and meticulously put together rounds of on-air & on-ground auditions, judged by various celebrity singers and followed by voting sessions. Elated with the response, Anand Chakravarthy, Vice President Marketing BIG 92.7 FM said, “Close-up ‘Rock with Sonu’ concert was a rocking success with the response being outstanding! We had listeners in the 5 Cities grooving to Sonu’s hits and of course to the tunes of ‘Punjabi Please’. As a platform for the ‘Sing with Sonu’ winners, it was indeed a once in lifetime experience, for the 6 youngsters who were groomed, trained and shared center-stage with the India’s true rockstar– Sonu Niigaam himself. It was another innovative and radio first activity from BIG 92.7 FM that, offered a true Life Banao opportunity to our listeners.”


Lucknow’s Radio City 91.1FM organises ‘Healthy Me Walkathon’ Lucknow’s Radio City 91.1FM ushered a fitness wave in a complete ‘Whatte Fun’ style! In an endeavour to enhance awareness on healthy living, Radio City urged listeners to adapt to a healthier and a balanced way of life by participating in their unique initiative ‘The Healthy Me Walkathon’ organized at the East End Mall at Gomtinagar. Joining Lucknow Radio City 91.1FM’s RJs Meenu, Fahad, Amir and Vera and gracing the occasion was none other than the Ex-Mayor of Lucknow and Padmashri Awardee S.C. Rai himself, who came in to lend a helping hand to Radio City’s venture. This innovative initiative was supported by Wave Cares and Shekhar Hospital. Resonating healthy living through the City of the Nawabs, Radio City ran a 5-day contest called ‘Healthy Me’ exclusively for the Lucknow’s Radio Cityzens. The station encouraged listeners

to participate and disclose their own little secret of living life the healthy way! From revealing basic habits like trimming nails on regular basis to remarkable practices like Yoga and ‘Pranayam’, the station witnessed an overwhelming response on this interactive-base contest. With entries pouring in from all the corners of the city, the station selected the best 20 from the overflowing stream of responses. Commenting on the initiative Rana Barua, National Head – Programming and Marketing, Radio City 91.1FM said, “Being fit and healthy is a way of life; somewhere in all our busy schedules, fitness takes a back seat. The idea behind The Radio City Healthy Me Contest and the Walkathon was to infuse this awareness in our listener and involve him to proactively take action towards a fitter, healthier life in a ‘Whatte Fun’ way! Thanks to the vivacity and enthusiasm of Lucknow’s Radio Cityzens, our initiative has been a great success!”

Red FM Delhi goes on a Cleanliness drive! Red FM,Delhi station in keeping with its “Bajaate Raho!” positioning rolls out its latest initiative Nitin Karega Dilli ki Safaayi - An attempt to make Delhi a clean and healthy city for its residents. Through this initiative which kickstarted from the first week of April’08 RJ Nitin along with his Jhadu (broom) maar team covered several localities upon listener request and initiated a cleaning drive, and generated awareness amongst the people on how to keep their city clean. To further this cause, the station has decided to hold a massive cleanliness drive at Connaught Place, inner circle on the 18th of April, at 7.00 p.m. wherein RJ Nitin along with his Jhadu Maar Team will take on the responsibility of cleaning up after the weekend revelers and their mess. As a part of Red FM Delhi’s ongoing initiative the station offers listeners a chance to call upon RJ Nitin and his Jhadu Maar team to Clean Up their neighborhood. The visit to any locality is preceded by the RJ requesting the authorities responsible for the city’s cleanliness to take up this issues and clean up their act before they are forced to do so themselves. 42

Commenting on the initiative, Sheila Dixit in an exclusive interview with RJ Nitin on Red FM, said, “This noble initiative by Red FM will help spread awareness among Delhiites that the Government needs public participation in order to ensure a better tomorrow for Delhi city. It is easy to criticise the state of affairs but, it’s difficult to get on the field and work towards building a better and cleaner society.” She further added that, “I am delighted that RJ Nitin and his Jhadu Maar team have volunteered to take up this responsibility to clean up this city and make it a better place to stay.” May 2008 | Radio Duniya

ommun ty Rad o

Voice of the Students CMS Radio 90.4 FM

City Montessori School’s community radio station came into existence on 1st July 2005 with the sole aim of providing education to the masses. CMS CRS is also involved in preparing programmes that focus on transmission of highly educative programmes that enhance the knowledge and all-round personality of children. Through CMSFM not only CMS students but also the children who are not studying in CMS are greatly benefited. Every country has realised the need of educating its population in the real sense of the term. As such it is conceived that the formal system of education is not sufficient to meet the increasing demands for education. This has led to the search of a via media, which could be used alternatively to expand and fulfil educational needs of all. In a country like India with large population and socioeconomic diversities, education through Community Radio Station (CRS) plays an important role in providing opportunities for social and economic upliftment of women. Today radio finds a special place in homes and communities. Now community radio service or FM radio stations, catering to the interests of a certain 44

area, have brought a boom in the radio industry. Keeping in view the immense popularity of the community radio station, Government of India, in it’s vide announcement made in December 2002 has opened up vistas for educational institutions / organizations to have their own small power FM radio stations. As a step forward in this direction, Government invited applications for grant of licenses to well established educational institutions/ organizations including Universities. City Montessori School’s community radio station came into existence on 1st July 2005 at Vishal Khand Gomti Nagar and CMS Degree College, Kanpur Road Lucknow at a frequency of 90.4 MHz. Union Minister for Human Resources Development, May 2008 | Radio Duniya

educative material useful for children, teachers and parents, training of staff, selection of experts, and getting the active cooperation of trainers, experts and highly knowledgeable subject teachers was a mammoth task. Radio is an effective medium that is accessible to the poor and to the rich and covers large population areas with low cost in short span of time. Therefore, FM radio has been of great advantage to the poor and needy children who cannot bear the expense of studying in a school. Through CMSFM not only CMS students but also the children who are not studying in CMS are greatly benefited. Shri Arjun Singh inaugurated CMS Community Radio Station at Gomti Nagar and the inauguration of CMS CRS at CMS Degree College was done by none other than Shri Jaipal Reddy, the then Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting. CMS community radio station started with the sole aim of providing education to the masses. Establishing FM radio in CMS was a difficult and challenging task. It all started three years back on 10th May 2003 when the government of India gave a green signal to CMS to set up its’ own FM radio station. Building radio relay centres and establishing radio towers in Gomti Nagar and Kanpur road Branch of CMS, procuring the necessary machinery and equipment for establishing the FM radio station, production of

A very efficient team of enthusiastic people under the able guidance of V Kurian manage the work of CMS CRS. The schedule of programmes to be broadcast for one month is prepared in advance. The day of the FM team begins with a meeting with the Head of the Department and responsibilities are delegated to the team members after which begins the work of recording and anchoring of educational and other programmes. CMS CRS is not only limited to narrow educational aspect; but in preparing programmes its focus has been on transmission of such highly educative programmes that enhance the knowledge and all-round personality of children. Various health experts like heart and Yoga specialists, eye specialists, dieticians, neurosurgeons, and consultants from different fields have been involved


The station has just started programmes involving the c o m m u n i t y, while all these years it was broadcasting for the community.

in preparing useful programmes for CMS CRS. Interactive programmes are prepared so that the children and parents get adequate information about their health and other problems they face in their day-to-day life. Educational guest lectures, phone-in programmes, group discussions, career counselling, subject tutorials and interview with child psychologists, are prepared and regularly relayed on CMS CRS. Special emphasis is given on the making of programmes for the tiny tots who enjoy themselves with story telling, rhymes, educational and devotional songs, phonetics and pronunciation drills. Lucknownama and Discover India are programmes that touch upon the geographical aspect and explore the hidden facts about places. Six hours programme are aired daily in two shifts from 7.00 am to 10.00 am in the morning and 4:30pm to 7:30 pm from Gomti Nagar radio station and from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm through Kanpur Road radio station. CMS CRS is solely run by teachers and students of CMS. The range of transmission is nearly 8 kilometers. Special features presented on special occasions are an integral part of CMS CRS . The uniqueness of programmes has helped CMS CRS create a special place for itself. The feedback obtained from various listeners of CMS CRS is a testimony to the popularity of CMS CRS. Special efforts are taken to enlighten the rural masses. villages namely, Maqdoompur, Arshat Gaon, Malhore and Lalai Khera have been adopted. CMS CRS team members go to these villages and talk to the village people about the kind of programmes they desire to listen to and then programmes are made at the studio. Through programmes like Nai Subah, Dadi maa ki Kahaniyaan, Doctor Sahab Se Mulakat empowering the rural masses are empowered.


C M S Lu c k n o w hosted the first ever Regional Consultation for Community Radio awareness organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia in November 2007. Prof Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director General of UNESCO, Paris and Asha Kanwar, Vice President of Commonwealth of Learning along with Zohra Chatterji, Joint Secretary, Broadcasting, Arvind Kumar, Director Broadcast Policy and Singaravelu, Deputy Wireless Advisor, GoI personally attended the meet to show their commitment. The station gets inspiration and guidance from Jagdish Gandhi, founder of the CMS institutions in Lucknow. CMS institutions find a place in the Guinness Book of Records and Jagdish Gandhi is a recipient of UNESCO prize for peace. At CMS CRS it is believed that vision without action is a dream and action without vision is nightmare, surely CMS CRS will join its vision with action to change the world.


R. Sreedher Director, CEMCA CMS is an ideal example of how schools could successfully make use of mass media and particulalrly media for the neighbourhood. I am sure in the years to come CMS CR will become very active in the field of community radio just like the school itself.

May 2008 | Radio Duniya

Radio for the People MOP FM 107.8 MOP community radio 107.8 is a radio station manned by the students who deal with the whole processes of scripting, producing, directing, recording and editing of the programmes.

Through a 15 year journey, M. O. P Vaishnav College for Women has been committed to the goals of attracting and supporting top caliber women students from around the globe in the area of higher education. The college’s mission is to provide a unique learning experience which will enable the students to realize their innate potential and mould their overall personality. It works to achieve this by promoting academic excellence, developing selfreliant individuals, providing career opportunities and creating socially responsible citizens. To achieve the millennium goal of sustainable development the citizen of today has to be oriented in issues pertaining to environment, technology, family and health. In this pursuit the college has adopted the ‘democratic’ tool of community radio. It became the first ever college in the country to have a campus radio under the Community Radio Service (CRS) scheme of the Government of India. The service commenced on 12th March, 2005 and was launched by Dr. Arun Nigavekar, Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC) and Professor S P Thiyagarajan, then Vice Chancellor, University of Madras. MOP FM at 107.8 started out humbly with an hour’s broadcast twice a day and today, it airs a three hour package of content thrice a day.

Though overseen by technical advisors, MOP community radio 107.8 is a radio station manned by the students who deal with the whole processes of scripting, producing, directing, recording and editing of the programmes. They contribute diverse talent to MOP FM through music, acting, speaking, quizzing, interviewing celebrities, radio jockeying and discussing conventional as well as nonconventional subjects. A unique student venture, this community radio center serves as a platform to explore and discuss issues that are relevant to the student community and society. This station airs programmes that are informative and educative presented in entertaining formats like docudramas, talk shows, panel discussions, group talks and interviews. Conceptualised and produced by the students, the programmes are in English and in Tamil. An audio studio with state-of-art technology aids this venture. The fast paced metropolitan city of Chennai is booming especially in the radio market scene with ample public and private radio stations competing over airspace. With such competition in mind, the resources available and research conducted, MOP FM is a knowledge collateral catering to the community through exclusive and target-oriented 47

guarantees substance. M O P FM has handled live broadcasts, on-field coverage through vox-pops, and phone-ins apart from pre-recorded programming. The esprit of community radio is upheld with a combination of technical excellence and MOP FM’s credible identity. The programmes recorded are classified based on content, genre, language and experts roped in, and archived for later reference and quality checks.

programmes. This has been possible through an efficient survey and feedback unit which has been in direct interaction with the focus community, constantly doing what it does best – communicating to the masses to empower them with information for upliftment, development and progress. Campaigns to bring an awakening among the community have been carried out along with a major survey that singled out 3,000 listeners and participants for their direct feedback on the programme content and listener preferences. The campaigns also further addressed the issues discussed in the radio broadcasts. Listenership clubs have been formed to create forums of peopleto-people interaction and for content production of top quality. The community radio station’s initiative has also taken the form of village adoptions (Aalaiyamman Koil Street in Teynampet and Badrikarai Street in Nungambakkam, Chennai), field visits, student community contributions and distribution of radio sets. MOP FM has translated itself into a way of life, making it a people’s movement - to opine, to hear and to cater to the fellow man’s need. Through these untiring efforts, MOP FM aims To build a substantial social capital consisting of students in particular and the community in general To empower students of the college with lifeoriented skills To enable the community to enlarge their vision of life and improve their social and economic status To promote a civil society and caring for others

MOP FM’s initiative has grown to mobilize communities through rallies, workshops, training, seminars and interactive projects for social awareness. Workshops are also conducted for training students in radio jockeying, scripting and managing technical equipment. Fresh content is developed after detailed research on the needs of the people and current issues. Feedback has been pouring in, in the form of letters, emails, and personal visits and also through systematic surveys. Moving towards its dream of an empowered society, this community radio center is training members from the community to participate in different aspects of radio station management. Thus, the fortitude of MOP FM as a community radio meets its purpose. The community radio station, MOP FM operates at the frequency 107.8 within a ten to fifteen kilometer radius around the college campus. The radio station employs a 50 Watt transmitter and broadcasts nine hours a day with repeat broadcasts. The primary listening zone of the station consists of Nungambakkam, T.Nagar, Mambalam, Gopalapuram, Chetpet, Anna Nagar, Egmore, Saidapet, Royappetah and Triplicane. The college has two state-of-the-art audio studios with acoustically treated voice room and control room where a one hundred and forty channel recording facility is available.

Creativity flows unbridled in the minds of the students who work smartly, adopt broadcasting techniques and innovate further to develop their own genre of content. Quality management at MOP FM is a continuous process with trained technical advisors overseeing the entire scripting, recording and packaging process. The state-of-art infrastructure inclusive of acoustically designed studios, equipped with the latest technology and inputs from experts 48

May 2008 | Radio Duniya

Through its untiring efforts, MOP FM aims • To build a substantial social capital consisting of students in particular and the community in general • To empower students of the college with life-oriented skills • To enable the community to enlarge their vision of life and improve their social and economic status • To promote a civil society and caring for others

Digital recording facility with Nuendo and Pro Tools software is also in position. This versatile and modern facility has been created with a view to train students in advanced technical softwares on par with the industry standards. With an efficient survey and feedback unit from the student community itself, English and Tamil were the languages chosen for communication at M O P FM 107.8. Colloquial tones are adopted to help the community relate to the content. Local language is delivered with local flavour in different genres with star characters from amongst the community. Detailed surveys and focus group sessions were carried out in February 2006 and July 2007 to keep MOP FM abreast of the changes in listenership habits and the society’s preferences. When people listen to the radio, they are keen to listen to their own programmes, their own issues, their voices articulated in their language. Community radio is a medium that is their ‘own.’ Maintaining listenership is a task that requires dynamic minds and efforts to cater to ever-changing demands of the society. This is made possible by multi-faceted programmes that weave together elements of community development, education, culture, health, environment, agriculture and rural development. Enrichment of community and fulfilling its responsibility is done through NGO interviews, awareness programmes, live traffic regulation shows, confidence and skill-building.

dissemination of science through the community radio, M O P FM 107.8, was inaugurated by Dr Poongothai, Minister for Social Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu on 5th Nov 2007. The year-long Tamil serial “Nutrition and Hygiene” under “Science for Women” is a part of a project by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the Government of India. Among topics covered are women empowerment, health and nutrition and everyday safety measures. The target audience comprises mainly of the women residing at Aalaiyamman Koil Street in Teynampet and Badrikarai Street in Nungambakkam, Chennai, in addition to the students of the college. There are programmes on Carnatic music appreciation, temple architecture, Indian epics, Indian dance forms and the cultural heritage of India. Good health is stressed upon greatly through the live Department of Science and Technology (DST) project “Penne nee arivai” (“Science for Women”) and shows like “Kua Kua Mudhal” (“From a child’s first sound to his first year”). Live interviews and phone-ins are also conducted with leading doctors answering queries from the station on dental, ENT, heart and paediatric issues. Activities like free eye check-up camps, games on hygiene and interactive sessions with doctors are carried out to follow up on the impact of the radio programming. Environmental issues are also touched upon and have been popular through shows like “Energy Conservation/ Alternatives” and “Nature Conservation and Pollution Control.” Awareness campaigns and on-field street plays promote the environmental initiatives. Confidence and skill-building involves both the society and the student community through debates, “Creative Corner,” and poetry.

MOP FM has so far interviewed 65 NGOs, members of the Confederation of Indian Organisations for Social Advocacy (CIOSA) on low cost health care, helping the handicapped, schooling special children, rescues from child labour, rehabilitation and prevention of crimes against women. The community gains learning in the aspects of health, heritage and consumer education. “Incredible India,” “Discoveries and inventions,” and “Penne nee arivai” (“Science for Women”) are some of the popular programmes. Courtroom dramas, skits, talks, dialogues are also used in this endeavor. The “Penne nee arivai” project for


Level of connect with the masses

To d e v e l o p cultural sensitivity among students, the college takes the initiative of identifying, tapping, developing and nurturing the individual talents of the students. This has been implemented through featured presentations, narrations of personal experiences, anecdotes, use of star characters, thus adding colour to programmes and making them more appealing. M O P FM’s archive of content now contains more than 1020 hours of packaged programmes. Involvement of community / students in production of programmes MOP FM 107.8 believes in community participation and goes an extra mile by bringing in people from the community and training them in radio station management and production techniques. Women empowerment is of prime importance on MOP FM and thus carries content on entrepreneurship, her role in the community, the family and as an individual. Though overseen by technical advisors, the station is manned by the students in the processes of scripting, producing, directing, recording and editing. Many students have participated in th broadcast, they contribute diverse talent to the station through music, acting, speaking, quizzing, interviewing celebrities, radio jockeying and discussing conventional as well as non-conventional subjects. A unique student venture, M O P FM 107.8 serves as a platform to explore and discuss issues that are relevant to the student community and society. This community radio airs programmes that are informative and educative presented in entertaining formats like docudramas, talk shows, panel discussions, group talks and interviews. Conceptualized and produced by the students, the programmes are in English and in Tamil. An audio studio with state-of-art technology aids this venture. Surveys and campaigns as well as personal interactions with the audience at regular intervals act as a strong quality self-check device. The college is fully equipped with resources both on content development and programme production making best use of the infrastructure thus focusing on the felt needs of the community. 50

MOP FM’s growing popularity amongst its listeners is swif tly turning it into a household word. Listeners are able to relate to the radio jockeys and the issues addressed on air. It penetrates the areas of Nungambakkam, T.Nagar, Mambalam, Gopalapuram, Chetpet, Anna Nagar, Egmore, Saidapet, Royappetah and Triplicane, in Chennai. Social connectivity is ensured through use of colloquial tones to help the community relate to the content. Local language is delivered with local flavour in different genres with star characters from amongst the community. Detailed surveys and focus group sessions were carried out in February 2006 and July 2007 to keep M O P FM abreast of the changes in listenership habits and the society’s preferences. Listenership clubs have been formed to create forums of peopleto-people interaction and for content production of top quality. On an average, M O P FM receives five to six phone-ins per live show. An interactive relationship is maintained by students who go for field programmes and also ensure follow up and response by the target community like the distribution of radio sets during the Women Empowerment Campaign in December, 2007. Health camps, street plays and interactive sessions are also a part of the social connectivity of MOP FM 107.8. The role of community radio is not just limited to providing information.


R. Sreedher Director, CEMCA

Due to the location of MOP FM the exact places where the programme is heard in is not very clear. No systematic survey has been done to identify the areas where the signal reaches, who are the potential listeners, and whether they posess radio sets, and if so are they listening to MOP FM. Another issue open to discussion is how much the community is involved in decision making regarding their programming needs and how much access they have to the radio station.

May 2008 | Radio Duniya

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