Radio Mirchi trying to connect with Kolkata's ethos

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Publishing | May 30, 2005
The channel has taken several initiatives by promoting local Bengali bands, reporting live from the 'Kolkata Book Fair', or branding the city's oldest heritage tram as Mirchi Tram

Kolkata has a distinct identity when it comes to culture and ethos. And Radio Mirchi's Kolkata station is trying keep pace with the city's culture and traditions. & #BANNER1 & #

Of late, the radio channel has been promoting top Bengali music bands very aggressively through their programming. As Anand Parmeshwaran, station director, Radio Mirchi, Kolkata, says, "Bangla bands are an integral part of the city's culture scape. In addition, they are a symbol of youth, which is our TG."

To promote these bands, the channel has launched a show 'Be-taar Mirchi' series (Mirchi unplugged). Parmeshwaran claims this will be the first instance, where a radio station is organising a live concert straight from the studios.

For two hours every Sunday afternoon, the top bands with their musical paraphernalia are performing inside the state-of-the-art Mirchi studio, interacting with the callers who don't seem to have enough of them. The programme will also have an online contest. Forty lucky winners will get to watch the bands perform live in a barge in mid-Hoogly.

Parmeshawaran says, "We try to speak the same language, which the city speaks." For instance, the channel has a programme called 'Hello Kolkata' where every morning the radio jockeys go out in the city to discuss a subject, which is currently the talk of the town.

"It could be anything from kidnapping of a girl or an India-Pakistan cricket match," explains Parmeshwaran.

'Kolkata Book Fair' or 'Boi Mela' is another face of the city's culture. Radio Mirchi covers this event extensively. In fact, it goes to the extent of setting up a makeshift studio at the venue, where celebrities and writers are interviewed.

Paying tribute to one of Kolkata's heritage items - the tram - Radio Mirchi has branded one as a Mirchi Tram. Bands such as 'Fossils' and 'Bhoomi' recent live performance evoked the city's nostalgic feelings for the tram.

The radio channel claims a listenership of 24 lakhs, out of the total 36 lakh radio listeners in the city. Parmeshawaran says that unlike other cities - where a large chunk of listenership happen while commuting in their own vehicle - in Kolkata, majority of people listen to radio at home. A huge number of people tune in between 9.45 pm and 1 am, when people are at home. Radio Mirchi Kolkata has a show Dil Chahta Hai, where it plays old songs, based on a particular theme.

However, Radio Mirchi Kolkata is not only about Bengali songs. It has a good repertoire of Hindi songs too. In fact, the station is skewed more towards Hindi than Bengali songs. Parmeshwaran says, "We try to relate to the listener's mood and the melody quotient while choosing our content." 2005 agencyfaqs!

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