communicate directly with the youth, Radio One 94.3 FM has announced another edition of its popular talent hunt, the Radio One College Radio Championship. The aim is to spot radio talent in today's so called 'fatafat' generation. The championship was started four years ago in Mumbai.
Beginning this week, the championship will be a month long exercise in which the top colleges of six metros will be the hunting ground for young talent for the radio industry.
Speaking to afaqs!, Vehrnon Ibrahim, director, programming, Radio One, says, "The hunt is not merely a tool to look for RJs (radio jockeys). Rather, the idea is to identify radio enthusiasts who can be trained to be good copywriters, sound engineers, music schedulers and programmers. Media institutes fall short of providing trained manpower to meet the commercial needs of radio. So, the winners of the championship will be provided hands-on training in our studios and, hopefully, absorbed in the organisation. More than anything else, it is a good way of connecting with the youth on a large scale."
The radio station will also visit college campuses to seek direct participation. Interested individuals are required to form a pair and go through various role plays while being assessed by a panel of judges. Eligible candidates will be judged on parameters such as presence of mind, wit and ability to handle a mock celebrity interview.
Radio One has roped in some youth brands to sponsor the championship. As of now, Sony Ericsson is the title sponsor, with Lays and Pantaloon also associated with the hunt.
On-ground activities and talent rounds will be held in the top 10 colleges of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengalaru, Ahmedabad, Pune and Chennai. A minimum of 10 talented youngsters will be selected from each metro to be trained by Radio One professionals.
Ibrahim believes that in India, radio is still at a nascent stage as compared to print and TV. Such hunts help in brand visibility and also throw up genuine talent.
Commenting on the talent crunch in the industry, he says, "Currently, the radio industry has a mix of two sets of professionals. The first set, passionate about radio and wishing to make a career out of it, is in short supply. The second set of people are hanging around for pure fun and looking out for better opportunities outside the industry. Our radio college championship is an attempt to identify the first tribe and equip it to take the industry ahead."
Word about the hunt will be spread by putting up hoardings for auditions and using branding at youth hangouts and colleges. The radio station has tied up with local players for advertising, taking due care of local sensibilities. The scale of the on-ground activity will create the necessary buzz, considering the fact that at present, there is a clear lack of differentiation between the various radio stations on air.
In an official communiqué, Vineet Singh Hukmani, chief executive officer, Radio One, expressed happiness over the growth of the station, saying, "We are happy that we have been able to grow Radio One's College Radio Championship far above our expectations, keeping in tune with the high growth rate of our station."