Someone had to take the first step.
Radio broadcasters have always complained that the imposing licence fee is the one key factor that has stood in the way of any experimentation with content. Though some stations have begun tinkering with their programming, it is mostly limited to non-prime-time. In that context, Radio City 91 FM's entry into the realm of soaps, comedy, drama and news and current affairs is nothing short of audacious.
While news and current affairs may take some time to go on air, the channel will launch 16 new programmes starting November 24. The most popular soap on STAR Plus Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi will hit the airwaves along with Neena Gupta's Saans. Kyunki will be aired between Monday to Thursday at 11.00 am and Saans from Monday to Thursday at 11:30 am.
Speaking on the new programming initiative, Sumantra Dutta, COO, Radio City, says, "Agreed, the licence fee is huge, but if one does not spend then how will the market grow? Radio is the theatre of the mind and there are formats besides music that can work in this market. Our new programming has all the ingredients - comedy, family drama, mystery and horror - which, I am sure, will appeal to all our listeners. The popularity of our existing programmes combined with the pull of brand new properties will propel us towards being the station with a difference and set Radio City 91 FM apart from competition."
And since a large chunk (about 95 per cent) of radio listenership is at home, chances are that a varied programming mix will help the channel broaden its listenership base. With this, the company also hopes to gain a larger share of the radio advertising pie.
Besides family drama, Radio City is betting on the genre of thrillers to get it new listeners. Apradhi Kaun, a half-hour murder mystery, will join the programming ranks with horror show Darr. To lighten up the spooky atmosphere, the channel has lined up various humorous shows such as Jholmaal, Angrezi Talking, Hakka Bakka, Wholesale Gudgudee and the star of all comedy shows - Hum BolegaÖThe Sajid Khan Show.
While Jholmaal is all about strange inventions, their benefits, drawbacks and conveniences, Angrezi Talking is about the intricacies of the English language and will be hosted by Prakash Murari. Sajid Khan's Hum Bolega is a one-hour daily dose of jokes, crazy characters and songs. On weekends, Sajid Khan will make a reappearance in Best of Sajid on the Sajid Khan Sunday special. While Wholesale Gudgudee is a pot pourri of humour, Hakka Bakka is about two characters and their daily adventures.
Bollywood also gets its "share of voice" on Radio City. Rahein na Rahein Hum is a half-hour show that pays tribute to great films and their makers. This programme would be hosted by famous script writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar. Flashback is a one-hour daily "retro special" on Bollywood memories combined with a heavy dose of trivia, facts, interviews and classics. Return Ticket, a two-hour countdown programme, will showcase the 15 hits of a year gone by.
An interesting new concept to be introduced by the channel is women's special in the form of Meri Saheli and Sheela. While the one-hour Meri Saheli will cover women-related issues - such as childcare, marriage, finance and home care - Sheela is a fun show that gives tips on how to deal with everyday household issues. In addition to these programmes is Love Guru that will aim to solve 'love-related' problems. And for listeners in Bangalore there is a talk show called 'Brunch with the Boss' that will profile Bangalore's leaders in an exclusive, first-hand, insightful and informative manner. ¬© 2003 agencyfaqs!