afaqs! news bureau

Fever FM clarifies it is not 'shutting down' after all

The CEO Ramesh Menon has hinted at the radio station pursuing a new direction in fresh video.

On Tuesday, January 30, Fever FM CEO, Ramesh Menon sent out a recorded message stating that the company has "made the difficult decision to shut down" its radio station. About nine hours later, he was facing the camera once again, this time, he had a different message: Old radio is now over.

Savvy observers had guessed all along that Fever FM was 'faking it' and that soon it would announce a rebrand or a new avatar.

The first message from the CEO where he said "the end of Radio industry is closer than you expect" saw an outpouring of love and support from employees of the radio station network.

The VP marketing at Fever FM posted: After more than four years with this company, it's a sad way to part ways. I feel disheartened by this news, knowing that a significant chapter is coming to an end.

However my experiences here will forever remain a part of my professional journey. I extend my gratitude to all my colleagues and peers who have been a constant support. ľ'm deeply thankful to the company for shaping my professional journey thus far.

While many responded to the message that the radio station was shutting down with sadness over losing their favourite radio station, several folks on LinkedIn who had seen similar drama play out when employees of job search site began resigning en masse only to join 'foundit' the company's refreshed brand name were smart to not fall for the prank.

The prank left everyone wondering: how much misleading is too much misleading? And if at all it is wise for a brand to fake its own demise to announce a rebrand or business pivot.

The radio sector in India has been growing at a slow pace in India. According to the 2023 GroupM This Year Next Year advertising forecast report, radio attracted Rs 1,951 crore in ad spend and accounted for just one percent of India's advertising pie. In 2023 radio ad spends grew by about 7.3% over 2022.

In an earnings call with investors on January 19, 2024, HT Media CFO Piyush Gupta said, "Radio has been a bit of a challenge in spite of our best efforts, Radio revenue has not come up to speed as much as we would have liked to. There is a marginal decline of 4% with revenues tracking to INR 40 crores, and operating EBITDA at INR 3 crores with a 7% margin as against 17% margin last year. Sequentially, of course, they were up 12%."

Fever FM was established in 2006 in New Delhi. It consists of four radio stations: Fever 104 FM, Punjabi Fever, Radio Nasha, and Radio One.

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