Television

Radio City to launch eight new shows next week

MUMBAI: It could be the last desperate push before the curtains fall. Or it could prove to be the turning point private radio in the country is hoping for. The Star backed and Mittals' MBPL promoted Radio City 91 FM today announced a clutch of eight new Hindi programming initiatives aimed at engaging the listener and wooing the advertiser.

(Lto R) COO Sumantra Dutta, CEO John Catlett and MBPL director Ashok Khinvasara at the Radio City press briefing on Wednesday in Mumbai

Beginning 2 June, the new shows, a mix of humour, satire and Bollywood, will be interspersed with the day's programming, with the avowed objective of building a unique differentiator among radio stations and to pump in some high energy content, according to Star India's radio division COO Sumantra Dutta. Needless to add, the shows also aim at making radio, thus far perceived as a music churner, into a respectable medium and to create a sense of high value at no cost.

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Shows like the weekly Pareshan Hoon Main will have a stereotypical moronic character speaking his heart out on the bothersome aspects of his life in his inimitable style, while Rollywood, a one hour show, will have spoofs on famous and hit Bollywood flicks representated through satire. The other humorous features to launch the same day include Public City (voices of the common Mumbaikar) at 8 am daily, Santa Banta Pvt Ltd (non stop jokes) at 8.30 am, Babbar Sher (verses that tickle, not necessarily edify) at 9 am and Kya Baat Kar Raha Hai (astounding facts coupled with public reactions) at 9.30 am. Also in the pipeline are Popat (a leg puller show) at 10 am every Wednesday and Shanta Bai (household tips), daily at 1 pm.

The shows, to be rolled out in a phased manner in all four cities where Radio City operates and caters to an claimed 38 million listeners, will help create a large number of trials and offer a cost effective quality advertising opportunity for local businesses, says Dutta. A massive television, radio, press and outdoor campaign will roll out from 2 June to push the shows that will be repeated several times during the course of a day. 

According to independent research conducted by Radio City, over 95 per cent of the radio listenership emanates at home and is not necessarily confined to the home bound housewife, says Dutta. While the Radio City inhouse team has been responsible for ideating on the new shows, all of them have been outsourced, he says. The ratio of music and non music programming however, is not likely to change much despite the new shows, says Dutta as most of them, apart from two shows, are of the vignette variety and will be interspersed with music.

Star India's Radio Division CEO John Catlett too, feels that the shows were a need of the times. "It was a need to create programming that we own, in between the music we play that is not our own," he avers. While Catlett does not expect large numbers of listeners to tune in specifically for the new shows, the blocks do identify slots that advertisers can use to target specific kind of audiences. 

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