Star to take Radio City to new shores

MUMBAI: The Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd promoted and Star India backed FM station Radio City could soon be available on foreign shores, if things work out to plan.

The cities that have been identified as potential markets for the radio station are Dubai, London, and possibly a couple of African countries, including Kenya. The massive Indian populations in these cities, their demand for Indian music, has been instrumental in Radio City intiating dialogue for taking the station with its programming format as it is here, to the other cities. While there are a few FM stations available in Dubai, in London, there is only one other station currently running.

Whether Radio City as a brand name will be used in these cities as well is not yet known, but Star will be licensed for selling airtime, it is learnt.

According to Radio City COO Sumantra Dutta, Radio City is also getting ready for the next wave of new programming. To kick off from 1 July, there will be an approximate 15 new shows, a mix of new shows and features. For the first time, kids' programming will form a part of private FM stations, with a quiz show lined up. This is the third time that Radio City has introduced innovative programming in bunches. The first was in July last year, when the station launched 16 new vignette shows, and followed it some months later with radio versions of Star Plus' hit shows like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Saans.

In the fresh wave of programming to start soon, veteran radio personality Roshan Abbas, who shifted to Radio City from Win, which closed down last month, will be doing a Bollywood focused show right across the week, as well as host a kids'. The new features include Doctor Didi, a health related show that is supported by cough medication Benadryl. The show will have windows right through the week, with a big episode on the weekend, and will deal with all kinds of normal ailments people have, health and fitness.

The station that has been having a clutch of celebrities including Baba Sehgal, Mandira Bedi, Ruby Bhatia, Kay Kay, Shaan in the last few months on various shows will be roped in for other shows as well. A sports show is also on the cards, probably featuring a sports celebrity. Says Dutta, "Bollywood is radio listeners' favourite theme, but we have been funneling it into certain programmes, not diffusing it all through the programming. The show that Sajid Khan did on Bollywood, will now be done by Roshan."

While Dutta says that kids as an audience base is not large, children are an important segment. "We will start with a couple of prime time shows for kids, gauge the response and see how it picks up, says Dutta.

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