Radio City: Innovating To Push Up Listenership

Bangalore: | Updated: Jul 31 2002, 05:30am hrs
Having completed a year of operations, Bangalore’s only private radio FM station—Radio City—is looking at innovative programming as a tool to push up radio listenership.

As part of the innovative programming thrust, the team has come up with yet another concept character Sister Stella—much along the lines of its other popular fictitious local ‘slanguage’ spouting character— Lingo Leela.

With the creation of Lingo Leela (the SSLC pass and currently unemployed tuition teacher), the station was able to hit upon both—a link to connect with the city’s cosmopolitan mix, as well as advertisers who latched onto this concept as a unique mode of advertising.

Interestingly, Spice Telecom has been the key sponsor for Lingo Leela, who’s fun lessons on the usage of ‘local slanguage’ has become a handbook of sorts for all things Bangalorean.

Sister Stella—the fictitious retired nurse—is now set to become Bangalore’s on-air agony aunt and offer ‘melodies for maladies’ by way of solutions to all problems connected with city life.

Speaking to The Financial Express, Mr Velu Shankar, programme director, Radio City, said the idea was to introduce programming that would get listeners to have a personal attachment to station and also associate with the kind of content that was going on air.

‘‘Adding an image, localising the content to cater to the kind of mixed-crowd Bangalore has and also building good advertising opportunities is the key,’’ said Mr Shankar.

‘‘In radio, there is need for us to create fresh mindpsace and while we might be the only private radio station, radio as a medium is constantly facing competition from all other media and activity that might distract the listener from tuning in. Which is why we want to add a certain editorial/anchor to our content that will entice the listener to follow a particular character or theme while listening,’’ he added.

According to an IMRB survey done after the launch of Radio City in Bangalore in July 2001, the overall radio listenership had gone up from 54 per cent to 73 per cent in the first three months of the launch of the first private FM station.