Going Back to the Radio Days
Here are three possible scenarios of a typical day in Dhaka city
It is early in the morning. The first thing you crave for is a cup of steaming hot tea. The next thing you look around for is your favourite newspaper to give you an update on what is happening around you and the world. But then you realise your hawker has not come yet to deliver the paper, something that gets your temper really hot…
You start from home, the destination is your office. And you are in a big hurry because you must make it to a meeting on time. Now which road should you take? Wouldn't it be great if someone told you which road is free from a traffic jam…
In the after noon you are sitting in your office. You don't have much pressure of work. The perfect time to listen to some good music to soothe your senses and take away your lethargy. Imagine, you do not have any music system in your room but the only thing you have is a small radio in your pocket which is actually playing your favourite song…
Such musings would have been a little far-fetched a while ago. But not anymore. Since the closing down of Radio Metro, the only private radio station that gave a hint of what radio could be, there has been a big gap for radio listeners. Now, four new private radio stations are about to air their programmes.
Moreover in the coming days mobile phones will provide the facility of listening to FM radio stations. Observing the facts above, one has to admit that in the near future radio will dominate all other media.
Three licensed private stations have already begun their preparation and one has started its experimental broadcast. Those waiting for their inauguration are ABC Radio, Radio Furti and Uni Wave. The Director of ABC Radio Mahbuba Chowdhury remarks "Predominantly our channel would be news based but in the long run we hope to introduce entertaining programmes also." Natasha Hayat, the Managing Director of Radio Furti says, "The main feature of our channel would be songs. Besides this, programmes concerning Traffic Law will also be aired"
"We will feature our programmes according to the demand of our listeners" explains Zulfiquar Ahmed, the Managing Director of Uni Wave.
Aftab Mahmud Khurshid (left) with the rest of the Radio Today team
RADIO TODAY-FM 89.6 is the first station which will be broadcast live on FM radio. Their programmes will cover news and views on sports, education, business and commerce, development, happenings in Dhaka and its surrounding districts.
Chief Marketing Officer Aftab Mahmud Khurshid of Radio Today FM 89.6 talks about what this station has in store for listeners.
What kind of channel is Radio Today going to be?
Would it be entertaining or news based?
It will be on Frequency Module or FM. Since its technology is digital the listeners will be able to hear it clearly.
Well we are calling it an INFORTAINMENT station. Information and entertainment will go along simultaneously. It will work as a fusion of everything and not just music or news. It will embody exclusive talk shows, live interactive shows, traffic news, interviews, music, weather news, daily life tips, tips on career, educational programmes, counselling, fashion and beauty, not to mention songs which are at the top of our list. Generally speaking we aim to offer RADIO TODAY FM 89.6 as a life style brand.
What kind of thought led to its genesis?
We are the pioneers who have ventured to broadcast a radio station 24 hours a day in the private sector. Even today there are radio listeners. The problem is that the habit of listening, that the general mass had is no more. It's our presumption that if FM comes back to its previous position in our country then the demand for radio stations will get a boost. If we succeed to give outstanding programmes to the people once again, then we might be able to retrieve our listeners. Radio is just another classic entertainment media which is clouded behind the satellite channels. But in our neighbouring countries it's a completely different picture. The radio stations of Europe, America and even the metro channels of our neighboring country India, have become an integral part of their general public. You can now about the situation of the road simply by pressing a button. Actually we want to launch our channel with such convenient prospects. We want to open the door of modern technology for everybody so that it becomes like a life partner for every inhabitant of the metropolis.
Please tell us about the management and future scenario of Radio Today
The station is city-based. It ranges from Dhaka to some nearby districts only. Those who are within 100 KM of our station, it is for them. Only the happenings of the metropolis will dominate in this station.
Nevertheless, some agricultural programmes for Dhaka's nearby agricultural regions will be broadcast for sure. If we can fulfil our commitment then we will endeavour to arrange transmission in the other districts of our country.
Can you justify why people will listen to Radio Today FM 89.6 instead of Bangladesh Betar?
People will listen to us because Bangladesh Betar is covering the whole country and their target group is separate as well as their perception of programme. We have targeted a specific population of listeners and have arranged programmes exclusively for them. Therefore the contrast in the style of both the organistions speaks for itself. So without any doubt the listeners of Dhaka will not let this chance slip through their hand.
When will the radio transmission go on air?
On July, 2006. Despite this fact we are now running the test transmission as I speak. If anybody is willing then s/he can listen to our programme by tuning to FM 89.6 in the evening at 6p.m.
The upcoming decades could be the Golden eras for FM Radios. But the question is, are these radio stations going to be accepted by the people? To this question the initiators say that over time the demand for media covering news and other programmes is also increasing. Therefore by providing information that is most beneficial, informative and authentic to the mass, many stations can survive in an over populated country like ours.
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