No more banal talk shows, lame jokes and corny music. 94.3 FM blazes the trail for differentiated radio, with world-class content, English music and intelligent chat

Going global just ceased to be a clich �, with Radio One 94.3 FM moving on to an international format in Mumbai and Delhi starting Sunday, January 29. Says Tariq Ansari, chairman, Radio One, "We are now a more international format of radio, with Western music and English chat. The stations are programmed more in line with successful stations around the world in terms of packaging, hosts and so on." 

Ansari says that the channel is taking a different direction from earlier as "there would be no more Hindi music or Hindi chat or trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator. India and urban Indians are becoming much more global in outlook and taste and it is high time we had radio stations catering to this need." 

Ansari underlines the import of the 'different' content in the new format.

"High auction fees have resulted in radio that is undifferentiated and unintelligent, with all stations playing the same Bollywood songs. I believe this is the start of differentiated radio, and this is going to be the next wave of the radio evolution," he says.   

"Unfortunately, in an effort to draw in listeners from the bottom of the pyramid to build listenership numbers, most radio stations tend to put out content that is less than intelligent. Our effort will be to have hosts on air that address local issues in an intelligent manner as well as have regular guests on the station that have something worthwhile to share," says Ansari.  

He admits that like any change, this one too is fraught with some risk. "Over the last few years, the audience for English music and talk has grown exponentially. While there is always a risk associated with any significant change, this is a risk worth taking," Ansari  says.

Explains Anita Pawaskar, programming head, "In Mumbai and Delhi, we will have international music and various programmes throughout the day. The change is more intelligent."