Radio industry had a field day at the India Radio Forum 2007 on Friday, June 1, 2007, with almost all the heads of radio stations in the country in attendance. The players voiced their opinions on the growth and impediments in the industry. The forum was not short of action with its high-profiled speakers giving more than what the audience expected in every session. The sessions culminated with an award ceremony, where Radio City was awarded the ‘Station of the Year’.
Starting the day with a high-powered panel discussion comprising CEOs and COOs of the private FM radio industry, the first session looked at the four major issues that the medium is battling today –- measurement, talent, financial viability and differentiated content. Moderated by Atul Phadnis, the panellists included Abraham Thomas, Anil Srivatsa, Apurva Purohit, Nandan Srinath, Raj Gupta, Rajeev Nambiar, and Tarun Katial.
The second panel discussion of the day, ‘Measurement: Possible solution for India’, had the panellists debating on the number-crunching done in the industry, and continued the discussion on the pros and cons of the radio audience tracking methodologies followed by the research bodies. Anand Chakravarthy, Anish Rajgopal, Mark Neely, Prashant Panday, and LV Krishnan, formed a part of the panel that was moderated by Praveen Tripathi. “The most ‘passionate’ radio panel discussion ever attended,” was the audience feedback during the break after this session.
Speaking on ‘Increasing Originality: how to engage commercial radio’s listeners’, the panellists had sparks flying all over the auditorium with their ‘on-the-face’ remarks on the overall ‘sexiness’ of the content and advertising in the medium. This diversely represented panellists from all the industries that affect radio, included Ajay Kakar, Jaideep Banerjee, R Balki, Rahul Welde, Tapas Sen and Vishnu Athreya. It was moderated by Mike Powell.
The final panel discussion for the day, ‘Small towns versus big towns: differences in strategy’, had Atul Phadnis, Josy Paul, Monica Nayyar Patnaik and Praveen Malhotra agreeing on the need for differentiated strategies for the towns, and Rana Barua moderated this session.
Along with the panel discussions, the sessions from international speakers included the likes of Guy Dobson, Paul Weyland, Peter Stremes, Nick Piggott, Francis Currie, Allen Kepler and Terry Yetton. The speakers in this session shared their insights and learning from their domestic markets.
The Awards ceremony brought this year’s forum to an end with Radio City being adjudged the ‘Station of the Year’ and, Fever FM (Mumbai) winning the ‘Best New Launch’ for this year. Big FM walked away with highest number of Gold (5), followed by Red, S FM and Radio City (3 each).