FM stations played a balancing act on Friday, June 26 with respect to broadcast of their programmes as they commemorated the 69th birth anniversary of the music legend R.D. Burman and mourned the untimely demise of the King of pop Michael Jackson.
While Jackson’s death received a reasonable coverage from news channels and the English print media, the FM radio stations too made last minute changes to accommodate a special section dedicated to Jackson fans in addition to tribute to the music maestro RD Burman.
In a first of its kind, Hindi and Bollywood centric FM stations played out English tracks by Jackson,
For instance, Big FM dedicated three hours on a Saturday night titled ‘MJ- Heaven can wait’- a tribute to Michael Jackson. While Red FM too played a collection of the late pop star’s songs.
Paying an honour to MJ, Idea and Hit FM jointly ran a programme Michael Jackson This Is It Challenge’ on Hit FM. The same content was also translated into an event held in Gurgaon on Sunday, June 28.
Commenting on the events for the special day, Nirupam Sonu, Programming Head, Big FM said, “MJ’s death is a loss to music and as radio station we can’t do justice by dedicating songs for just few hours nevertheless it’s a tribute to Michael Jackson. Since FM stations are all about music we can’t afford to forget legendary R.D. Burman either.”
Radio Mirchi too played couple of MJ songs, got listeners and celebrity tribute to Michael Jackson, went into brief history of MJ India visit- the Bombay (Mumbai) concert.
Tapas Sen, Chief Programming Officer Radio Mirchi viewed, “The objective of both MJ and RD Burman specials was about creating an emotional platform and helping the listeners connect with the event and in this process we have even played some of MJ’s songs.”
Abraham Thomas, COO, Red FM observed, “As a humble tribute to the legend, Red FM invited MJ fans from across the city to pay their tribute to the king on-air by singing his songs. Red FM played his songs on-air and spoke to listeners about their favourite MJ memory. Michael Jackson was a hero and he will be missed."
Atul Chaturvedi, Chief Operating Officer-Delhi, Idea Cellular also expressed his grief over MJ’s sad demise.