Last week, I spent a day at Chennai’s very own Radio Mirchi 98.3 to find out how a winning race car works. It was a memorable few hours, since I got to learn a lot about the brand and also chat up with the younger generation of radio presenters who keep the city entertained. I walked in right after RJ Ajai completed his breakfast run. The first thing I was shown was a fruit juice bar and a lounge area (he was showing off and it was working) to kick back, play table tennis or have a noisy game of carom. All this to keep the creative mind bubbling.
The VP and cluster head of Tamil Nadu, Shyam Tallamraju, was kind enough to spend time with me, explaining the bigger role that 98.3 plays in the radio ecosystem. I got a run down on the properties they have that make them numero uno—be it the Mirchi Music Awards, the Ruggedian and the like. The future of advertising on radio and the retail recoil were some of the other topics we chatted about. It’s no surprise that the station is on top of the charts simply because they take the medium seriously.
My next stop: meeting the fantastic bunch of RJs. Now this lot is a super breed of voices, which not every station can boast of having. I heard RJ Shivsankari speak to the city live, and her eight years of experience was evident, making her sound pleasant and identifiable. RJs Nandini and Vaidhya host MP3 and they pack a punch. I met the evening show host RJ Vijay and he’s a riot who co-hosts Rettaivaal with RJ Sha. I wasn’t there to listen to his show, but I witnessed him mimic his colleague Padma Priya and it was hands down hilarious.
As listeners, what we’d like the three-time winner of the Vikatan Awards (for best FM station) to do is promote their on-air talent visibly. Yes, presenters are encouraged to pursue their other interests, but when a station adds a face to the voice it always helps.
It was an amazing few hours with professionals who are confident of their craft and who don’t take the medium for granted. True to their tagline, Idhu Semma Hot Machi.
— firstname.lastname@example.org . The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.