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Radio ga-ga!

Two new courses on ‘radio management’. Are they worth joining? JAM finds out.

With 338 new licenses being awarded to private broadcasters in 91 cities all over India, radio is all set to boom. And so are jobs in this field – in sales, marketing, content development, engineering and of course, presentation and announcing.

Most of the people in radio today started out without any formal training in the field and learnt on the job. But now, industry specific courses are being introduced ‘to give students that extra edge’.

RadioActive Pvt. Ltd, a venture by radio stalwarts Brian Tellis and Erica D’Souza, is a consultraining company that offers such courses in collaboration with Xaviers Institute of Communication, Mumbai. Two certificate courses, Radio Management-Programming, and Radio Presentation and Announcing, are slated to commence on the 1st of September 2006.

The syllabus and content has been designed by RadioActive, while XIC will provide the necessary infrastructure and resources. The total duration for each course is 150 hours, distributed over 3-hour lectures, thrice a week and the fees is Rs.50000/-. But what sort of an advantage do such courses provide?

Erica D’Souza replies: “Radio stations currently spend time and money training freshers who have no formal qualifications, whereas our students would get hands-onexperience and would enter the industry equipped with a working knowledge of the field. Stations such as Radio Mirchi, Radio One and Radio City have already expressed tremendous interest in terms of internships and placements.

Money Matters:
RJs typically start at Rs 20,000 p.m., with the most popular and experienced ones getting around Rs 70,000 to 1 lakh a month, in big cities and about 30% less in smaller cities.

Freshers in the production department start at around Rs 20,000 p.m. Station heads earn anywhere between 1 to 3 lakhs, depending on their expertise and experience.

Another player in the arena is EMDI Encompass Institute of Radio Management. It offers a one-year Post Graduate Diploma in Radio Management (PGDRM), and a three-month part time Certificate in Radio Jockeying (CRJ). While the fee for the PGDRM is Rs.40,000/-, the CRJ will cost you around Rs.30,000/-.

Roshan Abbas, popular radio/T.V personality and the driving force behind EMDI, elaborates on the need for a radio ‘management’ course. “Just like any media, radio too needs to be managed. Just because it is slowly emerging from a government shadow to privatisation doesn’t mean it needs only blabber mouths. Radio is an art and a science. Who is the listener, what is the station identity, how to increase connectivity with a defined audience, dipstick research, TRACKING of listenership etc. Building a robust station requires approximately 30 people, from sales to marketing, to on air talent and engineers. All this is a new form of media management!!

What does the industry feel about these courses? Says Shariq, Station Head (Mumbai) and Vice-President, Operations, Radio One, Mumbai: “We’re looking at such courses in a positive manner. Candidates with formal qualifications hold a slight edge over others, because of their familiarity with the medium. It all boils down to aptitude though, as certain skills cannot be taught. That’s why the selection of the right kind of candidate for such courses is very important.”

What if I don’t want to be an RJ?
Radio has much more to offer than just RJing. There are 4 main functions of a station: Programming, sales, production and marketing. All of these have multiple streams of work. For e.g., programming includes both on-air and off-air teams. The production dept includes everyone from station engineers to show producers

JAM says: Should you join? Well, if you are super-confident you can walk into a radio station and convince them to give you a job. Nothing like learning on the job and getting paid for it.

Otherwise, the ‘ radio management’ courses are a good bet. Both are being run by radio professionals and in conjuction with well known institutes. After all, unki bhi izzat ka sawaal hai – so we think placement will not be an issue. And if the first batch that graduates impresses the bosses at radio stations, following batches won’t have problems either.

However, in a field like radio, a mad rush for diplomas and certificates can only help you get so far – innate talent is the driving force here, especially when it comes to RJing.

Ashish Shakya and Thomas Koshy, with special inputs from Suman Adepalli, Former Acting Programming Head, Radio Mirchi, Mumbai.

Contact details:
Radioactive Pvt. Ltd.(in collaboration with XIC):
Tel: (022) 22621366 / 22621369
Email: contact@radioactive.co.in

EMDI Encompass Institute of Radio Management
Tel: (022) 26550808 / 26427171/26401863
Website: http://www.teachradio.com
Email :info@teachradio.com

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