Grant Goddard

radio specialist         

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 client  Star TV, Mumbai, India [News Corporation subsidiary] 

 station  Radio City, Bangalore + Mumbai + Delhi + Lucknow

 background  Star TV was already a highly successful multi-channel satellite television  network when it submitted bids to the government's auction of India's first commercial FM radio licences. Star TV placed the highest bids in four major cities and wanted to be on the air quickly with India's very first commercial FM radio stations. There were no local staff with experience of commercial radio operations.

 tasks  To create a completely new concept for India - local commercial radio. Starting with a completely blank page, to plan and execute the programming and marketing strategy for Star TV's nascent radio group. Radio was a fading medium in India, due to the lack of relevant or entertaining content. Until now, the FM radio band had been completely empty in cities such as Bangalore. Working from Star TV's headquarters in Mumbai, the task was to create a radio station for each city that would have a significant impact on the population's media habits, earning sufficient revenue to cover the high licence costs.

 actions  Creation of a whole new radio brand; selection of a desired target audience; development of a programming and marketing strategy; interviewed potential staff; executed market research to understand media usage habits; executed market research to understand the difference between cities; executed music research to understand music preferences; executed extensive market research (qualitative and quantitative) to identify the programme format that would make each station successful; executed auditorium music research to identify specific songs to comprise the station's playlist; trained the presentation and production staff; installed RCS Selector, set up playlist database and trained staff in software maintenance; launched the station successfully.

 results  The launch of the very first Radio City station in Bangalore proved to be hugely successful and attracted a lot of media coverage because it was India's very first commercial radio station. Never before had listeners had the opportunity to phone in to a radio station and contribute views and opinions live on-air. This new medium persuaded people to turn back to radio listening in massive numbers, and to turn to the FM radio waveband for the very first time. 

 evidence  India had no radio ratings service when the first Radio City station launched. Radio City has established itself as the premier radio brand in India and has proven extremely successful for Star TV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 client  BBC World Service Trust, London, United Kingdom 

 station  RNK, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

 background  RNK [Radio National Kampuchea] is the government-controlled national radio service of Cambodia, whose broadcasts on AM reach almost the entire country. The United Kingdom government's Department for International Development provided grant aid for the station to produce programming that communicates health information to an audience of parents with young children.

 tasks  To establish a BBC production team at the station; to train the production team to produce a live phone-in show targeting young parents; to train the team how to market on-air and off-air an innovative new radio show; to maximise the potential audience; to train the team in skills of radio production; to prepare the team for launch of the new programme in Autumn 2004.

 actions  Interview and selection of RNK staff as production trainees; team building; capacity building; identifying goals; developing a suitable strategy; implementing effective work systems; training in identifying the programme's target audience and understanding its needs; mentoring the production team; training how to recruit on-air talent; training how to manage resources and staff; training how to plan and execute a launch campaign; training in radio theory and practice; training how to produce trails and promos; training how to write scripts.

 results  RNK staff were trained ready for the launch of the weekly phone-in programme - titled "Chum Hean Dam Bong" ["First Steps" in English] - in Autumn 2004. This would be the first phone-in programme on RNK, the first live programme on RNK, the first programme co-produced with a foreign partner, the first to take editorial control over caller content, and the first to use professional radio phone-in equipment.

 evidence  Cambodia does not have a radio ratings service, so no statistical data is available.

 

 

 

 

 

 client  Metromedia International Inc., New York 

 station  Radio Juventus, Budapest, Hungary

 background  Radio Juventus was a summertime-only AM station located in the resort of Siofok on the shores of Lake Balaton . It broadcast mainly German programming to holidaymakers from East Germany who had flocked to Hungary for the warm summer weather. Metromedia bought the station, which was then in a converted coal bunker beneath an ex-Soviet jamming station, with the intention of moving it to Budapest and creating Hungary's first national commercial FM radio station.

 tasks  To completely transform Radio Juventus from a rural station whose presenters recorded their programmes at home on cassettes into Hungary's first national commercial radio station, playing popular music. To move the station from Siofok to Budapest and re-launch it as a brand. To attract the largest audience of any radio station in Hungary.

 actions  Performed a complete inventory of the radio station to evaluate the assets and personnel that Metromedia had purchased; wrote a substantial report with recommendations as to how the station should be reorganised; executed extensive market research (qualitative and quantitative) to identify the programme format that would make the station successful; executed auditorium music research to identify specific songs to comprise the station's playlist; designed the programme schedule and station sound; trained the presentation staff; installed RCS Selector, set up scheduling software; re-launched the station with a new format; executed post-launch market research to fine-tune the format.

 results  Within its first few weeks on-air, the new Radio Juventus proved very successful with listeners. The concept of a radio station playing popular music all day with minimal interruptions was completely new in a country that had only heard state radio until then. During the Soviet era, many Hungarians had listened to the strong night-time signal of Radio Luxembourg's English-language service on 208m AM. The re-launched Radio Juventus reminded older people of those times, whilst younger people simply liked to hear all the latest hit songs.

 evidence  Hungary had no official radio ratings service when Radio Juventus was re-launched, but the market research commissioned from local agencies showed that, within months, Juventus had become the most listened to radio station in Hungary. The station's weekly audience was in the millions and Juventus became Metromedia's most profitable radio property in Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

 client  Kiss FM Radio Ltd. 

 station  Kiss FM, London, United Kingdom

 background  Kiss FM was an unlicensed London pirate radio station, broadcasting soul and dance music to London at weekends. It supported itself by selling on-air advertising and organising club nights hosted by its DJs.

 tasks  To transform Kiss FM into a successful licensed commercial radio station.

 actions  Co-ordinated a public campaign of petitions and letters lobbying the UK government to release FM frequencies for a new radio station in London; approached publisher EMAP to invest in the station; executed original market research to demonstrate that demand existed for a dance music radio station in London; co-ordinated the station's substantial licence application to the Independent Broadcasting Authority; managed the pre-launch design and building of new offices and studios; recruited and trained station staff; designed the station's format and programming; managed the programming operations of the station; mentored DJs and creative staff; co-produced Kiss FM's launch jingle package with dance producers Coldcut; creative input to the station's launch marketing campaign and logo design; original idea and business plan for London's first monthly giveaway dance music magazine free! (subsequently sold and renamed Touch).

 results  The UK government responded to lobbying and released two FM frequencies for new London radio stations; EMAP committed its first major radio investment to Kiss FM, leading to the creation of its EMAP Radio division; Kiss FM's application won the London radio licence against opposition from 30+ competitors that included Europe's largest media groups; Kiss FM launched on time and within budget; Kiss FM's launch campaign was one of the highest-profile product launches of the year.

 evidence  Within its first six months on-air, Kiss FM surpassed its year-one target of 1,000,000 listeners per week; Kiss FM's launch campaign won awards; Kiss FM was Europe's first licensed dance music radio station; Kiss FM was the UK's most successful new radio station launch of the 1990s; Kiss FM employed a higher proportion of ethnic minorities on-air and off-air than any other radio station in Europe; new, young radio talent that were appointed to their first job in commercial radio at Kiss FM's launch subsequently worked for national BBC radio and television  (Lisa I'Anson, Judge Jules, Trevor Nelson, Sarah HB, George Ergatoudis, Lorna Clarke, Wilbur Wilberforce, Alex Donelly, Dave Pearce); Kiss FM's innovative youth radio format was subsequently much copied by other UK stations such as Galaxy Radio and BBC Radio 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 client  Metromedia International Inc., New York 

 station  Radio Skonto, Riga, Latvia

 background  When Metromedia bought a controlling interest in Radio Skonto, it was a tiny FM station based in a technical college on the outskirts of Riga. The station had no format and revelled in its eccentricity, including an evening DJ who played three records at the same time (one of which he managed to play backwards). Metromedia wanted to transform the station into a commercial station with a winning music format.

 tasks  To completely modernise the station into a commercial operation in new city-centre premises. To create a format for the station and a station sound that would make Radio Skonto the leading station in the Riga radio market. To re-launch the station as quickly as possible with its new identity.

 actions  Executed original market research to understand the media preferences and music tastes of the population; trained the newly appointed Programme Director in radio production skills and resource management; developed and implemented a completely new station sound and identity (including new logo); purchased completely new music library; identified suitable songs for all-hits music playlist; created music rotation systems and trained presenters how to use them; trained news reporters in writing scripts and reading news live on-air; created and implemented hourly "clocks" for each programme; re-launched radio station; executed post-launch market research to fine-tune the format. press advert

 results  The newly formatted station very rapidly made an impression on the Riga market because it was: the only station that played well-known hits 24 hours a day; the only station whose presenters did not talk substantially between every song; the only station whose presenters did not talk over the vocals of songs. 

 evidence  Within a year, Radio Skonto had become the most listened to radio station in Riga, according to official radio ratings data. Not only did the station achieve the success its new owner had wanted, but it was reaching a relatively upmarket audience of high-income earners amongst both ethnic groups - Latvians and Russians.

 

 

 

 

 

 client  BBC World Service Trust, London, United Kingdom 

 station  FM 102, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

 background  FM 102 is a 10kW radio station based at the Women's Media Centre of Cambodia that covers 60% of the country's population. The United Kingdom government's Department for International Development provided grant aid for the station to produce programming that communicates health and lifestyle information to an audience of young people.

 tasks  To establish a BBC production office at the station; to train the station's production team to use new digital production technology; to train the team how to produce a live phone-in show targeting young people; to train the team how to market on-air and off-air an innovative new radio show; to maximise the potential audience; to train the team in skills of radio production; to launch the new phone-in show within four months.

 actions  Opening a radio production office; team building; capacity building; identifying goals; developing a suitable strategy; implementing effective work systems; training in digital radio production techniques; training in identifying the programme's target audience and understanding its needs; mentoring the production team; training how to recruit on-air talent; training how to manage resources and staff; training how to plan and execute a launch campaign; training how to train inexperienced radio presenters; training in radio theory and practice; training how to produce trails and promos; training how to write scripts; launch of the new radio show.

 results  The weekly youth phone-in programme "Os Tos Mhong!" ["Cool!" in English] launched successfully on Sunday 2 May 2004. It was the first programme on FM 102 to employ digital technology, the first to take editorial control over caller content, the first to use a networked computer terminal system for audio, and the first to use professional radio phone-in equipment.

 evidence  Cambodia does not have a radio ratings service, so no statistical data is available. The launch of the new radio show generated a lot of positive coverage in the local press, including the few English-language publications, Popular Magazine, Phnom Penh Post and Cambodia Daily. The innovative programme also attracted interest overseas and on internet sites concerned with youth radio development, such as World Radio Forum, UNICEF Magic and Peace Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 client  Metromedia International Inc., New York 

 station  Radio 7, Moscow, Russia

 background  The Moscow radio market was already crowded with new stations when Metromedia bought Radio 7, a tiny station whose format of American rock music (and an English-language breakfast show) appealed to very few listeners. The station was based in a former radio jamming station in central Moscow which still had armed guards on the gate and a statue of Lenin in the courtyard. Metromedia wanted to transform the station into a commercially successful station with a winning music format.

 tasks  To completely modernise the station into a commercial operation in new city-centre premises. To create a format for the station and a station sound that would make Radio 7 the leading station in the Moscow radio market. To re-launch the station as quickly as possible with its new identity.

 actions  Executed original market research to understand the media preferences and music tastes of the population; trained a series of newly appointed Programme Directors in radio production skills and resource management; developed and implemented a completely new station sound and identity; purchased completely new music library; executed auditorium music research; identified suitable songs for all-hits music playlist; installed RCS Selector and trained staff in music scheduling; trained presenters how to communicate with listeners; created and implemented hourly "clocks" for each programme; re-launched radio station; executed post-launch market research to fine-tune the format.

 results  Resistance by the station's staff to the implementation of the new format delayed its success. Many staff, including two successive Programme Directors, had to be replaced. Eventually, accompanied by a massive marketing campaign on television and billboards, the newly formatted Radio 7 made a huge impression on the Moscow market because it was: the only station that played well-known hits 24 hours a day; the only station whose presenters did not talk substantially between every song; the only station whose presenters did not talk over the vocals of songs. 

 evidence  Radio 7 became the #3 commercial radio station in the Moscow market of more than 30 stations, according to official radio ratings. Radio 7 became Metromedia's flagship station in Russia and is now relayed in many cities throughout the country.