Kochi (UNI): Shedding its staid and conservative style to be in tune with the youngsters, All India Radio (AIR) will set up at least 10 FM Rainbow channels across the country this year, AIR Director General Brijeshwar Singh said today. Talking to reporters after inaugurating the 'FM Rainbow' channel, Kochi, the first in Kerala, Mr Singh said these channels were targeted primarily at youngsters, who do not get to hear their favourite contemporary songs on 'Vividh Bharati'. Mr Singh said of the ten FM Rainbow channels planned for this year, seven had already been opened, including Kochi today. The others were started at Aligarh, Bhatinda, Hyderabad, Vijaywada, Visakhapatnam and Goa. While the eighth channel would be opened in Kanpur on June 29, one each would be opened at Kohima and Itanagar. Efforts were also being made to start an FM Rainbow channel at Dharamshala, he added.
Starting with the metros, AIR was now planning to start these entertainment channels in all cities having a cultural mix. 'These are purely entertainment channels, focused on the youth, playing contemporary music in an informal style of presentation, instead of the formal AIR style news reading, which does not gel with the youngsters,' the AIR DG said. Apart from playing the 'latest top 40' numbers, the FM Rainbow channels would carry news headlines and updates and sports content. From December, 2006, Asian Games at Doha, AIR would have a 'two track system' for sports coverage, on both medium wave and FM. 'We were surprised to find that Hindi programmes were quite popular in West Bengal and the North-East,' he added.
Last year, AIR had opened four FM Rainbow channels, one each at Mussoorie, Kasauli, Kurseong and Shillong. Lok Sabha MP Sebastian Paul was the chief guest at the inaugural function. Also present was Mr J Kamalanathan, Station Director, AIR, Thiruvananthapuram. The function concluded with a magic show 'Illusion India' by renowned magician Gopinath Muthukad.