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Kumudam to enter FM market

Ravi Menon & G Balachandar  |  Chennai 

Broadcasting activity on Chennai's rarefied airwaves is set to intensify this winter. The impending entry of Kumudam Publications into the Tamil Nadu FM broadcasting market will see seven players slugging it out for supremacy.
The new, and as yet unnamed FM radio channel from the Kumudam group stables, is likely to be allotted narrowband spectrum on the 91.2 frequency.
It is learnt that December 29 is the tentative date for the channel's first broadcast. Kumudam has hired over 30 people on its production staff devoted to developing programming for the upcoming venture.
The 24-hour channel will air a diverse range of music shows, DJ anchored talk shows and entertainment programmes. Kumudam officials when contacted, declined to comment on the venture.
FM channels currently airing programmes in Chennai are STAR's Radiocity, Bennett & Coleman's Radio Mirchi, Big 92.7 FM from Adlabs, Sun Networks's Suryan, All India Radio's Rainbow FM and Hello FM from the Daily Thanthi group.
Bangalore-based Radio Indigo, a FM channel promoted by Rajeev Chandrasekhar's Jupiter Capital, is also keen to enter the lucrative Chennai market. Others planning their Chennai debuts by next year include the Mid-Day Group's RadioOne and the Muthoot Group.
Though no third party research figures is available, industry sources say that 50-60 per cent of the Chennai population tunes into radio programmes on a regular basis in comparison with the national average of 30-40 per cent.
The total revenues of Chennai's FM radio channels alone stood at Rs 21 crore in 2005, according to TAM Media Research. Kumudam is a leading Tamil weekly magazine published in Chennai.
The group also publishes nine other magazines in Tamil, including Kumudam Reporter, Kumudam Snehidi, Kumudam Bhakti, Kumudam Jothidam and Kumudam Theeranadhi.

First Published: Wed, December 13 2006. 00:00 IST