ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 34
TV Times

‘Neth FM’ to bring listeners back to radio

By Susitha R. Fernando

Neth, a new FM Channel with a vision of bringing the listeners back to radio has won the hearts of over a million listeners within a short peroid of time.

Starting eight months ago, the channel with an innovative young team has bagged the fifth position out of 21 FM channels aired.
Introducing 'Selective Casting' one of the latest radio technology concept, Neth FM takes an innovative leaf of the country's other FM channels. According to Neth FM team the brainchild of the Neth team is also a concept that had never been used any where in the world.

‘Selective Casting for the first time is introduced with 'Ruhuneth' the special broadcast to Ruhuna or down south’ said Assistant General Manager, Nuwan Liyanage.

Neth Team; AGM (Programme) Nuwan Liyanage, AGM (Marketing) Nisha Karunaratne, CEO Asanga Jayasuriya, Assistant Promotion Manager Dhanushka Perera and Senior Manager Programme, Chandima Darshanath.

‘Having a regional radio channel is not a novel concept for Sri Lanka, South Asia's first radio broadcaster. What is novel is in Selective Casting is both broadcasts are aired from one place in Colombo which was not done by radio broadcasting so far’ added Mr. Liyanage.

Every Saturday from 2 pm to 5 pm and everyday at 5 pm special newscast with news related to down south will be broadcast on Ruhuneth on frequency 93.9.

The challenges undertaken by this latest channel is to bring listeners back to radio.

‘During the recent past a number of radio channels used sex and violence to create images with their stories of vulgar and low grade filth to attract the radio listener. It was detrimental as the whole family could not together listen to the radio’ said Asanga Jayasuriya, Chief Executive Officer.

‘Our main aim is to make a channel where we can be proud of ourselves as Sri Lankans’ he added. The ratings during this short period of eight months show that Neth FM has come in fifth place out of 21 channels amongst listeners of nearly 1.4 million.

Referring to the recent trend of low grade radio programmes AGM, Nuwan Liyanage said "We are the only private radio channel that follows a code of ethics".

‘For example we do not undertake advertising tuition classes, promote false beliefs by advertising Manthra and Gurikam nor will we as a principle air songs for money’ said the young team.

Stepping into the second successful year 'Neth FM' has lined up a number of novel programmes. Some of these programmes are to bring back nostalgic memories of the heyday of radio where the whole family gathered around the radio to listen to dramas.

'Soldara Gedara' broadcast on Friday 7 pm to 9 pm is one such programme written by Ananda Sirisena who was famed in the 1980s with his comedy 'Handiye Gedara'. In '7 Kanuwa' (Seventh post) radio dramas based on stories of historical characters like Veediya Bandara, Saradial, Sr. John Kothalawela and heros of our time like General Denzil Kobbekaduwa and Hasalaka Gamini and dramas based on famous court cases like the Padmini Kularatne trial will be broadcast from 7 pm to 10 pm from Monday to Thursday.

‘While studying these characters we came across many interesting stories which would fascinate our listeners and act as good role models for the young,’ Senior Manager Programme Chandima Darshanath said.

Among the other radio dramas are 'Gehenu Lamai' based on well-known writer Karunasena Jayalath's novel that would be broadcast everyday from 2 pm to 4 pm, well-known comedy 'Lathage Kathawa' from 9 am to 12 pm every Saturday and Sunday.

Bringing back to the dramas made by three comedians Annesly, Berty and Samuel, Neth is to introduce new three characters in its hilarious drama 'Suran Siran San Samaga Ran Sina Warang' which would be broadcast from 7 pm to 9 pm every Saturday and Sunday.

"We know that we are on the right path and that some of the FM channels have adopted our programmes. While guiding other channels to maintain standards for radio we want to attract the listener not only to Neth but for the other radio channels as a whole," said the CEO Mr. Jayasuriya.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.