Radio 91.3 a hit with youths - Apr 04, 2009 (ST)

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The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

Radio 91.3 a hit with youths

The English station is winning over youthful listeners at prime times.

By Boon Chan
Apr 04, 2009
The Straits Times

English station Radio 91.3's lively morning drive-time show is a hit with youthful listeners. An independent radio survey conducted by Nielsen last year and released in January shows that the station's share of listeners in the 20-to-39 age group for the morning slot has increased from 4.5 per cent to 12.9 per cent, edging ahead of Safra Radio's Power98's 11.3 per cent share.

The top two stations are MediaCorp Radio's Class 95 with a 56.3 per cent share and 987FM with 19.5 per cent.


Hosts (from left) Jonathan Atherton, Cheryl Miles, Boy Thunder and Jeremy Ratnam give the lighter side to news. -- PHOTO: RADIO 91.3

The weekday morning drive-time slot is between 6 and 10am.

Radio 91.3 is an SPH UnionWorks station. SPH UnionWorks is a joint venture between Singapore Press Holdings and NTUC (National Trades Union Congress) Media.

Student Patricia Cahigas, 21, says she enjoys listening to the show because of the energy of the hosts. 'I would jump out of my seat because they have so much energy and they pass that on to me.'

By another measure, the time spent listening to one station, Radio 91.3 came out tops for the morning and evening prime-time (between 5 and 8pm) slots with listeners in the 20-to-39 age group. They spent 3 hours 20 minutes listening to the weekday morning prime time and 2 hours 20 minutes to the weekday evening prime time.

Radio veteran of 14 years Jeremy Ratnam is part of the morning crew which also includes Jonathan Atherton, Cheryl Miles and Gerald Koh, also known as Boy Thunder. Ratnam says that Radio 91.3 is the station to tune into for news. 'And if you want a lighter side to the news, that's what we've added.'

He says that the four of them have different roles to play. He describes himself as the anchor and comedian Atherton as the one adding the punchlines while Miles provides the woman's perspective. Boy Thunder is 'the icing on the cake as he'll go out there and do all kinds of crazy things such as driving listeners to work'.

Radio 91.3 used to be known as WKRZ 91.3 and the focus then was on dance music. A revamp in late 2006 identified its target audience as those under 40 and the music went in a different direction towards contemporary hits.

Programme director Jamie Meldrum says: 'We freshened it all up and made the playlist a lot more current. The main thrust of everything that we do is that you gotta have fun.'

And the fun stunts are what fans of the radio station remember.

Business development manager Jason Lim, 26, recalls that deejay Rod Monteiro took on the challenge of spending four days inside a Mini Cooper in April last year. 'These things stick in the mind, over and above the usual funny things they do on radio.'