guides & articles

Related listings

Latest Postings

Subscribe to the hottest news, latest promotions & discounts from STClassifieds & our partners

I agree to abide by STClassifieds Terms and Conditions

Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Rediffusion back on air in February

Revived radio service will target youth but also cater to older listeners.
The Straits Times - October 29, 2012
By: Jermyn Chow
| More
Rediffusion back on air in February Ms Chang bought Rediffusion's brand name, audio-visual materials and facilities shortly after it shut down on April 30 due to financial woes. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

RADIO icon Rediffusion will be back on air next February with a makeover to attract younger listeners, and with efforts to retain older, Chinese-dialect followers.

New owner Eva Chang Mei Hsiang said all programmes from the 63-year-old broadcaster will be online-based, but she does not want to reveal for now if she will opt for a paid-subscriber model.

To signal her move to keep the station - which she took over in May - viable, her game plan includes launching a youth radio channel featuring video clips, live-video streaming and a contest to talent-scout 16 deejays.

Ms Chang, who is in her 50s, said: "Rediffusion does not belong to me; it belongs to the young ones who want to be heard and a platform to express themselves without many boundaries."

Young people have been sending her demo tapes, pitching cooking shows and a documentary on Singapore's sub-cultures, among other ideas.

But older listeners will also be catered to, said Ms Chang, a former Rediffusion deejay.

In fact, it is the Rediffusion Classic channel - featuring Chinese-dialect programmes - that will be the first to go online in February.

Work is under way to digitise 300,000 pieces of audio recordings such as Cantonese and Hokkien stories told by deejays Lee Dai Sor and Ong Toh for the February launch, she added.

"Rediffusion's history is not a burden but a strength which we want to use to chart our future," she said, revealing that the youth service, Rediffusion Online, will kick off by April.

Content, in both English and Mandarin, will include dispatches from overseas correspondents. "In this Internet age, we must create a multimedia product that will keep people listening, watching and reading... or else we lose them forever."

In its heyday, Rediffusion had more than 100,000 subscribers, but the number eventually dwindled to no more than 4,000.

Ms Chang bought Rediffusion's brand name, audio-visual materials and broadcasting facilities two weeks after it shut down on April 30 due to financial woes.

While she will not say how much she has invested, she has financial backing from well-known food tycoon Sam Goi. He was quoted in one interview as saying that Rediffusion is an important part of Singapore's cultural heritage, "especially for people of my age, people in their 50s and 60s".

In the run-up to its comeback, Ms Chang, who is also principal of Eduplus Language Centre and a consultant at home-grown record label Ocean Butterflies, has been meeting investors and advertisers. "We are starting from zero but making very good progress," she said.

She is also working with local students to design Rediffusion's new home in Burns Road in Paya Lebar. The headquarters, the size of 11/2 football fields, will feature a radio studio, a TV studio and radio and TV production facilities.

Some radio listeners, like undergraduate Eugene Lee, 24, said Rediffusion has its work cut out to rise above the "noise" in a highly competitive market.

"I can now listen to all local and some global radio stations online, so unless Rediffusion offers something really refreshing and interesting, I'm not sure I will make a switch," he said.

But banking executive Edmund Chua, 28, said: "I've heard from my grandfather about how good the old programmes used to be, so it would be interesting to see how the new station will sound like. I'm looking forward to it."

Work is under way to digitise 300,000 pieces of audio recordings such as Cantonese and Hokkien stories told by deejays Lee Dai Sor and Ong Toh for the February launch, she added.

pre

PREVIOUS STORY
First S'pore-created PlayStation 3 game to hit stores

divider