Monday, March 17, 2008

Hello FM: Wake up to RJ Kaushi

As a breakfast show host on Hello FM, RJ Kaushi makes sure that her shows are always genuine, interesting and entertaining
Kaushi began tuning into radio during the nights when she was studying for the CBSE Board examinations during her school days in Delhi. "And since then, I’ve never tuned out," quips the RJ who is now the host of Hello FM’s breakfast show, Avasarakozhi 008.
The Delhi native credits radio for getting her familiar with Chennai, where she moved to pursue her higher studies in electronic media at Anna University. "I had few friends when I first moved into the city," she recalls, saying, "Ultimately, radio helped me to make friends with Chennai and its people."
Upon learning that Hello FM was calling radio enthusiasts to become RJs at the station in 2006, Kaushi responded to the call. "Being a media student, I was curious to know how the medium works," adding that it was dreamlike that the station "liked me, picked me and put me on air."
Kaushi started out hosting a two-hour show called Cummercut (live). This was the station’s evening drive-time show, which later became a three-hour programme. "My job on the show was simple, to keep the listeners in good cheer and get them to forget their traffic woes by playing good music and interacting with them," she explains.
For the past few months, however, the RJ has been responsible for entertaining her listeners during the morning rush hour as the host of Avasarakozhi 008. Kaushi says, "My job this time is to help people kick start their day by giving them a generous dose of smiles through news, views, sports, city beats and other relevant information like traffic diversions and power shutdowns, etc."
On her show, Kaushi chooses topics that are relevant and have a strong local connect.

"Basically, anything interesting happening under the sun could be a topic," she says, adding, "Anything uninteresting happening could also be a topic if handled interestingly."
The trick is to generate response for the discussions that you broadcast on air. "To see if a topic is working or not, RJs gauge the response based on the number of calls they receive. When they get less number of calls, it generally means that the RJs have to handle the subject a little bit more interestingly to urge callers."
According to the RJ, doing a show every day is a challenge in itself, noting that the unpredictability of a live show makes it thrilling. "When a mistake happens during a live show, it’s not just you and your colleagues that hear it, but the whole city gets to know about it."

Creating diversions, thus, becomes a vital part of an RJ’s job. She suggests RJs should be ready to play the ‘clown’ at all times. "Whether we are happy or sad, enthused or tired, RJs have to manage to sound interesting, entertaining and genuine on the show," she adds.
"But challenges are fun, as they help you to grow and improve yourself," she continues.
Her pet hate is when an RJ tries to be fake or superficial on air. She claims that RJs are transparent on air, so always being honest with the medium will give the show more energy.
Another piece of advice Kaushi dishes out is for RJs to stand out in the crowd. "Since there are already so many people in the industry, it’s important to have something different to offer, or else we wouldn’t stand out," she suggests.
As radio professionals, it is required of them to be able to create commercials, says Kaushi, admitting that it could sometimes be challenging to carry out shows that have been incorporated to advetisers’ objectives.
The challenge lies in carrying out the shows in a casual manner, "so that they don’t sound out of place or odd. At the same time, the listeners should find it engaging and participative too."
Having said that, Kaushi is of the opinion that in-programme placements work better than promo spots in some cases, says the RJ, citing human habit as one reason, as "people usually switch channels during the commercials."
"Another important thing is that listeners tend to find it more credible when a commercial is part of the show," she reasons.
Source: India Radio Bulletin March-April 2008

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