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Tune in to a new beat

Tune in to a new beat

Abu Dhabi Media Company is launching a new radio station, Star FM, which it hopes will be able to reach out to the Arabs youth.

June 2, 2009 1:42 by

Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC)is all set to launch Star FM, a new radio station, which they claim is “trendy, modern, and designed exclusively for young Arabs.”  The station’s programming includes Arabic beats, western music and celebrity interviews among other things.
ADMC, which already has three radio stations, says that Star FM will benefit from its existing infrastructure and technology, but will format its content differently from the rest. And the radio team is confident that despite the current global economic situation, it will be a success.
“In fact the best time to launch a radio station is during a crisis,” says Farid Antone, the head of Channel at Star FM. “There’s a good chance to test your areas,” he says.
“We are not looking at a six month plan,” he says, adding that even if it doesn’t do well for one or two years, they have made a five year plan.
“I think we are very competitive commercially and I am very confident that we will be able to attract advertising for the station,” says Karim Sarkis, the executive director of Radio and Television at ADMC. He says that they have not seen a drop in advertising at their other radio stations, and that STAR FM will talk to advertisers as ADMC rather than a single station.
The station is also hoping to limit or specify the amount of commercial air time in an hour, says Sarkis. The station doesn’t just want more ads, he says, they want “higher quality ads” by increasing their advertising rates.  But he quickly adds that these are future aspirations, when the channel becomes a success.
They say the logic behind launching the station is very simple: it’s to cater specifically to the youngsters in the country who are exposed to a multicultural environment and enjoy listening to a wide mix of music. They say they have statistical data to show that they will be able to reach out to the next generation of Arab radio listeners.
But this kind of mixed music has drawn some skepticism from journalists; some compared the station’s content to Radio Sawa and questioned if it will be a propaganda tool. Other journalists suggested that music was not necessarily just for enjoyment, but rather subtly hinted at certain agendas and products.
The Star FM team says that the station is recreational rather than political, and has no intention of dishing out any kind of propaganda.
The channel can be picked up in Abu Dhabi (92.4FM), Al Ain (100.1FM), and Dubai (99.9FM).

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