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06.06.2010 18:26

Radiokalaki Not for City Only

David Mchedlidze
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Country news and world music is heard through the nationwide Radiokalaki. The news stage in the history of the radio is dating back to August 2009. At the time Media Management Group obtained managerial rights over the radio frequency FM 101.9 from Radio Art company. Previously Media Management Group already owned an English-language newspaper Georgia Today and the Focus and Auto Bild magazines as well as the corporative editions of Radisson Blue Hotel, Tbilisi Marriott and Bank Republic. Following the new management's coming into power the Radiokalaki coverage area spread over the whole of Georgia. The age of Radiokalaki audience, according to Giorgi Sharashidze, General Manager, ranges from 20 to 45.

"Our listeners include not only businessmen but the people of any profession living a modern life and interested in current developments in the country," said Giorgi Sharashidze, also heading Media Management Group.

The work performed by the information service has changed too. Since November 2009 the news outlets are aired on an hourly basis from 9 am to 8 pm.

"Our information policy is aimed at airing as much balanced information as possible. We are too much concerned about the balance, if I have the viewpoint of one side and failed to obtain the opponent's comment, I do block this information and never air. I dare say we have absolute editorial independence. Our main slogan is "You Have a Right to Learn the Truth" and that's exactly what we do," said Marika Bochoridze, Head of Radiokalaki news service.

The editorial staff has strictly separated economic news from other type of information, accordingly the Business Today news outlet is aired every half an hour to update its listeners on economic and business news. "Any piece of information might turn out to be an advertisement for a specific company but we do not limit ourselves for that reason. The main thing is to provide the listeners with useful information," the program presenter Inga Shubitidze said.

The summary business news is aired at 18:30. The program includes the rubric Radio Break, a joint undertaking by Radiokalaki and Tbilisi Marriott Hotel. Within the program famous businessmen are invited, interviews are being recorded outside the studio at the Marriott Hotel café Parnas. The audio version of the interview is aired via radio, the print version is published in the Georgia Today, and the video version is uploaded on Facebook.

News outlets are being produced by six local and eight regional correspondents. As regards technical base the radio and voice recording studio are equipped with modern technology, newsroom though wouldn't fit in this criteria. Journalists work with ordinary dictophones and enjoy car service on special occasions only, they usually travel by public transport.

Daily radio air is divided into four parts. The morning program anchored by Nini Bukia and Beka Oniani starts at 8 am and ends at 11 am. Tata Sadradze anchors the radio programming until 3 pm that is filled with live broadcasts by different guests. The anchor tries to provide the listeners with the information about the price of domestic tours or dinners at restaurants, recently announced sales and etc. According to Tata Sadradze the program is totally oriented on customers therefore the price for either service is always indicated.

At 5 pm Natia Orvelashvili's talk show Topic of the Day starts to discuss political events in the country together with the guest at the studio. The evening air is anchored by Dato Maglaferidze trying to entertain listeners with various pieces of information and with the help of the invited guests. As regards the night air Nino Arazashvili's authorship program tête-à-tête is on every Tuesday. The anchor invites celebs to the studio and makes some kind of radio portraits of them. Every Friday Ruso Strelkova anchors an English-language program FILTER FREE on general topics.

The radio air is also filled with music, so called Soft Ace which includes soft versions of all types of music. It was named as "soft" since it's the most balance music. For instance rock music, but not the heavy one. "Through our air one can never hear the music considered as either tasteless or too trendy in the Georgian reality, these two extremes are not typical to our radio," Archil Bubutishvili, musical and technical director of the channel.

The main source of income for the radio station is advertising. According to the radio manager Giorgi Sharashidze since autumn 2009 the advertising revenue has increased ten fold and at this stage the radio is self funding.

"I want to launch media business free from adherence to anyone's interests and self funding, that is not easily achievable but possible," said Giorgi Sharashidze willing to produce TV programs too.

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