NYF Open Mic: Radio on Radio with Abhishek Sharma

Radio on Radio features New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Grand Jury’s insights and observations on the transformation taking place in the industry today, their opinions on the importance of free speech, their thoughts on creating their dream show and where imagination comes into play.

Abhishek Sharma, Associate Programming Director, Radio City 91.1FM India

NYF’s Grand Jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative radio programs heard on radio today. Who better to share their insider information on the wonderful world of radio than this respected group of prominent industry thought leaders?

This week NYF’s Radio on Radio will explore the evolution taking place in the world of radio with 2017 Grand Jury member, Abhishek Sharma, Associate Programming Director for India’s Radio City 91.1 FM.

Abhishek’s radio career spans over a decade with experience working with popular Indian Radio brands like the Radio City and Radio Mantra. His work has been awarded at the New York festivals, India Radio Forum, Golden Mikes, ACEF and Radio Duniya awards.

He has hosted and executed campaigns like Shukriya Soldier that was broadcasted globally including USA, India, New Zealand, Australia and UAE and was recognized by award competitions in India and abroad. His campaign Dil Deke Dekho was one of the most appreciated initiatives of (2015-2016) and was the most awarded radio campaigns of the year.

Organ donation kiosk during Radio City 91.1 FM Dil Deke Dekho






In the interview below Abhishek shares his insights on the shifts taking place in radio today, the dream show he’d love to create, and how imagination supplies an edge to radio.

New York Festivals: How will radio transform in the coming years? What is the biggest shift you’ve noticed this past year?

Abhishek Sharma: Radio is under a transformation phase even right now, or rather I should say that it has moved ahead from being just about radio. With the rise of social media, its impact on the target group of each broadcaster has grown massively. Fortunately broadcasters around the globe have realized its potential and today radio content is processed in such a manner that it can be podcasted with a semi professional video on social media as well. Radio stations have verified twitter, insta and FB handles with fans requesting their music, chatting with the RJs and participating in polls. The RJs have moved on from being just “pleasant chatters on radio” to self opinionated superstars on digital media. Needless to say bringing about a revolution in terms of content, music is much easier than it was ever.

New York Festivals: Is there a revolution going on today in radio content?

Abhishek Sharma: As far Indian radio is concerned I think we do need a content revolution. On comparing radio storytelling with cinema we see that new avenues/ genres are seldom tried via broadcasters. 90% of radio content in India still relies upon humor. I would not say that we don’t do meaning full radio but the core or route generally remains humour. Whereas cinema on the other hand has always been experimenting genres like action, politics, war, drama, sex, even disgust. I think with more and more exposure to the world media and internet broadcasters will actively do stuff that is revolutionary in nature.

New York Festivals: What would be your dream show to create, budget no object?

Abhishek Sharma: I would love to be a part of a show that influences people not just in India but across the globe. A show that knows no boundaries, can helps people connect with loved ones in different corners of the world, take music and cultures from one part of the world to another.

New York Festivals: Audio landscapes, theatre of the mind, how does imagination come into play?

Abhishek Sharma: Imagination and theater of mind do differentiate/ provide an edge to radio from all other mediums like television or even films. The pictures built are more beautiful and relevant. A war scene is as deadly as budgeted  as a set for a TV series or film, it’s relevant to me because it’s a zone that I had created as per my imagination. A drama series on radio is more like reading a book where the story unfolds layer by layer, but the edge remains, the audio landscape makes it more and more believable and relevant.

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Join New York Festivals Monday, June 19, 2017 as we honor the World’s Best Radio Programs at an awards ceremony at in New York City. To view the 2016 World’s Best Radio Program Ceremony Gala, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/media/rp/2016/

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