AIR overhaul: Is this the death of local radio as we know it?

While artists are not dependent on the radio programmers for their livelihood, the larger worry is that local culture and regional talent are at stake as regional channels are being merged with national ones. Photo: iStock

On October 18, Geetha Ramanand, a veena artist and an avid radio listener was in for a rude shock when Amruthavarshini FM (100.1), a dedicated classical music station, went offline.

She later realised the regional Kannada radio channel, which was part of Akashvani Bengaluru, ceased to exist and was merged with Raagam, a multilingual national channel.

For 70-year-old Ramanand, who has worked with All India Radio (AIR) for 36 years and performed and produced several music shows, it’s the end of an era. She nurtured the channel’s growth from its inception in 2002 to 2011, when she retired.

Born into a family of music connoisseurs, Ramanand who holds a master's degree in music, was also a nominated member of the expert committee on Carnatic Music, Union Ministry of Culture.

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