Radio City Executive Vice President and National Head – Programming, Marketing & AudaCITY, Mr. Kartik Kalla, talks about the Radio City’s most popular show ‘Love Guru’ and its success. Mr Kalla in conversation with FPJ’s Mamta Hatle.
How do you think the show has evolved over the past 17 years?
A. Love Guru has been one of Radio City’s flagship shows. It was launched back when private FM channels were being set up but its concept remains fresh and out-of-the-box even today. We all have grown up reading agony aunt columns and the idea was to introduce a similar concept on radio. Love Guru was aimed at providing the audience with a confidant, a person they could trust and seek counsel from over relationship issues. Over the years, we have observed a change in the audience with a younger demographic actively seeking direction from Love Guru. This audience, that is, the millennials are also more open to the idea of coming out and talking about the difficulties without the fear of being judged. Additionally, in the age of social media, they are more vocal about their emotions. This is an interesting observation and reflects the cultural and social change that we have been witnessing. The current avatar of the show takes into account the issues of today’s audience and gives advice that is both, contemporary and relevant.
What was the need to relaunch the show?
A. Over the years, the audience, their age and preferences might have changed but they still do face deadlocks and issues in their interpersonal relationships. We felt that there was a need to reintroduce Love Guru, everyone’s trusted advisor and go-to person for relationship guidance. However, we needed to ensure that the show remained relevant for the current generation. With the core remaining counselling, we wanted to develop newer segments. We decided to move a step ahead and take the show beyond conferring advice. Hence, we introduced two new segments – ‘Love Guru Diaries’ and ‘Love Note’. ‘Love Guru Diaries’ has commenced in Delhi and is a show where old callers dial in and recollect how Love Guru’s advice helped them resolve disputes. The other segment, ‘Love Note’ involves callers leave behind a note for their loved ones by simply calling Love Guru and expressing their feelings. Due to our strong social media presence, we now have people calling from all around the world. We have also introduced the Love Guru App that enables international callers to be a part of the live counselling session that takes place every Friday.
What is the reason behind the success of love shows on Radio?
A. No one in the world is immune to relationship issues. Listeners want to chat with real personalities to talk about real life issues and experiences. RJ’s have successfully established themselves as the most reliable personalities by providing advice just as a friend would, without any preconceived notions. Along with people of a certain age, we also have callers and listeners who are school and college students or young working professionals, still finding their way in life. They prefer confiding in a sympathetic stranger on radio rather than their families, as there is a fear of being judged. Offering advice on air comes with a fair share of responsibility. India is a youthful, budding nation that is developing at a rapid pace. In this era of competition, we provide the people with relevant advice that is aimed at helping them lead a happy love life.