The FINANCIAL — Radio 101.3 which started the transmission of Radio Monte Carlo channel music in Tbilisi recently has become very popular with the middle-aged segment of the population. George Ratishvili, Georgia’s National Communications Commission said he has very limited information on who is behind Monte Carlo in Georgia. Ratishvili said Georgian radios can’t transmit foreign radio in a non-stop regime.
The FINANCIAL failed to find the owners of 101.3. Leading information service 09 said it has no contact details for 101.3. Representatives of Fortuna, one of the largest radio stations in Georgia said they are not aware of RMC.
“Monte Carlo VIP”, “Radio for successful people”, “Radio Monte Carlo”, 3 second ads are aired in Georgian, Russian and English daily. There is no Georgian news or information besides modern, new age, and semi classic music.
Radio Monte Carlo was founded by the Nazis during WW2, March 1942 to be exact, ceased transmission in June 1944 and was back on the air with American help as a joint venture with the Principality of Monaco in August 1944.
The French Government sold its share to a private holding group in 1998 of Sud Radio and la Depeche du Midi, different entities.
RMC became very popular in the Soviet Union as it was one of the only foreign channels permitted by the Soviet Government.
Radio Monte Carlo – Moscow Russia is also broadcast from Moscow, Russia. This is a Russian speaking radio station that airs modern, new age, and semi classic music, both domestic and international along with news and other broadcasts.
Listeners of RMC say they are surprised by music aired by the new channel RMC as local radios have rather poor playlists.
“There are lots of internet sites where you can download songs after getting a license. There are full packages which we buy per month and spend about USD 100 on. They include about 500 songs,” Vakho Khvichia, General Director of Radio Utsnobi (FM98.0), told The FINANCIAL.
“On Utsnobi we normally air pop. As for Georgian songs, we got an agreement with the Georgian Author’s association and pay license prices,” Khvichia added.
According to the Press Reference website the number of radio stations in Georgia is 23 and radio receivers – 3,020,000.
Besides the downloading of internet sites Georgian radio stations had to look for other sources, like the USA Embassy and private collectors.
“Our radio is a specific one. We air only jazz,” Jimi Archvadze, Music Director of Syndicate (FM104.3) says.
“That’s why it was hard to create a music base. From the very beginning we had a contract with eastern promotion, the American Embassy in Georgia and private collectors. Without all these people’s support we wouldn’t have been able to create our library.”
Radio Sakartvelo, one of the largest radio broadcasting companies in Georgia, owns four stations: Fortuna, Fortuna Plus, Ar Daidardo and Auto Radio.
“Radio Sakartvelo buys music from American radio company Express,” Rezo Kakulia, Manager of Fortuna Plus, says.
“Radio Fortuna Plus is a newest hits wave. Main attention is paid to music playlists. We receive about eight compact disks per month, with newest hits at the current time. All disks include licenses for what our company pays, which is not a small amount of money,” Kakulia says.
The format of the radio station Fortuna Plus (103.4 FM), is a certain mixture of EHR and dance format which gives it big popularity.
“We choose European hits. In the USA what’s dominant is rap and R ‘n B, in Europe even pop is of higher quality and taste. Radio Express, whom I pay money to, pays percentages to singers. Each disk includes about 20 songs. Sometimes their format does not comply with our format. From the very beginning of our collaboration we ordered Euro hits,” Kakulia, Fortuna Plus, stated.
“A refreshing playlist is one of the main rules of radio. During the year we add about 150-200 new songs,” Gvantsa Kilasonia, Manager of Fortuna, told The FINANCIAL.
According to Kilasonia, “Ten years ago Fortuna started working with 700 songs. This was the hits of the East at that time. At present we have about 2,000-2,500 songs. 300 from this are season songs, which are used only a few times in the year. We used to produce music collections. It was done more for image. It was like a present for our guests. We never thought to see profit from it.”
Radio Fortuna, a privately owned, 24-hour FM station that covers the entire area of Georgia, has the largest audience with more than 620,000 listeners while the combined audience of the two Georgia state radio stations numbers at 580,000.
In contrast to foreign music, Georgian radio broadcasters receive local music with barter exchanges with singers.
“Georgian singers submit us with their own songs. We almost don’t buy anything. In Georgia there are author’s rules insuring association. We cooperate with them. The main base of Ar Daidardo was made up of songs of Fortuna. A big number of old songs we received from composers themselves,” George Mshvenieradze, Programme manager of Radio Ar Daidardo, says.
“As for Georgian songs, we have direct contact with the singers. We had barter exchange. This means that we recruit their songs over two or more weeks, and the owners give us exclusive rights to air the music. We get about 250-300 new songs for our playlist a year,” Kakulia, Fortuna Plus, says.
Radio Green Wave collaborates with the BBC.
“Over a few years we collected an audio database. From the beginning we composed songs with our forces. Our partners were the BBC. We even aired the BBC according to our agreement,” Erick Khetchumov, programme manager of radio station Mtsvane Talga, says.
Barter Exchange was the contribution rule for Auto Radio and Russian Hit Radio. The latter provides Auto Radio stations with Russian music free of charge.
“We started cooperation with Hit Radio five months ago. At the beginning it was about 3,000 songs in total. A large part was bought from shops in Georgia. The Russian musical market is in big stagnation. The problem is that we can’t choose any Russian songs. We are strictly oriented at chansons. According to our agreement with Hit Radio, we don’t pay for them,” Alexy Lomidze, Manager of Auto Radio, explained.
Written By Madona Gasanova