French-language radio station Oryx FM has announced a relaunch to mark its fourth anniversary, saying it plans to focus more on local content and engage more with its audience on social media.
Oryx FM – which first hit the airwaves on Jan. 16, 2011 – is a partnership between Radio France Internationale and Qatar Media Corp., which also operates English-language radio station QBS.
The station’s revamp will focus on local news and information, particularly through its social media channels, team member Axel Carré told Doha News:
“We have the ambition to become a reference for local information. For this, each local event will be relayed and commented on on the twitter account: photos, links and breaking news.”
The station, which broadcasts on 94FM in Qatar, will now offer three major news bulletins daily, as well as new programs covering a broad range of topics including health, the environment and music.
School children will also get in on the act, with one program being presented and created by pupils from the Bonaparte French School of Doha.
QF Radio restructuring
Oryx FM is not the only Qatar-based radio station which has had a recent shake-up.
Listeners to QF’s English-language radio station, QF Radi0 97.1FM, were shocked last month when management suddenly canceled most of its programs, including “Drive,” “Legendary Artists,” and “The Fashion Show.”
Only one of its regular shows, breakfast program “Rise,” remains on air.
Employees at the station expressed dismay at the sudden changes, which included the firing of at least a dozen people across the English and Arabic stations.
They told Doha News that the radio stations’ management had decided that they wanted them to focus more on the work of QF itself, and wanted the station to offer more educational content.
Today, an employee who requested to remain anonymous told Doha News that a new schedule is currently being drawn up for the station. It will include music, but also focus on “more educational, informative content.”
The station’s new schedule should be unveiled in the next few weeks, the employee added.
Meanwhile, social organization ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) has launched an online radio demo for what it hopes will become a popular online alternative to the two existing English-language radio stations in the country, both of which have many critics.
Focusing on entertainment and community issues, current show ideas include “The People’s Hour,” event highlights, “Bite Size” news from Doha News, and a “Health and Wellness” show.
Speaking to Doha News, Kevin Waller, managing director of ILQ, explained that licensing issues are a big hurdle to starting a radio station in Qatar. That’s why the group chose the online route:
“We understand there are some new licenses which will become available at some point, but we don’t know when that will be. So we decided we’d rather get started online rather than wait because we believe in bringing good radio to Qatar, with good quality music, and we wanted to start doing that now.”
He added that the station will be officially launched after it gains corporate sponsors. The station can be streamed online here.
What do you think of the radio stations on offer here? Thoughts?