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Smooth Jamaican Radio connects to the roots - RJR94FM focuses on more local content, communities

Published:Thursday | January 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Dennis Howard at the Gleaner's Editors Forum on Music Week 2017, held at the Gleaner on Thursday, November 23, 2017.
Corporate headquarters and radio studios of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group.

With over 60 years of delivering consistent and high-quality programmes, RJR94FM has now increased its local content with the objective of offering listeners programming that reflects the values and concerns of the community in which they serve.

According to Dennis Howard, general manager,radio services at the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, at the heart of every radio station is the urge to create and connect by producing programming that forges critical ties with the people who listen and give to public stations.

"RJR is already the station that focuses on being Jamaican, offering the listening audience a very Jamaican-centred programming. We have shifted to a 60:40 percentage ratio in favour of Jamaican music content and we intend for our audience to hear more Jamaican music and content, that reflect their realities locally and internationally," Howard said.

RJR 94FM is one of the oldest radio stations in Jamaica and has been responsible for producing a number of different programmes that are unique to the airwaves. According to Howard, the field is open for the station to provide listeners with context and meaning on local issues and to present music and cultural programming that reflects the needs of the local audience.

"Traditionally, we have always focused on Jamaican content in terms of our strong news and current affairs tradition. Now, we are making sure Jamaican music and culture are centre stage," he said.




Without question, national programming has widened the scope and the audience of radio, and with unique local content, this change will complement that service and also help to define the image of the station and build its reputation as a community institution.

"Listeners have been very receptive to the new content. 'Too Live Crew' is dominant in the afternoon while 'Sunnyside Up' with FranÁois and Paula is the leading morning drive-time show with great features that keep our audience tuned in. Other programmes such as the 'Night Shift', with its feature on veterans in the entertainment business is also very popular," Howard said.

There are also a number of personalities and shows on the station. For the most part, the programming includes some of the top performances in dance hall, reggae music, R & B, hip hop, and more. Other programming includes news on the go, live radio interviews, and beyond the headlines debates which are regularly listened to.

"We have 20 per cent market share, a percentage behind Irie FM, which has 21 per cent (Marketing Strategy Limited Media Usage Report 2016). We take into consideration the feedback we receive, and so we have an ongoing programme drive of improving the listener experience, which has connected, and will continue to connect, with our ardent fans," Howard said.

RJR94 FM also broadcasts online through their website and through free live radio. You can also download an application on Google play and the app store to hear their programming. The company is also active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other major social media outlets.