Arriving at BU 8, Bandar Utama, I was wondering how does a radio station fit in this building. Clueless, I looked around for the satellite dishes but none were seen.
Before I lead you into the office, BFM 89.9 stands for Business FM, not a conventional radio station, being the one and only independent business oriented radio broadcast in Malaysia. BFM was launched last September by Malek Ali for the working force aged between 25 – 40 years old. More about the background on About BFM.
Looking at the target audience, the music played is along the line of Eric Clapton and The Beatles, adult-oriented rock genre, which is not covered by conventional radio station. After midnight, it will be playing mostly Malay songs with no announcer.
Currently, it is only broadcasted within Klang Valley and furthest to Malacca on FM 89.9. Reasoning, 42 % of the GDP is in Klang Valley. Aww, don’t be upset, you can access to the content via their podcast if you’re not within the area or missed the program. I love this podcast idea, you can listen to it anytime, anywhere with internet connection. No more missing out!
Pictures of interviewees on the wall who has been
grilled on the Breakfast Grille
Well, together with Hanna and Nahda, and of course, our lovely lecturer, Miss Anita, we were welcomed by the Account Manager, Christopher as Annie, the producer has not arrive yet.
The people around were looking busy but still the hold up a smile when we pass by. The warm greeting were accompanied with a casual chat while waiting for Annie’s arrival at the pantry loaded with kuih raya . Christopher told us his story of life before getting into BFM as a steward in MAS Airline and joined from flying on air to working on behind the scene broadcasting on air for FLY.fm and eventually landed in BFM. Ironically, MAS is one of their client now.
The working area is divided but yet semi transparent, a lot of interaction going on, no point blocking them.
Soon, Annie walked in and quickly she took out a slide folder and explain to us about BFM, how they come about, people behind it, and what do they want to achieve.
Working in BFM isn’t a walk in the park for Annie, everyone here has to wear a few different hats due to limited man power. In other words, you learn a lot along the way as you can be the producer in the morning, switched to announcer after lunch and by evening, you’re editing – noise and volume level, the podcast to be uploaded online.
As an announcer, you need to know your interviewee and the background of the topic before the program starts. Usually, the ideal situation would be a month before and questions will be forwarded to the interviewee a week in advance. But, I believe that spontaneity is the best because the public want to know the real truth, not PR scripted answers.
This is the
grilling pan studio
The flagship program is The Breakfast Grille (6am to 10am). I’m thinking of chicken grilled with creamy mushroom sauce. Opps, not that kind of grilling but metaphorically put the interviewee (usually top officials, CEO in a company) on a pan and grill the truth out.
Something like Hard Talk on BBC but this is done on locally, much easier for us to relate to. To name some of the notable international corporate personalities that have been interviewed by BFM includes Sir Martin Sorrell and management authors such as Jack Trout, Al Ries and Robert Kiyosaki. Local corporate personalities interviewed include Tony Fernandes (CEO of AirAsia), Idris Jala (former CEO of Malaysia Airlines) and Johan Dennelind (CEO of Digi Telecommunications).
Annie strongly believe that any interview should be out to the public as it is, “We don’t edit the content.”
Check out this Haier to Rule? – Philip S. Carmichael, Haier Group podcast, I think he stomped out of the station after being grilled.
10 am – 2 pm Designed for sales executives heading out on the road or anyone who wants to be on SMEs. The Enterprise covers
How to retain customers and get referrals.
How to start up business/ franchises and what are the complications.
2pm – 5pm Listeners are out on business pedals, The Big Picture talks on easy going topics on lifestyle, health, parenting, relationships, going green and wind down topics.
5pm till evening At the end of the day, The Late Late Business Show takes you home with
recap on the market updates of the day and discussion on the issues
Career Docs – Listeners can write in to ask about their career and job seekers. BFM will research and give business perspective advice on it.
Personal Finance – a 4 minute segment that suggest where you should save your money or how to get out of credit card debts.
5 STAR lifestyles – Recommendation on where to eat, or hang out, the glamorous way.
Yes, it has been a long day for him editing the sound, erasing noise and dealing with any sound related problem.
The soundman yawning/ stretching.
The ever empty sales department, which means, they’re out and about generating revenues for the station. Good!
As for advertisers, BFM sells sponsorship. They match air time with a campaign but the advertisers NEVER dictate the editorial. They keep a very strict policy as “WE represent the listeners, they can’t stop us from asking questionable matters,” Annie enforced.
But there was once in history, a content was removed due to the company pleaded. It was an interview about the company treated the staff badly. Over 600 comments were received on the podcast, deprived employees and raging listeners complained and give their opinions on it over the website.
BFM’s point is, the lesson is learned, make the best of it and work on a better future.
It was an interesting trip to the warm filled independent one and only business radio station. I’d love to join them for internship as being a host has always been my dream and I do enjoy
grilling interviewing people. But my 0% knowledge on business is my set back. For you guys who are interested, they’re looking for radio presenter.
More about BFM 89.9
Or just google BFM+89.9, all sorts of interesting podcast searches pops up.