If the latest whisper from the grapevine is to be believed, the UK’s leading commercial Asian radio station Sunrise Radio is readying some major programming changes.

In a bid to spruce up its current schedule, Sunrise Radio will witness a substantial revamp of image that has been ebbing of late, appealing to a much younger audience.

There is talk about several weekday presenters from the main radio station being transferred to sister station Kismat Radio. Veteran presenters such as Ravi Sharma, Sarita Sabharwal, Anisa Nasir, plus handful of others are likely to be shifted to Kismat.

Kismat’s policy has always been to slant towards an older audience and focus on more speech than music based shows. It remains to be seen how this remit will impact the shows of Ravi, Sarita and Anisa when they are moved to Kismat considering their shows on Sunrise at present are 90% music led.

Furthermore there have been rumours of an element of internal rivalry between the station and its fledgling sister concern, but that appears to be a bit unfounded, as joint advertising packages are being proposed to advertisers, so as to spruce up the market ability of the upcoming sister radio station.

The changes have been known within the company for the past few months but have not been implemented. Sunrise also saw a sharp dip in its average listenership time (by listeners) in the last RAJAR quarter results.

Let’s see if and when all this talk actually translates into reality! And remember you read it on Biz Asia first!

Interestingly arch rival BBC Asian Network revealed its lot of changes recently and also has done the same by axing many of its old targeted shows.

According to our weekly Biz Asia poll this week (w/c 29/05/06), we asked if the new BBC Asian Network changes proved ‘a turn on’ or ‘a turn off’. Majority were unimpressed with the radical changes, with 70% voting against the BBC station’s new sound, with only 20% voting in favour.

It remains to be seen how these new changes being brought upon the two rivals reflect the RAJAR results for this quarter, we۪ll know in August!