As Dr Avtar Lit begins losing grip of his radio empire, he has begun the process of changing the profile of Sunrise Radio 2 by giving it the same feel as Sunrise Radio 1.
While it is looking likely that Lit will lose the administered stations including Sunrise Radio 1 and Sunrise Radio 3, the administrators, Grant Thornton UK LLP are expected to announce the name of the successful party imminently.
Lit’s plan will be to get as many listeners from Sunrise Radio 1 to sample Sunrise Radio 2 in case he loses Sunrise Radio 1. The migration has started! Sunrise Radio 2 has also morphed into a Sunrise Radio 1 with presenters such as Ravi Sharma, Sarita Sabharawal, Pam Sandhu and Rani Gill have replaced the younger presenters on the Sunrise Radio 2 line-up. The Sunrise Radio 2 presenters will move to weekends.
Furthermore, Sunrise Radio 2 has begun broadcasting local top of the hour news, which previously stopped.
Other commercial features, which Sunrise Radio 1 is known for such Flight times, Hit Of The Hour, Travel reports and live reads are expected to move to Sunrise Radio 2 later this week depending on the outcome of the administration.
So had Lit planned this all along when he rebranded Buzz Asia to Sunrise Radio 2 in December? Is he planning to drop ‘2’ and leaving it as Sunrise Radio if he forced to let go of the other stations?
What will be interesting is how Ofcom will perceive this change. Sunrise Radio 2 (Buzz Asia Limited) has a format in place to target youngsters with music and speech relating to them. However, majority of the output (except Breakfast and Drive) have become adult contemporary – same as Sunrise Radio 1.
The Ofcom licence issued to Sunrise Radio 2 reads, “A MUSIC-LED SERVICE FOR LONDON ASIANS PRIMARILY TARGETING THOSE AGED 15 TO 34 WITH A MIX OF ASIAN MUSIC AND OTHER MORE MAINSTREAM MUSIC WHERE APPROPRIATE.”
How will Ofcom react to feedback that there are two stations with a similar output (Sunrise Radio 1 and Sunrise Radio 2) in Greater London and furthermore how will the new owners of Sunrise Radio 1 respond to Sunrise Radio 2’s new programme policy? Watch this space.