October 22, 2013
The Most Popular Radio Station in Kyoto
By Kenichi Hosokawa & Keisuke Togashi
89.4. Do you know what this number represents? It is the frequency for α-Station, the only radio station in Kyoto that services this city and the Kansai area. Founded in 1990, it didn’t begin broadcasting until July, 1991.
When they first set up a new broadcasting station, it was placed in office building in northern Kyoto near Kitayama Street. However, in 2006, they moved their offices to the COCON KARASUMA building, which is located just south of the Shijo-Karasuma intersection in downtown Kyoto.
What “α” means?
The α in the logo stands for an “Alpha Wave”, a brain wave measured on an electroencephalogram. It has the indicates a state of relaxation and comfort. So the “α” in α-Station means to be relaxed.
There are many workers in the radio station’s offices, but only three or four people are in the studio at one time. For one program there is a DJ, director, and assistants who check the sound and the timing. In regards to the choice of the songs that are played, the staff members who are in charge will make a decision for that day’s music. Mainly, the programs are divided into half Japanese music and half Western music, which is very rare in Japan. But when there is a sudden change of the weather and there is some tragic news, there is a prepared list of songs and music to change the atmosphere.
α-Station ‘s concept is “More Talking, More Music”
The station does not only want to create a schedule arranged to the minute, but also present serialized programing. They want listeners to forget the time and relax while listening to talk and music.
Five Broadcasting Points
The Target audience is people who have a modern and fashionable sensibility, are playful, mostly aged 19~30s. But they are not the only target audience.
Main type of music
Adult Contemporary Music.
Their collections of music includes more than 40,000 CDs!
Programing Style 1—News & Music
The station does not only broadcast music, but gives timely news
Programing Style 2 —Listener-Oriented
Broadcasts are not a one-way information transmission. Always try to have communication with listeners
Station Colors: Blue & White
Image Color = Blue (alpha blue) → pure white will make it stand out. Blue is the color of the sky, and white is the color of a cloud. It will give you relaxation.
Based on these 5 concepts, the target audience is mostly people in their 30s, a little older than the audiences of other stations. Daytime programming is aimed at housewives and women workers; the target audience for night-time programming changes to high school students.
Programs on α-Station
Sunnyside Balcony… (DJ changes every day). A program aimed at women who have interests such as cooking, travel information about Kyoto and listening to relaxing music.
To get young listeners, the station started to broadcast the J-Pop chart ranking. Since this program started, ratings for listeners under age 20 have increased. This is the most popular program on α– Station.
Stardust Parade… DJ: Hayashi Tomomi
This program is for young people and features mainly new music. Ms. Hayashi will listen to the young listener’s worries and then give them advice.
Sato Hideki, who is a teacher at Kyoto university of Foreign Languages, is also a DJ at α-Station. When he was a child, his dream was to become a DJ, but he had forgotten this dream for many years. When he graduated from university, he started teaching in a preparatory school. 1991, α– Station needed a newscaster who could read and speak English, so he applied for this job and became a newscaster at the station. 1993, he became the DJ he really wanted to be from his childhood. After he became DJ, he found it harder than he thought and so he worked to communicate with his listeners so they would understand his talk without any misunderstandings. He learned how hard the job of a DJ really is.
Alpha Station Activities
α-Station conducts many other activities besides broadcasting.
This school invites people from various fields to teach what they know. It’s the new style of education. By doing this, students have a chance to learn new things, and it will help to enrich and develop Kyoto culture.
Speaking training includes vocal exercises, reading out loud, and abdominal respiration breathing. All of these will help improve your speaking skills.
Radio DJ School
If you want to be the DJ in the future, you should join this class. They will conduct an oral examination, and teach you how to be an eloquent speaker. Your motivation will improve.
Classes where you can learn and improve your skills of both singing and dancing. You don’t need to know how to read music to attend this class.
Workout Tennis Plus
Collaboration with the Higashiyama Tennis Club. You can learn how to play tennis—for beginner to advance players.
α Mo’cool Festa
This festival is held every year on last day of the Gion Festival. A specially invited guest artist attends; and this year’s guest is Shimizu Shota (famous Japanese R&B singer)
Kyoto Sanga F.C
α– Station supports and cheers on Kyoto Purple Sanga, Kyoto’s professional soccer team!!
Programs inform listeners about recent news of the Sanga Football Club. Comments and messages from the players will be on the program. For the listeners, tickets for Sanga games are given away as a present.
Many Kyoto people love 89.4 α-Station!