HISTORY OF ALL INDIA RADIO, CHENNAI
At the time of Independence the All India Radio network had six radio stations and 18 Transmitters in India. AIR, Madras is one among the six stations. The city of Madras had witnessed the conception of broadcasting through Radio Clubs in 1924. AIR Madras was inaugurated by H.E.Lord Erskine, the Governor of the then Madras province on the 16th June 1938 to cater to the needs of the Madras Presidency. Sixteenth June 1938 was a red letter day for the people of Madras, the inauguration of the radio station on independent basis with 250 W Medium Wave Transmitter added festive look at Madras. Madras was the fourth AIR station started in India. During that time, the station and studio were functioning in a small bungalow at Egmore. A 10 KW Philips Short Wave Transmitter was installed in Guindy and a receiving centre was also setup at Egmore with 4 nos. of communication receivers in 1940. During that time, the station had only three hours transmission and educational broadcast was started in 1938 itself. All India Radio came under the Department of Information & Broadcasting on the 24th October 1941.
The First FM channel broadcast was introduced in the country at Madras on the 23rd July 1977. After realizing the important role of AIR in promoting green revolution in the country ‘Farm & Home’ unit was started in the major AIR stations. Farm & Home unit was started on the 2nd October 1977 at AIR, Madras.
The radio scenario was on the latest in the country as All India Radio Chennai had to compete with the Private FM channels. On the 5th May 2003, Chennai witnessed the introduction of Suriyan FM, the first private FM radio service in the state. AIR FM channels were branded as ‘FM Rainbow’ and ‘FM Gold’ from 6th April 2003 to maintain specific identity all over the country among the listeners. Change of frequency in Chennai ‘B’ from 1395 KHz/215 meters to 1017KHz/294.4 meters was took place on the 14th April 2003. The Direct to Home (DTH) satellite Radio channel service was launched by Prime Minister on the 16th December 2004 and AIR Chennai programmes are one among the 20 radio satellite channels in the DTH platform.