Telum Talks To… Margaret Mary Lim, Programme Director, CLASS 95

Telum Talks To… Margaret Mary Lim, Programme Director, CLASS 95

Congratulations on 30 successful years of CLASS 95! What has been your proudest achievement so far?
Thank you! The proudest achievement is having a committed, passionate team who work tirelessly and very hard to bring the best content for our listeners. It’s a great feeling when listeners reach out and tell us that they enjoy the music, the DJs and the offerings on the station. It always puts a big smile on my face when we have listeners tell us that we’ve become part of their lives, that they’ve had many great memories being with our station and that we continue to be part of their daily lives. This is what I love about the radio and what CLASS 95 is all about, we’re an intimate medium and we connect with people from all walks of life. It’s a great feeling!
What are some of the future plans or special things for your audience to look out for?
Without giving too much away, you can definitely look forward to more of the best mix of music. And of course, we have so many ways for our listeners to win without breaking a sweat. We know that it’s challenging times now so we’re planning giveaways that will definitely resonate and come in handy.
How has CLASS 95's brand evolved to embrace a multi-channel media world?
Whenever we plan content, we make a conscious effort to incorporate the same content on different platforms be it Facebook or Instagram. For example, a lot of our previous interviews were done with an FB Live element giving our listeners the opportunity to see and hear concurrently what’s happening in the studio. Presently, the CLASS 95 DJs are also churning out content that you can watch on social media platforms eg. Muttons In The Morning (Justin Ang and Vernon A) have a FB specific segment called “The Aftershow” where they will discuss an hot topic on FB. Similarly, on Lunchbreak, we’ve turned Yasminne Cheng’s “Foodies Choice”, an on-air content piece where she searches out the best of certain foods, into video content offered on the social media platforms too. On Cartunes with Jean, her signature 6.15pm WOOSA (where she gets everyone to take a deep breath and embrace life, has been turned into a fun activity on FB where she teaches you to WOOSA anywhere!  So truly, now you can HEAR and SEE CLASS 95.
In the digital age, what are some of the ways that CLASS 95 has adapted to ensure that radio is still relevant in the industry?
When music videos first came out, everyone thought that would be the demise of radio (remember the song by The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star?) but radio still continued to grow strong. And to this day radio is still very relevant in everyone’s lives. We look at ways to co-exist in the same universe. Mediacorp also offers a streaming service meLISTEN, where you can not only listen to CLASS 95 but all our other sister stations too. We offer relatable content and have meaningful conversations. We live the same lives and go through the same challenges that our listeners do. We offer that all important human connection that often gets lost. At CLASS 95, it’s people talking to people. And that’s how we work to stay relevant.
In the seven years of being with CLASS 95, what has been your biggest takeaway? 
There is nothing that can’t be achieved as long as you want it badly and you work hard for it. Cliché as it sounds, but that’s the truth. Being the Number 1 English radio station takes a lot of hard work and drive. It’s not the effort of one person, it’s the result of many people who believe in one goal and we all work towards it. Differences will always be present. But we agree to disagree and then we work for that common prize.
Any advice for those looking to break into the radio industry?
Be humble, start from the bottom and earn your stripes. When I started in radio, I welcomed every opportunity to do an extra on-air duty or do a show (even if it wasn’t a paid gig). It all contributed to me gaining more experience. Being on radio and being recognised is exciting. But it’s also about having meaningful conversations with people. And that connection of what you say everyday on air. You must experience life and all it offers so that you get a better grasp of what really goes on in the lives of your listeners. And very importantly, what you do or say impacts many people (whether you realise it or not), technical skills can be learnt, but a good attitude takes you a long way. That’s how you should start and thrive in the radio industry.
If you could interview one person from history, who would it be and why?
Does Richard Branson count? I’m enthralled and very motivated by his stories of his leadership and how he handles every challenge. How he takes failure in stride and overcomes problems without beating himself up over it. But if it needs to be someone in the past then I would say Joseph Gayetty - the inventor of toilet paper. First question would be, “how does it feel to know that your humble creation is now the most sought after commodity?!”  

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