NIN, No.2668, February 14, 2002
Interview with Sanda Savic, Radio
B92 news editor
A step ahead of the rest
author: Dragana Matic
When it comes to current
affairs programming, B92 has no real competition,
says the radio’s news editor, Sanda Savic. “Our position
could only be in danger from Radio Belgrade. But
we welcome that competition.”
Radio B92 has been the most
popular station in Belgrade or the past three years.
Even more pleasing to the staff is that fact that
B92 now has even more listeners than during the time
of Slobodan Milosevic. The prediction that the station
would lose some of its audience as democratic changes
brought freedom to the media has not come true.
Survey results from Belgrade’s
Strategic Marketing agency show that the popularity
of the station’s three main half-hour news bulletins
has risen significantly. Thus morning news at 9.00
a.m. rose by 20 per cent, evening news at 5.00 p.m.
by 23 per cent and late evening news at 9.00 p.m.
by 17 per cent between April and October, 2001.
Savic is obviously delighted
with the ratings, saying that even the station’s current
affairs staff had not expected such satisfactory results.
“Even though we weren’t certain
we would succeed, we have demonstrated that B92 functions
well, and not only in times of revolution, says Savic,
adding that for the first time the station’s morning
news is more popular than that of Radio Belgrade,
which had led the ratings for decades.
“When it comes to current
affairs, we have no competition: we’re a step ahead
of the rest,” says Savic. Next come Radio S, Radio
Belgrade’s First Program, Radio Nostalgie, Index and
“Among these stations, most
of which have an emphasis on music and have virtually
no current affairs programming. Our position could
only be in danger from Radio Belgrade. But we welcome
that competition,” says Savic.
The B92 news editor adds
that even thought the station’s audience is mostly
an older group, primarily because of the current affairs
program (“the target group is those between 25 and
40 years), more and more young people are now listening
to the station.
“It is also interesting that
people are spending more time listening to B92 and
that, for the first time in the radio’s history, 51
per cent of our active listeners are women,” says
All of this is no accident.
After the changes of October 5, 2001 (when all media
began working), Radio B92’s editorial staff decided
on strategic reform of the program.
“As far as entertainment,
especially music programs, are concerned, we decided
to air in the real radio time, the morning hours,
something which could be referred to as ‘the acceptable
alternative’, music which most people can accept,
while making sure we didn’t lose the B92 spirit.
This is where the rule becomes ‘If you’re number one,
“With the current affairs
program things are quite different, because the formula
by which the station has always been recognised, has
been retained. There was no need to change its style,
only the content,” says Savic.
“Programs such as Katarza,
Pescanik, Jutopija and the interview of the day attract
mostly the well-serviced listeners who are used to
However, says Savic, the
program Kaziprst, which is somewhat lighter, is becoming
more and more popular, mainly among listeners who
are new to the station.
“Our guiding principle in
working on the current affairs program now is to try
to be aware of what particular information means and
why it is important to our listeners. Some statements
of the ministers, the president, the prime minister
are not of great importance because everyone will
report them. What is important is the answer to the
question of what a statement means from, for example,
the sociological point of view”.