Barakan To Revive FM?
Veteran British broadcast personality Peter Barakan was recently named executive director of InterFM, one of only four FM stations operating within Tokyo.
Barakan has been a noted figure on the music scene in Japan since the early ’80s as both a DJ and a TV personality and commentator. To some extent he has been involved with InterFM since the station went on the air in 1996 with a mission to reach the international community through multilingual programming.
However, over the years the station has had financial problems and changed hands several times. In 2006 it was sold to one of Japan’s major TV networks, and in June the station was again sold, according to the Japan-based newsletter McClureMusic.com, this time to Kinoshita Group, a real estate developer.
Barakan’s metier is foreign music centered on classic (non-hard) rock, folk, soul, world music and jazz, and he’s written a number of books on these subjects in Japanese.
He has said he hopes to fashion a station that plays music based on the FM model that flourished in the late ’60s, and admits that he has never really entertained working in a corporate setting.
Barakan has always operated as a freelancer, and has a rare reputation in the Japanese media of being able to speak his mind about anything he wants. Experts agree, however, that he has his work cut out for him in Japan’s depressed radio market.