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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 03 March 2018
FEATURE 14 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 3 MARCH 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM A dietitian from Greece brings an e-breath of ‘fresh’ air to Melbourne Jordan Psomopoulos has launched a new online radio service and is determined to do things the Greek way NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU D ietitian and nutritionist Jordan Psomopoulos arrived in Melbourne less than two years ago with his Greek Australian wife and children, seeking a better life or, if you'd rather, escaping Greece's financial crisis. During his short time in Melbourne, Psomopoulos, who has 33 years of radio production experience, was missing the "more contemporary music" from his homeland and decided to do something about it. "To be honest," he tells Neos Kosmos, "It's not just the music, it's the way the radio hosts talk, the way the program flows; the way a presenter can connect with the audience and have a proper conversation; everything. "That's kinds of how Fresh Radio started," he explains "and after much pressure from friends and colleagues." Fresh Radio has been webcasting for four weeks and its programming is constantly expanding and evolving. It has now reached 23 hours of programming a week. Psomopoulos has been entranced with the encouraging comments he has received, not to mention the engagement. "I decided in December to [do this], and [by] early January I had bought the equipment and secured a studio. I knew people eager to come on board who were into the same genres of music [as me] and of a similar background so it was not hard to launch the service. "We counted over 5,500 different IP addresses join Fresh online right from the beginning," he says adding that they were not expecting this many people to connect from day one. Psomopoulos believes that the support mainly came from newly-arrived Greeks who had been craving more up-todate music and commentary on daily issues the way radio stations do in Greece. "I think it makes people feel closer to home. It's encouraging that there's high demand; it goes to show that we made the right choice differentiating ourselves musically," he says. "We play new wave, arthouse, old rock tunes and selections from the elafrolaiko repertoire," he explains. "We're more focused on bands like Imam-Baildi and singers like Melina Kana, Stelios Rokos, Leonidas Sabanis, Christos Thiveos, Eleonora Zouganeli, Eli Paspala, Melina Aslanidou, Giannis Kotsiras, and so on. There are also old selections like Pix-Lax, the Katsimiha brothers, and Stamatis Kraounakis." Taking into consideration the fact that Melbourne has the largest Greek population outside Greece, Psomopoulos says that having only three Greek radio stations focusing either on the same kind of music, or strictly on news with very specific time slots, does not help preserve and promote Greek culture, or the language. He thinks newly-arrived Greeks should help bring Melbourne's Greekness up-to-date, sharing more genres with second- and third-generation Australians. Psomopoulos wants "more Greek music, different kinds of Greek music, more lyrics, and more Greek language on air” which is why Fresh Radio streams music 24 hours a day from its South Oakleigh headquarters. The presenter line-up includes a young duo, Stavros Kais and Vicky Paroulidou, presenting a two-hour alternative rock and entehno show titled Enalax every Sunday from 9.00 – 11.00 pm. Mondays have sport with news from Melbourne and Australia, and commentary on Greek groups hosted by ‘The Three Johns’ aka Giannis Michailidis, Giannis Katsigiannis, and Giannis Matsakos. On Thursday evenings Manos Kargianiotis has a show from 7.00 – 9.00 pm. Nasos Thanos and Krystalia Tragouda share their taste in music and their Greek senses of humour on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 9.00 – 11.00 pm. Psomopoulos wants to promote the Hellenic language and connect with the broader Greek Australian community, and he has added talk shows to the weekly programming. "We have a couple [of shows] that consist of a psychologist and an educator answering the audience's questions on Saturday evenings," Psomopoulos says, introducing a show called Music Therapy presented by Kostas Kiomourtzis and Xanthoula Mihalopoulou. “Everything is exclusively in Greek. We have an outline for talk shows but the program is always subject to change, depending on what the audience pushes for. "It's not a psychoanalytical show per-se but more of a conversation. We don't like to be trapped in our own box." Working as a dietitian and nutritionist in Melbourne, Psomopoulos has seen how popular and effective the Mediterranean diet is. He has a show on Fresh on Tuesday nights offering advice about leading a healthy lifestyle and the benefits of a balanced diet, while tackling certain pathology issues and obesity concerns. "We are also thinking a morning talk show," he enthuses. "We'll start with a Monday, a Wednesday and a Friday roster aiming to make it a daily one. Another idea that we started implementing is live Facebook videos during shows so people can see who we are and how we work." When asked where he sees Fresh Radio a year from now, Psomopoulos says "our goals for the future are as high as can be when it comes to audience reach, something that will not only help us have a good time but be a viable business supporting Greek culture in Australia."
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