Cape Town’s first new private commercial radio station in 14 years takes to the airwaves on Monday. Called Smile 90.4fm, the station is described as a “purpose driven audio brand”.
Programme director Clive Ridgeway told The Media Online Smile 90.4fm “may look like a radio station, and even sound like a radio station, but we are designed to be more. Our aim is to be relevant in the age of new media and new marketing. Our programming and content is directed towards making a significant connection with the people of Cape Town, and to build valued and lasting relationships”.
The name, says Ridgeway, was inspired by the fact that a smile is the “simplest and easiest way of passing on something powerful and positive. It’s something we all have in common. It’s instantly recognisable, universal and contagious – it gives us the power to transform. Our name encapsulates everything we want to do as a brand and a business. The name says it all…hear it, feel it…SMILE”!
Cape Town Radio (Pty) Ltd is the company behind Smile, and is chaired by Anant Singh – who also chairs the Cape Town Film Studios – and businessman, Dr Ernest Messina. It’s shareholders are Videovision Entertainment (Pty) Ltd, Women’s Development Bank (WDB) Investment Holdings, Allparts Cape (Pty) Ltd, African Peoples Investment Company (Pty) Ltd and Radio 021 (Pty) Ltd.
Singh and Messina said the purpose of the new station is “build audience and client relationships, bridge cultural divides, promote a sense of community, do good business and spread optimism while presenting the most entertaining, interesting and informative audio content which will manifest in the proverbial smile”.
To do this, says managing director Tony Mallam, the station will present a mix of music and talk. “The language of the brand will be a seamless combination of conversational Afrikaans and English. We are committed to amplifying voices and messages that genuinely reflect and add value to the lives of everyone who has made Cape Town their home. The Smile playlist comprises of a mix of adult contemporary and pop hits with local tunes making up 50% of the playlist. The station is aimed at the 25 to 49 year-old age group in the upper LSMs.”
Heading up the news, or ‘talk content’ is Lizma van Zyl. With 50% of the programming dedicated to talk, Van Zyl says it will be “a mix of news, actuality, listener participation, regular features as well as interaction between news and actuality presenters and anchors.
“The talk will be a seamless mix of Afrikaans and English with a typical Cape Town flavour. Our overall programming sound will be positive and energising with the intention of making a real contribution to the Cape Town community,” she says.
Key to the station’s success is advertising, and this will be a combination of direct sales with radio sales house, Mediamark, brought in to handle national sales. The direct sales team will be headed by Magriet Paulsen, who has years of experience in both Cape Town and Gauteng. “We decided on using an established and experienced media sales house for speed of entry into the market, as building a credible sales team for national clients takes time and is expensive. Mediamark already has established relationships and credibility with the national advertising market. They are highly respected and recognised in the market and also handle sales for East Coast Radio in KwaZulu Natal and Jacaranda in Gauteng,” says Mallam.
“We thought long and hard about our advertising strategy. We are targeting a potential audience of around 600 000 people and we are competing with other stations based in Cape Town. Our advertising rates are affordable and fair. They are forward-looking but we are aware we need to build audience. We therefore have some very exciting launch packages and long-term deals. The first advertisers on board now will get preferential deals in the future.”
So what’s in store for listeners? The station will kick off with an ‘info hour’ from 6am to 7am, spearheaded by news heavyweights Reinard Ludick and Bobby Brown. The Breakfast Show will follow, anchored by the best young radio professional around right now, former OFM presenter, Eloise Pretorius, Ridgeway says. Cato Bekker, another talented youngster with local and American radio experience, will produce the 7am to 10am Good Morning Cape Town.
“It will be the first time in the history of radio in Cape Town that a breakfast team will be led by two women. On the content side, they will be supported by Bobby Brown and well known sports journalist, Brandon Baatjies.
Benito Vergotine, takes over from 10am to 1pm with newcomer Danie Marais on from 1 to 4pm. Danie. The afternoon drive time slot (4pm to 7pm) will be spearheaded by someone who needs little introduction, Maurice Carpede. Tracey Lange will take over from Carpede, keeping it upbeat during her 7pm to 10pm time slot. Mehboob Bawa is late night radio’s ‘Doctor Love’, and takes over from Lange from 10pm to 2am. Jeffrey Stevens will present the 2am to 6am show.
The line-up changes over weekends with veteran anchor Dmitri Jegels taking care of the 6am to 10am slot. Gavin Arends is the other daytime host, filling the 2 to 6pm seat. Kia Johnson takes over from 6pm to 10pm with Party Central. Party Central will be a first for Cape Town in that Kia will play both English and Afrikaans party hits – music that blends into Cape Town weekend culture. Philip de Lange will take over the Party Central desk from Kia during 10pm to 2am slot.