Gauteng is gearing up for a new talk radio station. The Media Online asked Given Mkhari, chairman of POWER FM, if he is confident to take on the existing competition.
In December 2011, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa awarded one of the last available FM radio freqency commercial licenses to POWER 98.9FM.
The radio station is owned by MSG Afrika Investment Holdings, led by Given Mkhari, with shareholders including Ndalo Media, led by Khanyi Dhlomo; Zico, with Sandile Zungu at the helm, and various other investors.
Below is an edited version of The Media Online’s interview with Mkhari.
TMO: TheMediaOnline realises that you do not want to divulge all the details of your new talk radio station, PowerFM, in Gauteng yet, but could you please give us some general information, such as when you are planning to go on air, on which frequency we will be able to find you, what the format would be and who you would be targeting? –
Given Mkhari: A more detailed rollout plan is in the process of being finalised and will duly be communicated once complete, covering all the facets relating to the station’s pre-launch and launch plans. We are however able to respond to the following:
Target Audience – While the station will appeal to the broad spectrum of the market, the primary target audience will be adult males and females aged between 25 and 49 years old.
Format/Programming – Our programming will be personality driven and the bulk of our presenters will be highly esteemed individuals in their area of work, able to engage and comfortable to deal with any issue confidently and sensitively without fear or favour.
TMO: Talk Radio 702 is currently the only talk radio station in Gauteng and is well established. What made you decide to launch a second talk radio station in this province and why do you think there is space for both?
Given Mkhari: Of course there is more than enough space for additional talk station/s. POWER FM will capture and reflect the experiences of its target market while showcasing their aspirations. It will be a home for leaders and influencers in civil society, business, politics, sport and lifestyle in South Africa – The station will debate the economy and
political discourse; celebrate cultures; exchange options and shape lifestyles.
TMO: Would you be targeting the same audience and advertisers as Talk Radio 702, and how confident are you that you would succeed in attracting listeners and advertisers?
Given Mkhari: We believe strongly that there is sufficient room for more players in this space, enough to offer the market diversity and quality programming to choose from.
TMO: Please tell us more about your MSG Afrika Investment Holdings. Your company also owns the Limpopo-based Capricorn FM, which went on air in November 2007 and has been hugely successful in attracting listeners and is the only commercial radio station in that province. What do you attribute this success to and what lessons will you take with you with
the launch of PowerFM?
Given Mkhari: The key contributors to the success of Capricorn FM can be attributed to the passion and energy of the staff, knowledge of the target market, accessibility of the station and mass appeal through broadcasting in the languages of the region, i.e. English, Tsonga, Venda
and SePedi. With Power FM being a Gauteng based station providing compelling talk
programming to a curious yet knowledgeable and cosmopolitan audience, the exciting challenge is to be the platform for these views to be expressed and shared, while building a strong and different conversational culture.
TMO: Rumour has it that former 702 talk show host Eusebius McKaiser will
be joining PowerFM. Can you confirm this, and could you tell us who else we could expect to hear on air?
Given Mkhari: We will communicate our personalities as per our rollout plan.