South Africa’s radio industry celebrated its own state of play on Sunday night, and honoured excellence within the sector at the annual MTN Radio Awards.
“The objective of the awards is to promote excellence in radio and to keep radio as one of the foremost media choices in South Africa,” says CEO Lance Rothschild. “The MTN Radio Awards banquet is a celebration of the entire radio industry and provides an opportunity to network within the industry. It is a great unifying event and brings the entire industry together on neutral ground,” he says.
Now in its fourth year, moving from 200 entries in 2010 to over 1000 in 2013, it’s not only numbers that have grown, but the quality too.
“In the four years that the awards have been running, we have most certainly seen an improvement in the standards of radio in general and in the entries that we are receiving,” says Rothschild. “Without appearing arrogant, we are proud of the immense support that we receive from the industry and we are proud of the role that these awards play in the industry. Our objective is to grow participation in the awards – in terms of the number of stations that participate.”
And they want to spread the love too. “On our wish list for the future is to expand this programme outside of South Africa and to ultimately present the Africa Radio Awards,” Rothschild says.
Kaya FM, the Gauteng station, walked off with the Best Commercial Radio Station of the Year award, beating out competition from the likes of fellow nominees 5FM, 567 Cape Talk, East Coast Radio and Talk Radio 702.
“This recognition means a great deal to all of us at KAYA House and we’re all exceptionally proud. It represents an acknowledgement of the positive work and contribution from everyone who has had a hand in making the business what it is today,” says managing director, Greg Maloka. “Our talented staff, clients partners and board of directors to date are all part of this fantastic achievement. We thank our Afropolitan listeners in Gauteng and beyond who make it possible for the station to do what it does daily through their love, support and loyalty.”
The station was also awarded Best Breakfast Show, which went to 180 with Bob, and individual honours went to Mapaseka Mokwele for Best Night Time Show for Home with Mapaseka Mokwele. Veteran newsman John Perlman got Best News and Actuality for Today with John Perlman.
The station’s diverse mix of talent across its music and talk content and has developed “the Afropolitan” as the definition of its listener base and mind-set. The brand is now constructed around four pillars: Afropolitan, Sanctuary, Family and Home. These values allow KAYA to transcend beyond commercial imperatives and rigid formats to where authenticity and accessibility make it instinctively attractive to listeners and advertisers.
Algoa FM’s presenters Daron Mann and Wayne Hart were announced winners in two commercial radio categories. Mann, who hosts Algoa FM’s breakfast show, anchor named, Daron Mann Breakfast, with his two co-hosts Carol-Ann Kelleher and Charlton Tobias, won the award for Best Breakfast Presenter in Commercial Radio. Wayne Hart walked away with the award of Best Music Show for the Algoa FM Top 30 which he hosts every Saturday.
“It appears that 2013 is the year where we are recognised across the spectrum for our increased efforts in radio. The MTN Radio Awards come less than a month after our sport editor, Neil Bisseker, also walked away with an esteemed award, the 2013 Telkom Business Golf Journalist of the Year award, says managing director of Algoa FM, Dave Tiltmann.
“We are very grateful that our efforts in bringing the best radio to our listeners across our footprint, from the Garden Route to the Wild Coast, have not gone unrecognised,” says Tiltmann.
The SABC made a statement at the MTN Radio Awards, scooping no less than 30 awards. “This important event has re-affirmed SABC Radio as the leading hub of entertainment, news and information to the millions of South African households and outside the country where SABC Radio has a footprint,” says SABC GCEO, Lulama Mokhobo. “The SABC has made great strides in progressing to a modern public broadcaster that promotes social cohesion and democracy in a vibrant multi-ethnic society. It is against this background that SABC Radio across the board has continuously won the hearts of many South Africans through its programming and socially involved activities.”
The SABC won a total of 27 awards for its ‘cream of the crop’ on-air talent and content producing expertise in programming as well as three awards in the ‘Hall of Fame’ category. The late former SABC GCEO Zwelakhe Sisulu, the late Safee Siddiqi, a Lotus FM presenter and Khotso Nkhatho, Executive Producer for Lesedi FM’s names made it to the awards’ Hall of Fame.
Ukhozi FM (boasting more than seven million listeners), bagged six awards, including being announced the winning PBS Radio Station of the year.
SABC’s Radio Station Umhlobo Wenene FM received the most votes, as the listener’s favourite radio station.
SABC’s commercial radio station, 5FM, received two awards. Popular afternoon drive show The Fresh Drive, hosted by the big dawg himself, DJ Fresh, won in the category ‘Best Afternoon Drive show for a Commercial Radio Station’. “Without the team, the show would not be possible, each individual brings their own uniqueness and what would a radio show be without the listeners? We have to thank the listeners for tuning in,” said DJ Fresh.
5FM’s Top 40 hosted by the super talented Sureshnie Rider, ensured a further win for the Station. “I am extremely proud of every individual at 5FM, the dedication and excellence they bring to work each day transcends into the best in music entertainment and 5 FM being the coolest radio station in South Africa,” says station manager Aisha Mohamed.
Natano Brache, station manager for Good Hope FM, says that the station is proud to be the winner of the Best On-Air Packaging category for Commercial Radio Stations. ”
SAfm’s Ashraf Garda scooped the MTN Radio Award in the category News and Actuality presenter for PBS Radio Stations. “Winning this year underlines the fact that you have to turn out excellence on- air every single day. You need to have a strong personality on- air and off – air to deal with the strong personalities you interview, you need a sharp mind, think in the moment and are extremely well read. I keep up with news by consuming all media, radio, TV, internet and social media and of course by engaging people,” he says.
Former SABC Radio general manager, Koos Radebe, was recognised for his contribution to the radio industry, winning a lifetime achievement award.
Sponsor MTN was delighted with this year’s awards. “Radio has always been a medium close to our hearts,” says Serame Taukobong, chief marketing officer of MTN South Africa. “It played an integral role in the launch of MTN and it continues to play a key role in our overall media mix by creating conversations, keeping our communities informed and aware of what is happening around the world. Our sponsorship of these awards affords us the opportunity to recognize, thank and publically acknowledge the professionals within the radio industry for doing excellent work.”