Gauteng’s latest talk of the town went on air this week. Power FM launched on Tuesday – with some snags and snubs, but overall success. TheMediaOnline reports.
The start was not ideal. Gauteng’s brand-new talk radio station’s morning show host, Lawrence Tlhabane, referred on air to Power FM as Kaya FM – where he previously worked; but now his competition. He told Sowetan newspaper the next day: “It’s not going to happen again”. TheMediaOnline hopes not, because the rest of the first day offered enjoyable listening – and the social networks seem to agree.
Given Mkhari’s MSG Afrika Investment Holdings’ new radio station drew more than 11 000 followers after its first day on air. Although some of the listeners were disappointed at a bad signal in certain areas, an improvement was reported on Day Two. Mkhari himself tweeted: “We are aware of signal issues in some areas. Our Power team is working on it and we’ll resolve it as soon as possible”.
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane issued a media statement to “welcome
the new kid of the block”, expressing hope that the English-medium commercial radio station would “hopefully increase the diversity of views from Gauteng residents”.
On the second day of broadcast, morning show hosts Thlabane and Siki Mgabadeli did just that in a frank interview with national education spokesman Panyazi Lesufi. One listener called in to congratulate them on their hard-hitting interview, while another complained that the pair was not giving Lesufi enough opportunity to respond to their questions.
Former Third Degree journalist Debora Patta complimented the new radio station on twitter, saying: “Welcome to the airwaves @Powerfm987@Eusebius – great first day so far”, in reference to Eusebius McKasier – formerly of Talk Radio 702, who started his first show with a lively debate on DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko’s dress sense.
Journalist Karima Brown was less complimentary on Facebook, posting a comment that three Power FM journalists who went on air were “ill-prepared and very one-sided, actually”.
Johannesburg newspapers the next day reported on celebrities and politicians attending the launch in the morning, making special mention of Tim Modise’s “scoop” to secure an interview with former president Thabo Mbeki on Thursday evening.
The Business Day warned that Power FM would battle for a piece of the advertising pie, quoting Tony Banahan of Media Shop saying that radio
gets 15.6 % of the pie – and that the size of the pie would remain the same.
Only time will tell if Power FM will manage to steal some of that advertising from
its competitors, but for now, its future is looking promising.