Veteran radio man Neil Johnson is back at Kaya FM, and back in the position of programme manager. Johnson had taken that role earlier, leaving the station for a three-year sabbatical.
The Kaya FM he left back then is definitely not the same, he says. The station, he says, is a new confident, discerning and value driven home of the Afropolitan. In the short time he has been back in the hot seat as programmes manager, the radio landscape has changed with a new radio player in the mix in Gauteng. Healthy competition is great, he says, but he also comments that audience segmentation is something we need to keep tabs on.
Johnson is no stranger to the broadcast industry; he started his career in 1980 as a studio technician on Talk Radio 702. Now he manages the core business of the station voted Best Commercial Radio Station for 2013 at the MTN Radio Awards. We asked him about the station’s win: “It was only a matter of time before the industry took note of the great strides and talent at Kaya,” he says.
A successful radio station, says Johnson, is when all departments work in synergy. From the moment the microphone is turned on in studio, it’s about meeting the objectives of the listeners and clients. “Our programming at Kaya FM is founded on pillars such as respect for the opinions of others, a fun, friendly and informed product,” he says.
Two new additions to the programming team are Sunday Times senior business journalist Lindo Xulu who offers daily business updates and Macfarlane Moleli, who has also joined the popular breakfast show with his upbeat and signature reading style. Johnson believes the two new additions have added to the great breakfast team dynamic.
Johnson has advice for aspiring DJ’s and presenters. ”I receive resumes and demos on a daily basis and I meet aspiring DJs/producers all the time. My advice is always the same” don’t choose this business for fame otherwise you won’t last.” Johnson enjoys the sound of Dave Mathews playing in his car; his favourite place in South Africa is Port St. Johns as he loves its tranquillity as it provides him with a space to hear himself think and is busy re-reading George Orwell’s 1984.