Three new commercial radio stations have entered a well-populated market. What are the newbies doing to draw audiences to their drive time slots?
Gauteng’s newest station Power 98.7 has gone for the power in numbers in their drive time show. And they went shopping for talent at their competition. While most of their time slots have single presenters, they have decided on presenting teams in their drive time slots, Power Breakfast and Power Drive.
They have combined some well-known radio stars and some as yet unknowns.
In the 6am to 9am, broadcasting veteran Lawrence Dube (now Tlhabane) takes the helm. He has been on radio for years and is a founding member of the Kaya FM team. Siki Mgabadeli, who was anchoring ‘The Big Debate’ on SABC2 and before that, ‘Morning Live’ on SAfm and senior business anchor on CNBC, joins him. She was SABC television economics editor and business news anchor for a number of years. These two heavyweights are paired with the young Andrea van Wyk from the 702 news team; Ferial Carelse, who was one of Jenny Crwys-William’s producers and Thabiso Mosia, who used to present sport on Kaya FM.
For the afternoon drive, Thabiso Thema, a sports broadcaster who has worked on SAfm, Metro FM and more recently eNews Channel, and former 702 multimedia journalist Tshidi Madea, carry the show.
KwaZulu-Natal’s Vuma 103FM have gone for something a little different, although still in the team genre, with their morning drive show, Kwasa Breakfast Show. Station manager Phindi Gule says, “The breakfast team is made up of well-known comedian Felix Hlophe, Survivor winner and businesswoman Vanessa Marawa and our very own Zulu-speaking, Indian traffic reporter Mohammed Moola. The show is produced by blogger and website developer Khetha Mkhize. The eclectic mix of personalities combines to create a fresh, vibrant energy that is in touch with the pulse of the province.”
Gule says Vuma offers family friendly shows driven by the values of the station, such as positivity and spirituality, in their own language. Every song and every feature on the show is “run through the Vuma values filter” so the content adds value, meaning and motivation to the listeners’ lives, she says.
The afternoon drive show, The Ride with Lucky Sefatsa, is anchored by a radio veteran who has presented on hugely successful UkhoziFM for 13 years in the region before spending a year on
Jozi FM in Gauteng. Sefatsa is backed up by sports jock and former Golden Arrows player Michael Nzimande and traffic presenter Phindi K.“As a unit, The Ride team delivers a familiar and loved voice back to the KwaZulu-Natal airwaves but with a Vuma twist,” says Gule.
And the third station, Cape Town’s Smile 90.4FM has gone for what programme director Clive Ridgway calls “a new radio model”. He says, “Smile 90.4FM was created to be different – talk and tunes organically evolved out of the soundtrack of the region, paying little deference to prevailing commercial radio trends. In a city where communities are still very much as fragmented as our community histories are about separation, building a brand on values rather than lifestyle makes sense to me.”
Ridgway says Smile is designed to be more than a radio station. “We are driving a movement rather than marketing a product.”
Smile’s breakfast show, he says, is softer, warmer, smarter and purpose-driven. The prerequisite to building the show was finding a unique morning drive presenter, an anchor with the right values of empathy, inclusivity, positivity and the courage to present an alternative to what is currently on offer. Eloise Pretorius, who began working in commercial radio at 15, was their choice. Having spent the last 15 years as an anchor, newsreader and music compiler, she has now taken on this morning show.
“Eloise is smart, bilingual, mindful, present, informed and unafraid of speaking the truth. Finding a woman to anchor a time slot that has traditionally been filled by men made this an even more attractive proposition,” says Ridgway.
“We have assembled the strongest, most experienced team available around Eloise. She is supported on air by senior content generator/presenters Bobby Brown, Reinard Ludick and Brandon Baatjies.
“The morning team is a formidable one united in their core values and diverse in interests and sound. The team is authentically bilingual, presenting in English and Afrikaans.
“Our strategy and content on the morning drive show are built on the simple principles of doing what is right and communicating with the intent of making a lasting contribution,” says Ridgway. “We know what consumers want from morning radio – entertainment, information and inspiration. And we know what builds lasting relationships – caring, sharing and common values. Eloise’s job is to provide audio content that the listener will feel and manifest in the proverbial smile.”