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Stevie B’s Bizz in Radio

Posted by radio On January - 30 - 2013

[By: Kagiso Mnisi]

When the bell tolls at17:00-18:00 during weekdays, chances are finance enthusiasts, Afropolitans and captains of industry are finely tuned to Kaya FM Bizz. The show has endured ever since inception in 2005, mainly because of its uncanny way of giving market updates in a no-frills way. This is largely because its host, Steven Bacher, has cracked the code of financial news commentary with his not only made for LSE post grads commentary. Bacher has honed this skill over the years; his genesis on radio  began at Primedia’s Talk station 702 before joining  Kaya FM. It can also be recollected that he was part of breakfast show which had the motor mouth, Phat Joe, as its host during the Caster Semenya row.  Kaya FM Bizz is not your straight from the conveyor belt kind of show. One of the finer touches of the show is the Business Classic, which appropriately offsets the humdrum that comes with finance speak through song. Steven’s wealth of knowledge on finance can be traced from his Stock broking  days at the JSE, he went on to be the youngest junior member at the stock exchange after listing his own firm, Greewich, which he later sold out to Mettle Group. Bacher is accomplished in social critique which also extends to taste. This is his testimony

How was the radio scene when you started out?

I started at Kaya FM in 2004; the scene was very competitive as it is now. We competed with Metro, 94.7 Highveld, Talk Radio 702 and many others. So we always had to be on our guard. We saw ourselves as a true Afrocentric radio station for contemporary adults.


What has changed?

Kaya is not strictly Afrocentric anymore but has a wider appeal. We aim at Afripolitans above the age of 30. The scene has not changed so much in 9 years apart from the fact that advertisers want more bang for their buck. Times are difficult and everyone is trying to get a piece of the pie. There are a few more radio stations around so it is getting more competitive.


Describe your role as Kaya FM’s business editor?

I present the business show from 5pm to 6pm weekdays. We talk about the markets, entrepreneurship, SMME’s and the big business stories of the day. I even get to play a song called the business classic. It is the biggest business show on radio and we talk to the masses and not just businessmen. I also help our news department with business stories and I organize financial workshops for my listeners every month


What in your opinion makes good radio when it comes to business matters?

You have to speak in layman’s terms and simplify everything. You have to have the big stories of the day and make sure you speak to the movers and shakers in the industry. You have to be informative and entertaining at the same time


 What are your thoughts on the ruling party’s National Development Plan post Mangaung?

 It has to be implemented otherwise it will be just an idea that we see floating away with time.


Kaya FM is an adult contemporary station that caters for a predominantly black upwardly mobile audience. What significant role does this audience play in the country’s economy?

Firstly they are the so called BLACK DIAMONDS, which is a term that doesn’t exist. They are people who spend money, have families and are the core of the nation. They are the voters and the decision makers. They vote with their feet. It’s a market you cannot ignore and if you do it’s at your own peril. They are aspiring to greater things and are to be taken seriously.


Do you think a debate on this country’s financial health is conclusive of the ‘common man’s’ sentiments? Does it infiltrate all pockets of society?

No I don’t.


What lured you to radio?

My passion for making a difference out there. It’s a great medium and I am lucky to have such a career. I guess I also liked to be noticed and you get noticed on radio. It wasn’t for the money and I enjoy the little bit of fame it offers me.


There is debate that there should be a ‘small government and big society’ dynamic to turn the world’s financial status around. What are your thoughts on social movements, NGOs and other bodies that preach alternative economics?

They should be taken seriously because big government certainly can’t do it on its own and it’s up to the smaller organizations to implement change


 Who is you favourite business commentator/ analyst and why?

 Chris Gilmore from ABSA. He is just the most knowledgeable and articulate analyst there is.

 What are you currently reading?

 The life and times of Joseph Stalin


Analysts have come out saying that South Africa has been lagging behind in growth when compared to countries such as Ghana, Ethiopia and Zambia. What models do we need to implement to be just as competitive?

We must stop being lazy and welcome foreign investment far more than we do so.

If South Africa gets knocked out of AFCON, who will you support?



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