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Is Radio Cut Out For Outsourcing?

Posted by radio On February - 3 - 2013

[By: Kagiso Mnisi]

 

Outsourcing is common in the world of local television. The brief for syndication call ups spans across various genres from documentaries to children and current affairs shows, where the public is encouraged to draft and pitch ideas that falls well within the national broadcaster’s values and mandate. Can the same be done for radio? As a recent article in the The Guardian suggests, the trend could well be in the horizon globally. This is seen as means to “enable corporation to cut costs by handing over entire stations to outside producers”, says Andrew Harrison, chief executive of the commercial radio trade body in the UK.

 

Syndication on local radio

 

Domestic radio has been experimenting with syndication recently. As heard on stations such as Highveld 94.7 and Cape Town’s KFM 94.5, On Air with Ryan Seacrest aired   for the first time in 2010 during every weekday from 7pm – 10pm. Shows such as Seacrest’s are available from radio networks that distribute material to stations and individual stations decide which shows to carry from a wide variety of networks and independent radio content providers. Examples of widely syndicated commercial music programs include weekly countdowns and night time shows. A report published on Media Toolbox a few years ago (which was edited by Herman Manson who now runs www.marklives.com) widely publicized what was to be a syndication of Alec Hogg’s business radio programme. The show broadcasted on Classic FM and simultaneously syndicated to independent radio stations. That bore testimony of the possibilities of outsourcing in the South African radio arena.

 

Outsourcing of Ideas

 

5fm’s former morning drive jock, Mark Gillman, had a stint as a correspondent in the United Kingdom for the Elana Afrika show when she still hosted the weekend breakfast on the same station. Gillman’s involvement was a trend barometer of goings on in the media space, which later became a precept to his current TMGS Creative venture: a company that offers technological expertise and brand architecture for the radio industry. International trends suggest that this model is commercially viable

 

 Environments where radio syndication thrive

 

Programme outsourcing is common place in developed countries where communication infrastructure is robust. The Gordian knot that is South Africa’s inadequate bandwidth keeps the radio industry on the back foot when pitted with its overseas counterparts. This is with the logic that the premise for syndication is largely by way of the internet. However mobile technology is the country’s pillar of hope with data showing that local consumers are among the forerunners, according to Nielsen Wire, the number of South Africans using mobile phones continues to spike from the 29 million recorded in 2011. This position proceeds to bypass radio, TV or personal computers in usage. If these indicators are anything to go by, the mobile phone environment could well be fertile ground for radio syndication to plug into.

 

Some of the content was source from:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/nov/02/bbc-outsource-local-radio

 

 

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