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Trish Taylor driving the east coast airwaves

Posted by radio On February - 19 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[By Kgomotso Moncho]

As CEO of East Coast Radio, Trish Taylor is a force behind the airwaves and as well as an experienced business leader. She started her career at the SABC in 1992 where she was elected onto the SABC’s management programme. When East Coast Radio got its independence from the SABC in 1996, Taylor was approached to head the commercial side of the company. She was sales manager until 1999 when she was appointed sales and marketing director, a position she held for three years before being promoted to CEO.  She knows East Coast Radio like the back of her hand and she is still excited about working for the station as the first day she started. She tells Radiobiz why and what keeps her and the station going strong, revealing her warm and compassionate personality.  

I have been the head of the station for 10 years now and what I love about it is that it’s a business that is constantly evolving and that requires innovation. That is what makes the position and the brand exciting. East Coast Radio is more than just a media brand. We’re now a lifestyle brand in KZN.  We have become the biggest event organisers in the province. We do things like the Big Walk which attracts about 25 000 participants, and the Durban Day music event. We are South Africa’s leading radio website in terms of traffic. Our vision is to connect with and build communities and we have influence in the province.


The nature of my job is varied. It entails anything from corporate governance to brainstorming with clients. I’m also involved in the strategic planning and the architecture around content structure.


What makes ECR different is our involvement in the community and the way we see ourselves as one of the lifestyle brands in KZN. We recently launched FunSunZi, a play on the words fun, sun and see – recognising what a beautiful place we live in, and getting people excited and proud of their province.  Our vision is to positively influence KZN people. There’s a net migration to Johannesburg for business and our message is to make people see how much we have here. Our events are family oriented. We won an MTN Radio Award for Best Community Radio Outreach.  We have outreach programmes such as Toy Story where we collect brand new toys for 60 government hospitals. We also work with the rotary club in giving food parcels to orphanages and child headed households.


We are only as strong as our relevance to the market place. So we are constantly learning about our market through various research mechanisms. We have over 1.7 million listeners. We are a culturally diverse province so we play cross over music to cater to the variety of our audience. We’re not a Lotus FM or a Gagasi, we have a cross appeal and it’s a deliberate strategy that’s doable and goes to serve our multi cultured listenership.


What goes into running a successful radio station is a well articulated strategy and indicating that to the staff. Every year we take two with the entire staff where we go away. Some get to do outside broadcasts while there. This is where we get to unpack the strategy and brainstorm ideas.  Through that you bring your staff close to the strategy. Many businesses make the mistake of allowing management to make the decisions. By including staff you get them to be accountable for the results they’re meant to fulfil. Our culture is that we don’t micro manage people. We train them and give them the space and latitude to create. Radio has a lot of creativity and we don’t want to limit and box people’s creativity. We have an interesting dynamic: we have had 13 people rejoin the station after leaving, and we take them back. We have a high performing team, but a team that has fun.  We are a people business.


The challenges I see in my work include a lack of radio talent. We’re based in Durban and a lot of talent is in Johannesburg or it moves there. The radio industry does not have enough talent coming through. The other challenge is the advertising market which gets affected by the economic cycle.


There were not a lot of female CEOs in the industry before. There has been an increase in the last five years.  It is becoming better.


I’m a great believer in health and fitness.  I’m an outdoor kind of person. I enjoy scuba diving. I’m a Comrades Marathon runner, I have done it eight times, and this year will be my ninth.  I also did the Iron Man, which is an endurance triathlon. Being active keeps me balanced.         

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Staying Soft Power: Azania Mosaka

Posted by radio On February - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[By: Kagiso Mnisi]

Part 1

Popular philosophy has been churning the phenomenon of Soft Power quite frequently in the past three years. This premise that leadership with feeling can yield better results than brawn is one that Azania Mosaka can so easily be a poster figure of. The current host of Metro FM’s Total Bliss, has had a graceful career in the media space. Mosaka’s interest worthy appeal can be traced back as a presenter on a music television show Bassiq in 2002. She gave off an air of a young person on the more edgy and cerebral side of popular culture. Bassiq was the brainchild of the Rage production team and was one of the few to break ground in the introduction of counter culture of those years to the mainstream. Azania has carried on in this vein by also being little fodder for the gutter press; this can be thanked on her repertoire as a ‘thinking woman.’


Aza, as fondly known, started off on radio as Glen Lewis’ producer for The Ride. She subsequently went on to fill the obligatory start up slot for first time jocks, the witch hour gig known as Midnight Oasis. From observation these were the golden years for another ‘cross town, Yfm was the station of everything that has to do with popular culture. For Mosaka to resist the lure of being one of Yfm’s jocks surely was a calculated thought. Why settle for what’s seen as cool, when you can have greater reach on Metro FM right? Besides she had previously done the gap year thing in London, where exposure to enclaves such as HMV record bars, SOHO, East end pubs and a thriving night life, which had given her license to being a culture vulture. This was to influence her career path as well.


Came 2003, Mosaka steered the reigns of Metro FM’s coveted afternoon drive show, Route 3 2 6. During that span, a call to be on Coca Cola Popstars panel of judges came. Her first season as judge had the urban chic group Adeela winning the contest. Mosaka’s run as a judge on the show had with it a mellow toned criticism at hopefuls. It can be pinned down somewhere between Maya Angelou’s rhetoric and the sisterly advise of a cousin you get to see once every year. Though a questionable feat whether instant fame reality shows are pockets where true talent can be harnessed, Aza’s involvement however offered Popstars a tinge of authenticity.


If a comment such as “with you we feel on top of the world” on her twitter time line by a Total Bliss fan is anything to go by, Mosaka must be tweaking the right knobs. On the other side of the social media divide is a note on the show’s facebook page which reads “Laughter so tasteful, a touch that’s naturally massaging. Naturally healing like two becoming one and remains everlasting. Spirit in Azania….” The tome is by Tumi Motswenyane which is revelatory of the kind of effect the jock has had in her listeners’ lives. The mid-morning show between 09:00-12:00, is a happy pill of balanced talk and music. Its foremost features are the Office Power Play and an agony segment. The former encourages professionals to make a request of ten songs of their choice and latter a tell-all purging experience about the listeners’ personal agonies. The mid-morning radio game has by default become a matriarchal; others who have stood firm include Unathi Msengana (during Yfm days) and 702’s firebrand Redi Tlhabi.


Some of Azania’s noteworthy exploits include:

          a guest presenter on Top Billing 

          Cooking with Azania on SABC 3.

          an ambassador for Guiding light and National Book Week


Watch out for Part 2 of our chat with Azania in the next few days.




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[By Kgomotso Moncho]


Tuks FM won the 2012 MTN Radio award for community radio of the year, and this is among the many awards the station has bagged. It is one of the leading community radio stations in Gauteng and specifically in the capital city. What it has done exclusively is help unearth bands that now form part of the country’s live and recording music scene. Notable alumni from Tuks FM include Anele Mdoda, Gareth Cliff, Grant Nash, Poppy Ntshongwana and Hlogi Mampuru, aka, Joe Mann (of Metro FM). Marketing Executive at Tuks, Tony Graham speaks to Radiobiz about what keeps the station growing from strength to strength.       




Looking at the history of Tuks FM, what do you think makes it stand out among other community radio stations in Gauteng or the capital city specifically?


Tuks Fm has been a part and parcel of Pretoria for the last 32 years, inexorably threaded through the life of the University. While students make up a rather large proportion of our listenership, the largest part of our audience comes from outside the Varsity. A large proportion of them are Alumni. Tuks Fm offers a training ground for the radio industry. So unlike other radio stations that go through years and years with the same line up, Tuks FM is constantly changing as its student staff comes and goes; as their studies end and lives begin. This ensures that there are always fresh ideas and more importantly a constant desire and drive that might be missing from an industry that seems to do the same thing from week to week, and year to year.


Not only that but it’s also the youth speaking directly to the youth. Tuks FM also offers the one thing that no other station currently offers: Music for the people who listen to music. Unlike commercial radio stations that play the lowest common denominator music for the broadest audience, Tuks FM has chosen a specific genre of music that speaks to our audience’s core.


Which, taken all together, means that for a small little community radio station that broadcasts from the University of Pretoria’s main campus we punch way above our weight when compared to the Commercials. And they recognise that. This is why a huge proportion of our staff moves on to fill positions at commercial stations. They can see the excellence that we offer


What is the ethos that the station works with?


Our ethos is that all the people who pass through our doors should grow and change and discover who they are throughout their time with us. Tuks FM is not just a radio station that broadcasts awesome music to awesome people. It’s a place where people come to figure out who and what they are. On top of that Tuks FM likes to instil a sense of purpose and professionalism in everyone who comes through our doors. Oh, and Fun. Above all our ethos is to have fun.


The station has won many awards including the MTN Radio Award for Community radio of the Year for 2012. Is there a formula to getting this right?


We have a group of great volunteers who give up their spare time, holidays, sleep and numerous other things for us on a daily basis. Our listeners can hear that, and apparently so can everyone at the MTN Radio Awards. If there’s a formula, that’s what it is. Oh, and lots of training and late nights. That probably helps as well.


What is special about your programming?


It’s the fact that we have so many different voices. With an intake of volunteers twice a year, we’re constantly changing, just like our audience.


Besides putting a lot of DJs on the map, I have watched how Tuks FM has also put a lot of bands on the map and the station has become a leader in this. What is the importance of this?


Tuks FM has broken pretty much every band South Africa has produced. The Nude Girls, to Fokof to Prime Circle to the Parlotones, and lets not forget Saron Gas (who now call themselves Seether) as well as the Kongos. The importance of this is out of this world! Without Tuks FM there would be a lot of bands still trying to gain a foothold in the market. This means that South Africa would be poorer in terms of the voices being heard.


We’re a proudly South African radio station. We always have been. Here’s the thing: Our licence says that we have to play a minimum of 40% local music. That’s never been a problem for us and we always play way more than that. Of course commercial stations don’t have the same sort of terms. They have to play 20 odd percent, which means they limit themselves to only the current popular bands, which are only popular because we broke them and put them into the mainstream market. We on the other hand, are constantly looking for new music that reflects who our Fans are listening to, and who they’re seeing live.


 What bands can we look forward to in 2013?


Who knows? There are a bunch of upcoming bands that we’re currently playing who are definitely going places. But the bands to look forward to are the ones who are still out there, gigging, recording and practicing. But if you truly want to know what bands to look forward to the only thing you can do is listen. Just like we are.


Anything you would like to add?


We’re not just a Pretoria based radio station anymore. We’re now broadcasting into Jo’burg as well, which means we’re getting commercial station reach. So to the big boys: You can take our staff to try and make your stations as good as ours. But you’ll never be us. So you better watch out, because here we come.



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[By: Kagiso Mnisi]


Business shows on radio usually bear the mark of market trends, money advice, socio-economic climate and the obligatory feature of an ‘industry shaker’. But these are just add-ons  in regards to a stations format and style.


Radio stations have to be aware of their listener’s preferences and of course advertising mandates. Another bearing for a finance show on radio is its ability to update listeners timeously so that they can be informed about goings on those potential implications on their businesses and livelihoods. So what does the barometer reveal when Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk’s The Money Show and Kaya PM Bizz are given a focused gaze? The former hosted by Bruce Whitfield abides by a talk radio format and the latter is urban-adult contemporary and has Steven Bacher as its anchor.



Here’s with the Money Show

It’s a scorching Friday evening and Bruce Whitfield is amid the Business Blunders of the Week segment on his show. The inductee to the hall of shame recently was FNB on its official backdown from an online campaign that angered the ruling party, []. ANC’s Jackson Mthembu said, “the advert content is an undisguised political statement that makes random and untested accusations against our government”.


The jab from Whitfield was that the bank choked and caved in under pressure when beckoned by the waving finger of the ANC. It is this style commentary that has positioned 702 as the critical media bastion that it currently is. This sticks if scenario planner, Koffi Kouakou’s 2013’s forecast is anything to go by on Kate Turkington’s show when he said “Talk Radio 702 is a potential policy driver”. Whitfield’s show which broadcasts from   6pm-8pm, is also informed by the station’s policy in that it not only informs on market updates but also probes financial issues that affect industry.


The Money Show’s host is a decorated financial journalist who focuses on the day’s breaking business news stories, market analysis and opinion; this has it going in-depth into developments than other shows on local radio. 702’s Money Show has remnants which can be likened to Evan Davis’ The Bottom Line on Radio 4, BBC; in that it also has round table conversations with captains of industry to discuss the ins and outs of their respective trades. Bruce Whitfield’s show charts terrains that your ordinary financial news show would not dare, more than it breaks subjects it triggers thought.


Other features on The Money Show:

Financial global trends

Business wrap up




Can Kaya PM Bizz hold its own?


After a frantic day of toil and hustle, to be blared at by The O’ Jay’s Money as a cue to Kaya Pm Bizz is sure signal that Steven Bacher is about to treat you to a Alice In Wonderland-like escapade of market oohs and aahs. The soul fuelled intro sets tone to what the listener can expect: a business radio that will have you musing on money matters just as you will on lifestyle. Kaya PM bizz is for the SME upstart who wants what the perks that come with a venture to work for him/her beyond the rigour of number crunching.


It is for the move-maker who yearns to make his next crusade all the way to Davos for the purpose of networking. On air between 17:00 and 18:00 Steven Bacher, has held the title of chief financial Guru on the station since 2005. As Kaya’s intent would have it-given the partnership with Afropolitan Magazine-the upwardly mobile black contingent has a well pool of financial knowledge that they can dip into for advice.


Other features on Kaya PM Bizz:

Personal Finance

Talking Tech

Business Classic

Interviewing an Entrepreneur every Wednesday

Crossing over every Tuesday to David Crook a South African who is now based in the USA


But on any given day of the weekly hustle and bustle, The Money Show takes all the accolades for its holistic approach on matters of dosh. The good thing is that listeners can catch both shows since they air at different time slots, so there is no direct competition as far as listenership goes.  However the two shows might be squaring off again on the MTN Radio Awards 2013, last year The Money Show walked away with the honours.



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Zandile Tembe (34) was awarded Best Content Producer for Non Commercial Radio at the 2011 MTN Radio Awards for her work on Ukhozi FM’s Vuka Mzansi breakfast show presented by Linda Sibiya.

Today as the station’s programmes manager she still commands a lot of respect in the industry. When she is not brewing innovative ideas for radio, this driven career woman, is a wife, a mother to four kids and a lover of travel, food and adventure. She speaks to Radiobiz about the love for her work.


How did it all start for you?

I have always been a creative. I loved impromptu speech debates at school. I loved reading, writing and TV.  I studied Marketing Management at DUT, but I did not finish the course, so my brother could have a chance at university. By luck and determination I got to work for the MD of Ilanga newspaper as a secretary.  I did not realize it at the time but, working for him as his assistant taught me about the ins and outs of running a newspaper, which is valuable knowledge. While I was there I saw a gap through which the newspaper could garner new readers.  The newspaper went with my ideas and got me to help out in their promotions and marketing section.  I was moved to the newsroom in 2003 where I covered youth stories, fashion and lifestyle.  I joined Ukhozi Fm in 2007 as a content producer for Linda Sibiya’s drive time show.  It was nerve wrecking doing something I had never done before. And in the first year I had no one to show me the ropes.  Linda and I were given the Breakfast show in 2008, taking over from DJ Sbu and Nonkululeko Godana as producer. Those were big shoes to fill, but we set a tone that pushed the envelope and got the biggest numbers. I left the breakfast show at the end of 2011 and applied for the Programmes Manager position.


What does your job entail?

As programmes manager I have to ensure delivery of high quality programming aligned with Ukhozi FM’s strategy and target audience 24/7. This is from performance managing, developing and motivating the on air station team to delivering the business obligations required.  



What’s your take on social media breaking the news first? Is it a challenge to content producers?

It’s a tool and we couldn’t command such a listenership if we saw it as a threat.  We’re still the most trusted source of information. There’s no credibility in social media and it’s an opinionated platform. We have more listeners than twitter followers. I acknowledge the presence and power it has on improving our vision.  We need to use it right, in a way that’s in sync with where people’s minds are.


Which show has the highest listenership at Ukhozi?

The first one is the Breakfast show Vuka Mzansi, followed by the traditional music show, Sigiya Nge Ngoma on Saturdays from 9:30am to 12:30pm and then Indumiso on Sundays at 8:30am to 11:30am.


Which is the most profitable?

The Breakfast show is.  It varies. Prime time slots are also the leaders.


Do you think Chilli M is under utilized as a weekend presenter?

Chilli M comes from an English commercial radio background. It was strategic and important to give him time to get acquainted with the culture of Ukhozi, and for him to find his feet and voice. We want him to grow with the station. He’s already started standing in for other presenters, which is a good thing. We did not want to put him under any pressure.


Do you think radio presenters should be given 5 year long contracts?

A presenter should be at a station for as long as they deliver and are relevant to the listener. The numbers should show. We shouldn’t box presenters into thinking they want to be on radio for a long time. Some have other plans. A true radio person will not worry about contracts – they know where their passion is.


What advice would you give to students interested in being programmes manager?

Go to school and be learned. You need to entertain and educate your listener. Young people think anyone can be on radio. But you have to have the passion for it. It needs heart.


Do you think PBS stations should help community stations by training some of their stuff or is it competition?

I find that there’s competition when we should be sharing. If we started sharing we could fix a lot of things in the industry. I ran a campaign at the end of 2011, where during the last week of the year we took daytime presenters and put them on night time shows and vice versa. In December 2012 we invited aspirant radio presenters from campus and community to co host with our presenters. It was so refreshing and made radio heads see that it was doable.



How would you like to be remembered if ever you leave Ukhozi?

I would like to be remembered as a person with integrity. Someone who loved what she did. There has never been a day where I left my home feeling like I’m going to work.


What are you reading?

Muzi Khuzwayo’s Black Man’s Medicine and Bonnie Henna’s Eye Bags and Dimples. I’m reading with my nine year old daughter. We switch off the TV for an hour just to read. I think it’s important.


Who are your influences?

I’m a die hard fan of Ryan Seacrest’s work. He’s a pioneer and as a creative I love what he does. I’m also inspired by Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. She epitomises power without an emphasis on being a woman.    


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The survival of Community Radio

Posted by radio On February - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[By Kgomotso Moncho]

The slogan that usually describes the essence of community radio is “for the people, by the people.” This is simply because community radio stations are designed to serve the communities they are based in. What sets them apart and defines them is that they are controlled and driven by a non-profit entity and are run for non-profitable purposes. This means any money that they make from their service goes back into the station.


This is the reason why community radio tends to work with volunteers. Those who get paid, do it for the passion of radio and their community, as well as to acquire training and the skills needed for commercial and public service broadcasting. So how do community radio stations generate revenue, you might ask? By nature community radio struggles to access advertising and other forms of financing because stations are limited in how they can use advertising or sponsorship to raise funds.


Many rely on donations (local and international), government funding, grants, sponsorships, advertising, events, or by a combination of all of the above. According to the ICT Regulation Toolkit (, “In Colombia, the Universal Access and Service Fund (UASF), Compartel, is managed by the Ministry of Communications, and has a joint programme with the Ministry of Culture and a special government fund for Development Projects known as FONADE. The fund provides partial financing for community radios under a programme called “Comunidad”.


Currently, Compartel has financed between two to six community radios in approximately 25 departments of Colombia. Compartel receives its money from a levy mainly targeting telecommunications operators, though commercial broadcasters must also pay into the fund. The UASF in Peru is only occasionally funding pilot projects that have some community radio element, but are focused on the Internet.


Ghana’s UASF, GIFTEL, is authorized to fund community media projects that combine Internet and community broadcasting “France is said to have a special fund for local community broadcasters sourced by a special tax levied on radio and TV advertising expenditures and paid by advertisers. Qualified stations can receive partial funds to assist with the initial installation, to subsidize some of their operational costs and to subsidize equipment purchases. Community radio stations must however fulfill certain criteria which determine if and how much funds they receive. These include the community stations’ capacity to secure some local funds, and the quality of their programming. Conditions include a ceiling of 20% of advertising of their total annual turnover, and broadcasting four hours of local programming daily.


In some countries like the United States, Chile, Mexico and Brazil, governments impose advertising restrictions on community radio stations which maybe absolute or up to a certain ceiling. Botswana is unique in that community radio stations are allowed to accept national and international donations only in the first years of the station’s establishment.


In South Africa there is no government funding, but there are a number of agencies set up to give financial support and startup capital for independent media initiatives. There’s the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) – set up by an Act of Parliament – Act 14 of 2002 – to enable “historically disadvantaged communities and persons not adequately served by the media” to gain access to the media. Beneficiaries are community media and small commercial media. The MDDA has helped start a few community radio stations. 


Bush Radio, the country’s oldest community radio station, is perhaps a good example of how a community radio station can operate with the help of international donations.  In his paper on Community Radio As Participatory Communication in Post-Apartheid, Anthony A. Olorunnisola reported that “Bush Radio’s audited financial statements for the years 1998 through 2000 show that consistently, more than 50% of the station’s revenue generated through grants donated by local and international funding agencies. In 1998, when the station had an income of R461k, 53% of the sum (R248k) accrued from grants. Also in 1999, R1, 075k (or 70.3%) of Bush Radio’s total income of R1, 5m accrued from grants.


In 2000, Bush Radio posted an annual income of R1, 2m. Though the amount represented a budgetary decrease for the year, R1, 027k (or 81.8%) of the sum were grants donated to Bush Radio by funding agencies.” He goes on to point out that when compared to grants, Bush Radio’s advertising revenue consistently decreased as a percentage of total income in the years covered by the audited financial records. He gives two connected reasons for the radio station’s dwindling advertising revenue: “One is Bush Radio’s unmatched success in securing large sums of grant income from local and foreign agencies. Second is Bush Radio’s reputation for socially conscious advertising revenue generation. For instance, as a demonstration of its support for a healthcare message dedicated to the eradication of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Bush Radio enforced an advertising policy that shuns alcohol promotions. Also by editorial choice, Bush Radio carried no tobacco advertising.” Other community radio stations are self sustaining getting by and growing with the help of advertising, sponsorship and events.


Tshwane FM (formerly known as TUT Top Stereo) is one such station which has grown from being a campus radio to being a recognizable community voice in Tshwane radio. According to the station manager, Jeremy Thorpe, the station which runs from the premises of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), is not subsidized by the university. The station has become synonymous with certain music events that take place in the capital city like the Pens Down Party, just as Tuks FM has become synonymous with the Tuks Rag event as well as the annual New Year’s party. With the advent of the internet linked with radio, community radio stations are able to have companies also advertise on their radio websites.


There are success stories of how community radio stations are growing and self sustaining, but when Bush radio almost closed down due to financial problems in 2011, it caused a great deal of alarm. And this prompts the question: is the way community radio model working? What almost happened to Bush radio proves not and Sonnyboy Masingi, chairperson of the National Community Radio Forum, says this did not only happen to Bush Radio, but it is widespread in the community radio industry.

The recession left a huge impact and some big advertisers are after bigger audiences, so this remains a problem. Masingi’s suggestion to the Mail and Guardian is that, ““We need to start a conversation about how government can provide space through municipalities at no cost to protect these vital institutions,” he said.








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Is Radio Cut Out For Outsourcing?

Posted by radio On February - 3 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[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 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.


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Radio 2000 and Good Music

Posted by radio On February - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[By Kgomotso Moncho]


Radio personality and veteran, Kgomotso KG Moeketsi tweeted recently about how her ingenuity lies in having an ear for good music. There was no sense of arrogance in her tweet, but a profound sense of music appreciation and it’s true, she knows good music.  Perhaps that’s the reason she aligns herself with Radio 2000. She now presents the Urban Cruise on weekends.


Radio 2000 may well be one of the few radio stations that go all out to play real good music. This of course is an opinion, based on certain fact. Radio 2000 is a PBS station that positions itself as an Urban Adult Contemporary radio station targeting 35 – 49 year olds, although it also attracts young professionals in their mid 20s to early 30s. Its target audience are highly educated and successful people who enjoy a healthy modern lifestyle, it says in their station profile.


Because of this, the station may be dismissed for playing mature music, but it does keep up with what’s hip and topping the charts, while gravitating to what is soulful. It was on KG Moeketsi’s show that I got to hear a song I never though I’d hear on radio. It was Ayanda Nhlangothi’s Ngilambe Lazelashona, found in her debut album, Music2Me (Umngoma).

While other radio stations playlisted the first single from the album, I Wonder, Radio 2000 took things further and playlisted the other song. Ayanda is a niece to the legendary Tu Nokwe (the Nokwes are known as the Jacksons of Africa) and famous for being a top finalist in the first Idols SA competition 2002, so her pedigree speaks for itself. So imagine my shock and delight upon hearing this on radio. Radio 2000 did this again with a Lizz Wright tune I never thought I’d hear on radio. The song was My Heart, found on The Orchard album. Lizz Wright is a known jazz and soul singer, but this song is up beat and funky and it was playlisted on a weekday, yet again on KG’s show.


Radio 2000 specializes in genres from rock, pop, smooth jazz, reggae, R&B and Afro Pop. So you can hear anything from John Mayer, 340ml to Zap Mama. In addition to going for what’s good to the ear and sometimes alternative, the station is one of the very few that pushes for local music. This is why you’d hear live bands such as Kwani Experience or UJu playlisted on Radio 2000.


In this way, the station is not a follower, but leads its own way. A way that could go very far in teaching and opening up a listener’s ears to a melting pot of good music out there. The station has been guilty of playing songs that seemed too old school for their listeners’ taste. But when the listeners complained, the station listened. And it was delightful to hear a groovy Blue Six track playlisted on 2000 recently.

If it’s not a song you did not expect to hear on radio, it’s a new song that could quip your musical curiosity. And Radio 2000 does that very well. 


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[By: Kgomotso Moncho]

Kgomotso’s conversation with Vuma FM’s manager continues, she tells us about her move to KwaZulu-Natal where she is currently based.

East Coast Radio and the move to KZN

She was then scooped up by East Coast Radio in KZN in 2003. “Radio can be very overwhelming and people put this hype around you. But I surround myself with people like my family who don’t see a celebrity in me. They just see Phindile. So moving to KZN was not a hard decision. And here I had no expectation to live up to. I could just be myself. I started with a weekend show at East Coast Radio for seven months where I would literally fly into Durban do my show and fly out.”

When she was offered a weekday show, she relocated. She did all kinds of different slots from 9-12 afternoons, to 3-6am. The one thing that Phindi prides herself on is being a hands-on presenter. While at YFM she also got to work on the station’s website. And when she got to East Coast Radio she taught herself to multitask, presenting and running her desk and doing the technical stuff. She says she was always asking things, wanting to learn, that some people might have thought she was a nuisance. After five years at East Coast Radio, she left and formed a marketing and events company which she ran for a year.


Gagasi calling

During that time P4, which had re-launched and repositioned itself as Gagasi FM contacted her.  “From the time I had been with YFM to the time I had left East Coast Radio, radio had evolved so much. There were iPods and smart phones so people did not solely depend on radio for music. So I told myself that the next radio show I was going to do had to contribute immensely to the lives of the people who listened to me. This is what I told Gagasi and they gave me the 9am -12 midday show. I themed my shows: Monday we spoke about health, Tuesdays would focus on careers, Wednesdays would be on legal matters ,Thursdays would be for finance and on Fridays I would dedicate to unsung heroes in our communities, be it an old lady in Kwa Mashu who houses homeless kids in her house, for instance. That is how I structured the show and an extension of the show became an event,” she says.


 Vuma 103FM and the present

 She left Gagasi after five years which was in September last year when she was offered the position of Station Manager at the new KZN regional radio station, Vuma 103fm. “This position came to me at a time when I had grown and it spoke to the way I live my life. I grew up with Christian values which this station is based on. I come into the job with my 15 years of experience in radio with the objective to make Vuma a successful radio station in the country, well aware of the fact that there are a few female station managers in the country. It’s a huge challenge, but that someone believes that I can do it, also makes me feel confident. But the other thing that made me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to is having run the comrades marathon. Everyone should do run the comrades at some point in their lives. It will change your life I promise, you,” Phindi says.


She adds that all the things she has learnt in her 15 years of radio experience she is now implementing. “I had to find the presenters for the station which was difficult. But I was adamant to get people from KZN. Our listenership is 24 upwards, but our epicenter is 32, so the average age of our presenters is 32. It takes a lot of guts to make certain decisions. Like when I decided to bring Leleti Khumalo on board as a presenter. I got backlash that Leleti is not a radio person and such, but my response is always that Koos Radebe took a chance on me. He did not know me and I had no radio experience, when he took me in as a news reader. We all have something, that potential. A lot of the presenters are coming from community radio stations. And because I have been on radio, I know how things work. Because I’m a hands-on person, I get involved. We have only been on air for just over a month and we are growing. On our first day on air on our Facebook page, we went over 1500 likes and it was encouraging.”


Talking about what attracted her to radio Phindi says she likes that radio is old fashioned and that it allows people to use their imaginations, while allowing the presenter to speak to thousands of people. That requires one to be responsible with the platform in addition to being informed when you’re behind the mic. She also likes the interactive nature of radio which allows the listeners a voice and the fact that radio is not for the elite.


In rounding up all her experience she has no highlights, but instead milestones of what each experience gave her. “YFM made me appreciate being a young person. It gave me my life as a young adult and the people I worked with were awesome and as young as was. When it started I was the only female presenter and it felt like I was being spoilt by my big brothers. When I got to East Coast Radio I was at a point where I wanted to learn everything about radio to the bottom of it. And East Coast radio is like an oiled machine. It is a well run radio station and there is so much that I learnt there about how radio works as a business. I had the time of my life there as well. Gagasi got me to a point where I could understand and explore the province as an outsider from Gauteng. My Zulu is not the most awesome but the love I got from the listeners was amazing. They took me by the hand to teach me the language. I enjoyed the interaction and understanding the culture. And my experience at Gagasi in a way prepared me for my current job.” says Phindi in conclusion.


Things you might not know about Phindi:

She is a manic runner and loves exercising

She loves reading, especially self help and inspirational books

Radio has taught her or revealed to her that she loves old people. There’s an old age home she likes visiting in Kwa Mashu

She loves to cook and is a home body

She loves travelling

And she loves fashion and calls herself a style guru at heart (and she attributes this to her dad, whom her mom tells her was very stylish). She hopes to open up a boutique soon specializing in clothes for petite women.










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Stevie B’s Bizz in Radio

Posted by radio On January - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[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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