Radio: 2021 “Olympics”.

In the radio world March and April have become synonymous with mass changes to the lineups of some of our favourite radio stations with DJs and presenters being mixed and matched and at time even being dismissed. We have seen some major controversial changes round this time of the year, most recent being when Radio2000 dissolved Just Ice’s Planet Haiboo . All contractual though as most in this industry are freelancers offered one year contracts due for renewal every April first. So it might not necessarily always be a case of being unfairly dismissed mid-year for saying a non-existent word such as “Msunery” but it also is not always in good faith either.

With the 2021 radio “Olympics” – as I like to call them – approaching a lot of changes were rightfully expected given some stations changing approach and audience target market as well as the ongoing SABC troubles and as expected we did have some eyebrow raisers.

Let’s talk through a few of the notable highlights from the “olympics”:

At Primedia perhaps the biggest change was the appointment of Thando Thabethe over at Highveld to host 947 afternoon drive, not a shocker but any change to a drive show is big moreover given the personality level of the appointee. It makes sense though, Thando fits the mold of a modern day 947 host straight outta 5FM and teamed up with Alex Caige to reach that “contemporary urban” audience. Msizi James continues his incredible rise as he takes over 9 to 12. Also really good to have Tholi B back on the mic and surely they could have slotted Mantsoe Pout on a slot of her own, she has more than come of her own as a presenter. But overall I think 947’s lineup is as good as it gets kodwa that music they play though, eish.
No major changes over at 702 as they continue their talk station by week and urban music beast by weekend experiment.

At the Afropolitan Kaya FM apart from the sporadic ones we saw last year the only big change is Thomas Msengana coming back and taking over morning drive along side Skhumba who now has a 5 day post, which is something I had always thought would not be viable but with an experienced radio head like Thomas alongside I can see it working. I can already forsee their chemistry giving us flashbacks of the late great Bob Mabena alongside Skhumba. The nature of Kaya changes is very unscripted, so we never know if to expect any other changes throughout the year but also their current lineup can do no wrong hey, it just works does it not?

Power have had a almost complete revamp to lineup (happens one too often times) perhaps as they say in effort “to increase listenership”. Notably audience favourite but only to a select few lol, Thabiso Tema, will host Power Breakfast.

I have no problem with changes but I do have a problem with radical change, it tends to be reckless moreover in industries that have direct interaction with the general public. Rather phase it in, keep some elements and changes them over time.

Speaking of radical, it is really tense over at Auckland Park the tune is cost cutting baba. In effort to rescue themselves from self-imposed debt, the SABC hierarchy has turned to retrenching staff meaning some heartbreak for radio-heads. But before that, Dj Sabby leaving Y FM? I thought he was part of the furniture there on some new age Wilson B vibes. Sabby will now host the Metro top 40, which I think he is well suited for but I can however see him taking over one of the big two slots on the station some time real soon. Other big Metro FM changes are Dineo Ranaka and LKG each holding slots of their own deservedly, as high earner Thomas and co-host Pearl leave. Unfortunately for the metro listeners though a couple of Weekenders will still drive them home from mid-week work. I do really love the look of 5FM though, they have a young fresh lineup and seem to understand and are content with their audience. Special shoutout to Rob Forbes who has decided to retire from doing radio. My beloved Radio2000 had a few swap arounds when Carol Ofori left mid-year but decided to throw no bombs this time round but they probably should have on a certain breakfast show but that is a story for another day.

I think I’ll do a lot more radio journaling and perhaps profile and recommend the shows I listen to, so stay tuned I guess!

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