Top 5 Most Bankable Radio Shows of 2019

  1. Talk with Ayabonga Cawe  (Metro FM)

Metro FM has had a hard year.  With both its drive shows having drastic changes being made over the year, the Metro FM landscape has had to pull out all their stops and budge literal miracles to keep its listenership solid.  We’ve always had some really great evening talk shows on Metro FM hosting the likes of Penny Lebyane and Robert Marawa. And the time slot has gone through some flux. But landed upon the coveted position, is Ayabonga Cawe.  A confident, well learned and definitely strong, relatable personality that hosts night talk on Metro FM weekdays.  

  1. Afternoon Drive with Joanne Joseph (702)

Joanne Joseph is a household name in South Africa, having spent 20 years in the media industry, including a number of years hosting prominent TV news shows on eNCA and the SABC.

Joanne has presented several high-profile live broadcasts including the live coverage of Nelson Mandela’s passing broadcast internationally, Thabo Mbeki’s presidential inauguration, Walter Sisulu and Beyers Naudé funerals. She regularly MCs corporate functions in English and French and has produced documentaries for the United Nations Development Programme among others.

But bio’s aside, Joanne showcases a high level of quality and eloquence to the broadcast medium.  Her guests are open books that are infatuated with giving Joseph what she wants. Her listeners love her.  And the industry cherishes her.  

  1. The 947 Breakfast Club with Anele (947)

Since I started this list 3 years ago, Anele Mdoda has never failed to feature in the top 5.  She is bankable, if not the strongest money maker in South Africa. She also has a knack for creating hype.  This year her KO against Black Twitter (including American Black Twitter) surrounding her remarks on Kelly Rowland was spectacular to watch, and also trended her globally. As abrasive as Anele is, she still managed to come out tops.  The show has been to the Oscars, bombarded local Schools, and remained firmly in your Joburg backyard. The show has a great team dynamic with Frankie, Cyndi, Thembekile and Alex all adding their own personal thumbprint on every morning encounter of the “golden radio” kind. 

  1. East Coast Radio Breakfast Show with Darren Maule (ECR)

This team has done, dare I say it, the undo-able.  They were “thrown” together a couple of years back, and (from an external point of view) immediately rose up to the occasion and punted out a kick-ass show from the get go.

Darren Maule, Keri Miller and Sky Tshabalala – are well oiled, respectful of each other’s roles, and all add a fresh taste of breakfast flavour to the ECR morning edition.  The listeners love them. They (almost) can do no wrong. And that comes from a very strategic and disciplined leadership. ECR has been climbing the radio SEO ladder more than competently with a number of 1st timer social media initiatives and digital strongholds, and has become a massive force to be reckoned with in the SA radio landscape. 

  1. Kaya Breakfast with David O’ Sullivan, Thabiso Sikwane & Jason Goliath (Kaya FM)

You see, the thing with Kaya, is that they have this aggressively effective broadcasting content strategy that no one really come close to.  They even have the time to solidify in house research teams, and dominate their digital platform presence to a huge staggering dedicated audience. The morning show, which was at first predominantly talk at face value, was quite a noble move from its predecessors – but has the perfect balance of infotainment and hard hitting journalism to service their afropolitan audience.  Well done to David and the team. Radio at its best.

Pheli FM – Training the Voice of Atteridgeville 

Pheli FM team

This week I had the privilege to start training the broadcasting team at Pheli FM.

Pheli FM is a Community Radio station based in Atteridgeville, Pretoria. The station aims is to capture and keep the imagination of listeners in Atteridgeville and surrounding areas. The coverage spectrum of the signal provides a wider coverage from areas that also include: Madibeng Municipality (Greater Hartebeesport), Brits, Tshwane Municipality – Lotus Garden, Atteridgeville, Laudium, Olivenhoutbosh, Valhalla, Wierdepark, Centurion, Pretoria CBD, Hatfield, Pretoria West, Danville, Kwaggasrand, the entire Pretoria North

BROADCAST MANDATE

The station is broadcasting 24/7, with an emphasis on local and community generated content. The Format of the station is talk (40%) and music (60%).  All official languages will be encouraged and most importantly the unique Pretoria Lingo which is used across Pretoria as well will be covered. Community involvement is the cornerstone of the station and all issues of concern to the residents of Atteridgeville are communicated with the expert guest invited to add to the station.

MARKET OVERVIEW

Community radio is a crucial part of the South African broadcasting landscape, providing  diversity for listeners and much-needed skills for the commercial radio sector. However, community radio, by its nature, struggles to access advertising and other forms of financing. There are an estimated 15, 4-million radio sets in South Africa, with community radio garnering almost 8, 6-million listeners a week.

WORKSHOP OVERVIEW

  • As presenters we sometimes get into a bit of a rut when it comes to preparing our shows.  By this i’m talking about losing touch with what our community’s lives ACTUALLY entail. Yes we have an educated idea, but it is massively advantageous to get in there (the community) and touch base.  Be a documentation on what you see and experience when you step out and engage in the community. What are they talking about? How does this vary from day to day, time of day, during the week, or over the weekend?  Where are they spending their time, either socially or socio-economically influenced? Why are they there? What does their attitude on finances dictate their daily decisions? What is it about the world around them that is either inspiring them, presenting an obstacle, or creating opportunity for growth to what is important to them?  
  • Have you listened to your listener? Really listened?  How and what is dominating their conversation? Think of a situation where two people are talking about the concern of renovating a local church, and perhaps even start care facilities and services to their local community.  Imagine yourself entering this conversation, but suddenly talking about the funniest things that happened on the first day at work. It isn’t the correct time, nor place, nor targeted audience. Even if your content is ground breaking, contextually, it is wasted on the incorrect placement.  Know what your audience needs, and when they need it. There is a time and place for that first date anecdote, as well as your charity initiative. Match the right content with the right context, and your listener will thank you for empowering them through the medium of broadcast communication. 
  • Develop your own professional culture when approaching your work.  Arrive earlier and leave later. Take time to get to know the station team, and to have them get to know you.  Build a rapport with your station. Cultivate your own ongoing growth instead of waiting for someone to tell you what to do.  Have a passion for your work. But more importantly, decide what it is that fires your passion for what you do as a professional.  You, and your served community will always be better for it.
  • Develop the mindset that you are a creative, and that you will never run out of ideas.  Your entire career is a craft built on this one fundamental.  
  • Community news is just that.   News about and for the community.  As a community journalist you must indeed keep the community informed about what is happening both nationally and internationally, but can’t develop news bulletins without forgetting about what is happening in the immediate world around them.  All the news that is developed on air will ALWAYS have a direct or indirect impact on the life of your listener.
  • Remember.  Your listeners love you for what you do for them.  Be the conduit between everything that is happening in this world, to everything that is happening in their world.  

Go visit the site at Pheli FM

About

Matwetwe (Wizard) – An Interview with Kagiso Legadi (Director), Sibusiso Khwinana (lead) and Tebatso Mashishi (lead)

For immediate release:

Matwetwe is a coming of age adventure following Lefa and Papi, best friends and recent high school graduates, on the hustle of their young lives.  Over the course of an action packed New Year’s Eve in the iconic township of Atteridgeville, the boys try to score a huge deal, dodge a kingpin and his violent minions, get the girl and ultimately save their lives in this hilarious escapade.  (more at Nu Metro)

MY TWO CENTS

Without giving away any spoilers about the film – I will say that it does leave you thinking “I have not seen a film like this in a really long time, and I’m glad I did.” Interviewing the guys from Matwetwe was refreshing, and answers to how Black Coffee joined the project, it’s international success and how the leads were picked out of a crowd – are all answered in the podcast below.  Head out and watch Matwetwe releasing nationwide on the 25th January 2019.

I have carte blanche on what I put out compared to local television or radio stations, so I decided to give you the full, uncut and uncensored interview with all the guys.  Enjoy.

 

The 5 Most Bankable Broadcasters in South Africa 2018

Every year I reflect on the year we’ve had in radio. I listen to some of the best pieces put together that were thought provoking and are creative or well informed with insight. Pieces and radio that are moving the industry.  People and shows that are restoring or maintaining integrity to doing what we do 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  This isn’t to say that these broadcasters on this particular list are the best, but they are the 5 we can put our money on.  They are the 5 that if we have a message both in public service or within a commercially financial capacity – these 5 get the message across, and the people of South Africa listen.

This year, I added a poll on my social mediums to allow the public to weigh in to the conversation.  Who was their voice? Their person? Their show they felt a part of? And station they make a choice to listen to as part of their daily life and style?

So that was great.  Many people within respective communities who came through on pushing their local heroes and many others that definitely contributed to this year’s Top 5 list.

  1. Fresh

 

Fresh is a local powerhouse.  He is also synonymous with South African radio.  He has been making South African audiences feel right at home for decades.  But does this mean he deserves the nod?  Well, just ask the public.  For Metro FM audiences core market of 25 – 34, the Fresh breakfast keeps audiences captivated with a variety of relevant topics and guests.
If there was any reason that I would beg to differ, is that he doesn’t take enough risks.  Fresh keeps his content quite safe, but more so, stretches his features out for months on end with no real intuition for what a listening public might want to hear.  Nevertheless, Fresh is in demand, and here to stay.  At least for the foreseeable future.

 

  1. Joanne Joseph

The owner of Joanne Joseph Productions and Promotions, we know Joanne best from her almost 10 years as a news Anchor at eNews (eTV, ENCA).  But Joanne holds the coveted role of drive presenter at Talk Radio 702.  And as far as talk radio goes, she is radio gold.  Conducting herself with a decorum and poise that make an audience feel informed and at home, Joanne has stolen the hearts of the public.  Joanne has been in broadcasting for over 20 years and lends a large amount of integrity to the medium.  She is a perfect role model for all budding broadcasters that want to get into talk and actuality, and we salute her.

 

  1. Thando Thabete

5FM’s extremely popular host has been carving her own footing well enough over the past year to make people stand up and take notice.  She is also a television host, actress, brand ambassador and motivational speaker.  She sells Thabooty’s Underwear and Shapewear.  According to her site “Thando has mastered the art of conveying the desired message to consumers using various social and digital media platforms, by not just representing a brand but truly embodying the essence of what her clients stand for.”

And no one is arguing that fact.  Young girls across South Africa are hanging off her every word, and Thando is showing no signs of not giving the public what they want.

 

  1. Anele Mdoda

When will Anele slow down?  Never seems to be the answer.  So much backlash against the radio superstar has plagued here career from the get go, but Anele doesn’t stop.  And this is proof that the backlash is in the minority.  Anele has managed to make her breakfast show on 947 one of the most lucrative (if not THE most lucrative) show in the industry, continued to be a marvel of a mom, AND secured the solo spot of the successful SA version of The Voice.  No. Anele isn’t slowing down, and again, to phrase a cliché – you either hate her or you love her, but at the end of the day, Anele is on everyone’s radar.

 

  1. DJ AnkleTap

People want an explanation for number 1.  And here it is.  I work with and communicate with hundreds of the youth in this country yearly, and the name that shone most brightly in their eyes and praises was DJ AnkleTap from YFM.  Never mind putting YFM back on the map after a harrow some 2 – 3 year period at the station, which presented them with opportunities for new business models and reclaiming their OG fans plus a little more – AnkleTap is the voice of the youth.  And like it or not, the youth (as it always has) has been the road to success, influence, change and progress.  When AnkleTap speaks, the youth listen, and he deserves this year’s number 1 Most Bankable Broadcaster in South Africa.

Heritage Day: A (very) quick run through of my legendary radio journey hook-ups

So, this is going to be fun. I wanted to share a quick timeline that makes me really feel Heritage Day here in SA. This post stems from where my radio heritage comes from (oh, an origin story, yes) – and who I met on the way, and this is essentially a “big, BIG” thank you to these people for how amazing it’s been so far.

From my earliest (cognisant) memories to the year 2017, here we go.  Thank you:

To Alex Jay who drove me to school every day, where something as simple as your “This Day in History” made me feel as though I was part of a broader knowledge having my own copy of a massive almanac from my Godmother called “On This Day”.  I would read it every day hoping I would be on point with what you were going to mention as big moments.  Perfect listener engagement.

Barney Simon, who put me in my room at nights with the door closed alongside a lot of teenage rebellion. He never came through the door, but your love for rock and a spirit of statement was always a haven for this bullied kid.

Still in school, around my senior years, and working behind a cash register in my parent’s supermarket, Cleone Cassidy and Tich Mataz on 5FM’s days and weekends…trailblazers with the way you communicated new and fresh personalities that were all the reconditioning I needed to pop with personality once I finished my Matric and went out into the world.  You guys, and of course Mark Gillman.  No one forget Mark. The other Mark is coming up, just a sec.

Flash forward to Varsity. Just-Ice in the mornings, Phat Joe in the afternoon, Glen Lewis on Drive and the powerhouse Penny Lebyane on evening talk. Metro FM.  You set the standard for why it was worth taking a chance a changing the frequency on my radio set.

Working at Tuks FM in its newest golden era – alongside so many, many, many legit talented people – Rian van Heerden, Station Manager has of course thanks for bringing me over to the dark side.  Well, that’s where you should start your first radio show – in the middle of the night in a studio that has got your cold lonely echoes of insecurity if you don’t fill it up with a throw down of personality and brilliance.

Mark Pilgrim, who I first followed to his parties at Seventies club in Midrand for “The 80’s Pilgramage”- and then later, as a resident jock, played before his sets, then later worked as colleagues in the same building at 947.

Ah, Primedia Broadcasting.  Passing John Robbie working on his show relentlessly in the early hours of the morning when I would finish my late-night graveyard training.  Simon Parkinson who took a super scared newbie commercial jock, and always had a kind word of encouragement to say before every show.  Jeremy Mansfield and Alex Jay for the many, many conversations both in and out the studio.  News Editors Benita Levin and Katy Katapodis for the round the clock professionalism and ethic that inspired me for a lifetime.   Redi Direko and Leigh Bennie for being the talk counterparts we spent studio side by studio doing talk vs music radio.  And they are just down right amazing people.  The institutions of Jenny Crys-Williams and Barry Ronge, whom look around, know that they are living artifacts of radio history – have a conversation with you and you still are fanboying so much, you can’t help but fanboy even more when you step out and chat to Bob Mabena for another “professional” catch-up.   It’s professional in quotes because it’s hard to not say that inside me there was always a screaming girl throwing metaphorical bras at these greats.

Stacey Norman and Brad ‘O Regan – team members, radio minds, certified friends.

Growing up with constant conversations had with Neil Johnson.  A manager with a difference. Difference is, that he keeps making one in the industry.  And he does so with respect.

Tom London and Tony Blewitt – who sat shoulder to shoulder alongside mine as part of their team with a vision for greater things. Hendrik and Ethan Baird who let me part of such greater things of which visionaries like Tom and Tony, lay the trail tracks down for with their passion and belief.

The team of On Air with Ryan Seacrest and James Cridland who lent their international prowess to my growth and progress.

It’s been real.  A real journey of heritage of all you great people I carry with me into what lies ahead.

Thank you.  For all.

— Chris

Why ‘A Word on Radio’ is a must-read for aspiring radio broadcasters across the continent

Why ‘A Word on Radio’ is a must-read for aspiring radio broadcasters across the continent

Radio industry specialist Chris Jordan answers a few questions about his groundbreaking book ‘A Word on Radio’ , as well as touching on his extensive career in broadcasting and detailing his learnings over the last few decades in order to help the next generation of broadcasters across the African continent.

Why did you decide to write ‘A Word on Radio’?

By the time I had begun writing the book, I had been fortunate enough to work in the radio industry starting in the ranks as a campus/community presenter, all the way through to international work, and had around 10 years of broadcasting experience under my belt. I had also been a radio lecturer for about 3 years at that stage and felt it was time to test myself in a what I felt I knew about the industry. I had been teaching young broadcasters out of suggested material provided by the campus and was given free reign on how to and what to teach the students wanting to make a career choice in broadcasting. As I started to work on more and more case studies, I began to formalise a professional approach to our craft as broadcasters, and felt the book would be the best way to legitimise this notion. It was a pleasant discomfort to realize I would even learn a lot in the process considering there is so much existing literature on the subject out there, but I decided to focus more on the academic nature of broadcasting in conjunction with the practical application within the industry, and thus ‘A Word on Radio’ was born.

Who is the ideal reader for the book?

While it is an academic book on the programming nature of radio, I feel like a broad range of people could benefit from the content of the book.  Whether you are someone who has no prior radio experience, someone studying specifically in radio or a similar field, a relatively novice broadcaster broadcaster or someone in commercial radio with a thirst for more knowledge – this book is for you.

What is the one thing you hope people will take from reading the book?

How to be a better broadcaster.  There are many areas of interest in radio, but this book focuses on how to be a better one and help grow the radio industry in South Africa. I have not only covered a wide range of areas, from how to put your shows together, to how to write for news and even how to build your on air personality; I have also focused tried and tested tertiary institutions methodologies and models that assist in really refining the approach of broadcasting to the fine craft it is.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in the radio industry?

The short answer is that I don’t know! (laughs). I studied a BSC in IT and a BComm in Knowledge Systems at Varsity and nothing in particular pointed me in this direction. That was until applications to join for Tuks FM (Pretoria’s campus radio station) opened up to the public. I went for it with everything I had to give at that stage and subsequently truly fell in love with the medium. It was something I did on a volunteer basis at first, but with no complaints as the experience I gained there was invaluable to my career. There was no carrot dangling at the end of a stick and it came from a pure place of passion.16 years later, I’ve made a life and career out of radio and also made a decision to actively be someone who propels the industry forward as a professional and not just a contributor.

How hard is it to get a foot in the door in the radio industry?

It depends on what door, what foot you’re using and how hard you are pushing. All are factors that will play a role in the progression of your radio career. Even if you get a lucky break and an ‘in’ to the industry via campus radio in your early twenties, it is incredibly difficult to stay in the industry, and takes hard work to remain relevant and ahead of the talented pack in the South African industry. You have to have a hunger to succeed and the drive to put in the work it takes to advance your career.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to become a radio presenter, news reader or content producer?

Be honest with yourself in confronting your talent and potential to work in these areas. Not everyone can be a doctor, architect, performance artist, or musician. Similarly, not everyone can be a broadcaster. Know what you’re proficient in, have a passion for and pursue these areas with everything you’ve got.

What else are you busy with at the moment career-wise?

I have started Chris Jordan Media, which has been a very exciting experience for me and a natural next step in my career. ‘A Word on Radio’ and any future publications will fall under this company. I’ve also been providing consulting, training and development services to online and community stations in the South Africa. I collaborate with broadcasters from both television and radio with their development in a private capacity and this is a very rewarding experience for me personally.  As a next step and looking towards the latter half of 2017, CJM will release an eight week online broadcasting course in collaboration with some great professionals in the industry (who I can’t talk about just yet). Lastly, I’ve been invited to be a panelist at various radio conferences this year and am also assisting with RadioDays Africa 2017, so lots going on and lots to look forward to!

What do you make of the SABC decision from last year to broadcast 90% local music and how has it impacted the quality of radio?

The idea of promoting local talent is a first for anyone who is passionate about the arts in South Africa. I appreciate the sentiment, but stations work on formats that are methodically structured around  growing listenership year-on-year. In my opinion, the formats have suffered as a result of a ripple effect of not having enough (and by enough, I mean “90%” of a formats music policy) well produced and marketed locally bred and funded talent. South Africa’s music industry has an abundance of talent, but not enough of that talent is commercially consumable to make the 90% directive appealing across a days worth of radio programming.

What did you learn about yourself in the process of writing the book?

I learnt that I had a choice in making radio a career, not just a flight of fancy. To claim authority on subject matter, is to commit to a life’s work in it and all these years later I’m proud of myself for sticking to my guns and pursuing my passion with everything I have.

Do you plan on publishing another book in the future?

Yes! I am currently working on a book that will be a first for teaching radio in South Africa, a course for secondary schooling students that will academically aligned to the correct NQF levels in education, as well as a first year textbook for tertiary institutions.’A Word on Radio’ is currently being used in media campuses around South Africa at a second year level and has sold around 1600 copies, also having been renewed until 2018.

To purchase a physical or eBook copy of ‘A Word on Radio’, please check out this page or visit Amazon.com.