Has Power FM’s ship steadied? Its boss seems to think so

2015-03-30 17:06

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It may still be the new kid on the block, but Power FM is shaking off last year’s exodus of popular presenters and is making its presence felt – with 11 nominations at the MTN Radio Awards.

“I am proud to say we have the best line-up in the whole radio world,” quipped the station’s proud managing director Andile Khumalo, just days after learning of the station’s nominations.

“The industry recognises the work we have been doing, but still people seem to not understand what Power is about.”

Last year, Gauteng’s youngest talk radio station saw a number of resignations of on-air personalities such as Eusebius McKaiser, Chris Vick, Azania Mosaka, Siki Mgabadeli, McIntosh Polela and Asanda Magaqa.

These resignations saw rampant speculation that the station was in a leadership crisis and its chairperson, Given Mkhari, was portrayed as a powermonger who made all decisions without giving programme managers space.

“It is not difficult to understand why people would say such things about us. We have come to accept that there is always going to be people talking because when we came here we disrupted the status quo, and that does not sit well with some sectors of the media.”

On last year’s mass of resignations, Mkhari said: “Like in any contractual agreement, contracts come to an end, and sometimes people feel their value visa vie the price on the table does not meet their worth … In such cases we do not stand in the way of an individual.”

Power FM will not be changing its line-up any time soon, said Khumalo, adding that it would take something “very sinister” to tamper with what he termed “the best radio line-up from morning to evening, from Monday to Sunday”.

He also set the record straight on the allegations that his partner, Mkhari, was a demanding boss who stifled talent.

“It will take a great paradigm shift for people to finally understand and be comfortable with a leader who looks just like them, speaks just like them, who probably comes from a poorer background than them and who is even younger than them. We have come to understand that in such instances there is always going to be resistance to accept that blacks can now run successful businesses.”

He dismissed any suggestions that the station’s finances and advertisement revenue were ever in crisis mode, but acknowledged that starting from a zero base meant that the station had to fasten its belt until the situation improved, which he said can be proved by listening to the number of advertising spots on air.

“People will continue to talk about Power FM, but we know what Power stands for, and that is to speak with conviction and serve our listeners.”

The sixth MTN Radio Awards gala event takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre Ballroom on April 18.

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