No regrets for Given Mkhari as Power FM celebrates first anniversary

2014-07-04 08:47

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Just more than a year since the launch of talk radio station Power FM its chairperson, Given Mkhari, says he has no regrets despite claims that the station is in trouble.

“I’m very happy with what we have achieved. I can’t think of anything that we could have been better prepared for. Every experience has made us a better team and a better organisation. I am very grateful for every experience,” he said at the station’s one-year anniversary dinner in Joburg last night.

Last month, speculation was rife that the station was collapsing. This came after numerous staff members had left the broadcaster amid rumours that it was up for sale because of financial distress.

“When you are a newsmaker and are as different and as powerful as Power is, it is inevitable that you will always create talkability somewhere. And some people who may not be good may then stimulate a rumour or a lie, knowing that because people are interested, because people are paying attention, it will grow bigger than a rumour.”

Mkhari emphasised that the “product was continuing to grow” and promised to “make the station more visible and active”.

The more than 100 guests at the event last night included members of the Power FM team and Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

Makhura said: “I truly appreciate the very important role that Power has played in South Africa. When the history of post-apartheid media is written, it will be: before Power and after Power.”

Mkhari said he had focused on tightening the on-air product and ensuring that the organisation functioned smoothly during the first year. In the coming years, he hoped to create a more participatory radio station.

“I want Power to be more of a symbol in society. I want it to be an active participant to problems and be more visible, more active and physically available.”

He said Power FM aimed to be a reconstructive project. “This is not a radio station. At no stage did we start or set out to build a radio station. This is a deliberate intentional intervention to build South African from within.”

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