A Look Back At 2011
We made it into the New Year beaming with hope and confidence that this year would be better than last year. Our hope is that what may not have gone on well in the previous year would be better in the current year and our confidence comes from the fact that we shall work harder than we did previously to ensure that it happens.
That is just for you and I to chew on especially as this is the first time we are ‘meeting’ each other in the New Year as I did an AWOL last week. Phew, it is twelve days already since we were gracefully ushered into the year and it already feels like we are running the year at a breakneck speed.
There are a lot of things that are certain to take place in 2012 that we can talk about as probable, but first we need to look back at what we can say are the biggest talking points of 2011 as far as the radio and television scene is concerned.
What are some of the major things that happened on the radio front in 2011? Broadly speaking, nothing new happened on radio that would be termed as revolutionary as the stations that play music played their music, those that talk politics did their thing, the sports was not different, serial callers still had funds from whoever supplied them to call and let everyone know about their pet peeves and those who would make unsubstantiated allegations did so gleefully.
In all that, certain specific things happened that need commenting on. One of these is the fact that Atlantis Radio has for a long time tried to sort out its morning show by finding a host with the most appeal to the people who listen to the station and that quest continued on 2011.
First it was the introduction of comedian David Oscar as host of the morning show, Atlantis Morning Drive and yet it didn’t take long for him to be replaced by former XFM presenter and host of the maiden Vodafone Icons TV reality show (more of that later) Benny Blanco.
One of the shows on Atlantis that has lost its fervour for a while now, especially since the departure of Kwame Farkye and then Giles Bossman is the late afternoon show, Atlantis Evening Drive. Journeyman Joojo Lemaire found his way onto the show as the host but left before the year came an end creating another cycle of who to get to present the show.
Since leaving Uniiq FM finally a few years ago, Tommy Annan Forson had been doing very good as the host of the country music shows on Joy FM on Sunday mid-mornings and Wednesday evenings. He however didn’t last on the show or the station forever as he tendered in his resignation and left in October or thereabout.
The year in review saw the establishment of about four more radio stations and one of them being the station that Tommy Annan Forson went to when he left Joy FM to serve as its General Manager. Radio XYZ 93.1 has since the last three months or so been test transmitting with some good music as test transmissions normally come with.
Another station that set camp to compete in the almost saturated radio market in the capital is Prime FM which is owned by the same group that owns and runs Skyy Power FM in Takoradi and Skyy Digital Television.
The station tested for a while before launching its services to the public and advertisers at its Abelenkpe studios. The CEO of the station, Wilson Arthur said they saw an opportunity in the market and that is why they decided to set up and run a station in Accra in spite of the competition they knew they would be facing.
Not too far from where Prime FM operates on the FM dial is Pluzz FM which also set up camp to slug it out with all the radio stations operating in the capital. Like Prime FM and XYZ, Pluzz FM would know the extent of the competition in the market and yet since they also believe in their offering, they were not perturbed as they set off in 2011 as one of the newly established stations.
Atlantis used to be the first stop on our FM dial and someone may have thought that it had gone on for too long as they not only gave a new station the licence to operate but also provided a frequency
that comes before Atlantis’ own. Rainbow Radio has been operating on the 87.5 frequency modulation as they set out to do test transmission and then get into the real groove of radio broadcasting in the nation’s capital city.
With the addition of these four stations in 2011 (these are the ones that I got to know about, I must add) I can confidently say that I have lost count of the stations that operate in the capital or could be received by listeners in the capital but I will try to list them below.
Rainbow Radio, Atlantis Radio, Beposo FM, Sunny FM, Pluzz FM, Prime FM, Spring FM, RFI, Rite FM, Radio Gold, Vibe FM, Channel R Radio, Great FM, XYZ Radio, Pravda FM, Hot FM, Asempa FM, XFM, Uniiq FM, Obonu FM, Pink FM, Citi FM, VOA, Oxy Radio, Happy FM, Joy FM, Meridian FM, BBC, Okay FM, Choice FM, Sweet Melodies, Top Radio, Hitz FM, Peace FM, Sena Radio, Radio Univers, Adom FM, Oman FM, YFM.
If I got it right then that is thirty-nine (39) radio stations competition for the attention of less than four million inhabitants of the smallest region in the capital. I am not going to say if that is too small, too little or adequate for the number of residents, you be the judge.
The year 2010 was the year of the movement when Abeiku Santana left Adom FM to Okay FM, Adakabre left Hot FM to Adom FM and Ekourba Gyasi Collins left Adom FM to Hot FM, among others, but there was no such major movement from one station to another in the year being reviewed except a few appearances here and there.
Two weeks ago, I made mention of the fact that among the many things that happened on Citi FM was how they got KKD to present the morning show. The older presenter was on air only for a while before handing the show over back to the substantive host Bernard Avle.
Again, I spoke about the fact that one of the funniest, wittiest and maturely irreverent presenter radio has known, in Accra Rami Baitie came back and found his way to Citi FM. Earlier in the year, Citi FM gave Rami, the former host of Weekend City Show on Joy FM a carte blanche, to host and find a name for the Satruday morning show. He ended up calling his new show That Show on Saturday.
Then there were those great voices that came back to Joy FM. Doreen Andoh went on leave and her place was taken for a while by Mr. Big Stuff himself Kwesi Anim Adjei. The former Radio Univers, Radio Gold and Joy FM presenter sat in for a while and left.
After Kwesi had come and gone, the former undisputed king of drive time shows and long lasting presenter of Joy FM’s late afternoon show, Gabby Adjetey, then man, whose departure led to Bola Ray coming to Joy FM, stood in for while until Doreen returned and got her show back. Lawyer Adjetey has since been presenting one show or the other on both Hitz FM and Joy FM.
By and large, the morning show presenters on the major networks remained at post throughout the year. Kojo Oppong played his part through the year on Sunny FM, Alhassan Suhuyini was the default host of the morning show on Radio Gold, Ekourba Gyasi maintained the Hot FM morning from January to December, P.J. Mozey was the man in charge of the Asempa Sports morning show, Bernard Avle sat in on the Citi Breakfast Show throughout the year, Charles Osei-Asibey handled the sports morning show on Happy FM, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah found time for the Super Morning Show on Joy FM most of the days in the year, Lexis Bill landed and kept the Hitz FM morning show throughout the year, Kwami Sefa Kayi kept his job as he and his panel discussed issues for “God and country” throughout the year, Adakabre maintained his position as the regular host of Dwaso Nsem, Fiifi Boafo interrogated the political and social issues on Oman FM’s morning show and Miss Naa was the woman who continued to both excite and angst listeners of YFM’s morning show.
The midmorning show was no different as Jessica was at post, Doreen was on except when she went on leave, the sports guys on Hot FM (Sometimer and team), Happy FM (Kwame Oware and team) were on hand, Kofi Kum Bilson was always around on Peace FM, Jerry Justice was on Adom FM, Sammy Forson was the regular on YFM, Blakk Rasta continued to take issues with politicians and other people who he deemed to be corrupt and ruining this country, Africa and the world and Delay maintained her show on Oman FM.
Again, the late afternoon and drive presenters were the regular ones at post with Abeiku Santana’s show on Okay FM dominating the rest, Fiifi Banson and Odi Ahinkan on Peace FM kept the humour on their show, Bola Ray was on air most of the time to present his Drive Time, Joojo Lemaire was on Atlantis for most part of the year, Okyerefuo was at post on Oman FM, Nana Kwame Osei Sarpong kept his show on YFM and Kat and Spikey drove commuters home on Citi FM.
A lot did happen but we cannot say all with the space and time available. Till next week when we look at TV, enjoy the opening days of the New Year.