We have spent the last two weeks talking about Komla Dumor and his legacies to broadcasting in Ghana and the rest of the world in this column.
Before that I started a review of the performance of television and radio stations and just as I got through with television and was about to continue with radio the news tragic of then death of Komla Dumor came in to scuttle everything.
So let’s leave the past in the past and think about now and the future.
Not too long ago, sometime in December to be precise, I mentioned to you that a new station was in town called Breeze FM and located on the 90.9 section of the FM dial. I went on to mention to you that the brain and money behind that new station was the music maestro Kojo Antwi.
At the time I said that “the station has been hitting the nation’s capital with good Ghanaian music – I am yet to hear any other type of music – of different genres. Anytime I had tuned in it was either local gospel music or highlife being played.”
However, it seems over time they have added on other type of music with reggae featuring prominently on the menu of music served the listening public that tune in to the station to listen to what they have on offer for them.
I also said in that piece that “usually the nature of test transmission determines the mode or type of programme the station would end up with, thus if we use that as a measure then Antwi’s station is likely to have more local vibe in programming and music when the real deal starts.”
Test transmission is still on going and yet, to be honest, as it stands now I am not too sure what particular format the station would go with when the real deal begins. Why it is even more mysterious to determine is the names that have been mentioned and bandied around as likely candidates to make it to the station as presenters coupled with the people who are known to be advising Antwi on the way to go has created mixed signals. Let me try and explain.
There seem to be some speculation that two big fishes might end up behind the console as presenters on Breeze FM. Something I will tell you about very soon, but let us first get the other important matter of the likely format the station will take out of the way.
From the very day this Breeze FM news hit town there was a strong speculation that Ekourba Gyasi Collins the then presenter of the morning show on Hot FM would find his way to the Airport Residential Area based radio station.
What even further pushed that rumour was the fact that just around that time Ekourba quit his job at Hot FM. Though he didn’t day exactly where he was headed, the speculation was strong that it was likely to be Breeze.
Now Ekourba is someone who we have known throughout his professional career to be among the corps of Akan language morning show presenters. He did it at Happy FM and continued at Adom FM till he finalized it at Hot FM and so it is obvious that if he is linked to Breeze and he ends up there then we are going to see a morning show in Akan.
Also linked to the station and indeed the one person mandated with pull all the strings to ensure that this ship sets sail on the right rudder is Daddy Bosco. Bosco is a man of many colours, but where his colour showed brightest was at Adom FM.
The many successes that Adom FM chalked, especially with the likes of Abeiku Santana and Adakabre Frimpong Manso was because there was a good programmes director who gave direction on content and presentation and that man was Daddy Bosco.
He didn’t quite succeed at Joy FM and Hitz FM when he was transferred over there for many reasons, but the work he did at Adom FM was as tremendous as it was lasting. Thus he won his badge for managing local language broadcasting and it would seem he brings that to the Breeze FM table.
Then there is another Multimedia Broadcasting alumnus that I have heard from the grapevine might be making his way to the new station in the person of Samuel Kwame Bampoe aka Sammy B or Sammi as he was known during his Big Brother Africa days.
Sammy B has been up and down the ladder and up and down the radio demographic targeted path many times. He was amazing on the Sunday Afternoon Special on Joy FM many years ago, but he also has been on other platforms such as Happy FM and Hitz FM.
Thus if he is going to end up at Breeze FM what are we to expect of him; the Sammy B of the lower end of the market or the Sammy B of the upper end of the market? Either way we shall surely know where the penny drops in due course.
The strongest signal of any mixed nature though comes from two strong advisers of Kojo Antwi. Before now they advise him on many things and being great broadcasters themselves this one comes like a walk in the park for them. I am referring to KKD and Lovin’ Cee.
Kwesi Kyei Darkwa needs no introduction in media or showbiz circles; he is the one guy who has seen it all and done everything that ought to be done in this industry. He was a great DJ back at GBC and when he ran a radio station it was called Sunshine Radio and it was in the upper market.
For me, and throughout the almost two decades that I have been watching this industry, the two presenters than standout heads and shoulders over the rest in Kumasi are Lovin’ Cee and Kwame Adinkra. I could be eaten for dinner for saying this, but that’s what I believe.
Lovin’ Cee or William de Boardes has also seen it all and done it all in his lifetime. He is a former night club DJ, morning show presenter, drive time presenter, news presenter and even gone as far as Deutsche Welle radio in Germany to work as a news anchor.
Having done what he knows best on different station formats, including strictly Akan speaking stations and English speaking ones, Mr. de Boardes has earned his stripes as much as anyone else.
Wait a minute are these two gentlemen going to be part of the station as presenters? What exactly will they be hosting? Is the much talked about likely Ekourba Gyasi appearance on the morning show be shifted to KKD instead? Will Lovin’ Cee abandon his lovely Kumasi for a big bite of the cherry in Accra as host of the drive time on Breeze FM?
If these scenarios become a reality what would be the fortune of the station. Would listeners and advertisers see them as reliable and mature enough or too old to compete with the younger guys on the radio at the moment?
When all the advisers have given their view on what they think will work for the new station what is Kojo Antwi likely to choose. From the foregoing, it is very likely that the format Kojo and his team will settle for will be the hybrid form or combination of local language and English. We shall see how that comes in due course.