Radio stations review in 2016 (1)

Berla Mundi
Berla Mundi

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is forming his government and at the time of writing this he had announced his first set of 13 ministers. Do you think he covered all the bases with the men and women he announced? I am okay with the team except I felt the appointment of Osafo-Marfo as Senior Minister was superfluous. But the president knows best and we’ll defer to him on that.

My duty for today is to review the first batch of radio stations for 2016. Last year was an election year and consequently the stakes were high for almost all radio stations, but most especially those that are neck deep into the political game. However, politics was not all that happened on radio in the year 2016 as different stations delivered different content and experiences for their listeners.

As has been the usual practice around this time of the year, this column tries to review some of the major incidences on the radio scene in the nation’s capital in the previous year to give a snapshot of some of the most important things that happened on the stations.

As you know, the number of stations have ballooned since we began this reviews some 16 years ago and since there won’t be enough space and time to review all the over 50 stations we shall sample some of them and look at how they performed in the year. So here we go.

ALTANTIS: Perhaps the biggest thing that happened at North Ridge based Atlantis Radio was the demise of the stations founder, owner and CEO James Appiah towards the end of the year. It was a sad story and those who knew Mr. Appiah and his passion for radio as well his contribution to the industry would know we lost a gem of a radio aficionado.

That aside, the station remained what he has always wanted it to be: the adult alternative radio station in Accra through its music choices and general on-air personality without much variation.

SUNNY: Across the road from Atlantis is Sunny 88.7FM. Usually, nothing much happens at the station besides playing good Christian music, preaching, teaching and motivating, but things changed a little last year. As usual, they came through for me around the Christmas season with some of the best Christmas carols. Their usually good music players Kojo Oppong-Adjei, Jennifer Jessica Danquah and Fiifi Folson were always on hand to deliver goods for a good Christian station.

RADIO GOLD: It was an election year and Radio Gold was in the mood to ensure that its favourite party the NDC would be retained in government. At least on the political shows. The day part programmes remained what they were and there wasn’t that much change in the guard of presenters of course having lost their leading morning show presenter Alhassan Suhiyini the previous year.

That notwithstanding, the morning show was still big on politics and so was the Saturday morning talk show Ahaji and Alhaji. There was still good music all round especially from the likes of Okyeame.

LIVE: Live FM had risen from the ashes of Vibe FM in 2013, was sold to EIB in 2014 and rebranded in 2015 to focus on youthful audience and thus compete in the alley of YFM. Upon rebranding they got in new presenters including Sammy Forson, Jeremie, Jay Foley and Berla Mundi who did a great job to set up the stations credentials. The major thing that happened at the station in 2016 was perhaps the decision to play on Ghanaian music on Wednesdays. Not sure how successful it was, but it was a good initiative.

3FM: What used to be an all Christian station for many years changed ownership and the group that owns TV3 became its new owners in 2015. Thus the old Channel R became the new 3FM which focused on broader issues and it played a significant role in its parent group’s election platform known as Election Command Centre. 

ASEMPA: This station was hot as usual with Countryman Songo and KABA on the dial. Songo’s Fire for Fire on Adom TV is simulcast on Asempa FM and the heat he generates at the studios of the TV station permeates Asempa FM as well. KABA’s show Ekosii Sen was as usually the hottest afternoon political show in the capital and together with his political pundits cum social commentators they had their own axe to grind every week day.

Kojo Mensah Moshosho continued host the sports morning show to the best of his abilities since taking over from Kofi Asare Brako who left for Atinka in the twilight of 2014.

ONUA, UNIIQ AND OBONU: The owners of TV3 also acquired Herbert Mensah’s XFM and rebranded it to Onua FM in 2015. Last year was consolidation as they competed in the lower end of the market. On their part, Uniiq FM and Obonu FM catered for their audiences in the manner that they only know how to.

CITI: Over the last three years or so, Citi FM’s morning show has been one that many have embraced as their preferred in the morning. The CIMG deservedly gave the joint award for best radio show to Bernard Avle at Citi Breakfast and Joy FM’s Drive Time. To assist Bernard to run the show throughout the years were Richard Dela Sky, Kojo Akoto Boateng, Nana Ama Agyemang Asante and Kwaku David. Another bright light at Citi in the year was the coverage of the English Premier League as Nathan Quao and team held the fort strongly after the change of guard from the likes of Godfred Akoto Boafo and Gary Al-Smith. The mid-morning show by Osei Kwame was okay, but I feel something is lost in Jessica’s late afternoon show.

HAPPY: Moses Antwi Benefo aka PJ Mozey is a journeyman. He has been everywhere his love for sports calls him to. In 2015 he took up the job as host of the Sports Morning show on Happy FM. Happy is known for sports and it was logical that such leading presenter would take the lead show. He held his own and did well in the year and got himself the award for the best Sports Show Host at the RTP. Doctor Cann who hosts the entertainment show Showbiz Xtra on Saturday mornings was always a hotbed for controversial issues that affect the arts and entertainment industry.