If you are reading this then you made it into the new year and still alive after almost a week. I want to take a sneak peek into some of things to expect this year on the radio front. However, before that, let’s say few things about the most chilling news yet in 2016. The New Year had hardly put on its running shoes when the first showbiz disaster struck. No sooner had we entered the year than we heard the bad and rather very sad news of an accident involving highlife supremo, Amakye Dede. It was a very bad news that one of the country’s topmost musicians had been involved in such terrible accident that resulted with him being admitted to the ICU. Even more terrible was the fact that a colleague arts writer and manager of the artiste who was with him couldn’t make it alive. The editor of P&P newspaper Isaac Yeboah died, we were told, on the spot. That, my dear friends, was the saddest news to have happened to showbiz writing, reporting and punditry over a very long time and for it to have happened just at the cusp of 2015 and at the very beginning on 2016 made it more heartbreaking. If there is a glimmer of hope around this tragic incident, it is the fact that Amakye Dede is said to be responding to treatment and fervently do we hope and pray that the famous and talented Iron Boy will make it through. We need him back stronger and better than he was. Now to what I think will happen on the radio front this year and how it is likely to shape programming listeners’ decision on what to listen to and when, considering as this is an election year and that will inform most of the decisions on many radio stations. Let me talk about morning shows today and what to expect with them this year.
The acrimonious nature of the discourses on radio, especially the morning shows will increase the tension in the country especially in the last quarter when the campaign is very well heated up towards the elections in November. This will result in a lot of peace messages from many existing and newly mushrooming churches, religious bodies, NGOs, councils and many other organisations and individuals. They will inundate the airwaves with their peace and peaceful messages that will seek to tell Ghanaians to be one regardless of their political affiliations. The usual suspects will be running the shows on almost all the Accra radio stations. Chairman General Kwami Sefa Kayi will be in charge in his fortress on Peace FM and will be directing a lot of the discourse with all the major and key personnel involved with politics and elections coming to his show or talking to him on the show. Expect a lot of the acrimony to be generated here. Kojo Yankson will experience his first election year as host of the Super Morning Show on Joy FM. He has proven that he can ask tough questions, sometimes too tough for his own good, and I am, very sure he will be at it again. I expect him to remain in the seat as host of the show with Nhyira Addo as his wingman to the very end of the year as the main anchor at Election Headquarters. That is if Evans Mensah doesn’t knock him off. Bernard Avle and team on Citi FM have shown over the years that they can handle elections and election year related issues. How any elections have Bernard himself anchored as host of Citi Breakfast? Two or three? The station takes election seriously and they have shown with their various roadshows and well connected regional correspondents who give very good reports on situations on the ground. I think Bernard and his team will try to set the agenda, but they will veer off occasionally to see what’s happening with politicians. Captain Smart will take charge of the efforts on Adom FM to be relevant in local language political morning show space. Sefa Kayi is the juggernaut and standard bearer in that department that all aspire to beat and it won’t be any different in 2016. Adom FM has its own team of correspondents and guests that I am sure will contribute immensely to the political discourse when the time comes. Expect to hear allegations and counter allegations when Captain Smart sets things in motion.
Alhassan Suhuyini will be off radio and Radio Gold for the first time in three elections as he himself will be engaged in the fight to win his parliamentary seat. However, Radio Gold cannot sit idle for this to pass them by as their morning show will be as part of the election and political discourse of 2016 as any other. Radio Gold has a very strong interest on the outcome of the elections and will, through its broadcast, protect that interest. Similarly, down the road from Latebiokorshie to Madina is Oman FM where Fiifi Boafo will be directing affairs in the morning. Just like Radio Gold, the outcome of the elections will be keenly followed by Oman FM as it either will be to their advantage of otherwise hence they will pay close attention to it. Boafo’s show will generate a lot of political discussions, very hot ones too and the studio guests will be as charged as they can be. This will be Starr FM’s first election reporting since the station get established in 2014. The morning show host, Nii Arday Clegg will carry the burden in the morning to compete with the others for content, guests and anything else that would make their station the most listened to during the period. Is he cut for it? Can he compete? Let the show begin and then we will judge.
Atinka FM’s swashbuckling morning show host, Kwame Adinkra would have realized by now that Accra is a very tough market. I am very sure that it will be tougher in 2016 as we approach elections. He has done a lot over the period that he has been here, but his efforts have been like throwing rocks into the sea, the impact has not been felt. This election year will be tougher, but we shall see how he survives it. What will YFM do on their morning show during this election year? Are you kidding me? YFM can’t just be bothered about your elections. It will be business as usual with music and chitchatting with a huge social media influence. Or maybe because of the competition that Live FM has brought and will up in 2016, they might amend their stance slightly to do a few more things outside their comfort zone targeted at the youth. Kwasi Aboagye on Neat FM will be doing his own to be relevant in the scheme of things to establish his legend in political talk as he has done with entertainment. Kwame Nkrumah on big brother Okay FM will be breaking his back to be more relevant than bigger brother Sefa Kayi on Peace FM. Uniiq FM’s morning show will continue to try play that independent non-aligned that the national broadcaster is enjoined by law to do. I said they will try, but we shall see how far they can go with that. Their sister Obonu FM will continue to offer an opportunity for Gas and Dangmes to hear what will be happening in the political space and as much as possible contribute to it. We shall wait to see how the new or rather rebranded stations Class, 3FM, Accra, Vision1 FM and the others will be faring during the year. At least we know Pluzz FM will be focusing on entertainment and how the politicians will contribute to it, Sweet Melodies will try to be a bit upbeat about politics, Sunny FM will not move much from what they do usuall and Atlantis Radio will remain Accra’s adult alternative radio station come rain or high water! @TheGHMediaGuru