Trou­ble is brew­ing at Metro FM as se­nior DJs who refuse to work with ju­niors have seem­ingly started their ex­o­dus

CityPress - - Front Page - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA and PHUTI MATHOBELA ntombizodwa@city­

Tbo Touch is not only com­pet­ing with one of Mzansi’s favourite ra­dio sta­tions, he claims he is also go­ing af­ter ev­ery se­nior DJ at Metro FM – in­clud­ing Robert Marawa and Unathi Msen­gana.

On Tues­day even­ing at the launch of the Touch HD dig­i­tal ra­dio sta­tion held at Steyn City Es­tate north of Four­ways, Molefe hinted that Marawa’s new con­tract was in his car. How­ever, Marawa’s name was not in­cluded in the new Touch HD line-up, and nei­ther was Msen­gana’s. But Glen Lewis, who parted ways with Metro FM a week ago af­ter two decades at the sta­tion, will be host­ing Touch HD’s break­fast show.

Tbo Touch, whose real name is Thabo Molefe, made it clear that it was now per­sonal.

“I’m go­ing to poach all their best DJ’s un­til they give me my last show. I’ve had 12 years of the best ra­dio ex­pe­ri­ence. I sub­mit­ted my res­ig­na­tion at 9am and I said: ‘To­day I’m go­ing to say good­bye to my lis­ten­ers, I want to say good­bye to ev­ery­body.’ You know what they said? They told me to just go.”

He added that he was the only per­son that gave Metro FM Jay Z live on ra­dio in 2004, and the only per­son who brought box­ing ace Floyd May­weather into the SABC build­ing.

“Any­way, we don’t cry over spilt milk. All I needed was my last day to say good­bye. To this day, I have not been given my last day. That’s the only time I’ll go back, to go and do my last show and to say good­bye.”

Marawa in­di­cated via SMS that Tbo Touch would have a hard time courting him.

“I’m on air at Metro FM and hav­ing a great time with the lis­ten­ers,” he said.

An in­dus­try in­sider told City Press that Tbo Touch had been poach­ing ev­ery good DJ in the ra­dio in­dus­try “and he’s been of­fer­ing them good money”. The in­sider did not say how much he was of­fer­ing.

On Fri­day, Msen­gana an­nounced to her lis­ten­ers on the break­fast show First Av­enue that she was leav­ing.

Msen­gana, who has been with the sta­tion for at least 10 years, did not take calls or re­spond to text mes­sages. Her res­ig­na­tion fol­lows Lewis’ de­par­ture.

In Oc­to­ber last year, City Press re­ported that some se­nior DJs at Metro FM were un­happy with changes at the sta­tion and that threats of res­ig­na­tions were afoot. This came af­ter se­nior DJs were go­ing to be forced to be paired with younger coun­ter­parts to help the young jocks im­prove.

Thato “DJ Fresh” Sik­wane will be tak­ing over the break­fast show. On Fri­day, Sik­wane an­nounced on Twit­ter that he was leav­ing 5FM for Metro FM. In a video posted on Twit­ter, he said: “I was re­de­ployed a day or two ago. My en­tire ca­reer [in] ra­dio was all about the peo­ple.”

Lis­ten­ers should ex­pect big sur­prises when the new line-up changes take place next week.

Pre­sent­ing along­side Fresh will be Somizi Mh­longo, who con­firmed his new gig late yes­ter­day af­ter­noon. This con­firms what SABC in­sid­ers told City Press, that one of the can­celled shows is Whose Show Is It Any­way? be­tween 8am and 10am by Mh­longo, Ntombi Mzolo and Khanyi Mbau.

“These three will def­i­nitely be sep­a­rated. They will be paired with se­nior DJs. They didn’t gel to­gether; it just didn’t work out,” said one in­sider.

TV pre­sen­ter and ra­dio DJ Masech­aba Ndlovu, who re­cently re­signed from Power FM, is also ru­moured to be join­ing Metro FM. Ndlovu wasn’t avail­able for com­ment. Her phone was switched off and she did not re­spond to mes­sages.

On Fri­day, some of the sta­tion’s ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties were still in the dark as to which slots they would be host­ing from next week.

“On Thurs­day, each in­di­vid­ual was called in and given ei­ther a re­newal or ter­mi­na­tion con­tract. In the re­newal con­tract, it wasn’t clear which show I will be pre­sent­ing as from next week,” said one con­cerned DJ, adding that she hoped she’d re­ceive a call or mes­sage from her em­ploy­ers be­fore Mon­day.

An­other frus­trated DJ agreed, but said she was happy her con­tract had been re­newed and that she still had a job.

Ac­cord­ing to the sec­ond book of The Broad­cast Re­search Coun­cil of SA – the new ra­dio mea­sure­ment that was re­leased in Fe­bru­ary – Metro FM’s lis­ten­er­ship has in­creased.

The ra­dio sta­tion has 3.93 mil­lion lis­ten­ers, up from 3.67 mil­lion be­tween July and De­cem­ber last year.

But de­spite the in­crease, Metro FM has slipped to num­ber four of the coun­try’s most pop­u­lar ra­dio sta­tions, down from num­ber two.

Ukhosi FM, with 7.3 mil­lion lis­ten­ers, is still in the top spot, fol­lowed by Umhlobo Wenene and Lesedi FM. SABC spokesper­son Kaizer Kganyago did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.


LEARN­ING CURVE Khanyi Mbau MISS­ING IN AC­TION Unathi Msen­gana NOT BUDGING Robert Marawa


ON THE PROWL Tbo Touch at a me­dia con­fer­ence in Jo­han­nes­burg

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