New ra­dio sta­tions scram­ble to beat BAZ dead­line

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Entertainment - Bon­gani Ndlovu/Love­more Zi­gara Show­biz Re­porters

THE pres­sure is mount­ing for re­cently li­censed com­mer­cial ra­dio sta­tions who are now fran­ti­cally try­ing their best to start broad­cast­ing as they only have 17 days left be­fore they risk los­ing their li­cences. The Broad­cast­ing Au­thor­ity of Zim­babwe (BAZ) has set Septem­ber 30 as the dead­line for the six re­main­ing li­censed ra­dio sta­tions to start

op­er­at­ing. Eight sta­tions – Skyz Metro FM, Ya Fm, Di­a­mond FM, Breeze FM, Faya FM (now re­branded to 98.4 FM), Hevoi FM, KE100.4 FM and Nyaminyami FM were given the green light by BAZ to start op­er­at­ing in Zim­babwe but up to date, only two sta­tions – Zim­pa­pers Di­a­mond FM (Mutare) and Ray of Hope’s Ya Fm (Zvisha­vane) are run­ning.

As a re­sult of the pres­sure from BAZ, there was a hive of ac­tiv­ity on the air­waves at the week­end as some sta­tions in­clud­ing Skyz Metro FM (Bu­l­awayo), Faya FM (Gweru) and Breeze FM (Vic­to­ria Falls) con­ducted test runs. This was also their way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing that they are right on track and will hope­fully meet the Septem­ber 30 dead­line.

Fairtalk Com­mu­ni­ca­tions’ Skyz Metro FM, which is avail­able on 100.3 FM, tem­po­rar­ily went live on Sun­day while their sis­ter sta­tion – Breeze FM (90.1 FM) went live yes­ter­day. Though no pro­grammes or mu­sic was played, ad­verts of the forth­com­ing sta­tion’s pro­grammes were flighted.

In Gweru – AB Com­mu­ni­ca­tion’s 98.4 FM went on air yes­ter­day and was avail­able within a 40KM ra­dius.

Fair Talk Com­mu­ni­ca­tion’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Qhubani Moyo said they were thrilled to have met the BAZ dead­line.

“For now, the two ra­dio sta­tions are still broad­cast­ing pre-recorded shows that are meant to test our sig­nals. They’re also meant to make peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the sta­tion’s pro­grammes and pre­sen­ters,” said Moyo.

If all goes ac­cord­ing to plan, Skyz Metro FM and Breeze FM will start air­ing live pro­grammes later this week.

“We want the two ra­dio sta­tions to re­flect our di­verse cul­tures and lan­guages. In as much as we set the pace in terms of pro­gram­ming, we want peo­ple to con­trib­ute as the ra­dio sta­tions are meant for them,” said Moyo. Ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties in­clud­ing Arthur Evans, Sizwakele “Zwa” Ndlovu, Babongile Sikhon­jwa, Possenti Sikhosana and Thandi Muringa are meant to spear­head Skyz Metro FM while mu­si­cian-cum-ac­tress Donna N will lead the way at Breeze FM. In Gweru, metropoli­tan ra­dio sta­tion 98.4FM, which is avail­able on fre­quency 98.4FM (only for those in a 40km ra­dius of Gweru), also went live yes­ter­day to test its sig­nal. The sta­tion – a sis­ter to ZiFM Stereo - will be broad­cast­ing un­der the tagline #TurnItUpMid­lands. AB Com­mu­ni­ca­tions chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Susan Makore said she was ex­cited by the lat­est de­vel­op­ments. “We’re very ex­cited that 98.4FM in Mid­lands is on air and that we’ve com­menced broad­cast. For now, we’re test­ing our sig­nal and the onus is on the peo­ple of Gweru to sug­gest the kind of pro­gram­ming they’d want since it’s their sta­tion.” It re­mains to be seen if Hevoi FM (Masvingo), Kingstons’ KE100.4 FM (Harare) and Nyaminyami F M ( Kariba) will beat the BAZ dead­line.

Donna N

Arthur Evans

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