If you have ever struggled with a tough research, be it a first or master’s degree thesis and wondered if there is any rugged endeavour that is akin to that, try to listen to brunch or better yet mid-morning radio programmes in the Western Region’s capital, Sekondi-Takoradi, nicknamed Oil City and judge which one is the best.
By brunch, this Author refers to radio programmes after the morning shows, from 10am to 2pm. Not only is it a guerrillas joust for supremacy between these English speaking presenters; Paragon FM’s Yao Mawutor Fianu, Radio Maxx’s Maame Esi Senyiwah and Empire FM’s Naa Ayorkor, the brunch has become the most competitive airspace in the Oil City. Even though most Fante speaking brunch presenters have become very predictable with their worship and preaching sermons, they have great share of the radio constituency. The concentration of this story is on English speaking brunch presenters. This Author will focus on the Fante and Twi speaking presenters later. Amongst the English speaking radio stations, Paragon FM, Empire FM and Radio Maxx were the English speaking stations whose brunch programmes were sieved by researchers of this story.
Generally, brunch radio programmes requires a work-and-happiness setting. The aim of such programme is to create an ambience where workers would be pepped up to work whilst sharing their attention with the radio programme. My Media Relations Lecturer who is an ace broadcaster in the United Kingdom once said, to succeed as a brunch presenter, one has to possess the qualities of a grade 2 Teacher and a deviant.
Yao Mawutor Fianu undeniably is one of the smartest brains on radio whose control over the English language is enviable. I have often argued that if Paragon FM would want to heavily invest in any of their programmes, Mawutor’s ‘Paragon Mellow’ is a best bet and should be sold as their flagship programme since the station pipes its morning show from Citi FM in Accra. Mawutor’s greatest strength is his choice of music. Good music lovers are always wowed anytime he starts playing music on air.
Maame Esi Senyiwah’s one year absence from radio could be said to be a learning curve for her. 12 months at home is lengthy enough to monitor competitors and reassess oneself. Coming back on radio after the 365 days hiatus, Maame Esi has sandpapered her talent which has influenced her choice of music, her flexibility on air and how she steps into the office and home settings when she is on air. She has given the ‘Metro Mix’ a new touch which has made it more competitive. Maame Esi could be said to be one of the best communicators on air in the Oil City with regards to how well she has mastered the one-way-communication that radio demands.
Empire FM’s Naa Ayorkor has a unique style which has a decent-sized following but her programme would be more competitive if the station invests in production. Those who have smattering of radio would recommend a dedicated production team. The presenter is amazing but the production is anaemic. Should the production be ruddy and gain some additional pints of blood, listeners would struggle to choose the brunch programme to listen to. Even with this identified anaemic production, she is still competitive.
The question now is, who rules the brunch airspace in Sekondi-Takoradi?
There are 22 radio stations in Sekondi-Takoradi now so the competition is fierce. We are still monitoring!
Author: Nana Kwesi Coomson (www.233times.com) @nkcoomson on Twitter