Is the future of radio jobs getting bleak?

Exit of popular 702 radio hosts based on audience survey – Primedia

In a statement, the Primedia Group confirmed in July that employees were notified of its intention to proceed with consultations in accordance with section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.

Radio station 702’s internal shenanigans have spilt over for all to see.

This comes after the announcement of loyal broadcaster of the station for 30 years Aki Anatasiou’s exit, which was shrouded in some controversy, with fellow colleagues expressing that he was actually retrenched.

Former daytime radio host at 702 Eusebius McKaiser, who resigned in June, said Anatasiou was retrenched and at first, the station was unwilling to give him the send-off he deserved.

A report appeared in the Sunday World that afternoon drive host Joanne Joseph exit was also due to management challenges.

Allegedly, station manager Thabisile Mbete and Joseph were engaged in an affray that lasted a few months before Joseph left. The station declined to comment on what transpired between Mbete and Joseph.

It first started with the resignation McKaiser in June and he was soon replaced by Clement Manyathela. At the time McKaiser said his departure was to pursue other opportunities however he has since aired his dismay at the management on his social media pages.

In a statement, Joseph departure was also formulated as the radio host’s opportunity to pursue other endeavours. Then the exit of Anatasiou was reportedly part of the station’s reformat of its shows and retrenchments.

Primedia national public relations representative Chanel Pronto said the reports of retrenchments at 702 are true and for their other divisions.

In a statement, the Primedia Group confirmed in July that employees were notified of its intention to proceed with consultations in accordance with section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.

“The challenging economic environment in South Africa, rapid technological change and new entrants in the media sector has placed significant pressure on media businesses to adapt and evolve, in order to stay relevant. This has been further compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, and South Africa’s national lockdown on our key clients and industries.

Phumzile Langeni, Interim CEO said: “This is a sustainability strategy we had hoped not to have to deploy. We are committed to managing this process with sensitivity and consideration to all affected employees while following the process set out in the law.”

The organisation said the number of roles that would be impacted by the repositioning of the business would only be confirmed through the consultation process.

On the recent exits of well-known radio hosts at the station such as McKaiser and Joseph, Ponoto said the decision was based on a survey they conducted which showed they were losing listeners.

“We surveyed our audiences and in doing so, recognised the potential for 702 to regain the loyalty of some of the listeners we have lost over time. We also believe that our new format and personalities will be key to attracting a new listener base looking to connect with shows and presenters who align with their interests and deliver a quality radio experience.”

The broadcaster has rest assured their listeners that their stations 702, 947, KFM and Cape Talk are part of our long-term business strategy and all programming continues as normal.

Citizen