CARRYSLOT (Pvt) Ltd, trading as Skyz FM, Wednesday pitched its proposals for a single commercial radio licence slot available in Bulawayo, expressing confidence that it was ready to run a viable radio station that would promote the city.
Skyz FM — which is linked to Alpha Media Holdings, proprietors of Southern Eye, NewsDay, The Standard and Zimbabwe Independent — was led by group chairman Trevor Ncube and made an electronic presentation to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) commissioners yesterday.
Several commissioners, led by BAZ chairman Tafataona Mahoso, applauded the presentation, saying it had a compelling business plan.
Ncube told the commissioners that Skyz FM had a “vote of confidence” of the city to commence a station to fill the void created by existing networks.
“I am a Bulawayo boy. We are confident in Bulawayo that it is ready for a commercial radio station,” Ncube said.
“We have a strong presence in Bulawayo through our print section, Southern Eye, and have a firm vote of confidence in the city. Skyz FM will play its part in the economic revival of the city,” Ncube said.
According to the presentation made by Carryslot chief executive officer Kangai Maukazuva, Skyz FM would create employment for residents.
“A professional team of 24 people with the right skills and experience will be recruited to run the radio station. This will create employment for the people of Bulawayo, helping in efforts to revive the city,” Maukazuva said.
He said the station would allocate 70% of programming to music and 30% to news and the target audience would be “males and females between 25-49 years, the most productive group in the economy”, but that would not mean the exclusion of other age groups.
“Despite the harsh economic environment, a radio is a cost-effective platform which will attract advertising from retail, financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing and tourism,” Maukazuva said.
On content, Skyz FM proposed to focus on an array of “burning issues for the people of Bulawayo” that range from water provision and housing, business revival and renewal, food security, farming and climate change, youth issues, education and health.
“To give voice to the people of Bulawayo to tell their story, celebrate their success, reflect on their failures and brainstorm on a desired future, the story of Bulawayo will be captured in song, news bulletins and lively talk show programmes, magazine programmes and debates,” Maukazuva said.
“The content must create a value system that puts the family and national pride to the fore.”
He said Skyz FM would appoint a public ombudsman to ensure that the radio station was run in an ethical and professional manner.
On financing, he said Skyz FM was assured of shareholder support start-up of $691 612.
Two other licence aspirants, Fair Talk Communications (Pvt) Ltd, trading as SKYZ Metro FM, and Skies Radio (Pvt) Ltd, trading as Skies FM, made presentations on Tuesday.
SKYZ Metro FM is fronted by Qhubani Moyo and renowned playwright Cont Mhlanga while Skies Radio is owned by Transport minister Obert Mpofu.
Zimbabwe currently has six radio stations: four owned by the State, while the other two, StarFM and ZiFM, are owned by the State-owned Zimpapers and AB Communications, which is linked to Information, Media and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Supa Mandiwanzira.