One of the week’s biggest stories is Gareth Cliff’s leaving 5FM for an undisclosed career path. Cliff is not the only one changing career paths at this time of the year, because most radio people move jobs come April 1. So the MTN Radio Awards on April 12 come at a date slightly out of kilter as most nominees have changed posts.
All the same, it is worth looking at who is likely to win this time around. Previous winner Thabo Mdluli who hails from Impact Radio 103 FM, finds his way back on the Afternoon Drive category in the community radio section.
Mdluli has a tremendous voice and great presence and, as a previous winner, he is likely to clinch it again as he has actually improved.
Still on drive time, 94.7’s Anele Mdoda goes head to head against 5FM’s DJ Fresh in the commercial section of the awards. This is a tough one because, while Fresh plays the best music to drive to, given that he is a master mixer and all that, Mdoda has the ability to rope in listeners with some of her subjects of choice on the show.
That said, we can’t forget about Jacaranda FM’s Martin Bester and East Coast Raido’s Damon Beard, who are also in the running.
After drive time slots, the most tuned in time of the day on radio is in the morning, so there are several presenters up for this as well. Surprisingly, the famed Gareth Cliff is not nominated for his efforts on breakfast broadcasting in the previous year.
Instead, 94.7’s Darren Simpson comes out as the obvious favourite. He will go up against 94.5 KFM’s Ryan O’Connor, Algoa FM’s Daron Mann, East Coast Radio’s Darren Maule and Talk 702’s John Robbie in what has to be the most contested category in this year’s awards.
More on breakfast, there are also accolades for the best breakfast show where KAYA FM and Bob Mabena’s 180 With Bob, goes up against 702’s John Robbie Show, Heart 104.9’s Breakfast With Aden Thomas and 94.5 KFM’s Breakfast With Ryan O’Connor. This looks like Mabena’s accolade.
Content producers also get recognition and those worth mentioning in the commercial section include Beverly Maphangwa, who works on Metro FM’s 083Sports With Marawa. 94.7 offers Greg Aldridge, who is responsible for the station’s Afternoon Drive. Gagasi FM also gives Jacinta Ngobese to tighten up the competition. Young blogger and entertainment journalist Kheta Mkhize comes as a pleasant surprise for Kwasa Breakfast Show on Vuma FM.
Still on content producers, when it comes to news, Nolwazi Tusini is one to look out for, as producer of Redi Tlabi’s 702 shows. Tusini is up against stablemates Jonathan Fairburn and Thabisile Mbete.
• The fifth annual MTN Radio Awards will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre next Saturday, April 12.