Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/Africa News Agency(ANA) Archives
Durban - THE new line-up changes at Lotus FM, which came into effect this month, has received mixed reaction from listeners.

SABC spokesperson, Vuyo Mthembu, said while they have received complaints, they have also received compliments.

“It’s still early days, and the station is receiving mixed reaction from listeners as expected. The station has put in place programming strategies to grow the station’s listenership and revenue.”

Mtembu added that the line-up changes for the 2019/2020 financial year on radio stations were final.

“We take our listeners concerns seriously, and this is a factor which is considered annually when line-up changes are done. We implore our listeners to give the new programmes and, or presenters a chance and tune in.”

The changes saw some of its veteran RJs, including Alan Chetty and Avin Moorley, bow out. At the time, the national broadcaster said it was confident the line-up would increase listenership.

However, listeners have expressed their unhappiness on social media.

A group on WhatsApp, known as Best of South (BOS), have already taken their concerns to the station, requesting more Tamil and Telugu music.

Before the line-up changes, listeners were treated to four hours of Tamil music a week - one hour on a Friday and three hours on a Sunday during Mala Lutchmanan’s show, Best of Kodambakkam (BOK).

But the time has been reduced to three hours a week, which resulted in the group contacting the station’s management and starting an online petition.

A listener, Alvin Pillay, 60, said: “I noticed the new changes are not favourable to the Tamil listener. It seems as though Lotus is glorifying Bollywood music and its presenters only speak about Bollywood music, movies and actors. It’s unfair. Our kids are growing up and are more happy to hear Bollywood because that’s the agenda being set by the station.”

Speaking about Moorley’s absence, listener Shivani Govender said: “He has been with the station for years, and his show (The Jungle Fever) was the best. I am quite sad not being able to hear him.”

A source, who has worked at the station, said critical elements, such as a listener survey, listenership figures and the popularity of shows were not considered before taking a decision.

Mthembu has confirmed that station manager Alvin Pillay had returned to work last Wednesday.

Dhanraj Ajodapersad, who occupied the position in an acting capacity, will return to his “substantive position” in the logistical department. Pillay, who had been suspended, was found not guilty at his disciplinary hearing on charges related to allegations of sexual harassment.

The disciplinary hearing, said Mthembu, was chaired by an external chairperson “and all due processes were followed”.