It has been a very interesting year for the morning shows in the capital. From Kafui Dey struggling to fit in and eventually been booted back to TV through the emergence of new stations and the general fight to not only gain the most ears in the morning, but to remain relevant. This review considers the following parameters in assessing the morning shows: interactivity, creativity, content or depth of discourse, panel or hosts and overall show compilation and production.
As captured in the heading, these ratings apply to my favourite morning shows. There are over 35 stations in the capital and anyone that succeeds in doing an assessment of all of them would be lying. It is simply impossible to listen to all of them. The stations here are those I have spent time in the morning to listen to this year.
KOKROKOO ON PEACE 104.3 FM
Kwame Sefa Kaye has carried the show on his back for years and it gets difficult to listen when he is away. This happens to be the number one show according to the ratings. It is positioned in a way that makes it attractive to both the mass market and the so-called elite or English speaking audience.
Kokrokoo's reliance on what's in the newspapers to inform it's discussions is what I don't personally like too much. Indeed Kwame occasionally picks other topics that interest him and does interviews on them. But generally the topics for discussion is wholly based on what other newspapers have published and with same guests coming through on designated days.
Again, the deliberate attempt at always getting political party representatives does not quite do it for me. We always know what these political people will say.
I rate Kokrokoo 7/10.
MORNING STARR ON STARR 103.5FM
So Kafui Dey was moved from the morning show. I have heard someone joke that he was kicked out after I wrote about him when Starr FM turned one. Truth was that the sort of competition the morning show faced was very stiff and Kafui Dey could simply not match them. Then entered Robert Nii Arday Clegg.
Nii has had an off and on affair with broadcasting. So EIB brought him in to seek to win back some of the following they lost through Kafui. Truth, Nii is trying. But he is up against competition that is solid and improving daily. Starr FM has specialised in hyping shows and personalities and also in getting in some big interviews. But I'm afraid they have not yet taken enough listeners away from their very known competition, CITI FM and Joy FM.
The modelling of the show is very typical and has very little innovation in terms of style, I think. One therefore does not have that special reason to tune in except if they get an exclusive interview. It seems management knows this and as part of their entry strategy, they have outdoored new billboards with Nii's face on it. I think Starr FM should push more on content and innovation and then they can use hype and publicity to come in for support. Nii is an intelligent chap, but that's not all that is required to win the morning war.
I rate Morning Starr on Starr FM 5.5/10
DWASO NSEM ON ADOM 106.3FM
Captain Smart has turned himself into the Don of the Twi -speaking stations. He spends time on issues and buttresses his frequent interviews with newsmakers on research. He commands the show and dictates it's rhythm like a true Captain does.
Dwaso Nsem has positioned itself as a hard hitting, facts-oriented morning show. There is a segment of the show where Captain Smart is allowed to 'rave and rant" in pushing the hard questions and laying bare some of the things government blatantly fails to do vis a vis it's social contract with the citizenry.
I rate it 7.5/10.
RYSE AND SHYNE ON Y107.9FM
So Mz Naa was there, and then she left to chase some of the EIB money. Things didn't go as planned and so she left and was somewhat accepted back at YFM. Whilst she was away, Akosua 'Kozie' Hanson was brought in and she did pretty well. But MzNaa came back for her show and Akosua had to do the weekend version.
Now, you'd notice that quite a number of things have changed at YFM. I understand there's some involvement of some external partners and this is what is pushing for some of the change. I usually tune in for the music and sometimes the tweets. I detest the folks at YFM for that annoying habit where presenters speak to DJS who are not heard on air. I had a banter of sort with Akosua on this and her reasons for dragging Vision DJ into the mix was at best laughable. I have been reminded time again by Francis Doku that o am not the target for Y FM so I should not try too hard to fit in all the time. I have taken that wise counsel.
Y FM has maintained its leadership of the youth market. The emergence of Live FM and their poaching of staff has not dimmed their shine and that's worth noting.
I rate Ryse and Shyne on Y107.9FM 7/10.
LIVE BREAKFAST CLUB ON LIVE 91.9FM
I call Live FM the other Y. I'm sure the folks there don't like that at all but truly how else can one describe them? They have a lot of staff poached from Y and they began their programming with an exact replica like YFM. That's one big problem I have with them. If I were Bola or EIB I would have sought to create my own stars, my own image.
What I have come to realise is that regardless of how important personalities in radio stations are, their clout in dragging audiences away from station to station is limited. Abeik Santana leaving Adom FM didn't cripple it, and same applies to Bola Ray leaving Drive Time on Joy FM. So create your own stars and have them form their own galaxies. Live FM has Sammy Forson, Giovani, Jay Foley, Jeremie, all from Y.
So MzNaa was there and then she left for Jay Foley and Jeremie to pair up to host it. Well the two are not exactly 'murdering' Mz Naa at the other side of town. They have also not, I think, succeeded in poaching Y FM'S listeners as they did their staff.
I will rate the Live Breakfast Club 6/10.
SUPER MORNING SHOW ON JOY 99.7FM
This is no doubt the oldest morning show in the country. It has over the years set the standard and blazed the trail for others to follow. The SMS has had its fair share of criticism over the years as well. It has been labeled an NDC biased show or station when NPP is in power, and an NPP biased station when NDC is in power. But throughout all of that time it has remained relevant.
Kojo Yankson is doing a fine job. He may not have been the sharpest chap in the history of the SMS but he has held down his own and has done his bit to keep the show up there. Indeed over the years the folks at Joy FM had tried all sorts of things to make the SMS appear refreshing . I must say that sometimes I feel the relevance of the SMS may be more as as a result of loyalty for the show stemming from a 20 or so year history than what the current team necessarily churns out. Nhyira Addo's involvement has spiced the show up a notch but to be honest he comes across as a tad unprepared as a long term host. I noticed a lot more interaction between the two and that's healthy for the show.
Joy FM may be the masters of outside broadcasting and they did take the morning show outside the studios as well and that made for a good rapport with the audience too.
I rate the Super Morning Show on Joy 99.7FM 7.5/10.
CITI BREAKFAST SHOW ON CITI 97.3 FM
What the guys at Citi fm have done is to put together a group of young people with a burning desire to improve journalistic standards and raise issues of national concerns in the very same way you and I discuss it in our cars and offices and homes. In Bernard Avle, they have an Economics degree holder who is very widely read and puts in a lot of work into research to remain top of his game. It is virtually impossible to bully Avle in an interview.
In this crisis ridden era, Kojo Akoto Boateng has positioned himself as an energy biased journalist with a knack for research and with deep throat sources within the energy sector. His expertise comes to play daily, even through the "What's Trending" segment. Nana Ama Agyemang Asante remains a fiercely critical voice on governance whose thoughts are as independent and strong as it can possibly be. She does not hide her feminist stance and does not also hide her belief that government ought to do what it ought to do.
Godfred Akoto Boafo spent a few years in China after studying International Diplomacy. But put away his degrees, and the hitherto sports presenter has come to represent a bold voice with very forceful views on issues of state including the widespread abuse of resources and the political party play. Then there is Richard Sky, the expert in governance who spends most of his time in parliament and having chit chats with MPS and ministers of state. He has become the go-to guy on issues of the legislature and how government works.
So put these lot together and back them up with a production crew led by Omaru Sanda and #citicbs leads the trends and takes the lead in the morning.
I rate them 8.5/10.