SABC: Lotus FM Blunders Along

The recently appointed interim board at the embattled SABC has kicked into full gear in an attempt to haul the national broadcaster out of disaster.

The national radio station, Lotus FM has a difficult task ahead to bring back the listeners which dropped dramatically after a series of management blunders that caused serious brand damage to the station. The exit of popular ‘Morning Rush’ DJ Neville ‘Topdan’ Pillay has been one of the most recent developments. Read that story here

ALSO READ: Lotus FM Radio Jocks Need Monitoring after trivializing child labour. click here

In another unprecedented move by management, their recent ‘marketing strategy’ includes a move to censor staff from their social media activity. This in an attempt to rehabilitate the station and divert their efforts to pushing the Lotus FM social media handles instead of their own.  The station management have a jaded opinion of their power to stop staff from their personal social media activity.

LotusFM Neville Pillay

The station has struggled to grow their audience base and maintain retention of existing dwindling numbers, management believe that shutting down their staff from using their personal Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts will drive their numbers and reverse the negative impact.

In a recent article in a Durban community tabloid newspaper it has reported that the SABC is planning to revert the local content policy that was autocratically implemented by the public broadcaster’s controversial former chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng in mid-July.

The 90/10 policy led to SABC audiences from the listenership of radio stations like Lotus FM to TV channels like SABC3 dropping drastically and also impacting revenue and profits,  The SABC’s new interim board, tasked with trying to save the beleaguered South African public broadcaster, is now taking action to “overturn” the 90% local content implementation.

The SABC will return to the previous 60% local content quota – the standard set by South Africa’s broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

Hlaudi Motsoeneng‘s 90% bar for local music and 80% TV content decisions for SABC3 saw dramatic listenership and viewership losses for the SABC over the past 9 months.

Meanwhile the SABC also had to ramp up spend on costly local content – an unsustainable situation for the already battling broadcaster now on the brink of financial collapse and urgently needing another bail-out.

Money Woes

The broadcaster is literally unable to pay staff, TV producers and service providers – is once again at risk of its broadcasting operations seizing up at the end of the month, reports independent journalist & television critic, Thinus Ferreira

The SABC has had to terminate and is is no longer able to pay television producers, content and service suppliers.

In 2009, the SABC was rescued with a government guaranteed bank loan of R1,4 billion and now it seems that another bail-out is required

The recently appointed Communications Minister, Ayanda Dlodo confirmed that she met with treasury and the new minister of finance on Wednesday to “sort out issues around the financial status of the SABC and there are processes that we’ve decided upon that will be implemented soonest”.

The out-of-cash SABC is set to scrap the debilitating 90% local content broadcasting decree introduced in July 2016 that completely drained the SABC’s coffers, disrupted its income streams and ad revenue and saw listeners and viewers flee.

Source: TV with Thinus

Other stories you should check out

  1. The SABC Chronicles: click here
  2. Breakfast show Morning Rush DJ Neville Pillay Walks out click here
  3. LotusFM Plans To Remain A Weekend Special click here
  4. BDlive: Tweet of the Week: click here
  5. Indians: We’ve Been Betrayed By Sellouts: click here
  6. Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s Arrogance On-Air: click here
  7. BDlive: How Hlaudi Motsoeneng ate Lotus FM
  8. LotusFM, Corruption Not In My Name Please! click here

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About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

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