The indian lifestyle radio station, Lotus FM is set for a major haul-over in terms of their programming line-up in a bid to woo their lost listenership that has plagued the station for over two years.
Over the past few days radio jocks have been hinting at their exit from their regular shows keeping mum on their destination within the station. The much-needed revamp is the brain child of key executives at SABC who have been focusing on Lotus FM following their dismal ratings that have haunted Alvin Pillay and his management team.
The acting radio executive, Carlito Sheikh has been on numerous trips to the Durban offices of SABC to quell the growing negative publicity and scandals that’s been doing the rounds at Lotus FM. Reports on the station have been of close interest of the Leuba Ramakgolo who is going to be spending time watching the progress of the station following this revamp.
A series of closed-door strategy meetings have been held with the Lotus FM management and then with the on-air teams in order to revitalize the stations image and programming.
Santosh Beharie has been at the centre of the storm and was also allegedly identified as a reason to the dwindling station figures. There has been rumors that top management have called for his exit from the station however he is said to be around for another year in his position.
The station has said to have lost R650 million in terms of ad sales apart from their declined listenership which has brought the Lotus FM management team into question as to what have they done to avert this crisis?
Some have called for the station to move into a position of being a contemporary Indian youth-focused commercial radio station but that idea was soon quashed.
Goodbye Morning Rush
Some of the rumored changes include the scrapping of the ‘Morning Rush’ team who are going to be anchored by O’Neil Nair and Jailoshini Naidoo.
Radio Hindvani blood to boost Sunday mornings
This was previously anchored by O’Neil Nair who announced his departure this Sunday morning 25 March at the end of his show.
Should Chonco not assume the Sunday breakfast show he will be anchoring the 2 – 5pm slot on Sunday.
Chonco has been hugely popular and well-received by his Hindvani listeners for his larger-than-life personality and on-point sense of song selections. It is yet to be seen if he will be able to make the transition from community radio to national radio smoothly but thus far his fans look forward to his presence at Lotus FM.
One of the best decisions in years actually. I reckon @ONeilNair1 & @jailoshini will make a formiddable team. Congrats to @romeochonco though for his big move to @Lotusfm Sunday morning breakfast. Forward to an energised #LotusFM line-up 📻🎧🎤📻 https://t.co/MnyUVxgoRH
— Ronesh Dhawraj (@ronesh) March 25, 2018
Varshan Sookhun makes an exit
Varshan Sookhun has also vacated his seat on the very popular Bollywood Billboard show, it is not known at current if he will remain on the afternoon drive show. It is highly likely that this show will be anchored by the traffic presenter, Sanobar Khan.
The billboard show will move to a 1pm slot. Language and religion shows remain unchanged.
Lotus FM has not been without its scandals over the past years and has been one of the core factors for the loss of listeners and advertising revenue.
The station recently was impacted by the storm over Gospel Hour’s RJ, Pauline Rosanna Sangham’s commentary on social media allegedly made by her insulting the Muslim faith.
- SA Muslim Network approaches SABC over Islamophobic employee
- Pauline Rosanna Sangham’s Facebook has a history of Islamophobic comments
- A letter of conscience to the listeners of Lotus FM
- Lotus FM RJ suspended over anti-Muslim statement on social media
Lotus FM biggest loser in percentage terms
There has been no shortage of press coverage detailing the station’s many travails: Motsoeneng’s local content policy certainly dealt the station a body blow, there have been high profile departures of Neville Pillay and then Ravi Govender, then stories of management and staff warfare, and lurid tales corruption and sexual favours traded for positions.
Having worked through this process, comparing this latest period (April – Sept 2017) with Oct 2016 – March 2017, they reported that of the 35 commercial and PBS stations tested, 57% did not show any significant change, 29% exhibited a downward trend and 14% displayed significant upward movement.
Lotus FM should have had the advantage even beyond the local music policy to maintain their numbers but they failed to hold on their listenership.
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