New radio vs old radio: What makes a good radio show?

Solo B
What makes a good show
The components of a good radio program have not changed over the years. We were taught that all radio is local, in other words you are communicating to some one in your hood. The subject matter must be topical and must contain the following ingredients, Entertain, Educate, and Variety.

What are the pointers you can give
I wish our presenters did more work off air, this is show preparation, research and simple phonetics.
It is appalling the amount of times I hear a presenter talking about a subject that they clearly have no clue about. This leads to gross misinformation being disseminated. I still do not understand why producers do not help the on air presenters with Phonetic charts. Poor pronunciation of words is so common that I see a whole generation of radio listeners growing up mispronouncing words.

In a nutshell old radio defeats new radio because it remains relevant and more memorable to the minds of many. Today’s presenters  are being benchmarked with the greatest and it does not mean they are not great. For me people were glued to my shows because of my personality. People always asked me how come my shows were always magnetic and I always told them that if Losika is entertained then I have no doubt in my mind that the rest of you will be glued and  that’s my cardinal rule. I had an understanding of my society and the world, I picked up my newspapers and watched news from a very young age.

What makes a good radio show?
Consistency! You need to know what to expect and when, a good example of a radio show I enjoyed is Carlos show on Yarona FM. A situation where you know whats going to happen and there are no surprises because the show had a structure. Presenters should also sound a bit intelligent and bring in relevance.  The world of today wants to learn, learn and learn some more and if you are not teaching your audience you become irrelevant. Simple!

Word of Advice?
Word  of advice to the youngsters on radio is to go back to the basics of radio, keep it very simple, pronounce words right,  do your research and give people content where they are able to learn something.  Small knowledgeable bits like asparagus and some of  its nutritional qualities pick those things up and do them in an interactive way but don’t over kill the conversation. When you pronounce or speak English or Setswana  make sure that the words come out right because that can turn off the listeners. Care about your listeners and give them your best and people will listen to you.

DJ Sid AKA Sidney Baitsile
The difference between radio now and back then?
I will answer in my case and that of RB2 where I started in 1992. In our case, there was very little preparation. We essentially winged it. We just came to work to rock music, and the presenter who had the nicest voice and played the most liked music was the most popular. Me and Ski initially got the biggest kudos, and then Fresh, Shakes The mix and Solo b came along thereafter. I would not consider our time as radio, we essentially were the first presenters to take the clubs to primetime radio. I remember very well, arguably the most popular Show to date, the Smirnoff Party Mix I hosted every Friday for two years from late ‘92 to around ‘94. I just compiled some of my personal music I rocked at parties and clubs. I( soon became the station programme manager, we did not require a lot for presenters. All that was required of them was to show up for their shows, no show preps were required. Today’s radio is more professionally structured. Presenters are required to prepare for their next shows well in advance, present and discuss their content with the programme manager or content producer an hour or two before their shows. its more hectic nowadays. while our generation changed the face of radio in many ways here, we wouldn’t have made the grade in today’s radio.

What really makes a good radio show?
Funny thing about radio is that radio is not like an exact science. The most intelligent person in the world would flop on radio while the most unlikely person would become a superstar. Most successful radio presenters I know are either school drop-outs or obtained very little academic achievement. If you put a list of the most successful and popular radio presenters in Botswana, one legend, Mokgankgara, would surely be in the Top 10 listened to by the most intellectual people in the country at his time. Personality, for me is the most important component of a radio show. A presenter can have it all, but if the personality does not shine in the airwaves, the show will surely flop.

What are the pointers you can give to radio presenters of today
Be yourself! Look for what has not been done before. My personal success on radio was because I did what had never been done before. Secondly, get to know the world like the back of your hand. Thirdly, never give up, I was turned down twice or thrice at RB1 before RB2 was born. Fourthly, know your audience very well, what they want, give it to them, fifth and most important for me, is your personality, be a people’s person!