Radio station sells new vision to stakeholders
Wave Radio, formerly Radio Port Harcourt, was launched last week in Lagos, with the management team selling the ideals of the station to media stakeholders. Leading the team was the Head Consultant, Mr. Femi Sowoolu. According to him, when Radio Port Harcourt 91.7 FM was established about four years ago, the desires of the ownership was to provide a credible voice for the people, not only for the city of Port Harcourt and its immediate environs, but also for the entire community of Rivers State, hence the choice of name.
According to him, “At the same time, however, because it was a commercially-inclined, privately-owned entity, it also had to be able to pay its bills and make some profitable sales over time. It had to fend for itself and learn to compete and survive in an industry with a plethora of rivals.”
He said when he was invited to rejig the station, he noticed the station had begun achieving some of its objectives in the early days, but that most of the early promise the station showed had disappeared and the lofty dreams of the founding fathers simply vanished. As a result, the hopes of making profit, or even marginal earnings at all for that matter, quickly disappeared.
“What happened?” he asked. “The answer was evident – and we didn’t have to search hard to find it. It revealed itself in the attitude, in the station ambience, and especially on the broadcast output. We met a lack of creativity and innovative ideas, a dearth of credible, wide-ranging programming alternatives, a lack of commitment on behalf of the staff, selfishness, perhaps, and indiscretion among some of the staff to the detriment of the set goals. And, of course, poor management strategies and faulty decision-taking.
“So, we went to work. We identified the station’s existing problems, diagnosed its strengths, if any, judged its relevance and position within this vibrant and highly competitive market, and visualised and projected a way forward toward the achievement of improved capacity and full, profitable function. Our conclusions after going through this process informed us that we had to make some hard choices or we were just wasting our time.”
This, Sowoolu said, led to staff re-organisation process, which was done and technical issues causing shut-downs in order to have an entirely new programming format, schedule, new staff, and management, though some of the existing staff were retrained.
After doing these, he said, a total rebrand was necessary, including a change of image, ideals, philosophy, style and name, which gave birth to the new name about a month ago.
I can proudly tell you as we speak that in these few weeks, Wave FM has been the station to listen to in the city of Port Harcourt, the entire Rivers State and the adjoining regions. One amazing fall-out we have discovered is that even the other rival stations in the region now listen to us before they decide what they will put on air. But we have just begun. As it is, we are presently operating an 18-hour daily transmission schedule, but by next year, expect that we shall be reverting fully to 24-hour daily broadcast.
“We have developed a new aura, meaning and sense of purpose.
Our vision is clear – we have created a brand new station that is primed and determined to be your best media partner in Port Harcourt, Rivers, State, and the Southern Eastern radio market. Welcome to a new dawn, a new beginning. Welcome to the all-new Wave 91.7 FM, Port Harcourt. We would like you to join us on our journey to the top. I assure you that it will be a profitable, rewarding venture for you, your partners, all your clients and business associates, as much as it will be for us”.