Daryl Ilbury is an op-ed columnist, radio analyst and consultant who specialises in the critical arena of talent development. He is a veteran of over 20 years in breakfast radio, having worked for East Coast Radio and Talk Radio 702. He was also a 2011 MTN Radio Awards judge. www.darylilbury.com features an original, free online resource for radio professionals. Contact Daryl on cell +27 (0)82 445 8141, email and follow @darylilbury on Twitter.
Daryl Ilbury is an op-ed columnist, radio analyst and consultant who specialises in the critical arena of talent development.
He is a veteran of over 20 years in breakfast radio, having worked for East Coast Radio and Talk Radio 702.
He was also a judge for the 2011 MTN Radio Awards.
His website www.darylilbury.com features an original, free online resource for radio professionals.
Contact Daryl on cell +27 (0)82 445 8141, email him at and follow him on Twitter at @darylilbury.
[Daryl Ilbury] The last person who called me a programming consultant almost walked away with a bloody nose. I felt like a psychologist who had just been referred to as a life coach. I then realised that the person looking at me with wide eyes, their face fixed with shock at my reaction, had fallen under the spell of these supposed radio gurus.
Cornelius, you do indeed have a point, but I think you missed mine.It's not about technology, it's about the impact of technology on how radio interacts with its audience. Social networking is something humans have done for millennia...all that Facebook and Twitter have done is empowered people to do it in the electronic media space that was formerly dominated by TV and radio.This means radio stations that have relied on music-dominated programming with little creative input from presenters now risk sounding disconnected from their audience.What is interesting is that a great deal of Ukhozi FM's programming ticks all the above boxes in terms of trends around 'connecting' with its audience; and that's because it still embraces a 'full service' programming philosophy [so it's not about their use of technology]. It's the same reason why BBC Regional stations that offer 'full service' programming are enjoying growing audience figures - they offer more than just music [that can now be secured and managed on smartphones]. They are simply connecting with their audience.However a significant bulk of Ukhozi FM's audience is rural and the South Africa population is becoming increasingly urbanised, and as they do they embrace new technology. It will not be long before the smartphone becomes the dominant mobile communication device in South Africa, just as it is in the US, Europe and Asia...we're not that disconnected from the rest of the world, Cornelius.
[Daryl Ilbury] 2011 is going to be a particularly interesting year for radio in South Africa, dominated by how the industry will respond to one of the most exciting, and potentially devastating, innovations to strike the electronic media environment.
[Daryl Ilbury] There's a special place in my life reserved for reality TV; it's nestled between a visit to the glove doctor and watching a bubble of mucus pop out the nose of a grubby toddler. But the fact remains that there is something it can teach radio - an industry currently grappling to find its footing.
[Daryl Ilbury] There's a chance today's radio presenters are not qualified to be on-air. When training radio professionals, I always ask them what they see is their role as broadcasters. When they reply with the stock phrase "to inform and entertain", they seem a little surprised, even hurt, when I reply that they then have no aspiration, and that they're not being very professional or intelligent.
[Daryl Ilbury] Much has been said in the media about the proposed ravages of the Protection of Information Bill; enough, I think I can safely say, to spread fear among those who truly cherish freedom of expression. In fact, so immense has been the upheaval of opposition - to the point that it is becoming quite repetitive - that I've yet to hear a voice from the media supporting it. So let me be the maverick, and say: "Worry not, the bill could, ironically, promote the freedom of the press."
[Daryl Ilbury] Radio in South Africa is about to face its toughest challenge: to go where it dreads. Radio bosses looking to position their stations and secure any measure of leverage within the increasingly crowded media game need to realise that evolving consumer trends are pointing towards an area that most of them fear.
[Daryl Ilbury] Jeremy Mansield's announcement last week that he's leaving breakfast radio is well-timed. No more 'Rude' in the morning? That comes as no surprise whatsoever. So stop wailing and flailing your arms around like hysterical wildebeest, for this is good news indeed.
[Daryl Ilbury] If the events of last weekend are to be believed, then to paraphrase Marcellus in Shakespeare's Hamlet, something is rotten in the state of radio in South Africa; and I may need your help to get to the bottom of it. After all, sooner or later someone has to point to the elephant in the room and say something.