On 1 July 2021, Johannesburg's Northern Suburbs will be able to tune in to StarFM on the 91.9 frequency. This community station is youth driven and takes to the airwaves playing "The Best in Local Music, and More..." Targeting the 18-34 age group, StarFM 91.9 has secured a fully inclusive lineup of radio talent.
Caren Du Preez, StarFM 91.9’s programme manager.
We find out more from Caren Du Preez, StarFM 91.9’s programme manager...
How and when did this come about?
With ICASA having granted Classic a partial change in format to Old Skool and R&B, the opportunity arose for the HOT format and team to move onto the larger transmitter and 1027 frequency. The Gauteng Media Development Project which is the non-profit licensee of the 919 frequency decided that – in order to meet their undertaking to provide a platform for radio training and development, they should look to a new format that encouraged the youth and supported local content on the 919 frequency.
By working together and both contributing to the Hot Cares charity, we can benefit more listeners in the greater Johannesburg area through Classic or Hot 1027, as well as StarFM, with its local community focus.
Who are you targeting and why?
Our GMDP community station signal footprint primarily reaches the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. We believe that our presenters and our music format will find appeal amongst the residents of this area, in the same way that Hot did. This is an audience that is highly mobile, and who are interested in what is going on in the surrounding community. We believe that we will still fill the gap, making a difference in the lives of the community and also developing future radio talent.
What can listeners expect to hear from StarFM?
StarFM has assembled a team of young, vibrant presenters and we aim to appeal to the audience based in the Northern Johannesburg area. We’ll be playing a lot of local music and we will be keeping our finger on the pulse of the Northern suburbs community and direct our content and messaging at issues that appeal to the residents of this area. We are incredibly humbled by and excited about this amazing community broadcasting opportunity.
Radio is competitive, so what will you be doing differently to stand out?
StarFM’s sound can be attributed to seasoned broadcasters. The best new and familiar music, entertaining and engaging content, powerful imaging and a passion for giving back to the community! We don’t aim to stand out, we aim to be fully inclusive, and our approach will certainly be noticed.
Radio is a competitive business and any successful business owner will tell you a winning strategy, undeniable focus and a strong game plan gives you an advantage; however it’s your consistency in delivery that will create loyalty in your product and have your consumer back for more! We are taking a very professional approach to the station, and we aim to win over listeners and advertisers with a very focused and engaging approach, in the same way that the Hot format did in this community.
What have the challenges been in the run-up to going on air on 1 July?
To date there have been no challenges, only tight deadlines to ensure that we are 100% ready come 1 July, which we are. The way everything has run so smoothly leans me toward knowing that this was just meant to be!
Although no challenges; the one set back has been with me contracting Covid-19. I was very nervous about this initially as I’ve set tight timelines however my fantastic team pulled together, and we haven’t missed a single beat!
What was the process of getting the presenter lineup together?
The presenter lineup was very carefully and strategically put together. As a community licensee, we must ensure that our listeners have great presenters with great offerings, from different cultures, different sexual preferences and different taste in just about everything so we can be “fully inclusive”.
We looked for people who would gel together to make the community station a family and a team as it was when it was called Hot, people who are aligned in terms of their values and who are less about the ego and more about the fun and the connection of radio. We have a team that are all excellent at what they do, and who will build strong relationships with the listeners.
What shows can we expect?
Greg and Lucky will definitely be entertaining you in the morning and giving you a strong dose of laughter to get you through the day! Mid morning, it’s YOU and Mzi, from music sweeps to motivational chat in a chilled zone.
Then Mantsou Pout enters at midday with her bubbly, cheeky personality and contagious laugh! Have fun with your big Sista before handing over to Justin and Sibz on Drive! It’s the last time you're going to be angry in traffic because you are actually going to want to be in your car for longer to hear these two!
Weekends we kick off with a Comedy breakfast show starring Mark Mdluli! Every week, he will have someone join him in studio to get your weekends started off with a real laugh! Weekends bring in music and other strong presenters (Adrian, Sivan, Shaun and Lucy) to make sure to gear you up and then wind you down!
How's the teaming feeling before the first show airs?
The team is amped and raring to go! We are looking forward to going live on 1st July. We’re like a bunch of race cars revving at the start line, waiting for the flag to drop.