Sometime last year, Okay FM had started test transmission although it appeared there was no definite plan of what to do with the station and how to position it without making it compete too much with its sister station Peace FM and yet take listeners away from other stations in the capital.
What Okay FM needed to affect the market in the manner that the owners had envisaged was to have a presenter who commands a lot of listenership among the target audience they have marked to reach. They needed a marquee presenter to effectively affect the market.
But how were they going to do it? Were they going to pull people from Peace FM to come over and do that? Were they going to look around to see if they can find anyone who fits this archetype and haul him over? Is Abeiku Sanatana not the right material for this kind of venture? The questions were many.
Abeiku Santana was out of the question because for the sake of principle, Osei Kwame Despite would not poach anybody from Multimedia Broadcasting who still had a contract. To that marquee presenter would have to be looked at from somewhere else.
Then around this time last year, rumours started going round that Abeiku Santana and some other presenters at Adom FM were not too happy with the departure of Ekourba and were therefore prepared to take a walk. Not soon after that, the news came out (exclusively reported by yours truly) that he had tendered his resignation.
That singular act meant Christmas had come quickly for the Abeka Junction-based station and they swooped in for the kill. They ended up having his signature on the dotted line within a week or so after his resignation had matured and so it was that Abeiku found himself sitting on the afternoon to late afternoon show for the first time on another station that was not ran by Multimedia Broadcasting in the Greater Accra Region.
The next question then was whether Abeiku would be able to live up to the task that had been presented to him and whether he could replicate what he had done at Adom FM to the admiration of many at Okay FM.
As of the time he assumed his role as the presenter of the show, the only other person who had been employed at the station was former Hot FM news presenter, Ohene Nana Kwame Amu with whom Abeiku formed a partnership that has driven his programme very well.
Sanatana’s initial strategy was to bring home the relevance and importance of the word Okay in conversation. He proved how it was difficult to go about our work and interacting with people without saying okay a few times in a day.
That was meant to create awareness about the new station and to bring it home to people how useful it would be in their lives. Breaking through the radio clutter in Accra is the most difficult for both established stations and start up and any opportunity to do that is most desirable. It is my considered opinion that Abeiku did that very well.
His combination with Kwame Amu where they went to town to pick up gossips about people and talk about them on the segment called “Akeka Akeka” was a no brainer and it sat well with the audience. Indeed, there are issues of ethics about the modus operandi by which some of the information is got and the manner by which they are presented but it does not negate the fact that those who listen love it.
I have been looking over the date from Synovate over the last few months and it seems that gradually, Abeiku Santana’s programme has been beating others very well. On many days, the time between 1:00pm and 3:00pm sees the highest rise by Okay Fm and even sometimes their own sister station takes a good beating from them.
The gossip segment aside, Abeiku Santana has not varied his style much. He has been preaching to open the programme as he used to at Ashh FM in Kumasi and as he did also at Adom FM, he has been playing music and singing over it and he has tried to kid and play with his listeners as often as he can.
And yet that seem to be what those who have been listening to him for sometime and even the new listeners he may have acquired like him to do and he does it to perfection. His criticism from the advertising community is that, he over embellishes Live Presenter Mentions (LPMs) to the extent that he sometimes makes allusions to characteristics that the product or service he is talking about may not have.
However, his audience cares less and as the numbers show, they keep coming and making his programme one of the most listened to in Accra. Achieving this feat within this short time deserves a congratulatory pat on the shoulder for this 30-something year old former presenter of Radio Z (Eastern FM), Radio Mercury, Ashh FM and Adom FM.
The challenge would be to see how Abeiku and his posse on the afternoon show can maintain this high ground they have taken the show over the last few months.
We on this side of town will continue to listen and also look at the numbers.
Source: Francis Doku/Graphic Showbiz
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