Johannesburg – 5FM has said that the departure of veteran DJ Sasha Martinengo at the end of March comes as part of "an annual line-up change" and that the station needs to "evolve and change as our listeners do".
Martinengo, also known as the "The Italian Stallion", announced on Twitter
on Wednesday that he will be leaving the station after 17 years in the radio business.
In a statement later released by 5FM, station manager Aisha Mohamed explained the move to part ways with Martinengo: "Line-up changes are an unfortunate part of the radio landscape. Every year 5FM, along with the SABC's 17 other radio properties, evaluate their on-air line-up for the year ahead."
The statement goes on to praise Sasha's "incredible work ethic" and his "dedication" to his listeners. On-air partner
Martinengo's on-air partner Kim Schulze, tweeted
that 5FM "will announce it's new lineup once it's finalised, this will probably be closer to the end of March".
Schulze also confirmed that Martinengo's departure will affect her position, saying that "I love Sasha, but we aren't conjoined. There'll be changes for me too, can't confirm yet".
A Twitter user jokingly responded to Shulze, who have shared the 09:00-12:00 spot with Martinengo for three years, saying: "Sad news: radio's top father/daughter team parting ways. Best of luck to
at Metro, and at RSG. "
Martinengo took to his 5FM DJ page
to thank fans: "Working at 5FM hasn't just been a job, it's been my life. I'd like to think I have entertained my listeners over the years. I have had a brilliant time and will miss my 5FM family. Thank you for all the years of fun and support."