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Classic FM loses familiar voices

2011-03-02 10:07
Johannesburg – Three of Classic FM’s presenters have been asked to leave the radio station due to restructuring.

Mike Mills, Tony Blewitt and Thabiso Tema (TT) - three of the station’s most familiar voices were heard for the last time on Classic FM on Monday, said co-owner of the station, Dominic Ntsele.

According to Ntsele, the decision was already made six months ago and thus comes as "no surprise" to the presenters.

"We are giving the station a new format in order to rise to the challenge of involving younger listeners. We listen to what listeners say and adapt accordingly."

'Nothing personal'

Mills has been with the station for 12 years, Blewitt for eight and TT for four. Blewitt’s shows aired from 06:00 to 10:00 and from 19:00 to 20:00. TT was on air from 10:00 to 14:00 and Mills from 14:00 to 18:00.

All three presenters were contract workers.

Classic FM is owned by a consortium which includes Ntsele, the soccer administrator Irvin Khoza as well as the Ingoma trust.  Ntsele reiterated on Tuesday that the decision was "nothing personal".

'Time for a change'

"The three knew what was going to happen for six months. We like them as people, but it’s time for a change. The decision was certainly not taken lightly and it was difficult to say goodbye to them."

A part of Classic FM’s new format is to have more music and less voice. "At some radio stations, the presenter is the most important aspect, however with us it’s the music. People don’t always enjoy it when classical music is interrupted by a voice."

Blewitt told Moneyweb that he is currently negotiating with another company.


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