SABC axes Real Talk

2019-01-30 10:27

Cape Town – The SABC has taken a definite decision to cancel the weekday talk show on SABC3, Real Talk with Azania.

The public broadcaster confirmed in a statement that Real Talk will not return for a fifth season and that repeat episodes will be shown in the timeslot until the end of February.

"The SABC would like to announce that SABC3's talk show programme Real Talk will not be returning for a 5th season, when the current episodes of Real Talk, which are repeat episodes conclude. The decision was taken following the new direction which the channel will be taking.

"The SABC would like to thank Cheeky Media for their hard work and dedication in delivering Real Talk to SABC3 audiences."

Unconfirmed rumours started swirling in September 2018 that Real Talk on SABC3 was cancelled, although, at that time, the SABC then said that it had not taken any decision at that time to do so.

Things turned sour for Real Talk with massive brand and reputational damage for the show and SABC3 in December 2017 in a "pay-for-play" scandal when the SABC broadcast two episodes on SABC3 in which then-host Anele Mdoda interviewed and fawned over the controversial former minister of social development, Bathabile Dlamini as well as her publicist Lumka Oliphant.

Unknown to viewers, undeclared to the audience and completely against SABC rules, the department paid and SABC took payment, without disclosing to viewers that they are watching paid for "talkomercials".

Taking payment from politicians for interviews, as well as taking payment for interviews without disclosing it to the public is against the SABC's own editorial policy. The SABC board got involved and met about the serious lapse that damaged SABC integrity.

Mdoda abruptly quit Real Talk in June 2018 as viewership of the already low-rated show tanked further and later criticised the slow response to it in public. SABC3 and Cheeky Media then rebranded the show with the credible Azania Mosaka, who took over in mid-June 2018 to see out the rest of the current season of Real Talk.

Neither Real Talk, Mdoda or SABC3 ever directly addressed the controversial issue on air although a Real Talk producer said most brands pay to be on the show.

Read more on:    sabc  |  anele mdoda

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