Entertainment of Thursday, 5 January 2017
“Transfer window” – that’s an expression that football fans are all too familiar with. But this piece is not about football. It’s about the “movements” taking place across the media houses.
Gone are the days when every journalist’s dream was to work at the state broadcaster; (GBC/GTV). Now, media houses abound. The options are numerous. Any aspiring journalist, based on their own aspirations, qualities and abilities could land a job at any of the Twi/English speaking stations.
It is no secret that in Ghana today, the leading media houses are the Multimedia Group (Joy Fm/JoyNews /Asempa FM/Adom FM/Hitz FM etc) Citi FM, Media General (TV3/3FM/Onua FM etc.), ApexAdMedia (Ghanaweb), and the EIB Group (Starr FM/ Kasapa FM/Starr FM/Gh One etc.), and the Despite Group (Peace FM/Okay FM/Neat FM etc).
The competitive nature of the media landscape in recent times has led to the movement of key staff from the main media houses. This cross carpeting is what many now call, the “media transfer window” or “Poaching”
Citi FM, Joy FM and TV3 have all lost influential and promising on-air personalities over the past couple of months alone.
At TV3, we can talk about the departure of Nana Aba Anamoah who left the station under very controversial circumstances to Gh One.
Citi FM also lost it’s Head of Sports, Gary Al-Smith who crossed over to JOY FM for close to a billion old Ghana cedis.
The Twi stations are not left out as Peace FM’s Fiifi Banson, after long years of service to the Despite Group moved to EIB Group’s Kasapa FM as a morning show host.
From even a cursory analysis, one would realize that two media houses that rarely have their big names poached are Peace FM and Citi FM.
Perhaps, one could say, it’s due to the sheer commitment of the staff there.
Talk to any reporter or employee of Citi FM for example and you’ll be amazed at what they say about their boss, Samuel Attah Mensah (Samens). This is a man who goes out of his way to make sure the needs of his staff are met at every given point in time well catered for.
On the reverse though, the Multimedia group seems to be the media house that easily gets its staff poached.
As a radio station that is noted for its brand and hugely talented staff, Joy FM’s dominance on the landscape throughout the years is no surprise.
But one thing that baffles me is why people keep leaving the media giant.
I woke up this morning to news that, the station’s Midday News Host, Francis Abban is joining the Gh One TV. This is a gentleman who entered JOY FM as a National Service person, rose through the ranks, hosting other programmes like the 6am News, Top Story and Pulse (JoyNews TV).
Before his decision to quit though, several others had embarked on similar moves. My checks reveal that in 2015 alone, more than 20 staff of the company resigned. They include, screen goddess, Kemini Amanor (now with EIB), Renowned broadcaster, Ato Kwamena Dadzie, Tough talking and probing, Francisca Kakra Forson (now with VOA), Talented political and court reporter, Kwakye Afreh-Nuamah (now with TV3/3FM), Top anchors, Stephen Anti (now with TV3) and Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng.
That is not all! Some of the company’s other key reporters who have left the scene include, Felix Akoyam (now with EIB), Kwabena Owusu Ampratwum (now PRO of the Christian Council) and Kofi Adu Domfeh (now with TV3). Oh! I nearly forgot about Colombian University Graduate, Anny Osabutey and Alex Kobinna Mensah.
Constantly, the question I ask my friends at MGL anytime I hear about another resignation is, “why are you all moving?”
The responses I have gathered over the period points to the fact that, it’s mainly due to poor working conditions. But why train people for years and just allow them to walk away?
Enough about Multimedia. At least for now.
Let’s talk about the Class Media Group’s Class FM. After the station was established about a year ago, they recruited some of the experienced names in the media today. Talk about Sedem Ofori (Former Head of Talk at Joy FM), Alex Kobina Mensah, Fred Kuuku Smith, Emefa Apawu and Prince Minkah.
However, months down the line, Class FM, risks becoming the forbidden den of many.
In one day alone, three of its staff, including the two Midday News anchors, resigned and joined EIB’s Starr FM.
Months earlier, Sedem Ofori had resigned and moved to 3FM. The former managing news editor, Alex Mensah has also crossed over to Starr FM in the same capacity.
Now, reports indicate, the station’s Morning Show Host, Prince Minkah is rejoining the Multimedia group as Midday news host cum producer.
Class FM too, Why? That’s the question I keep asking myself.
Employers cannot keep their core staff forever. Certainly, even the most committed employees would want to switch jobs at a point. But gradually, the media is seemingly becoming more like the football world where the highest bidder poaches the biggest talent.
But I think it takes little to maintain your key staff. Just make them do what they like doing, but more importantly, PAY THEM WELL.
Could it be that the presenters are greedy?