Skyz Metro FM to launch in January

HARARE - Skyz Metro FM, which was licensed in March this year along with seven other radio stations, says it will begin operations in January next year.

Qhubani Moyo, the chief executive officer of the newly-licensed radio station, told the Daily News yesterday that the preparations for the launch of the radio station based at Amakhosi Arts Centre in Bulawayo were at an advanced stage.

“We have moved significantly in terms of preparations. The first thing we managed to do is adequate renovations and studio preparations at Amakhosi Arts Centre in Bulawayo.

“We have procured equipment which will arrive in the first week of December. We have recruited our staff and they have been training on their specific areas and programmes. Some did not have experience in radio so by the time we launch, they would have the needed training,” he said.

Moyo added that Skyz, whose shareholders include celebrated arts personality Cont Mhlanga would comply with the regulations of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) that stipulate that a radio station must launch operations within 18 months of having been licenced.

“We were licenced in March so we have only used up a few months of the time. December was our initial launch month, but in terms of business, it is a bad month. Advertising agencies would have closed so we figured only January would make sense as businesses will be opening then. We will hit the ground running in January.

“We applied fully aware of what that required (operating within a 40km radius). And in terms of reaching out to people it is viable as we will cover 1.5 million people which is almost the size of Botswana,” said Moyo.

Meanwhile AB Communications, the owners of Harare-based ZiFM, have insisted that Gogogoi FM (Masvingo) and FAYA FM (Gweru) will resume operations before the expiry of the 18 months deadline.

“I cannot tell you much on our preparations but the official comment is that we will definitely start operations before the 18 months lapse. We have already started to acquire equipment for the Gweru and Masvingo stations,” said AB Communications chief executive officer Susan Makore.

Of the stations that were licenced in March, only Zvishavane-based YAFM is operational. They started in September, recruiting veterans such as Davies Mugadza. Well-placed sources in the broadcasting sector say the licensed radio stations are struggling to take off due to lack of funding.