We hinted back in June that a new radio station to be called Storm FM was preparing to begin transmission in the Sun City. As you read this piece, Storm FM owned by business mogul Tony Bennett is test-transmitting from the Knights of St. Johns building at the heart of Sunyani on the 101.9 segment of the FM meter band.
Storm FM actually commenced test transmission in November but had to go off due to some electrical installation problems which have since been rectified thus paving way for effective test transmission.
Storm FM we hear, will be operating under the management of former broadcaster and football administrator, Charles Ntim, popularly called Micky Charles and if experience and connections are anything to go by, then the young station is headed for success. We also hear that long time reggae presenter RapTee Saint Addo is also likely to be engaged as the Events and Promotions Manager for the station.
It’s still early days but the ingredients one requires to have a successful test transmission can all be seen in the campaign of Storm FM. Their sound is clear and coverage is wider, plus they have good music stock (at least from what they’ve played so far) as well as custom-made and appealing station liners and IDs. They’ve also activated the radio data system (RDS) which seems to be working very well relaying vital information about the station such as name, frequency, location, studio phone number, etc.
Another thing to talk about is branding and we think that they’ve not done badly at all even though they need to do more. Storm FM’s branded saloon car has been crisscrossing the Sun City for more than four months or so. Anybody who uses the main street in front of the Knights of St Johns building might have seen a giant Storm FM sign written in decorative lighting (covered in black), erected on top of the building. The only thing we’re yet to see are stickers and other souvenirs which are also important branding items that radio stations use.
There’s not much to say except that it looks as if a little inexperience is sometimes exhibited in the way the test is played, at least judging from the unnecessary intermittent slowing of music tempos.
Another thing is that we’re yet to hear more of burger highlife. Songs from the likes of George Darko, Frank Baafi, Ben Brako, Albert Jones, Jon Kay, Pat Thomas, Lee Duodu, Slim Young, Rex Gyamfi, Thomas Frimpong, Joe Mensah, Gee Man, AB Crentsil, Paapa Yankson, Jessie Jones, C.K. Man, Obibini Takyi, Nana Tuffuor, Nakorex, etc. are very essential in test transmission situations. So far, the hiplife, contemporary highlife, gospel, hip-hop, RnB, and old school experience has been OK.
In the past radio stations whose test transmissions easily come to mind include Classic FM in 1999 when they went to the extent of bringing down DJ Azigiza Jnr. to lead the team; Space FM in 2002 had Kwame Baah-Acheamfour and others who left good memories; Adepa FM in 2006/2007 left refreshing memories and recently Agoro FM in Berekum also had a rewarding test transmission. All these stations are still forces to reckon with and it shows the importance of ensuring a successful test transmission.
We’re not by any means saying that successful test transmission is the only thing that ensures a station’s success. After all, there are stations whose test had tremendous impact but became total apologies when it came to serious business and a perfect example is Nkosuo 95.3Mhz in Kumasi.
For Storm FM to be counted among the stations whose test transmission easily comes to mind, they need to ensure a good flow of music. They must play a lot of songs that people wish to hear but are not getting the chance to and also songs that listeners can easily follow, mime or sing along as they play. We think that would do the magic for them.
As we’ve already hinted in our June articles, several names are making the rounds and we’ll be here to feed you with all the rumours as and when they appear. We’ll also be available writing about the good and the bad as they happen.