Chilewe takes over ownership of Star FM

Malawi radio station, Star FM, is now under new ownership. This follows its acquisition by one of the country’s youthful entrepreneur Mike Chilewe Jnr.

New owner Star FM: Mike Chilewe Jnr.

New owner Star FM: Mike Chilewe Jnr.

Mike Chilewe Jnr.

Mike Chilewe Jnr.

Chilewe has taken over the ownership and running of the Lilongwe-based FM radio station from Elvis Nserebo, founder of Matindi FM.

A statement from media consultancy Pencils PR, issued Monday, indicates that Chilewe became the new Star FM chairman last week.

“As of last week I have really acquired Star FM Malawi,” he is quoted as saying in the statement.

“It’s a deal that has taken two years to conclude because the negotiations started in 2013, but now we thank God it’s a done deal and we are happy and already started works on the radio,” confirmed Chilewe.

The acquisition sees Chilewe Jnr, who is also managing director of  Innovertising Company, becoming the youngest Malawian businessperson to own a radio station at the age of 25.

Star FM was founded by Ghanaian preacher, Pastor Richard Lutwama, and went on air in 2006 and Nserebo purchased the station in 2013 when it was headquartered in Blantyre.

As he was already running Matindi FM, Nserebo was supposed to forgo one station as one company cannot hold two broadcasting licenses, according to Malawi Communications Laws.

Despite starting on a high the first few years on air, Star FM, which is famed for local and international soccer commentary, has been struggling to keep up with competition on the market.

While admitting that it would be a huge task turning things around at the station, the new owner says there is still so much potential in the station but only needs “proper direction, infrastructure andgreat programs”.

“A diamond looks useless until it is in the right hands that polish and cut it and make it valuable,” he points out. “I am someone who sees an opportunity when others are seeing impossibility. I strive to prove myself right and get to work.”

“It’s a huge task but it’s not like I will be running the radio on a day to day as such.This is something where you get the talented right people who are passionate with the business.

“The few months of turnaround I will be involved in most things up until we turn it around and leave people who have talent on radio do their thing and just motivate them, invest in them to get the best out of them,” he says further.

Chilewe’s vision is to see Star FM being one of the best radios in Malawi that listeners and advertisers want to associate with, observing that while it might look like there was lost confidence, the team at the stationis so determined beyond what is inthe public’s eye. He will ensure that Star FM has nationwide coverage and no cut off transmissions.

“We want to be on 24/7 broadcasting and we won’t sleep up until we get there and I know we will. We are working on having quality programs that Malawians will love more than they do at the moment,” he states.

Having moved to Lilongwe from Blantyre last year, Chilewe indicates that there are no immediate plans to relocate back to the commercial cit yas there are other important issues to focus on at the moment.

Asked if there will be any changes in management at administrative level or any restructuring, he said he had learnt in business over the years not to make rush decisions in changing management.

Chilewe however says: “Of course a few things will change and bring in a few new things or people where need be since we will be turning it around, but some information at the moment is internal but what I can tell you is that we will rebrand the Star FM brand and Malawi should expect the best”.

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31 thoughts on “Chilewe takes over ownership of Star FM”

  1. Andy Vorster says:

    Hi Mike
    Well done.
    Do us all proud and prosper.
    Take Care
    and hope to hear from you soon

    Andy Vorster and fam

  2. C Jay Jeezle says:

    You are a motivation buddy ..proud of you ..keep on grinding hard..we r go gettaz

  3. pijo says:

    Money talks

  4. YB says:

    CHUMA CHA A BAMBWAKO. DON’T BULLSHIT US LIKE WE ARE KIDS.

  5. Radio is a dead business. Especially with the advent of cheaper data costs and mobile phone availability. But as an entrepreneur, it’s all about the rosk-taking so all the best Mr Capable!

  6. kd says:

    chuma chamakolo ichi … ine ndimatipula wekha amwene ………..

  7. munyane says:

    Mike muhike jnr congrats. U r a strong character. Like father like son. U will excel. Involve ur dad too! We love u!

  8. Zuna says:

    Strategic my foot! Uninformed decisions. Enroll for an MBA and you will know that strategic decisions are based on growth, ROI and market share.

  9. Gologolo pa mtengo says:

    I wish our elected representatives in Parliament could gang up and propose the auctioning of MBC so that guys with wisdom can run it. MBC is now DPP Broadcasting Corporation. Very boring!

  10. NSEREBO WISHING YOU THE BEST WITH OTHER ACTIVITIES

  11. marko says:

    Hip-Hop woyeeeeeeeeeee afana wodyerera kugura Radio Station……

  12. marko says:

    Congrats Mike Hip-Hop ivaye patsogolo Gowero part two iyambike koma Ndalama zogulira Radio station mwazitrappa kuti man kapeza mwayamba kugawana dollar mdazi ili moyo?

  13. mfana wa boo says:

    well done. Ubwino wake even if he fails to move on, the father will just top up and the station will survive.

    we need job creation, thats very good boy.

  14. ujeni says:

    Young young? so what, there are multimillionairs youth in dollar terms out there, musicians, rappers, sports stars etc. What is Malawi yardstick? really we have low standards in Malawi, the reason we call sick people and give them red carpet

  15. Lusako says:

    Let ung’onoung’ono shine,braze & kep th flames ever living…The A.P.M nap….musova.

  16. The Truthful One from the West says:

    Is Vivien Damalekani still at Star Fm? She knew how to captivate the audience. Private radio stations should not be like MBC which only airs anything favourable to DPP Govt.

  17. I have ben very much inspired and I just wish Mike all the best as he will be turning things around at the institution, to best serve the Malawi population and the world in a positive way.

    I hope this will bring some sanity to information if this radio, his radio station, decides to start serving in the people in their interest and reporting in the way things have happened without exagarating or substituting the truth with edited lies.

  18. Umunthu says:

    Kulangiza boma sikutukwana boma ai. If DPP goofs we expect Star to be there. Where it has performed, why not applaud it!

  19. Big brain says:

    Ki Youngman

  20. Gerald says:

    Congratulations and best wishes to you as you are taking on that new challenge in your businesses.God bless you.

  21. Uchindami says:

    Mawayilesi angoti mbwee awa ambiri ayenda mnjira ngati yomweyo. Inu mungoti phee!

  22. Wailing Soul says:

    Nyasatimes reporter. Just a matter of fact: The founder of Star is not Ghanaian but rather is Ugandan. Further fact is that he is Richard Lutwama who is husband to June Lamba, the daughter of former Chanco History lecturer, then PS at Education in Kamuzu days, Dr. Isaac Lamba who was later to become a diplomat in New York, at the UN and Germany after democracy. June, his daugther, and the wife to Lutwama, was further fact, a journalist after Chanco ku Nation newspapers briefly in the late 90s and left for the US. She was just a few years ago a lecturer at Poly while Star was under the helm of their family. ( The Lutwamas).
    They are now in Kampala, Uganda running a religious ministry.

    But as for Star. The terrain is too crowded. Whether it is the business son to a billionaire DPP tycoon Chilewe (who actually dressed up the parliamentary seats in blue with a multimillion contract) during Bingu’s time, or not, Star faces an uphill task to even break-even. Instead of concentrating on sharing the national audiences with the likes of Zodiak, Star should just have a particular focused segment, more like a community radio in disguise (because they are not licensed as such). Star, just like Matindi have been flops,

    Radio 101 is one example of a focused radio station from the word go (just the 15-25 aged category). It has very few permanent staff and relies on short-term contracted radio personalities, thereby few running costs and have survived like that since the late 1990s to this day, ena kumabwera nkumatha ngati makatani.

    So Chilewe and Star FM, don’t rush to recruit or talk about TV like Elvis Nserebo did by poaching MIJ staff to join his newly launched Matindi FM then, while struggling to re-pay loans with his other businesses like Agri-feeds, schools (including a failed college in the old Stagecoach building opp trade-fair grounds). Only for the poached MIJ staff to be left destitutes a few moths later with no pay.

    Chilewe, re-start slowly and study the radio market. It’s not easy to attract advertisers when you have so many radio stations with no focused targeted listenership. All the best.

  23. KINI says:

    Wrong choice of business, does not thrive and Return on Investment is zero, but goodluck!

    1. Tigre says:

      It’s all about strategy. Zilizonse kumangoti wrong choncho mungatikuke. Use your brains.

  24. adona says:

    big up mike may GOD keep on blessing you. you deserve the best coz u always work hard.

  25. mapasa says:

    How much have you bought the radio station? Inuyo mumapanga chani mpaka kugula radio station at the age of 25.

    Cashgate yakuthandizani eti?

  26. gribeta says:

    You will prevail Mike you have proved to be one of the key players in business and you need to remain as such.

  27. Mark B. says:

    This is good news. Congratulations Mike.

  28. John Chirwa says:

    I envy the Chilewes kip it up

  29. Mhesha says:

    Congratulations Mike…osati kungokhalira kudikira kutukwana Boma…nchifukwa chake things appear stagnant. Have something productive to do. Ine nduudzala mphodzatu basi.

  30. cbk says:

    imabeba kale kuli kankazi kolongolola kaja mumati chalungama kaya ndani kaya.ndi nzake akupanga za police pa mbc tv.tiiwone.

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