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.
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”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :