Hot 91.9 FM, a community radio station from Roodepoort that celebrates old school tunes, R&B and fun, emerged as the biggest winner at last night’s Liberty Radio Awards.
The awards, which were dished out at a gala banquet at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, are the biggest in the industry and the winners get bragging rights for a year.
The awards are divided into winners for community, campus and commercial radio stations.
Hot 91.9 FM bagged eight trophies on the night.
Of the commercial channels, Algoa FM in Port Elizabeth beat the competition with four trophies, and by far the biggest winner of the campus stations was North West University’s PUKfm 93.6, which returned to Potchefstroom with five gongs.
National darling Wilson B Nkosi, with his gravelly voice, classic R&B playlist and poetic touch, was a hugely popular addition to the Radio Hall of Fame.
Leading the mainstream
Algoa FM lifted the big one – best commercial station – but its other three awards weren’t the biggest trophies.
They were for best community project, and also a joint win for best promotions for its Big Walk for Cancer and best daytime show for The Algoa FM Top 30.
Kaya FM’s David O’Sullivan walked away with the best breakfast presenter award. He joined Kaya in May when he left Power FM, which was another big winner last night.
Kaya Bizz took the best business and finance show award, and The Law Report was named best news and actuality show.
The SABC urban station Metro FM took one of the most popular wins of the night when Mo Flava and Masechaba Ndlovu’s The Drive lifted the trophy for best afternoon drive show. Metro also picked up best sports show for The Ultimate Sports Show.
Power FM, Jacaranda FM and talk station 702 matched Metro with two awards each.
Mia Lindeque from 702 was named best field reporter, while the station’s Tara Penny was named best news bulletin reader.
Best sports presenter was named as Thabiso Mosia at Power FM, though he has since joined SAfm.
East Coast Radio’s Bongani Mtolo was named best afternoon drive presenter, and Cape Town’s Kfm won best breakfast show for Kfm Mornings with Darren, Sherlin and Sibs.
Vuma FM’s Sunday Gospel Show was the best music show in the country, and the best night-time show award was won by OFM’s A Touch of Thabang, while best traffic presenter was Rendy S from Phalaphala FM.
Rocking the campuses
PUKfm, swept the board with wins for best campus breakfast show, best campus daytime show, best campus night-time show and best campus weekend show.
It’s only competition came from Tuks FM, which won best campus afternoon drive show and best campus breakfast presenter for Nicholas Lawrence.
UCT radio’s Naushaad Maharaj the won best campus afternoon drive presenter award.
More than just recognition, a Liberty Radio Award can be a big deal for a student radio host as it often feeds the big commercial channels with new talent.
Spreading community love
Hot FM, unsurprisingly, lifted the best community station award. It also took community awards for afternoon drive presenter Simon Parkinson, afternoon drive show, most popular station, most loyal listeners, sports show, best weekend show and best station imaging.
Since its launch in November 2014, Hot FM has sported a top commercial line-up to win the community audience.
Among its stars are Sasha Martinengo, Mark Pilgrim, Kevin Savage and Treasure Tshabalala.
The station’s founders, Lloyd Madurai and Savage, were also inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame last night.
Its biggest competition came from Mix FM, which took home two trophies.
New school radio
The award for best internet/online radio show went to Pulpit Media Group’s I am Youth and the best podcast was #GetReal with Vanessa Goosen on East Coast Radio. There were 12 young up-and-coming radio stars recognised last night as well, with Adadume Magadlela taking the bursary award.