Algoa FM’s financial director Kevin Reed is retiring after 35 years in the media industry – and a job interview during which he was dressed “in lumo green shorts, a white T-shirt and white flip-flops”.
There is an explanation – having started a financial consulting business in 2000, he thought he had been invited for a studio interview.
Fortunately for all, Algoa FM is the place where “fun is a serious business” and following the February 2000 interview he was hired as the financial manager. Within three years he had been appointed financial director and deputy managing director.
It sometimes comes as a surprise to people who know the outgoing and extroverted side of Reed to find out that, once behind his computer, he has a totally different approach to life.
“Accounting is the most exact science. Debits always equal credits and don’t try to reinvent the abacus.
“The accounting team must never lose sight of the fact that accurate, timeous and meaningful financial and analytical information empowers management, the board and the group, to make informed strategic decisions that benefit all stakeholders,” he says.
Reed’s introduction to the media was with the then EP Newspapers, as financial accountant between 1985 and late 1998.
After joining Algoa FM, he gained an in-depth knowledge of radio by attending international conventions such as the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Dallas, Texas, and spending time at various radio stations in London, including the iconic Capital Radio and Virgin.
He has also worked with NRSmedia in Sydney, Australia, to develop new advertising packages and approaches for Algoa FM’s clients.
Radio is now firmly in his blood, and Reed believes that it is now the most powerful communication medium for companies wanting to connect with their customers in a defined broadcast area.
“In an evolving media landscape Algoa FM is best positioned to partner with clients to help them promote their brand from the Garden Route to the Wild Coast and through the Karoo,” he says.
Looking back, the professional achievements of which he is most proud are 21 years of clean audits at Algoa FM and building a strong team, which will now be headed by Desiré Killian.
“The small finance team is well equipped to take care of the financial and statutory obligations. I have to thank them for their commitment and professionalism, which allows me to retire knowing that the finances of Algoa FM are in very competent hands,” he says.
Then there is the fun aspect – through Algoa FM, Reed has met “in person” a number of superstars, including Shaggy, Belinda Carlisle, James Blunt, Will Young, Josh Groban, Celine Dion and Sting (with his family).
“In the media, we often take for granted how fortunate we are to share our working environment with champions who have diverse talents, creativity and passion. Media houses are a hotbed of human capital and intellectual property”.
The outgoing financial director is the epitome of the lifestyle of the typical Algoa FM listener – “my passions are food, travel and aircraft. Food and travel I believe are the greatest ways to appreciate and try new things and experience cultural diversity,” he says.
Thanks to Covid, travel plans are on the back-burner.
“I will be letting the corporate spring unwind and spend time with the way too many people I need to catch up with. I have worked for almost 50 years, starting as a packer at the first Pick n Pay at Lynwood in Pretoria, so it is now time to chill.
“I look forward to making awesome meals and travelling with my hubby. If that’s not physically possible, I can be found checking out planes at the airport or using an app to follow flights around the world”.
His advice to a younger Kevin: “Do not take time for granted. It goes by in the blink of an eye, especially when you are working hard and having fun at the same time.
“Start saving as soon as you can, but ensure you balance your life’s journey with treats and spoils.
“Surround yourself with the best people, for the right reason. But, mostly, ensure that your life is made up of a sequence of entertaining and engaging stories”.
“Leadership is all about the people. It’s not about organisations. Its not about plans. Its not about strategies. Its all about people – motivating people to get the job done. You have to be people-centred” – Colin Powell.
Mental health management has become a very important factor in all our lives. And for those in leadership roles, you not only have to be on top of your mental health, but that of your team members as well.
If we are to overcome the obstacles this pandemic has brought, our focus should be on our most valued asset, what we at Algoa FM call our “champions” – our people.
Coping with mental health challenges (our own and those of our staff) has always been part of our lives, but it has been kept a well-hidden secret, like something that we are embarrassed to share.
And as leaders, we were thrown in the deep end when Covid placed a spotlight on mental health and forced us to deal with the elephant in the room.
While mental illness has always been with us, international research collated by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has found that the prevalence of anxiety and depression has doubled in many countries around the world.
One of the first misconceptions that we need to overcome is that mental illness is a sign of some sort of weakness. It is an illness, much like any other, and we need to educate ourselves about it and understand it.
Here are some of my thoughts…
- Educate yourself about mental health through reading articles and attending webinars Share your insights with your team – knowledge is power.
- Have an open-door policy and listen when staff come to you with challenges
- When team members reach out, it is important to listen and then act
- Be aware that team members will almost certainly have a member of their immediate family or social circle suffering from mental challenges – this will have a knock-on effect
Many will try to keep their challenges to themselves. Here are some signs too look out for:
- Fatigue, changes in behaviour, being more aggressive in responses, poor work performance or throwing oneself completely into workday beyond 8-5, changes in appearances, changes in mood.
- Warning bells should ring if you cannot get hold of staff working remotely. Many times, if you are not in a good space answering a phone or responding to a message or an email can be too much.
- Reach out to staff. Have open, non-threatening conversations with your staff and allow them to express themselves
- Reach out to your HR Department for guidance and assistance.
I find that sharing my personal experience with mental health and the challenges I am facing through this pandemic helps.
And I always find that it helps when people understand that they are not alone, and that others are also facing similar challenges. You may be surprised how much support and hope an open conversation can give your staff members.
One must never forget that leaders are under at least as much strain as their team members – and often more. We need to care for our own mental health.
Looking after yourself mentally is as important as the skills and knowledge that have seen you move into a leadership role.
Leaders set the example, and your team will cope better with the mental challenges of a Covid world if you show the way.
Few of us can do it alone – as part of the leadership team, we need to be there for each other.
Know that there will be times when you feel despondent and feel like you can’t cope any more.
During these times we need to be able to support and lean on each other.
Be patient and understanding, when someone in a meeting has a reaction that was maybe out of the norm, step back… don’t take it personally and hear the person out.
Tomorrow, it could be you who is struggling to control stress.
These are challenging times for all of us.
About the author: Celeste Thomas – Algoa FM Human Resources Manager
Celeste joined Algoa FM in 2013. Under her guidance the Human Resources department has established itself as a strategic arm of the business, which is integrated into all the media house’s operations.
She also sits on the Board of Propella, a Gqebera-based business incubator geared to advance IT and manufacturing businesses.
“The world we live in is ever changing and as such I am always learning new things. My knowledge of the media industry has grown so much, and I am loving every minute of it. If you are innovative, creative, forward thinking and have the ability to adapt to different situations and still have a lot of fun while doing it…… then media is the industry for you,” says Celeste.
Algoa FM’s Great Deal Promotion package for advertisers was ranked the best commercial promotion stunt/event in the country at the 2021 South African Radio Awards, which were presented on Friday, June 30.
In addition, Algoa FM managing director Alfie Jay was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame for his contribution to the industry during his career of more than 30 years.
“The Great Deal Promotion was a game changer for our commercial efforts in 2020,” says Jay.
“The innovative programme proved to be a great success, not only for our clients but also for ourselves in what truly was a very difficult year,” he adds.
Algoa FM was nominated as a finalist in three categories – Wayne Hart for best breakfast show presenter, the Virtual Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer in the community project category, and the Algoa FM Great Deal Promotion in the promotions stunt/event category.
This bring to four, the number of times that Algoa FM has won the prestigious award for the best promotions stunt or event, having previously walked off with the spoils for its Heritage Day/Virtual Flag campaign, the launch campaign of the Algoa FM App and the annual Big Walk for Cancer.
“I am so very proud of my team for consistently innovating campaigns which deliver return on investment for our clients and stakeholders. This form of recognition says a lot about Algoa FM’s ability to impress on a national level,” says Jay.
Have you heard the story about the Algoa FM ‘Madhatter’s Tea Party’ where presenter Charl Leslie was dressed as the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland and played musical chairs with clients?
Our sales team had created a promotional opportunity for a select group of clients.
The goal was to secure forward revenue around an idea where we effectively sold shows to sponsors for a week at a time.
We had the sales solution, but needed a creative hook.
After much brainstorming we settled on a Madhatter’s Tea Party as our theme.
All we needed was the March Hare to host the day.
Up stepped the indomitable Mr.Charl Leslie, and the rest as they say, is history.
Whichever way you look at it, sales is a tough gig.
It’s my view that if you are really going to go for it, it had better be fun at least some of the time.
I mean if no-one’s having fun, what’s the point?
Delivering great work is so much easier when we are having fun, because if we’re not having fun, neither are our clients.
There is also a more serious business side to “fun” at Algoa FM.
“Our advertisers know that our media house is a fun place to work, but they also know we are an effective business with a positive workplace culture where business happens.”
Fun also allows us to boost engagement with our clients. They appreciate and understand the value of aligning their Brand with ours and the positive impact it has on their business.
Over the years, we’ve done loads of fun stuff with our clients, but The Madhatter’s Tea Party remains a firm favourite with me.
I have no doubt that fun will continue being a thing with us at Algoa FM.
How we continue to adapt in a Covid-restricted world sets us and our clients apart from everyone else.
Have you heard the one about the lady who walked into a business and said to the owner, “hi my name is Lesley Ann Fortuin from Algoa FM…but you can call me Bubbles?”
About the author: Dennis Karantges – Algoa FM Sales Manager
Dennis went from being a Client to Sales Manager in 2005. A marketer and sales person through-and-through, Dennis says “there’s a famous saying, ‘no one works until someone sells something’.
His advice to companies wanting to connect with customers from the Garden Route to the Wild Coast and through the Karoo, is: “Never take marketing your business or brand for granted. Make very sure you use the best advertising vehicle of delivery available to you in your chosen market. Seek their collaboration, then own your share of voice by being creative and keeping your marketing tuned in and switched on”.
Algoa FM managing director Alfie Jay has been appointed to the board of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.
A seasoned media professional of thirty-one years, he worked himself up through the ranks and various departments; starting in the field of audio production and moving into broadcasting before being invited to serve on the management team of what is now the leading media house in the Eastern Cape.
“I feel honoured to have been nominated from outside of my organisation and sector. My appointment to the NMB Business Chamber Board is recognition that Algoa FM is one of the leading corporates in the Eastern Cape, practices good governance and conducts business ethically.
“As a respected voice to business, Algoa FM shares many of the Chamber’s sentiments in respect of vision, mission and values. This made my decision to accept this nomination that much easier,” he says.
Jay brings extensive board experience to the chamber, having served on Algoa FM’s Board for close-on 15 years and on various committees and sub-committees of the National Association of Broadcasters; the South African Audience Research Foundation and the Broadcast Research Council (BRC) of South Africa, dating back to 1997.
The radio industry recently elected him to the Board of the BRC, where he has subsequently been appointed as co-chair of the organisation, which aims to provide objective, transparent data, catering to the audience measurement needs of the radio, television, marketing and advertising industries in South Africa.
Jay’s formal qualifications include the completion of an executive development programme for radio executives through Georgetown University as well as numerous other short courses.
“My career continues to provide constant learning experiences and I am looking forward to working with seasoned business leaders from the Nelson Mandela Metro, as well as my fellow new appointees to the Chamber Board,” he says.
A Covid-19 activated resurgence in radio listenership in the Eastern Cape has continued into 2021, according to Algoa FM marketing manager Lesley Geyer.
“Independent audience research by Colony has found that over 70% of Algoa FM’s listeners are spending more time tuned into the station than they were before the pandemic,” she says.
The technology being used to access the radio station is also changing, with 18% of the audience surveyed, reporting that they are streaming Algoa FM.
“Listeners are tuning in for both entertainment and information. The Colony research survey has established that the trust factor in respect of the news reports broadcast on air and published on the Algoa FM Facebook page has also increased during the pandemic.
“Listeners are checking the ‘facts’ shared via other social media pages against our curated news.
“This trust in Algoa FM news content extends to the rest of our experiential offering, which includes our digital products and the credibility of our news team as well as our on-air personalities, and our advertisers benefit by being closely associated with a trusted brand,” she says.
Geyer says the research indicates that more people are listening to Algoa FM because they have found how easy it is to tune in.
“The wide variety of Algoa FM platforms provides easy access for listeners.
“Not only do they listen via traditional radio sets, they are also tuning in via their mobile phones, audio streaming, station apps and satellite”.
According to the Algoa FM listeners surveyed, they are kept entertained and informed by the presenters, regular competitions and the music the station plays.
“Around 60% of listeners say they are attracted to the competitions and retail specials they learn about when tuned in.
“The research also confirms that listeners are more interested in saving money due to the financial pressures brought about by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is evident in the research finding that retail shopping ads have one of the highest recall rates among listeners – they hear and remember the specials.
“This does not mean they will be going to the shops physically – around two thirds of the Algoa FM listeners surveyed, report shopping online, and 40% purchase online at least once a month.
“The good news is that they can afford to shop.
“Some 66% of listeners are back at work full time – compared to 54% in 2020.
“Around 14% are working part-time.
“Covid-19 has also not halted Algoa FM’s listeners from planning for the future, with 20% of respondents saying they would like to buy a car during 2021 and 14% planning to buy a house.
“When asked what else they intend doing during 2021; 40% said they wanted to lose weight or get fit, and 20% planned to study further or start a new hobby.
“All of this points to a vibrant consumer market throughout our footprint, from the Garden Route to the Wild Coast and through the Karoo,” says Geyer.
Algoa FM has developed a reputation among national and regional advertisers for its ‘hands-on’ approach to supporting marketing drives.“What makes us stand out from other media houses is that we partner with the client to take ownership of the campaign,” says sales manager Dennis Karantges. He says the energy the Algoa FM team devotes to campaigns is captured in the media house’s slogan – “fun is a serious business”.
Established as a radio station 35 years ago, Algoa FM has grown into the biggest media house serving the region from the Garden Route to the Wild Coast and inland through the Karoo. In addition to being the biggest private commercial radio station in the region, Algoa FM now has a very strong online and social media presence, supported by its “on the ground” presence involving the on-air personalities.
The sales team works with advertisers to craft campaigns that deliver a measurable return on investment, according to Karantges. “Because we live here and are fully integrated into the local business sector, we understand the market.
“We also conduct formal research,” he adds. Independent research commissioned by Algoa FM found that people in the Eastern Cape have become more conservative in their purchasing, choosing products they know and brands they trust.
“Research and experience also show that they trust Algoa FM presenters, who are all local celebrities, each with a loyal following. Advertisers benefit from this relationship as products spoken about or endorsed by the presenters are also seen as trustworthy by our on air, online and on the ground audiences,” he adds.
A new retailer leveraged off this relationship when it opened its first store in Port Elizabeth. The client asked Algoa FM to craft a campaign that would introduce listeners to the new store and its products, create thorough awareness of their physical address, grow Facebook likes, create engagement in a fun and informative way and, of course, ensure product sales – all during lockdown.
Based on the success of their August launch, the client booked two additional campaigns in 2020 – one to promote a second store opening (in October) and another to promote their festive season specials.
Fans get to meet presenters regularly during broadcasts or crossings from the premises of clients, such as the retailer in question. Packages range from full-blown live broadcasts to high-energy crossings from the presenter, who also interacts with the crowd.
Algoa FM is constantly innovating and creating fresh new ways for advertisers to reach their customers. An example is the “Great Deal Promotion”, in which advertisers provide at least three special offers. The offers are made available before and after the event day in order to comply with Covid-19 protocols and to increase the return on investment.
“This promotion speaks directly to our footprint’s psyche. Any retailer will tell you that we (the people of Algoa country) are particularly attracted to special offers,” says Algoa FM managing director Alfie Jay.
He encourages local and national advertisers to tap into the understanding that Algoa FM has built up over its 35 years in business by helping clients to connect with the people of Algoa Country.
“What works in Gauteng or KZN will not necessarily have the same impact in the Eastern Cape or the Garden Route. There often is a better way for client and agency to invest their marketing budget. Generic ‘one size fits all’ approaches can also harm brands.
“We’re always happy to discuss campaigns and try something new if it’s going to add value to the fun element of being part of the Algoa Country family. Most of our sales consultants have become local experts in the fields of radio and online communication. What’s more, their advice and consultative approach is part of the package we offer,” says Jay.
For more info on how you can get your brand on Algoa FM, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 010 590 4554.
“Mother’s Day is not really a day during which I focus on my role as a mum, but rather on that of my role as a daughter,” says Algoa FM Breakfast Show presenter Lee Duru.
“I dedicate special attention to my own mother,” says the multi-talented Duru, who has the lead role in a new sitcom and strives to strike a balance between her family and multiple professional lives.
“My mother is the woman who laid the groundwork and set the tone for the type of parent I am today,” says Duru.
“On Mother’s Day, I try to show extra gratitude and acknowledgement for all she has done for me”.
“Every sacrifice made and every memory created. I find that I appreciate and understand it all that much more now that I am a mum myself”, says Duru.
Speaking of herself as a mother, Duru manages her busy schedule with “a lot of family support”.
“My husband, mum and sister help keep the wheels turning and, of course, I’d be nowhere without my diary, year planner and endless lists”!
“Thankfully, my daughter Elah, is now a fully-fledged teenager and so making lunches, sorting uniforms and packing bags is a thing of the past – although I do have to cast a guiding eye once in a while”.
Duru says she is “strict” about personal and family time and emphasizes the importance of being selective and learning to say “no” to certain invitations.
“Most days start at 04:30 (depending on how many times I hit the snooze button)! At 06:00 I co-host the breakfast show and then from 09:00 I could have anything from meetings to admin or brunch with a friend lined up”.
“My second work shift starts at around 16:30 when I start preparing dinner for the family.
In between, Duru has ensured that as a freelancer she has multiple income streams”.
“I currently write for a TV show on SABC 2 called “Karektas” and am part of the development team for a docu-drama called “Ko Strateng”.
“I’m also in front of the camera from time to time. In April I started filming a sitcom in Johannesburg to be aired on Moja Love, where I play the lead character”.
“I also MC, am a public speaker as well as a social media influencer with various campaigns lined up for the year”.
Lee describes herself as an affectionate, protective, responsible, and reliable mother.
She says she is a “straight-shooter who tells it like it is and keeps it real”.
Her approach to discipline is a combination of “old school” and modern. “While my father was very strict and gave me several hidings growing up – modern-day parenting now calls for us to confiscate devices and talking about feelings!”
“My aim is and will always be to create a secure, nurturing home in which Elah can be spontaneous and feel loved”.
The Middelburg (Cape) Recreation Club has received R46 000 worth of sports equipment for a variety of disciplines through funds raised by the Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer, which is the biggest mass-participation charity event in the Eastern Cape.
Algoa FM partnered with the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) to promote healthy living and exercise for the first Virtual Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer, which was held on Saturday, October 31, 2020.
Speaking at the handover, Inxuba Yethemba mayor Noncedo Zonke, said it was a municipality “with a passion for sport which excels at women’s running.
“Social programmes like these are very important because we do not need to focus only on academic performance. We need to encourage young people to keep healthy, and teach them that exercise makes you a complete person”.
DSRAC deputy director of the Chris Hani District Thoko Oliphant, said the Middelburg club was selected because of its enthusiastic participation in the first Virtual Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer.
Lorinda Brown, head of the Middelburg Recreational Club said “we can now lead a more active and healthier lifestyle thanks to the more than five thousand people who registered for the 2020 Virtual Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer”.
The equipment is being stored safely at the Ellen Olivier Primary School.
“We partner with both the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and the Department of Health” to promote healthy living and exercise in Algoa Country, says Algoa FM marketing manager Lesley Geyer.
Included in the equipment requested by the Middelburg Recreation Club are agility ladders, yoga mats, dumbbells, gym balls, water dispensers and a loudspeaker system.
Media Release for Algoa FM
By Siyathetha Communications
Young women in the Wild Coast Zithulele Village will continue receiving training in life and practical skills thanks to a R118 000 donation by the empowerment shareholder of Algoa FM to the Masiphakameni Youth Development Programme.
“The programme‘s intention to develop confidence in young rural women was the key selling point for me,” says Algoa FM non-executive director Zola Tshefu.
Masiphakameni is a programme run by Jabulani Rural Health Foundation.
Unemployed women from Zithulele and surrounds in the former Transkei attend an eight-month course which focuses on both “soft” and practical skills, according to programme facilitator Jenny Michell.
“What I love most about the Masiphakameni programme is the holistic approach to young women development through offering a broad range of training, life skills as well as new experiences and exposure,” adds Tshefu, who overseas the Algoa FM Empowerment Company, through which the funds have been channelled.
“I believe you may have all the education in the world but without self-confidence you cannot achieve much in life. That inner knowing that you have something to contribute to this world gives one unstoppable power,” she adds.
The programme includes afternoon placement with local NGOs or government institutions where the young women gain practical experience, and learn how to behave professionally in the work environment.
They also give back to the community through their work, says Michell.
Each participant receives a stipend for the work they perform. This can be used to support their families or saved towards paying for college or university.
“The benefit of this kind of investment in these young women goes beyond them as individuals, but also impacts their families and their villages, and the country stands to gain,” says Tshefu.
Funding provided from the Algoa FM Empowerment Company will help Masiphakameni to expand the courses it offers.
“We are planning to introduce a training programme called ‘Work 4 A Living’. It is a great course covering basics of financial literacy, work ethics, job preparation, taking responsibility for one’s own future and more,” says Michell.