By Ayo Ademokoya
At the early year 2000, do you know that Ibadan can only boast of less than 5 Radio stations? Back then, Ibadan or the entire Oyo state could only boast of Radio Nigeria(FRCN) 1&2 owned by the federal government, then BCOS Radio 1&2
Later the Federal Government began the project of 36FM stations and Premier FM Amuludun FM were rocking the airwaves only for BCOS to suddenly woke up and rebranded. Oluyole FM radio was born.
While Radio stations thrived in Lagos and Abuja or Port Harcourt , Ibadan was regarded as a dead-end so radio stations sprang up sporadically in Lagos.
No one saw the potential of Ibadan where TV and radio first launched in Africa!!!
But one man changed the narratives, Chief Adebayo Akande of West Midlands took the risk and started Splash FM.
In no time, Splash FM was raking in 3times what BCOS was making with less than 25 staff both on and off-air.
I learnt that Splash was making nothing less than 30million naira every month with his highly professional staff while over 300 staff of BCOS both radio and TV was generating less than 10million naira in a month and had to rely solely on state government subventions to survive.
The main reason why the General Manager of BCOS to that time Mr Yanju Adegbite via the government of Abiola Ajimobi decided to downsize and streamline the workforce for better professionalism and productivity (though many that were sacked or redeployed said the actions taken were politically motivated and was done to pay back some sort of vendetta..) This is a story for another day.
The Media war!!!
The success story of Splash FM in Ibadan was an eye-opener for many Lagos based media moguls who thought life starts and end in the state of aquatic splendour.
Muhri International added Star FM Ibadan to his wish list while Gospel Juju crooner Yinka Ayefele held his ace by experimenting on his dream first through online.
But Ibadan based and raised but of Ijebu ode descent politician and a former gubernatorial candidate in Ogun state and a media consultant guru who already moved his media outfit from Lagos suddenly realised that some of his properties in Ibadan could be converted to a radio station.
Hence the former office occupied by the defunct Nigerian Airways Ibadan office situated at Liberty Road, though long abandoned, started wearing a new look apparently to serve a different purpose, mission and vision.
Otunba Deji Oshibogun, who initially would have christened his new radio station PARROT FM got his mind changed by various experts he camped for 5days at Grand Serene Hotel, Iyaganku, Ibadan to look into the viability of the project in Ibadan.
Parrot FM was rejected by the team because there already exist in Ibadan, PARROT NEWSPAPER /MAGAZINE.
One thing was sure, Space FM would thrive simply because Splash FM had a weakness; the lack of indigenous content.
It was discovered by the team that apart from the popular Yoruba News between 9am to 10am piloted by the Likes of Folake Otuyelu, Abolade Salami, Kola Oladoke and Bayo ooo, splash FM isn’t really reaching the grassroots but the elite and parts of Lagos.
Hence, Yoruba content floored SPACE FM, the eventual name which replaced Otunba Deji Oshibogun’s Parrot FM.
I know Diamond FM was operating within the University of Ibadan targeting only the University community while Leeds City Radio of Leeds City University, too is doing fine broadcasting to her students along the line.
Highly experienced High Chief of Ibadan land, Chief Adebayo Akande having sensed that Space FM had capitalised on his inability to accept or developed appreciable local contents rather hit the airwaves with at least 80% local content FM radio station, Lagelu FM to be at forefront of the personality and media war ignited by Deji Oshibogun.
He was smart enough not to add his new ideas of Yoruba contents to Splash FM because it was already made but started afresh with Lagelu FM which was easily accepted by the Ibadan people and listeners and its environs been a SHON of the SHOIL.
It was time for Yinka Ayefele with A FRESH concept in Electronics broadcasting especially Radio.
Yinka did his research very well he knew he had to come out with something really new because the competition is really heating up.
Ayefele started at the top just like Chelsea or Man City, he poached the very best of broadcasters neglected by the existing Radio station in Ibadan.
It’s unfortunate that “On-Air Personnel” who over the years of working with radio stations like Premier FM, Radio OYO or BCOS, to mention but few garnered large listeners in Ibadan, such as Olalomi Amole and his partner, Abolade Salami, Kenny Ogunmiloro, Adebayo Faleke, etc who were either taken for granted or not well paid as a staff or remunerated at all as a freelancers were poached and well-taken care off by Ayefele as his radio station became the beehive of very good and highly experienced Radio presenters who are already frustrated for one reason or the other but “stomached” all the “nonsense” they were been fed with just because their employers knew very well that they have nowhere to go for lack of alternative radio station over a long period of time in Ibadan.Proliferation of Radio Stations in Ibadan and the Media War