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General News of Friday, 5 December 1997

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Radio Gold: Tuned in, tuned on

Radio Gold 90.5 FM has recently launched a new 5 kilowatt transmitter which has extended the station's reach beyond Kumasi, and has also breathed new life into it's operations. PaJohn Dadson looks at the new Gold and trace it's undulating successes.

On the first day of transmission on the new transmitter, calls were received from as far as Axim in the Western Region, as well as from Kumasi in the Ashanti region. With this new wider reach, the station new offers premium opportunities to advertisers. Commercial Manager Mr.. Ekow Baidoo says they have developed new and " exciting" commercial packages which are sensitive to the need of their advertisers, being aware of today's stringent need to be flexible, imaginative and cost effective.

The station has also started broadcasting 24 hours and has introduced a new operating drive to reaffirm it's commitment to building a national consensus by articulating balanced and informed views on issues and values. This apparently lies in the station's ideals which are harboured in it's charter. A simple charter which seeks to inform, educate and entertain with a more authentic, precise and objective outlook .

New voices, new programming and a new attitude with more music underscore this new Gold vision. The difference, so far, as it did when they started operating last year on March 6, is clear. There is more music, and the presentation is clearer, since it started the new programming schedule last Monday November 24, when it returned onto the airwaves after a 48 hour shutdown.

Shutting down a radio station for any length of time is dangerous, and the confidence with which Radio Gold went off air with only a few hours notice to it's fading listenership, spoke volumes for the station which believes it can bring back the magic they had when they started.

"We have acquired some new 'Voices of Reason' to help in the discussion of national issues in a most explicit and objective manner, and we are very happy about that" says General Manager Mr.. Kwesi Saint Baffoe Bonnie.

"After months of experimentation and research, our presenters have undergone extensive training to become more proactive" he says.

Power Drive, the new three and a half hour breakfast show featuring information, previews of the day's activities and music, will now be hosted by one of the new voices the station has acquired, Kwesi Anim Adjei alias Mr.. Big Stuff. Power Drive begins at half past six in the morning, after music for 'quiet time', and from 10 o'clock when it ends till midday, Ekow 'Black' Daniel comes on with a mix bag of R & B.

Another new voice, Ang'l, bids "Bon Appetit" during lunch time between midday and 2pm with sentimental music, Kwami Sefa Kayi now moves to the evening at Rush Hour with Shirley Frimpong Manso, who together will provide a review of the day's activities and general information.

Between 4pm and half past four when Africa World Tonight - the current affairs programme from VOA comes on - Yvonne Andoh takes a spin round Africa on SunCity, an Africa music programme. And before that at 3pm The Virus, BB Menson comes on with a Funky Jazz session.

In the bid to become different and stay on top of things, the station, in a most creative and innovation manner has now designated Wednesday as a day of talk. That day has been dubbed ACCRA TALKS. Wednesdays on Gold will present several talk programmes on different issues of national interest with some of the best 'Voices of Reason'. Crucial among them is Ernest Thompson, who hosts GTV's Talking Point programme.

Beginning December 3, he hosts Critical Analysis, a programme that dissects issues of national concern, right after Ben Ephson has unveiled "Wrongs" from his file. Fiona Esi Stokes of GTV's Panash, will host 24 Carat, on women affairs, while Dr.. Angela Ofori Atta hosts Love, Sex and Relationships delving into the intricacies of intimacy. Kofi Abochi's Religious Microscope, where he parades opinion from all religious, now relodges to Wednesday evenings from it's original Saturday evening slot.

Miss Ama Boahene from the University of Ghana Medical School, Korle BU, also takes on the task of delving into diseases that affect us and their prevention when she hosts a programme on health which informs on various health related issues and policies. And 'On Second Thought', Koku Anyidohu will probe your minds with the question you always wanted to ask but wouldn't dare.

As if to compensate for talking all day on Wednesday, ACCRA GOES QUIET on Gold on Thursdays, as only music will be played with adverts intermittently. All through the night on week days, the sensuous voices of the "Man in your life" Benji Kumassah, and Akosua Puni will soothe those unable to sleep. And at weekends, a mix will be presented as moor jazz and mature music will be relayed with their target audience in mind. Nostalgia on Sundays, which will feature collections of rare grooves and jazz will be hosted by Mr. Baffoe Bonnie himself, who has promised not to talk but only introduce the songs.

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