For the last two years, things have not been so rosy for Capital FM, one of the most successful private radio stations in Kenya. Owned by billionaire businessman Chris Kirubi, Capital FM found itself in unfamiliar ground from 2019 when it started losing some of its top presenters.
Now the radio station is taking a new direction from 15th February as a showcase of resilience in the highly competitive media industry. Capital FM operates in the urbanite niche.
A statement from Capital FM Head of Radio Danny Munyi indicates that the radio station is changing to meet audience demands. “With this new direction, it is our desire to get into our listeners hearts through timeless sound seduction and unmatched programming.”
There have been a couple of exits from the brand over the two last years, but Munyi says the station turning the exits into a growth opportunity. “Growth is very important whether for an individual or for the company and therefore we don’t frown upon it,” he says. “Capital FM has long been the incubator of talent in the media industry.”
In mid-2019, the media house lost a host of its top talents, including radio host Anita Nderu who resigned, saying had given her “best and wanted new challenges”. In 2020, Amina Abdi Rabar quietly left a month after another long-time presenter Miano Muchiri quit after hosting the mid-morning show for more than a decade.
Amina was followed by Joey Muthengi who walked out in December after spending about a year and half at Capital FM. Ms Muthengi had replaced radio veteran Cess Mutungi, who hosted ‘The Jam984’ for 10 years. This was her second stint at Capital FM.
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Others who left the station are Web Editor and lifestyle writer/photographer Susan Wong, who resigned in January 2019 to return to her Canadian home and popular presenter Laura Walubengo, who quit in July 2018. Veteran presenters Maqbul Mohammed and My Two Cents co-host Sharon Mundia have also left the station.
These departures have dented Capital FM by deflating some of its shows. Radio programmes ride strongly on personalities and sudden exits can cripple a radio station. Capital FM’s new direction seeks to add more sophistication and elegance to the programming with new offerings in podcasts, music, as well as news.
On the 15th February, the station will relaunch the Capital in the Morning and The Jam shows with a new campaign dubbed ”Drive Inn” . “We will be bringing back good radio once again,” Munyi says, “from the moment our audience get up, on their way driving to the office all through the day to when it’s time to pick kids from school in the evening.”