Information available with Savannahnews indicates that, four presenters of Radio Justice 98.5Mhz, two presenters of FIILA FM 89.3Mhz, correspondents of some daily newspapers, two presenters of Diamond FM 93.7Mhz, two presenters of Bishara Radio 97.7Mhz and correspondents of some Accra based radio stations could be poached by the management of Might FM 90.5 Mhz and Zaa Radio 99.3Mhz.
Although the two new stations are scheduled to start test transmission in a few weeks’ time, fear and panic has grabbed Chief Executive Officers and General Managers of the aforementioned radio stations as some of them have improved on their attitude towards their staff with a promise of better conditions of service.
Should the rumours become a reality, it would be the first time poaching has been done in the Northern Region by management of a new radio station or any media house. Poaching is very common in the Southern part of Ghana where experienced and famous presenters and journalists of electronic and print media houses are given such offers as cars, houses, scholarships, allowances, holidays abroad and attractive salaries by owners of newly established media companies in particular just to get them to work for them. But this phenomenon is very uncommon in the Northern sector of the country.
Ever since news broke about the establishment of the two private radio stations, Might FM which is to operate alongside a TV station, in the Savelugu-Nanton District and Zaa Radio in the Central Business District of Tamale, a section of the public as well as some radio personalities have expressed joy that, at least, the new development would further entrench the country's democracy and offer the people of the region more options to choose from the list of eight radio stations to listen to as they go about their daily activities.
Coupled with the excitement is their hope that the probable poaching would send shivers down the spines of owners of the already existing radio stations since most of them purportedly pay their workers "chicken feed". Besides, some are also wondering whether they would now be offered better deals by their management in order to let them stay where they are and not make any attempt to move to Might FM and or Zaa Radio when they are approached with mouth-watering and life-transforming deals.
Management of some of the old private radio stations including FIILA FM, Diamond FM, Radio Justice, NorthStar FM and Bishara Radio, except Radio Savannah which is State-owned, according to research, recruited unskilled or inexperienced presenters and journalists when they started as broadcasting stations.
Some management officials took undue advantage of these people after having realised their obsession for radio work and the readiness to work even when they are not paid for several months. Some pay their staff between GH¢50.00 and GH¢200.00 while, according to reliable information available with this reporter, the station owners make profits between GH¢10,000.00 and GH¢15,000.00 even after paying taxes, utility bills and other operational costs.
As the years go by, some of these amateur presenters and journalists sharpen their skills by going through formal training in some learning institutions whilst others attend workshops and seminars by themselves. These steps being taken by this crop of enthusiastic media practitioners have seen some significant amount of improvement in them in terms of skills and technical knowledge in radio broadcasting or journalism.
The Northern Region at present can boasts of eight commercial radio stations including the newly established ones like Might FM and Zaa Radio, two campus radio stations (Green FM at University for Development Studies, Nyankpala and Ridge FM at Tamale Polytechnic). The rest, which are community radio stations, include Simli Radio at Dalun in the Tolon-Kumbungu District, FUSION FM in Yendi Municipality and PAD FM in Damongo in the West Gonja District.