Jan met Linda while his trip to Radio Days South Africa. Linda is the guy behind the imaging for Power 98.7. in Johannesburg. He’s also representing his station at the Liberty Radio Awards and is the current Commercial Imaging Producer of the year in South Africa and got a nod for the RAP magazine Editor’s Choice Promo of the month in 2015. I wanted to know more about the imaging scene in South Africa, the market and his work.
Enter Linda Manganye!
How is it to do Imaging & Radio in South Africa?
Radio has become an extremely competitive business in South Africa over the last couple of years. A few groups previously owned and controlled the largest market share of the business and subsequently positioned themselves as the front runners in radio branding. The national broadcaster`s (SABC) commercial stations as well, i:e (5FM & Metro FM) have for the longest time led the way in being the best and funkiest stations to work for. They had the budgets to sign and employ the best imaging VO talent in the world and could afford the best imaging libraries. Over the last few years the status quo has changed with the emergence of new radio players and young innovative producers who have found innovative and creative ways of positioning their stations without expensive imaging libraries and the most recognizable imaging VO talents.
What is specific about the South African market?
Our market is divided into 3 segments (Public service, commercial & community/campus radio stations).
Like the rest of the world the market is divided in various formats that command a sizable market share in the respective regions. The commercial radio sector is extremely competitive, as everyone fights for a slice of the cake. Most commercial stations have the budgets and can afford imaging libraries and retain good talent. However we still have a large portion of imaging done by international companies like UXB in Australia, TMGS from London, etc. This I believe is still led by a lack of trust in local producers and the scarcity of very good imaging voice talent.
What production system do you use and why?
Pro Tools 10. I find it very user friendly and convenient.
Any favorite imaging trick everybody should use?
I’m currently enjoying using on air content and fusing it into our overall station imaging. I find the elements work for our talk radio platform and add to the signature of the sound of the station. It makes our station stand out and sound totally different from our competitors. It also gives us a great opportunity to leverage from the great content we generate daily.
What are your favorite PlugIns?
How do you get creative? What are the resources for creativity?
I listen to loud music and race bikes.
How is a typical day looking?
The days vary, depending on what campaigns we`re working on at the station. Generally I start with meetings with my production team, particularly the copy writing team, to go through creative briefs from the sales department. We strategize on creative angles and ideas. Then meet the on air engineers to look at different show promos. These are followed generally with meetings with the Head of news to go through various plans for the monthly documentaries we also produce, etc.
Who were your biggest influences? What is the most important thing you ever learned from one of your mentors? What have been sources to learn?
There are a few people I have drawn inspiration from over the years. One of those is Lindsay Johnson, previously with Primedia. I`m a big fan of production style and approach. Neo Modjadji currently at Multichoice South Africa, Thabo Nkoala from Sinaloane and Arden Hanley from Phantom producer in the UK. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever got was from Lindsay – who suggests:- “don`t try too hard, simplicity is always the best”.
Your advice for a youngster entering the game especially in Africa?
Always remember that you`re as good as your last production piece. Respect your craft, especially the listener you do it for.