‘Poaching’ distorts media market – Bernard Avle
The concept of ‘poaching’, which is the hiring of mostly top radio or media personalities or journalists from one media house to the other often with enticing financial packages, distorts the media space, according to the Host of the award-winning Citi Breakfast Show, Bernard Avle.
Bernard Avle, the General Manager of Citi FM/Citi TV, said this when he appeared as a guest on KSM’s show on Metro TV.
Speaking widely about the station’s impressive performance in the media landscape, Bernard noted that the station has remained consistent and successful largely due to a policy to groom talents instead of hiring already-made media personalities.
Citi FM, a subsidiary of Omni Media Limited, has in recent years been consistently recognized as the number one English-speaking radio station in Ghana.
According to Bernard Avle, the station’s mostly young, passionate and intelligent staff, have been at the centre of the success story. He told Kwaku Sintim-Misa (KSM) on the KSM Show that Citi FM did not buy into the idea of poaching radio presenters because that practice was considered unhealthy for the growth of the company.
“Poaching distorts the market. In every market if you pick somebody and you introduce a culture of I will attract you with money – you know media is sacrifice, media is passion, media is public service, so even if you are working in a private media, every journalist in the world should be motivated by something more than money,” he said.
“If I recruit you and I say I’m gonna pay you twice what somebody is paying you, it is good to pay people well, but it doesn’t send the right signal because we follow stories at the risk of our lives.
A lot of journalists across the world, work at the peril of their lives. If my first introduction to media is money, I’ve laid the wrong foundation,” Mr. Avle added.
Bernard further noted that young people are the best for the media market. He indicated that what has been built at Citi FM has been by young people who are bold, intelligent and passionate.
“In this country if you are 50 years you are still a small boy in certain areas, but in media it is not like that,” he intimated.
Reiterating his reason for not poaching radio presenters, he stated that the station had no doubt that poaching is not their way.
“We groom people, we train them on the job as I was trained, and even if you leave media the skill you get and understanding the national context and knowing that you are part of something bigger – I think that stays with you for a long time,” the morning show host said.
On effective media management
On what makes media more effective, Bernard proffered three variables namely good content, visionary leadership and professional practitioners.
“Media is very difficult because the business itself is going through transition. You know we’ve gotten a bank collapse and some media houses that depended on the finances are really struggling”.
He explained that if any media house has better content, visionary leaders and workers who are really professional, the media landscape will be better.
Bernard Avle, who has been in the media industry for about 20 years, has etched his name in the country’s media space as the best morning show host.
He is described by many as intelligent, proactive, articulate and a great interviewer.
The award-winning Citi Breakfast Show has carved for itself a niche of setting agenda on critical national issues, and ensuring there is change where necessary.
Bernard is also the Host of ‘The Point of View’ on Citi TV on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:00pm.