Broadcast Regulation

South Africa: Regulator Approves New Ownership Structure For Radio Station

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) - the body that regulates the broadcasting and telecoms industry - has approved a new ownership structure and format change for Classic FM, a South African commercial Classic music radio station. The previous format proved financially unstable for the commercial radio environment in South Africa's biggest city and the Capital of Gauteng province, Johannesburg.

Listeners could not fully follow the station with the limited signal reach, causing a disruption, and advertisers wanted more geographical coverage for the station to make it more attractive to advertising prospects. The company will begin to trade as 'Hot 1027' as of 1 July 2021, resulting in the highly successful Hot brand incorporated into Hot 1027, operating under a commercial license. The Hot 1027 broadcast footprint will cover the greater Johannesburg area from the far East Rand to the West Rand and southern suburbs.

The abovementioned will enable the station to become a more vigorous player in the sector. Providing an alternative for an underserved market in Gauteng. According to Lloyd Madurai, MD of Hot 1027, "recurrent requests from both listeners and advertisers has been to extend the brand's reach since its launch." The increase in reach, resulting in more influence, will enable meaningful work through the brand's Radio Training Academy and Hot Cares charity.

All this comes with changes for listeners, as they need to re-tune their FM receivers to 102.7 MHz, where they will listen to the station. The station will make no changes for listeners streaming the station online or listening on DStv channel 822.


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