After 13 years on 947 breakfast radio, Darren Simpson will move to the afternoon drive and Anele Mdoda will take over the breakfast show.
Darren made the announcement on the Breakfast Xpress, noting that he has spent 18 years of his radio career on breakfast radio, and it is time for a lifestyle change and a new challenge.
“It has been a privilege to wake up Joburg, and I have achieved all of the milestones that I set out to achieve in morning radio – growing audience, commercial success, awards and most importantly, we have changed lives on this show,” he said.
He added that the timing of the change was prompted by a need to re-prioritise his life.
“Breakfast radio is physically and emotionally exhausting. I don’t think people realise all the demands that are placed on a breakfast show – the extensive preparation that goes into it and all that is required for the station and for clients. As the host, I am often here until 9pm at night.
“I have a young family and last year I hit a point where, despite being in Johannesburg, I hadn’t seen my kids awake for three straight days. It set off alarms for me, and I realized that something had to change.”
The station was open to the opportunity to freshen the two drive time shows. Drive time radio is critical in Joburg, where traffic dictates the routines of significant numbers of commuters. Recent research from the new Broadcast Research Council (BRC) survey shows that 947 has particularly high incidence of in-car listening in both mornings and afternoons.
“We’ve been following this traffic and listening trend for some time, and feel confident that it’s the right time to bring some new flavour into these shows, while retaining the personalities who our audiences love and relate to,” said 947 station manager, Ravi Naidoo.
Anele Mdoda started her commercial radio career with 947 when she joined the station with partner Grant Nash to host an evening show in 2006. She then moved to national station, 5FM before returning to 947 in 2012 to take on a solo drive time show.
Anele’s star has continued to rise and she has branched out into TV, now hosting her own daily talk show, RealTalk with Anele on SABC3. She will continue to host both her radio and TV shows in 2017.
“After five years on 947’s drive show, I am honoured to take on the challenge of the breakfast show. My first big radio break was at 947 and I am thankful to management for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. The station, and the breakfast show in particular, is home to radio royalty with personalities like Darren Simpson, who has continued to evolve the breakfast show and create radio magic. I know that he’s going to be a tough act to follow. Radio is and always will be a very personal platform and I am driven by the connection I have with my listeners. I will always work hard to deliver content that evokes emotion, makes people laugh and gets them thinking. I’m looking forward to the next part of this incredible journey on 947,” she said.
“Anele’s flair for talk and interviews will suit the breakfast slot which offers more time for extended conversations, in between the music mix. She’s certainly got the gravitas to host the breakfast show, and we love that she’s come full circle to this point, on 947,” said Naidoo.