The Commercial Radio environment in Johannesburg is about to be disrupted for the first time in many years.
ICASA (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) recently approved a new ownership structure and format change for Classic FM, as the previous format proved financially unsustainable. As of 1 July 2021, the company will begin to trade as HOT 1027. This will result in the highly successful HOT brand being incorporated into HOT 1027. It will enable the station to become a more robust player in the sector and provide a much-needed alternative for an underserved market in Gauteng.
MD of the new HOT 1027, Lloyd Madurai says: “Ever since the launch of HOT 91.9 FM, the one continual overriding request from both listeners and advertisers has been to extend the reach of the brand. Listeners were frustrated with the limited signal reach and advertisers wanted us to increase HOT’s geographical coverage to make the station a more attractive advertising prospect.”
HOT 1027 will have a broadcast footprint that covers the entire greater Johannesburg area from the far East Rand to the West Rand and the Southern Suburbs. All that is required of fans of HOT will be to re-tune their FM receivers to 102.7 MHz, where they will be able to listen to Joburg’s Best in Old Skool and R&B. Listeners streaming the station online or listening on DSTV Channel 822 will not have to make any changes at all.
“Although we will now operate under a commercial licence, we will not forget our community roots. The increase in our reach and power will enable us to do even more meaningful work through our HOT CARES charity and our Radio Training Academy. We will also not forget the fans of the classics, and our station will continue to support classical events and artists where possible,” adds Madurai.
Classical fans will be able to continue getting their classical fix on DSTV Channel 857 as well as other online streaming platforms.