At last, the wait is over as the first radio station for woman and the family in Nigeria and by extension, Africa commenced its test transmissions at exactly 00:00 GMT on Thursday, October 29, 2015 broadcasting on 91.7 frequency modulation channel – FM.
St. Ives Communications (owners of the radio outfit) secured operating licence to float the station from the National Broadcasting Commission – NBC and broadcast to Ogun State with extended coverage to parts of Lagos State and environs.
Strategically situated in Arepo community Ogun State with close proximity to Lagos State, WFM 91.7 hits Nigerian homes with clean clear signals as it commences test transmission on its newly installed state-of-the-art broadcast equipment, which according to the installation engineer, Dean Gay (a US citizen), “is the very latest in broadcast technology today.”
According to Gay who lives and works in Abuja, Nigeria, “from the microphone to transmitters, to consoles, servers, even mast, everything you have here are the very latest in radio broadcast technology and they are all of very high quality. They are the most sought-after equipment in the industry today.”
Dean explained that the equipment are from Clyde Broadcast, a Glasgow, Scotland-based world renowned radio broadcast equipment manufacturer. He added that the equipment are all high-end broadcast systems. “They are the very latest technology from Clyde Broadcast. There are very many stations that are barely hanging-on on air because they use very low-end systems. They (St. Ives Communications) spent a lot of money here to get the very best and the very latest in broadcast technology from Clyde Broadcast. That’s what it takes to be a good, reliable radio station,” he said.
Clyde Broadcast, the technology providers is renowned across the world as the “The Radio People” due to the quality of the company’s products. With the completion of its studio installation powered by Clyde Broadcast, WFM 91.7 joined the rich list of Clyde Broadcast clients which includes world renowned radio stations like BBC Radio, Radio Gold, Ghana Broadcasting Coporation, Forth 1, Virgin Radio (UK), SkyNews Radio, and our very own Lagos Traffic FM among others.
With the commencement of the on-going test transmission by WFM 91.7, Nigeria made history as the first country to own a first radio station for women and the family in Africa.
The gender sensitive radio communication initiative is the brainchild of Dr. Wale, Chief Medical Director at St. Ives Specialist Hospital, Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos and veteran broadcast journalist, Toun Okewale Sonaiya, a Director of St. Ives Communications.
As the station commences operation, the following on-air-personalities are on ground to run the station’s transmission operations. They include: Abisola Grace Aiyeola, Nigerian British born currently studying Business management at National Open University of Nigeria and Nigeria’s budding actress and singer, Funmi Jinadu, who cut her teeth in radio broadcasting at BBC Bristol, UK and an active member of the National Union of Journalists, United Kingdom, Bolatito Bez Idakula, a former banker with a B.Sc. in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick, England and an MSc. in Management from Imperial College were presented to the media as the leading voices and faces that will run things at WFM 91.7 as the station’s core on-air-personalities – OAPs.
The station management revealed that WFM 91.7 is poised to deliver on its unique operations targeted at a niche segment of the society – women, the men in their lives and the family.
“Though we are licensed for women, WFM 91.7 will also cater for the men and the family by engaging on issues of local, national and international importance for all. It will operate 24 hours of talk and less music. The station will address everyday issues for women and their families. It will be a reliable, leading and trusted source for all related news, information and matters of interests for women and their families,” says, Toun Okewale Sonaiya adding that the radio station will provide the womenfolk access to a truly quality, informative and entertaining programming that will cut across business, politics, sports, news and entertainment from the woman’s perspective.