One of the key challenges facing any radio station is how to determine what is going to appeal to listeners. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that stations are trying to build radio audiences in an environment where listeners are not growing in numbers. Most stations don’t use RAM research as a programming tool, because the data is too old by the time it reaches them. Instead, they invest significantly in their own research.   Discussing programming trends and development at the Liberty Radio Conference in Sandton recently, Neil Johnson, Kaya FM programme manager, said the station used its marketing efforts to drive programming. “We try not to compete directly with other stations,” he said, adding that Kaya FM’s Afropolitan approach formed the essence of its programming strategy.  “We develop content around SA’s black middle class and segment, and specialise our content much more than we used to. Our line-ups have become much more fluid and we invest heavily in research and...

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