It’s over a year since the demise of Ambassador Segun Olusola, the Grand Patron of Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Awards (NBMA), and it’s no doubt that The Reality Entertainment, organisers of the yearly event which is in its fourth edition, is striving hard to fill the vacuum left by the highly respected culture aficionado, broadcaster, patron of the arts and diplomats, who died on Thursday June 21, 2012. As the search for credible persons as Grand patron continues, this is to announce, Femi Sowoolu as the new Patron of the Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Awards!
The learned broadcaster cum voice over artiste needs little or no introduction to those who are conversant with the electronic media .The man from ‘wongi wongi’ as Femi Sowoolu is fondly called began his broadcasting experience as a staff of the Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation, Abeokuta, an organisation he left as Principal Presenter after thirteen years of pace-setting performances.
Femi left Abeokuta in 1990 to join Grant Advertising, Lagos – one of the so-called ‘Big Three’ of the marketing/advertising industries at the time. He held the double positions of Media and Radio/TV Production Manager by the time he left three and a half years later.
He was also a pioneer staff of Rhythm 93.7FM, Lekki, where he became Station Manager, and took the station to a comfortable Number one spot on the radio ratings for many years, a feat which has not been sustained since he left after six high-performance years.
His next challenge was at Radio Continental, formerly Unity FM, where he was appointed as Director of Radio Services. After taking the station through a process of re-branding, including re-naming and staff reorganisation, he instilled new focus, a new programming design and strategy. In just under two years, from a position of total oblivion, Radio Continental perched at top position among all the other stations in the Lagos market.
Femi Sowoolu was brought in to set up Smooth 98.1FM, a soul and jazz music station, where he resumed as General Manager. He effectively recruited a crew of some of the most professional broadcasters on Nigerian radio, and created a programme design and music format that still wins unflinching and fanatic love from fans of the niche radio station.
Exactly one year ago, he was invited to consult for City 105.1 FM. The station had been doing poorly ever since it was established two years before, hovering consistently at the bottom of the rating chart. By changing the station’s focus, through re-branding, new staffing, creating a more vibrant format and schedule, introducing new imaging, stings, liners, jingles and international chart shows (including the world acclaimed Ryan Seacrest’s American Top 40), building an entirely new, digital live and recording studios, practical and online visibility, staff training and constant guidance, in just a few months, the station became a buzz station. Other stations started emulating City ideas. Today, City has done the incredible by leaping from 24th position to Number 9.
Femi Sowoolu is a radio guru. When it comes to managing a radio station to commercial success, he is the man to talk to. When it comes to people management, he is the best boss one can have. Most of the people he had worked with in the past will attest to this.
Speaking on his new role as the Patron of the Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Awards, “I find it a rather unique privilege to have been approached to be patron of the Broadcasting Merit Awards in the aftermath of the “larger than life” image and enormous impact of the inimitable, highly revered former Grand patron, the immense Ambassador Segun Olusola.
It is indeed a challenge I look forward to, if only to attempt to match what the mercurial icon of the Arts and Media had done. I can only hope to bring the little knowledge I have leaned over the years to bear on the duty, through more gains, achievements and merits for our joint efforts,” Femi Sowoolu said.