Zambia’s first commercial station Radio Phoenix goes Up for Sale

Broadcast

Radio Phoenix proprietor Errol Hickey has announced that he will pull out of the station next year citing lack of coordination among media bodies and poor support from Government as some of the challenges. Hickey has since urged Zambians with enough money to consider taking over operations of the station which currently employs 52 people.

Announcing the development in Lusaka last week, Hickey said he did not set up the station for personal gain and urged its future operators to be above personal interests. "I am retiring from the station next year and if you have enough money to take over the station, then feel free to do so.

"If Radio Phoenix management can raise money to get the station going, then that is even better," Hickey said. He declined to state the total assets for the station noted that journalists were in most cases intimidated, harassed and beaten based on petty issues and that there was no specific body to represent their concerns.

He said Radio Phoenix had previously been gutted by fire and closed down but did not receive support from media bodies and the Government, saying only a few citizens supported the station.

He said most programmes on the station such as Let the People Talk were one-sided as Government representatives were shunning them. "We have always wanted to work closely with the Government so that people could get balanced views on various matters but unfortunately there is no dialogue and engagement on the part of the Government. We want Government to give their side of the story and don't want people to be insulting them due to their absence on our programmes," he said.

Radio Phoenix was the first independent commercial FM station in Zambia launched on March 22, 1986 on call signal 89.6 FM from Lusaka and acquired five extra frequencies on an extra expansion programme to Central and Copperbelt provinces.