When Talk Radio 702 won the BBC Africa Radio Awards prize for radio station of the year last year, one of the reasons given by the judges was that the station hosted a live press conference with African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma the day after he was acquitted of rape, write Franny Rabkin and Jocelyn Newmarch in Business Day.


Yesterday, 702 did it again, hosting a live press conference for former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota’s announcement of his intention to formally look into the formation of a new political party to contest next year’s elections.

Wits journalism professor Anton Harber said it was a “very clever” branding strategy for 702.

Yusuf Abramjee, Primedia’s head of news and talk programming, said the marketing strategy “goes back a few years to when 702 started repositioning itself as the number one news and information station”.

Abramjee said the station has “hosted a series of successful media conferences”. Apart from the Zuma conference, 702 hosted Allan Heyl from the Stander gang after his release from prison, the Shaik brothers after Schabir Shaik lost his appeal, and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge after she was dismissed by former president Thabo Mbeki.

“In this case, there was a lot of talk in the media about what was going to happen. On Monday I said to (Lekota), we’ll give them an opportunity to talk.”

Abramjee said he confirmed yesterday’s press conference “at 2am this morning with Lekota”.

“I was in the office at half-past five. The team arrived at half-past six, we briefed them and by eight half the work was done, the media had been invited, the logistics were done. We only need one hour or two hours to pull it off.”

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.