So, CRTV has replaced its TV daybreak infotainment talk show with an information magazine; they have replaced an appealing show with an essential one, more or less aptly described as boring. Now, the darling Hello of Mabi Azefor, Albert Njie Mbonde and Elmer Nene Shadzeka that appears to have become a way of life to so many for over a decade now, is gone!
It feels like having to do with the rather boring but very informative Newsday that replaced the very infotaining Network Africa daybreak show on BBC. I’m yet to come to terms with that change on BBC. I’m yet to connect with Newsday, nearly half a decade on. Yet, I find Newsday very informative. Change is hard to accept. It becomes a bitter pill to swallow especially when it has been a way of life over the decades (for Network Africa) and over the years (for Hello).
The swell of resistance to CRTV’s dawn broadcasting changes (now including the decade-and-a-half old Morning Safari on radio to be replaced with Daybreak from next Monday) must be understood. When, just over a decade ago, London Times decided to move from broadsheet (standard format for up market newspapers in advanced media settings) to tabloid to be more appealing to younger readers, the older traditional readers objected vehemently. To steer clear of trouble, managers of the Times treaded the King Solomon line by running both formats for a while, not to alienate any segment of their readership; for a smooth transition.
As I understand from savouring both Hello Cameroon and its French language sister Bonjour le Cameroun this past week (I have not checked with those in the CRTV programmes kitchen), the intention could be to give an essential morning briefing to viewers. Hello Cameroon may seek to give the elite, including the middle working class (besides the general public), a grasp of the day’s news in perspective with a variety of useful information and tips before they engage the day’s business, a shift from just feel-good entertainment, interspersed with bits of information; from a load of entertainment with some information to a load of information with some entertainment, so to say.
This is nothing to do with the presenters. Duty calls them to do an assignment cut out by hierarchy. No doubt, the casting picks the suitable heads though their personal touch can make the difference. Mabi, Nene and Mbonde were not the only Hello hosts, but they left a mark where (an)other(s) obviously did not. And, unsurprisingly, their Hello legacy, not the other’s, is remembered.
Nene and Mbonde just may be back, though it has to be seen if they will loosen the Hello Cameroon on-set discipline or it will discipline their looseness
From my observation, this is what is going on at CRTV:
The use of rotating guest-hosts on set seems to be a clever move to cover up lapses or lack of adequate knowledge of issues by the host, but… it may not be exactly so for journalist Pochi whom I believe can handle issues on her own
Nene and Mbonde
CRTV radio chief, Alain Belibi, has announced similar changes on radio daybreak programmes in English and French. Beginning 4:30am, a new programme Daybreak will replace Morning Safari and bring a wider variety of informative content than its predecessor that, for the most part, featured one guest for the entire dawn programme.
*Franklin Sone Bayen is a journalist, media watcher and consultant