I said to my wife on 31 March, “Gareth’s gonna start a new radio station, that’s what I would do.” I’m not sure if the big reveal for Gareth’s new venture will show that he is starting an internet radio station, but given the Telkom-esque monopoly the SABC has on the radio waves, I can’t see it going any other way. And if anyone is to make a proper go of internet radio, Gareth is the guy.
I’ve tried the two big ones – 2 Oceans Vibe and Ballz (what a name eh?) but I have not been convinced. 2 Ocean’s Vibe has got a bit of a “vibe”, and some of the Ballz DJ’s are great. Ard Matthews has started IWMR, and he seems to be growing slowly too.
But there simply has not been anything on the airwaves (or internet waves) that would sway me from listening to 5FM throughout my day. Even with uncapped ADSL…
I tend to think about these things, because I’d love to start an internet station. I want to start an “all indie” station with just independent artists. But to crack the big time you need some grunt. I’ve been saying that for ages. And you need to keep a certain level of formality. The casual “we-can-say-anything” vibe that’s emanating from all the internet stations has simply been translating into unprofessionalism, in my view. Sure, swear and say what’s on your mind, but make some flipping sense!
I think Gareth has what it takes. We all know how pedantic and anal he can be. I mean he has been like a naughty brother, getting on our nerves for ten years now. But nobody can say that he doesn’t have (a) professionalism and (b) the “x-factor” as a South African radio personality. Getting under your skin and on your nerves like nobody else in the media/entertainment industry.
Say what you want about Gareth, he might just be one of the most famous, broadly appealing radio celebrities in the history of our country.
I’m excited about his new venture. Because it will be a professional endeavour. The content will most likely annoy us at least 60% of the time and force us to re-evaluate our position on politics, racial issues and religion on a regular basis. But somehow it will lure is in and we will fall in love with the GarethCliff.com phenomenon all over again. Good luck, Gareth, we’re all rooting for you.