Managing Director of Citi FM and Citi TV, Samuel Attah-Mensah, has advised young entrepreneurs to remain focused and work very hard in order to see their businesses thrive.
According to him, “you cannot replace hard work with any other thing” in one’s quest to strive in Ghana’s business environment.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily show to commemorate 14 years of Citi FM, Mr. Samuel Attah-Mensah advised business owners “to always have in mind that they are on their own because people tend to join and celebrate with you only when the business is prospering.”
Recounting the Citi FM experience, Mr. Samuel Mensah-Attah popularly known as Sammens, likened radio management in the country to football management.
He explained that the media industry is very competitive and requires a high level of passion “which might come at the expense of other things.”
“It is a very tight industry, In all my lecture presentations that I have done on the continent of Africa, I always likened radio management to football management, because it involves managing talents, each one of them has a way of expressing their talents and you can only be the coach. And I ask; do people know that radio management is not a part-time business and you can’t do that and another thing?
You will notice that most of the successful radio stations in Ghana are owner managed… It requires a certain degree of passion which might come at the expense of other things in your life.”
Mr. Samuel Attah-Mensah revealed that Citi FM was met with a lot of pessimism from some industry players.
He narrated that, at the time of setting up the company, there were already over 24 radio stations in the country, adding that very few people gave the company a chance to survive.
He recounted how some people including his close friends also questioned his decision to go in for younger people to run the station.
“When we came, we met 24 radio stations in Accra and the refrain was that there are too many radio stations and we do not think you can make any difference, but as for me, I had a desired future state and I knew when that would manifest.”
“I was going to go straight for the younger market and the younger market were people who had just finished SHS, and that was the target, and that is the reason why I went in for those who had just exited University to be the front liners, and I had bashing from different people including my close friends, but I was okay with that because I hadn’t taken a loan and I had never poached anyone” he added.
Sammens on ‘Poaching’
Touching on staying competitive and relevant as a brand, the Citi FM/Citi TV MD said he did not believe in the idea of poaching – the practice of engaging already made media personnel from competitor platforms at a higher cost.
Mr. Samuel Attah-Mensah questioned the rationale behind the poaching of journalists from media houses, explaining that there are morality and cultural aspects to it.
He said that cultural aspects of poaching journalists has the potential of creating bigger problems for the organizations in terms of being productive.
“For me, there is a morality question about poaching. Why should someone build up a talent for you to go and steal ? and secondly there are cultural conflicts when you have a habit of poaching people. So times mixing characters from different organizations can give you a bigger problem” he said.
‘Poaching’ distorts media market – Bernard Avle
The Citi FM/Citi TV Managing Director appears to be on the same wavelength with his top employee cum protégé, Bernard Avle on the matter of poaching.
Bernard, the Host of the Citi Breakfast Show and Point of View, who’s also the 2017 GJA Journalist of the year, believes that the concept of ‘poaching’, distorts the media space.