Gareth Cliff leaves 5FM

It’s that time of the year. The end of March is here and with that looms a new era in ‘radio land’. There are a lot of changes made to line ups and with that comes a lot of unease for both DJs and listeners alike. Especially when some of radio personalities leave the stations – willingly or not. Up to today it has been a little quiet, but here’s the big announcement so far: After 10 years at national station, 5FM, mornings host Gareth Cliff is leaving. WHAT????? Official press release below:

5FM is sad to announce that, after ten years on air, Gareth Cliff will be leaving the station at the end of March 2014.  Gareth Cliff and 5FM are parting ways after an exceptional journey as Gareth will be pursuing further opportunities in his personal capacity. Explains 5FM’s programming manager Tim Zunckel; “5FM is enormously appreciative of Gareth’s incredible work ethic, his dedication to his listeners and support of the 5FM brand. The station thanks Gareth for his exceptional ten years of on-air presence as well as being an ambassador for the station, we wish him the very best in future.”

Gareth Cliff commented, “I’ve had an amazing decade at 5FM together with my “one-of-kind”  team  and I have loved every minute. The journey has been an unforgettable one but I’m excited about the future”. 

Adds 5FM’s Zunckel, “It has been a pleasure working with Gareth. He has been a huge asset to the 5FM team and we will miss him as an on-air personality and part of the brand. We’re excited about the new line-up and will be announcing as to what listeners can expect in the near future”

WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK? Is this some early April Fools’ Day joke? Apparently Cliff and the rest of the 5FM Mornings team bow out today… I don’t buy it. Sorry. Something’s not right here. Yes change is a given, but when there’s no warning or a build up to such news, one has to ask questions. It’s just so sudden and with very little warning. Who replaces someone with such a big personality? How will the marketing department drive the station’s new sound without someone who has been so successful in not just bringing in numbers, but changing the way morning radio has been done and has surely brought in a lot of revenue to the station too?

Does the Fresh Drive take over the morning schedule? Is Anele heading back to 5FM? Is Bonang Matheba becoming the first female radio personality to do a solo morning show? Just some questions floating around at the moment. Your thoughts? Speak to me.