Ordinarily, leaving an organization for another should seem normal. This is so because at a point, people prefer to change their environment for their benefit and so when an opportunity presents itself, they grab it. Others, for the sake of their peace of mind, would not hesitate to quit even when they have no idea where their next destination would be.
In football, aside from the beautiful display on the pitch, goals, and winning trophies, one thing that makes the game interesting is the transfer window – a period where football teams make new signings with the aim of achieving their goals – and based on where one belongs, the development either stimulates excitement or heartbreak.
In the media space, the phrase ‘transfer window’ has been borrowed from the sports industry as there comes a time when media personalities quit and join other media houses. Sometimes, there are clues of an exit as such action is mostly preceded by sanctions from employers which could be public knowledge or only known by management and staff of the organisation, misunderstanding with colleagues, or a rather long absence from the post.
In some cases, however, it comes as a shock to many because there were no signs of a possible exit. Even more shocking is when such personalities have made public statements that they would remain loyal to their employers – they have nowhere to go! It is worth stating that, sometimes, what informed their decision to leave and join another company remains a mystery to the public; others, however, tell it all amidst rumours of a possible bickering or a better offer on the table.
The controversies never end! On the back of the brouhaha surrounding Nana Ama McBrown’s exit from Despite Media to join Media General, GhanaWeb puts the spotlight on top presenters whose exit from Despite Media was unexpected, shocking and subsequently became topical.
After years of acting and hosting her cooking show ‘McBrown’s Kitchen’, an entertainment review TV show United Showbiz was introduced on Despite Media platform UTV in September 2019 with Nana Ama McBrown as the host. Although some people had issues with her presenting skills, the show grew to become a ‘hot cake’ with its variety of activities including a live band session and what appeared to be an open forum with celebrities.
The show which was supposed to begin at 9 pm, Saturdays, and end at midnight, at a point closed at 1 am, Sunday and still had viewers glued to their set as evident from the number of live views on Facebook and YouTube. McBrown won awards for herself and the show and like everyone who is proud of their works, she flaunted the plaques. It is instructive to state that sponsors for the show kept increasing to the extent that the show could go for a commercial break for half an hour.
In 2022 when there were rumours she had been sacked – a conversation that was birthed due to her five months absence from the show, McBrown who described UTV as ‘family’ and ‘home’ refuted the claims. When she returned to the show, her first episode was characterized by pomp and pageantry. She dressed like a queen and was ushered in with drumming and dancing. On that day, she emitted “I’m going nowhere”, indicating that she was stuck to Despite Media.
Less than a year after the declaration, McBrown on March 13, 2023, was unveiled as the newest addition to Media General. The TV presenter had not been on the UTV set since the year began but that did not send any signal of her exit from Despite Media since she normally does not host the show at the very beginning of the year.
Her former colleagues, including Abena Moet, Ola Michael have unequivocally labeled her disloyal and ungrateful for ditching Despite Media when the entity trained her even when she had “no proper education”. Some other employees, including Afia Pokua see nothing wrong with her decision and has described the attacks as unwarranted because “nobody is doing anyone a favour by employing them” or by deciding to work for them.
McBrown, on her part, said she had no contract with Despite Media and her suggestion for something new to be done was ignored by management.
“I was expecting them to call and say come let’s think about what is new. However, I don’t have a contract with anybody so if nobody is minding me, I have the right to move on…” she told 3FM.
2. Kwadwo Dickson
Arguably one of the most popular newscasters the country has ever had. Kwadwo Dickson’s command of the Twi language, depth of knowledge and distinct voice made him a likable personality. After almost two decades of working with Despite Media, the news anchor called it quits in 2019 to become the General Manager of Angel FM, Accra.
Narrating why he left the Abeka-based firm, Kwadwo Dickson said he upgraded himself by enrolling in a communications school, a decision which influenced his thoughts. He then craved new challenges but the situation at the time was problematic.
“I spent 18 years with Peace FM. When I clocked 15, I was looking forward to a new challenge. Although I enjoyed newscasting, I needed some dynamics in my presentation so I was looking forward to a change,” he said in local dialect Asante Twi on Restoration With Stacy.
“I also went back to school to study communications and wished I were not repeating certain stuff. I had an enlightenment and wished it could be applied where I was but it wasn’t manifesting no matter how I directed my focus.
“In my 18th year, something happened but I cannot disclose it. That is what pushed me. It was the peak; I had no option than to quit,” he said but issued a disclaimer that “leaving Peace FM had nothing to do with financial considerations”.
3. Fiifi Banson
Fifteen years after working with Despite Media, Fiifi Banson who was the host of Peace FM’s drivetime show ‘Ekwanso Brebre’ left, an exit that was unexpected. He had been with the station since it was established in 1999 and hosted his last show on Friday, April 24, 2015.
Reports said his resignation was to enable him to focus on building his new television station, Platinum Sports, a 24-hour channel available digitally. After leaving Peace FM which is a subsidiary of Despite Media, Fiifi Banson worked with Kasapa FM, one of the radio stations under the Excellence In Broadcasting (EIB) Group as a morning show host.
“After many years in the industry, I wanted to try a new challenge before exiting from the media space,” he said in Akan when asked why he left Peace FM, in an interview on TV XYZ.