CITI FM’s young and enterprising sports journalist Gary Al-Smith may leave the station in the coming weeks, enewsgh.com sources say.
News of his imminent departure has gained a lot of currency this week, with some grapevine sources suggesting he’s about taking a decision that would see him exit the station he only joined months ago.
Sources close to him have however punched holes in the rumours, and insisted his allegiance and dedication to CITI FM mean his would-be suitors, will have to propose a far too enticing bait to lure him.
The Kwesi Twum-owned Multimedia Broadcasting Company, which operates JOY FM, a direct competing brand to CITI, are said to be putting in a lot of effort to get the signature of the young presenter.
That Al-Smith is good, is not in doubt; you can understand why the team at MBC find him a worthy lead head and ‘face’, who can strategically re-position their sports department, which has since lost out on the competition to CITI.
Is he leaving or not, is the question we’ve been asking some of his colleagues and close associates. While they were clueless on what may inform a possible stay or exit, some motivating factors run throughout the responses we got.
In the likelihood event that he moves, he will be doing so because of what the sources tell us is the ‘bigger platform lure’; looking at how huge of jump it will be for him, even though CITI FM has proven a viable alternative within the last half decade of its operations.
The other motivating factor we were told could be the need for him to make a mark at JOY, and also win back for the station, a substantial share of the listenership base he’s managed to garner for CITI over the period.
These, together with a ‘fat bait’ (which we were also reminded has never been his motivation) we are told may get him to take a decision sooner than expected.
CITI FM however gets to keep their prized asset, if and only when his terms of engagement are renegotiated, we were also told.
Our sources at the Adabraka-based station say some talks have been held, and it does look like Samuel Atta Mensah and his team will do everything to keep him.
That may also change depending on how aggressive MBC gets with its attempt to ‘whisk’ him away to JOY.
One of Ghana’s finest Sports Presenters, Al-Smith prior to joining CITI FM, had stints with SKYY TV (Ghana), Vibe FM, and Metro TV.
He writes for the South African-owned football website Supersport.com, which is a spin off title of the pay per view channel SuperSport; and occasionally contributes to football discussion programmes on CNN, ESPN, Aljazeera, and the BBC among other news organizations and blogs.