Monday, April 30, 2018

ANN7 changes to Afro Worldview on MultiChoice's DStv with Richard Nta and Flo Letoaba as new morning co-anchors, will no longer report that anyone 'died' since people only 'pass on', says owner Mzwanele Manyi.

On Monday morning the brand-damaged ANN7 (DStv 405) rolled out its new look as Afro Worldview on the same channel number and with the same set, but a new logo on DStv - with owner Mzwanele Manyi who said he won't interfere with the "new" channel's editorial decisions but then said it was decided that henceforth Afro Worldview in its news reporting won't say someone died but always use passed on.

Although name-changed to try and distance itself from its disastrous, often-mocked and blooper-filled on-air image, as well as its history of bias and links with the now-notorious Gupta family, MultiChoice will still dump Afro Worldview on 20 August from its DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

With a set design that's now incongruent to its new logo and colours, the gold-and-black themed Afro Worldview launched with new morning co-anchors Richard Nta and Flo Letoaba who both previously worked for the competing TV-news channel eNCA (DStv 403).

Afro Worldview that according to its contract with MultiChoice is supposed to supply publicity material and talent photos, schedule information and programming updates to both the pay-TV operator and the press, didn't issue any press releases about anchor, line-up or programming block changes to the media ahead of today's rebranding exercise.

Mzwanele Manyi, the Afrotone Media Holdings chairperson, on Monday morning in an appearance on Afro Worldview, said that the channel will have a new editorial policy "and it's going to be a major shift from all the criticism that we've been receiving from a whole range of people".

He said Afro Worldview wants to be "the trusted voice of Africa".

Mzwanele Manyi said the rebrand from ANN7 to Afro Worldview is part of a plan to steer the TV news channel in a new direction with around 500 people working in the news group "whose jobs are going to go if this channel shuts down."

"So all of this fanfare and everything is an effort to say to South Africa, this channel cannot shut down. We have done everything that needs to be done to make sure that this channel does not shut down. We have cut a clean break with the Guptas. We don't owe any Guptas anything."

Following eNCA's lead where Mapi Mhlangu is the managing director and editor-in-chief, Mzwanele Manyi announced that the channel will have "a black, an African, and a woman who is going to be the new editor of the channel".

About Afro Worldview Mzwanele Manyi said "I'm just the owner. So I don't want to get involved in editorial policies. That's one of the major decisions. We're going to draw a strong line between owners and editors."

Mzwanele Manyi later in the same interview then announced as owner an editorial policy change, saying that "one of the things that you will never hear again, ever, in this channel, is when a person has passed on, you hear 'a person died'. With us as Africans, a person does not die, a person passes on."

"So let it be clear to everyone, even if you say I'm interfering with the editorial policy, but here, because we are Africans, we must never say a person died. A person passes on; an animal died. That kind of a thing."