Veteran presenter resigns

JON HOUZET

KOWIE FM’s most experienced presenter resigned last week after controversy arose over him allegedly personally benefiting from his show.

David Mills, who has 50 years of broadcasting experience and got his start at the BBC, was the presenter of Kowie FM’s 9am-11am on Sundays, which catered to an older audience.

The 73-year-old was one of the community radio station’s volunteer presenters, who receive no remuneration.

Mills approached TotT last week after walking out on the Kowie FM following an argument with station manager Shaun van Heerden.

“Last Monday Shaun told me there was a new policy by the new board that no presenter could personally benefit from their own show,” Mills said.

“I have equipment that can convert LPs and tapes to CDs. It also cleans it up and gets rid of noise from scratches. I have mentioned this on my show, but they said I can’t,” Mills explained.

“I’m not getting paid for this show, or the research and writing involved – I have access to the BBC library in London – and I’m just mentioning a service I have. It’s not like I’m making a profit.”

In his argument with Van Heerden, Mills claimed the station manager said their “accountants” had advised them that Mills’ mention of his music conversion service should not be allowed.

“I asked, ‘Are accountants running the show?’ and he said yes.”

“So I said if that’s the way it’s going to be then find someone else for the Sunday show.”

Van Heerden was asked to comment but declined to speak on the record.

Mills also told TotT he had helped oust the River Group and vote in a new board at the Kowie FM AGM in July, and he was disappointed in how he was being treated by the station’s new management.

“(New board chairman) Robbie Blake asked me to round up people to vote against River Group at the AGM and I managed to get 50 people to come,” said Mills.

Blake declined to respond to Mills’ allegations this week, but said: “The various issues you have raised will be dealt with at the next board meeting on September 24”.

“A large percentage of people living here are retired people. They often request the kind of music I have,” said Mills. “I just want people to know why I’m not on the air on Sundays anymore.”

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