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Posted by on Feb 8, 2012 in Entertainment, Featured, People | 0 comments

Sasha Martinengo Says Ciao to 5FM

Sasha Martinengo

Rumoured yesterday and officially announced this morning, South Africa’s best all round media personality (imho!) Sasha “@F1sasha” Martinengo will be leaving national music station 5FM at the end of March.
The Official Announcement appeared on Sasha’s Official DJ page on the 5FM website this morning:

5FM is sad to announce that, after 17 years on air, Sasha Martinengo will be leaving the station at the end of March 2012.  The decision comes as part of the station’s annual line-up change, which takes place from 1 April 2012.

Explains 5FM’s station manager Aisha Mohamed, “Line-up changes are an unfortunate part of the radio landscape. Every year 5FM, along with the SABC ‘s 17 other radio properties, evaluate their on-air line-up for the year ahead. Sasha will unfortunately not be with us from April onwards. The change comes as part of a long-term strategic plan to revise our on air offering. We are enormously appreciative of Sasha’s incredible work ethic, his dedication to the listeners and his support of the 5FM brand. The station however needs to evolve and change as our listeners do.”

Says Sasha, “Working at 5FM hasn’t just been a job, it’s been my life. I’d like to think I have entertained my listeners over the years. I have had a brilliant time and will miss my 5FM family. Thank you for all the years of fun and support.”

Adds 5FM’s Aisha, “It has been absolutely wonderful working with Sasha. He’s been a huge asset to the 5FM team and we will miss him as an on-air personality and as a team player.”

Just how much PR-speak you want to read into that official statement is entirely up to you. Personally, I think 5FM are shooting themselves in the nuts on this one. Presumably though that “evolution of listeners” does not extend to middle-aged white blokes who have been tuning in to 5FM/Radio 5 for over twenty years. I guess the demographic that I (and Sasha for that matter) fall into need to go elsewhere to get our radio kicks.

Fortunately Sasha will not be disappearing entirely and has already confirmed via Twitter that he will still be pursuing his other love – Formula 1. He’ll continue to host the F1 magazine show Absolute F1 on SuperSport (and presumably the actual race broadcasts.) He’ll also be writing columns for a number of publications including Prestige Magazine, F1Racing, The Cape Times and The Star.

With his passion for all things Formula 1, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Italian and (I believe) Depeche Mode, Sasha is a gentleman after my own heart. His voice will be missed on air.

Maybe now though he’ll have time to put together the South African Grand Prix and offer me a job in his office!

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