Cape Town – Capetonians need to prepare for another loss over their airwaves, as afternoon drive host Ryan O’Connor is set to leave Heart FM.
O’Connor, an award winning presenter and host of the #OConnorDrive with Jeremy Harris and Jo-Dee Butler, 3 – 6pm on weekdays, will be bowing out.
With over two decades of broadcasting experience he has decided to resign.
Speaking to IOL, a source close to the station and close to O’Connor confirmed his resignation at the station.
“I can confirm Ryan has resigned. He has decided not to renew his contract,” the source said.
However, another bombshell was dropped.
More resignations are set to follow at the station.
“He [Ryan] is not the only one leaving. There are some big names. There is an inherent level of unhappiness with management there [Heart FM],” the source told IOL.
Without divulging any further detail, the source did say listeners can expect to hear O’Connor’s smooth voice and infectious laugh soon and it might just be on a breakfast show.
Heart FM’s managing director, Renee Redelinghuys, confirmed O’Connor will be leaving the station in May next year.
“Heart FM can confirm that Ryan O’ Connor and the station have mutually agreed that his contract won’t be renewed when it lapses next year.
“It’s not been publicised yet, simply because the change is only due to happen in May 2023. Ryan already has plans beyond that, and it would be unfair to him, to any brand he may be associated with from that point, and to ourselves, to offer any more detail on those plans at this stage,” she said.
Redelinghuys said O’Connor was a fantastic part of the Heart FM family.
“He joined us just as the Covid-19 lockdown hit, and his combination of genuine human empathy and silly humour helped many people stay sane through that very difficult time. We’re certain he’ll be a major asset at his next project as well,” she said.
The station were also tight-lipped on the new voices which make take over the airwaves once O’Connor departs.
“Looking ahead, it’s just not time yet to say exactly what we’re up to. However, we’re absolutely certain that radio listeners here are going to love what we unveil when the time is right!” Redelinghuys added.
The station made headlines last year when it fired one of Cape Town’s most loved radio personalities, Clarence Ford. Ford was one of Heart FM’s longest-serving employees.
In December 2021, Weekend Argus reported Ford was en route to the studio in Green Point for his 12-3pm lunchtime show when he got a phone call from programme manager Vernon Nel about his dismissal.
The call came 40 minutes before he was set to hit the airwaves.
The publication quoted Ford, who said Redelinghuys had told him his contract was terminated with immediate effect. It alleged his dismissal stemmed from revelations he made in a Weekend Argus Sunday exclusive that bullying from a senior manager at the station prompted his decision to leave.
His departure from the station was only supposed to take place in February 2022.