Local TV once had continuity announcers

Lydia Manyasi was continuity announcer at KTN Photo: Courtesy

Viewers had to be told ‘live live’ about forthcoming programmes when KTN was spearheading its way into the private television market. Things are different today as TV stations run promos with a voice-over informing viewers what to expect in the nine o’clock news and other programmes. But back in the day, when Baba Gidi was calling the shots at State House, KTN, for instance, had continuity announcers. Their work involved appearing on screen to inform viewers what to expect next, besides creating hype for forthcoming programmes.

There were four well-known continuity announcers who appeared in between shows, bridging gaps: Jimi Gathu, Pete Odera, Lydia Manyasi and Esther Mbondo. They told eager viewers that up next is Hangin’ with Mr Cooper, Friends, Knots Landing, Rap’ Em or Neighbours.

These type of announcers are called in-vision continuity announcers, but today, Kenya has 20 television stations and evolution in news programming is such that most stations have out-of-vision continuity announcers, meaning you can’t see them ‘live live.’