Central Broadcasting Service (CBS) FM started broadcasting on June 22, 1996. It is owned by the Kingdom of Buganda with offices at Masengere and studios at Bulange both in Mengo.
CBS covers central Uganda. Eastern Uganda, Southern Uganda and portions of western Uganda. CBS total area of coverage avails the station with an audience of approximately six million people and 90% of Uganda’s disposable income.
CBS FM BACKGROUND
After the liberalization of radio waves in Uganda, 1993, many radio stations sprung up and CBS was one of them. It started in 1996 and it was the only Luganda radio station at the moment. CBS was established by Buganda kingdom as its official mouthpiece, it was to be primarily used to disseminate information from the Buganda administrative seat at Mengo to the Buganda as well mobilizing the people of Buganda.
The station however undertook other responsibilities of informing, educating and entertaining its citizens to conform to the laws regulating the media in Uganda for example the electronic media act and the press and journalism statute.
CBS FM (central broadcasting service) also known as radio Buganda which broadcasts on 88.8 FM and 89.2 FM, transmitting on 6kw and 5kw respectively. The station upgraded its transmission capacity after installing its own transmission 126-meter mast and a 10kw transmitter giving the two stations extensive coverage.
The station also enjoys the advantage of having both of its frequencies below 90MHz, this is important in an economy where over 90% of the vehicles imported are second hand and mainly originate from Japan with car radios that do not go past 90 MHz this widens the commuting audience as well.
CBS FM the largest private commercial radio station is owned by the Buganda kingdom and private investors at 51% – 49% shareholding respectively.
CBS FM has two radio stations. These are:
- CBS 88.8FM Ey’Obujjajja
- CBS 89.2FM Emmanduso, Leediyo y’Abavubuka Ab’Omulembe Omutebi.
CBS 88.8FM caters for a mature older audience in terms of age while CBS 89.2FM attracts the youth, the majority of the population. Both stations are ranked year on year as the best in the industry.
CBS airs both educative and entertainment programming. The aspiration of the station comes from the fact that it is an institutional station which must provide programmes that help Kabaka’s subjects develop and get themselves out of poverty.
Objectives of CBS Radio Buganda
- To mobilize the people of Buganda and Uganda at large for social and economic development.
- To promote Buganda Kingdom’s core values, interests and aspirations.
- To revive and enhance the Baganda culture, norms and traditions among the people of Buganda, particularly the youth.
- To inform and educate the people of Buganda in particular and Ugandans generally about the social economic, cultural and political occurrences around them and the world at large.
- To generate revenue for Buganda Kingdom and Shareholders.
- To entertain the public and arouse and promote the natural creativity and talents of the people of Buganda and Uganda at large, particularly the youth.
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LOCATION AND AREA OF COVERAGE
CBS is housed in one of the most recognizable and historical buildings in Uganda (Bulange house) which is located on Mengo hill. It is centrally located, within five minutes’ drive from any of the main taxi parks in Kampala, allowing easy access.
The famous Lubiri of Buganda kingdom is located within walking distance of Bulange house. There are also a number of historical sites in the neighborhood of CBS such as, Namirembe cathedral, Rubaga cathedral and Kasubi tombs.
CBS covers central Uganda. Eastern Uganda, southern Uganda and portions of western Uganda. CBS total area of coverage avails the station with an audience of approximately six million people and 90% of Uganda’s disposable income.
CBS opened a new chapter in radio programming in Uganda by departing what was regarded as ‘popular radio’ where all FM radio stations were emulations of American and European music radio formats. CBS started on the unbeaten track seeking its audience identity and adopted the local format, with most programs broadcasted in a range of local languages, Luganda taking most of the time on 88.8 FM and 89.2 FM.
CBS programming recognizes and emphasizes traditional and cultural values as vital pillars and catalysts in development. Music ad programs are therefore packaged to reflect the desires and aspirations of the station target audience.
CBS attracts all categories of listeners, with 88.8FM skewed towards the adults who cherish culture and 89.2FM addressing the youth who understand culture. CBS listeners therefore range from top policy makers, government technocrats, middle class as well as the locals of all walks of life. It’s estimated that CBS FM commands an audience of over 3.5 million loyal listeners.