He is currently the host of “Breakfast TV”, the captivating morning talk show that airs on ETV Ghana where he touches the lives and hearts of viewers with his flair and passion for his lifelong dream; that insatiable dream to be the voice for the voiceless, using his presence on both radio and television to make a positive social impact.
Bismark’s passion for the broadcasting profession has seen him travel across the length of the country to work with several radio stations including Nananom Fm in Goaso, and Filla Fm in Tamale and in all of those instances, he left behind lasting memories and legacies whenever he moved on.
Bismark Brown was born and bred in Koforidua where he had his basic education and continued to Pope Johns Senior High School and Junior Seminary before heading to Koforidua Polytechnic to study marketing.
His romance with radio broadcasting started in 2002, when the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation was launching the last of its regional stations, Sunrise FM in Koforidua, having earlier discovered his passion for the job in his final years in Pope Johns when he was offered the opportunity to MC a school event which he handled perfectly and to admiration.
From that event, he recognised his raw talent which he knew he could polish and nurture to blossom and so when the opportunity came, he acted smartly and gracefully.
He heard of an opening for presenters to work with the newly-established station in Koforidua, so he recorded a demo of himself asking people to advertise on Sunrise Fm and attached it to his application letter. It was a trick that worked as both the director and marketing manager of the station instantly fell in love with his voice after listening to the audio tape.
And so for two weeks, he was taken through the studio rudiments as well as the ethics of broadcasting and that was his first ever experience with radio.
Prior to his radio days, Bismark’s source of motivation was the ever vibrant Kwame Sefa-Kayi, who has been and continues to be the beacon of inspiration to his chosen profession.
He said in an exclusive interview with the B&FT Weekend: “My passion for radio led me to listen to radio a lot, back then I was listening to Kwame Sefa-Kayi, who was actively on radio at that time; and he was my inspiration, seriously. The reason I’m in this broadcast business is because I got inspired by him as I got attached to his style of radio broadcasting; his objectivity and professionalism.”
Bismark’s journey up the broadcasting ladder has been a mixture of excitement and eye-opening moments and for him, it has not been a smooth road climbing up to where he sits now.
He shared some memories: “The journey up the professional broadcasting ladder has been a mixture of things; its’s been exciting and eye-opening; it was not that smooth as I was schooling and doing radio at the same time, aside working in a shop to get some cash to support myself.
Radio at an early age took me out of Koforidua where I ended up working with Nananom FM in Goaso, I was among the first presenters to start the station. That passion was also strongly felt during my National Service in 2006, in Tamale where I was to be part of the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme.
The urge to do radio got me looking for a radio station in Tamale to work with and luckily, I got to work with Filla Fm for a year having to combine that with my national service obligations.”
Bismark’s love for radio has been an interesting journey, including the instance where he had to pursue another career because his previous stints with radio was not fetching him money which he very much needed around that time.
“At that stage I was like; if I was not going to get a radio job and be paid as a staff, then let me forget about it and pursue other interests. I applied for a job in the banking field and got the ARB Apex Bank, where I was posted to Cape Coast even though I knew that wasn’t my passion,” he narrated.
All through his work at Apex Bank, Bismark was concentrated on radio and loved to listen to radio presenters marking them in his mind and tried to identify their flaws and how he would have done that better.
It was like that until he got a call one day from a friend who was then working at Happy Fm asking him to apply for an opening for a radio show host.
He narrated further: “I quickly applied and I was called for an interview; during the interview, they gave me a number of newspapers to go through and present it. I did that perfectly and that was when the Managing Director of Global Media Alliance, Akwasi Agyeman, walked into the studio and said “I think I like this guy”.
So with that assuring remarks and acceptance, Bismark had to quit his lucrative banking job and come into radio, a decision that failed to win the support of his parents who did not understand why a young man will shun lucrative banking job to go back into radio which was not fetching him any money.
Fast-forward today, Bismark Brown is a prominent professional driving the success and expansion agenda of the media and business conglomerate Global Media Alliance has performed and excelled in various departments of the company through his long stint with the world-recognised media brand.
He is currently the host of ETV Ghana’s morning talk show “Breakfast TV” even though he never imagined himself on television because he was biased with radio.
He narrated: “Television was not part of the main deal for me as I never saw myself on television. I thought my passion was only limited to radio. But Global Media Alliance had a bigger plan and after buying out Happy Fm, they had a plan to start a television station.
“Eventually staff were informed about the television station and that was when management approached me that I can also do very well on television. It took an amount of time and persuasion for management to convince me to take up the offer to host Breakfast TV.”
Breakfast TV is an educative and thought-provoking morning talk show on ETV Ghana; it is a four-hour programme that discusses pressing issues concerning the average Ghanaian. Over the years, the show has been rebranded to offer more relevance to the viewing public with specific segments tackling various aspects of the social lives of viewers.
Bismark said of his show: “By and large, Breakfast TV has come a long way, it is now a household name that is making waves with the crusade on the show where we fight for accountable, responsible and transparent governance issues. The show seeks to awaken our sleeping politicians to their responsibilities and duty and to get them to deliver on the promises that were poured on the public during their campaigns.
Breakfast TV is well positioned to add to the governance process and to equally instigate insightful analysis into critical issues of national concern.”
Bismark has a unique approach to work, aside his passion and dedication to duty; for him, what he does on radio or television is not a job but rather a calling that comes with the responsibility to represent the voices of people who do not have that opportunity, and that is a value that is embedded in Breakfast TV.
“Personally, I think a show must have an impact that goes beyond show business; a relevant show must relate to the people and re-echo their voices because we speak their mind.
“Also, discussions on such shows shoul lead to reforms and suggest solutions to pertinent governance issues. That largely what sets myself and my show apart.
I am very passionate about my job, I mean what I say on TV; some people will say I look too angry and emotional on set but I call it passion because I believe that without passion everything we do will be dry and that is what has been driving me this far.”
The success of Bismark’s professional broadcasting career cannot go without the influence of his close acquaintances in every sphere of his life, something he emphatically confirmed, particularly the support from his employers and workmates which he described as “awesome” and “amazing”.
According to him, his relationship with Global Media Alliance has been one of his best experiences: “When I took the decision to permanently work in the media space, I have enjoyed massive support from my employers and this is one of the few companies that lends every bit of support to the staff.
“I believe this is a company that will go places with the level of professionalism management have attached to managing the various media houses.
“By far, the support has been amazing and great and I’m hopeful we will be able to sustain this relationship into the long term.”
He seasoned broadcaster also acknowledges the support of his wife which has helped lot in his career life. Even though he admits the difficulty in having to leave home early and go back late to the house, he does not hesitate to make time for the family when the opportunity arrives.
On what he does when not in the studios, he said: “I don’t have a social life, I’m not the type you will find in one joint or the other. I love to be around a smaller number of friends. I love listening to music and traveling long distances just to change environment and learn new things.”