Promising Sports Journalist, Gary Al Smith, of the Adabraka-based radio station CITI FM, is joining competing brand JOY FM, can confirm.

In what is yet the biggest signing-on fee a local media organization has paid for the services of a sports journalist on urban radio, Al-Smith is getting close to a 100, 000 Ghana Cedis. We have this on good authority.

A bait too juicy to ignore, it finally brings to an end, a 3-year chase. (We reported first, the attempts to get him in May, 2013).

A deal was signed on Thursday, January 8, 2015, we can also tell you. This website is also able to report that Mr. Kwesi Twum, CEO of the Multimedia Broadcasting Group, which operates JOY and a number of broadcasting properties, led the negotiations.

Al-Smith begins work after the African Cup of Nations, which takes place in Equatorial Guinea from January 17 to February 8.

He will be expected to help re-position the whole JOY Sports brand, which goes just beyond radio. “His job will mainly be to make it attractive again,” a station source tells us.

Among other things, he will lead a structural positioning of the brand as one at the very heart of social and new media, making it a must-have medium, online.

The twenty-something year old is being brought in as an assistant to Nathaniel Attoh.

Gary (left) captured at CITI FM's Decemba2Rememba
Gary (left) captured at CITI FM’s Decemba2Rememba

In May 2013, this website first reported that he was close to joining the Kokomlemele-based station. A combination of timely interventions and the young man’s desire to hold on till the time was right, ensured that the deal fell through.

Both parties returned to the negotiation table, and finally met each other halfway on Thursday.

A known name in mainstream sports journalism across the world , Al-Smith prior to joining CITI FM had stints at SKYY TV (Ghana), Vibe FM, and Metro TV.

He writes for the South African-owned football website, which is a spin off title of the pay per view channel SuperSport. A visible Ghanaian Journalist on the international news scene, with his work featuring regularly on major titles such as CNN, The Guardian, BBC, bein Sports ESPN, and Aljazeera among others, he’s also covered some of football’s biggest events of the last decade.

Al-Smith is the current host of TV3’s weekly EPL spin-off show Fanzone.

By: Abena Akyaa Hirsch/

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