Stroebel – A powerful leader

Managed to move four national radio stations to new premises in two days with almost no downtime

30 April 2021 | People

Michelline Nawatises

Gary Stroebel was extremely privileged to be educated at Michaelhouse for high school, and at the University of the Free State for his first and second degrees. He has been in the media world since his days at university, working as a journalist, broadcaster, programmer, salesman and manager. He was privileged to be given the opportunity to lead Namibia’s biggest radio company two years ago.

He is the CEO of Future Media. Future Media is now two years old. In that time, Stroebel says they have been through a merger (between Radiowave and Plante Radio) and also the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.

“So this has been a wildly turbulent two years, and as result, the position has been extremely challenging. I have learned an enormous amount through this period, and have been very fortunate to have such an experienced and talented management team,” he says.

When asked about the accomplishments Stroebel mentioned that as a team they managed to move four national radio stations to new premises in two days with almost no downtime – that required a lot of planning and coordination from the technical team. They also managed to record zero downtime during their two building lockouts caused by Covid breakouts. “We had all our broadcast teams handling their shows from their houses. A very interesting time for broadcasting,” he says proudly.

During the lockdown, the team also launched NOVA 1035, as well as Future Media News – two exceptional new brands.

Short-term goals for the foundation

With their recovery from the setbacks of 2020 behind them, Future Media will be bringing some new products to the market in order to create innovation for our clients and listeners. Future Media will be launching new websites and also a new outside broadcast unit. Future Media reaches nearly 50% of all adults across their four platforms and would like to use that reach for greater community projects to uplift and assist communities in need.

Stroebel has been enormously proud of the way that their whole team has been able to adapt to extremely volatile and challenging situations over the past two years. “After 2020 it feels like they can handle anything,” he says proudly.

A day in the life of Stroebel

Stroebel is usually up at 05:00 to get prepped for the day – handle emails and plan for client and staff meetings. He tries to spend as much time with clients as he can, and will touch base with managers through the week to see where they may be having problems.

“I get home by five, and try to put an hour on the stationary bike at least three times a week,” he says. Recently he has been demolishing Chops on the squash courts as well before work. (Don’t fact-check).

Stroebel enjoys torturing himself on the golf course occasionally, and also getting out into the bush whenever he can to explore Namibia. He loves a good argument (just ask his poor management team), and he is inspired by people that break convention to achieve success.

“I enjoy the writings of Malcolm Gladwell and Bob Hoffman. I follow the Smartless podcast for entertainment, and I am also inspired by entrepreneurs who just get it done”, he adds.

His best childhood memory is living in Katima Mulilo on a farm in the late 70s with a house on the Zambezi. “An unbelievable two years of my (very) young life,” he concludes.

10 Facts about Gary Stroebel

1) Born in Zimbabwe

2) Married to a Dress Designer extraordinaire and a Pilates Superstar!

3) I love golf

4) I hate golf

5) Lived In Katima Mulilo on a farm in the 80’s. Spent a lot of time in a bombshelter.

6) I have commentated over 300 games of Super Rugby/Currie Cup/ Test matches on SA national radio.

7) I make my own gin.

8) I grew up on farms in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa, and have lived in 23 different houses.

9) My Kindle is my favourite technology

10) I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.