July 12, 2020

The Editor speaks: Anticipation

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Colin Wilsonweb2Anticipation

In anticipation of a Messiah the Jews were full of excitement.

In anticipation of lots of Christmas presents children were excited.

In anticipation of a great 2016 there was much celebration and excitement from the masses.

In anticipation of new copyright and intellectual property laws, Hurley’s Media announced changes to its broadcast programming. I don’t believe there is too much excitement at that.

Whilst the Jews, the children and the masses had plenty of time for their anticipation to come to fruition, Randy Merren, Hurley’s Media CEO, gave his viewers less than 12 hours notice to anticipate the “major changes in our prime time lineup, but we want viewers to understand the reason,” he said in a Press Release on December 31st.

The major changes came on the last strike of the clock chime to announce 2016 had begun.

But Merren has given himself plenty of time to anticipate the implementation of the law, “which mirrors UK’s Copyright, Designs and of 1988”.

“We know our audience will be surprised with the major changes,” he said explaining the reason for them.

I was not surprised when Merren took over CITN/Cayman27 and CTS/Island24 the programming that WestStar/Logic the parent company was providing would change.

Having started CITN back in 1992 I know how expensive programming is and we were lucky to strike a deal with a company in Canada who provided us with our programming as they then had rights for it in the Caribbean. The problem was that we needed an enormous and very expensive satellite dish to receive them. We had to bite the bullet and do it.

WestStar, a few years ago, provided programming by becoming a affiliate. I have not been privy to how much that was costing but I have heard estimates it was over $10,000 a month. However, it was legitimate.

Merren, being a shrewd businessman, knew there was no way local advertising was going to support that and even with the new cable stations sprouting up like a cluster of mushrooms (one belonging to him) he wouldn’t be able to sell CBS to them and make a profit or even break even.

You see, there are only so many coins in the money pot no matter how many providers there are and then there is also the semi-illegal satellite dishes that also have a hand in the pot too.

Therefore, I have to question his reason he has given – the new copyright and intellectual property laws – for his “sweeping changes”. On Cayman27 he was legitimate.

His staff is certainly going to be stretched to provide all the local in-house programming he has announced:

“Additionally, the stations will be expanding their locally produced news and talk show offerings. Cayman 27 will be adding a live mid-day news report at noon each weekday and will extend its evening news cast to 90 minutes each weekday evening starting at 5:30pm.

“Local talk offerings will also be expanded with the re-launch of ‘The Panel’ on Thursdays. ‘The Premier Show’ and ‘Let’s Talk Sports’ will remain on their normal days in the 7 – 8pm weeknight time slot.”

I certainly applaud that. However watching re-runs of “Bonanza” I don’t think is going to excite too many people

It’s his anticipation reason I query.

In view of the above perhaps I should warn his viewers that from June 1st to November 30th Cayman27 and Island 24 may be off the air in anticipation of a hurricane.

If he does that he might break even on his broadcast stations.

I can only anticipate his reaction if he ever reads this Editorial.

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