Radio station blames COVID for closure


Tribune Business



A BAHAMIAN radio station yesterday confirmed it will close today after COVID-19’s financial fall-out for advertisers eroded its main income source.

Island FM, in a statement, confirmed that the station founded by Sir Charles Carter almost 22 years ago will be “taking a hiatus effective Wednesday, February 1” and closing its Dowdeswell Street office. It did not mention how many employees will be impacted, but it is understood less than a dozen are affected.

The release also indicated that an over-saturated radio market, with too many stations chasing too few viewers, was also a factor. It said: “As with many businesses, Island FM was severely affected by the pandemic, and its effects certainly impacted our ability to stay on the air.

“When it began broadcasting back on August 2001, Island FM entered a marketplace that featured ZNS, three private radio stations and a sound that was unmistakably foreign,” the company said. “It was the lifelong passion of Island FM founder, Sir Edward Charles Carter, to promote the very best of The Bahamas. So there was no debate or second-guessing; Island FM was going to be a great promoter of Bahamian music, Bahamian culture and, indeed, Bahamian life.

“Twenty-two years later and there are now over 25 private radio stations, ZNS and now a sound that is a bit more familiar. Island FM made a difference. It exposed us to our music, helped us to appreciate those rhythms that are uniquely ours. It saluted our most celebrated musicians while uncovering talent previously unknown. It told our stories through music, creative programming and wonderfully recorded interviews that showed the Bahamian story,” Island FM continued.

“Over the past two decades there have been many great moments at Island FM, including making history as the first private radio station to stage a live debate between two aspiring Prime Ministerial candidates, developing weekly and yearly Bahamian music charts, covering festivals in the Family Islands, staging a successful medical fund raiser for a performing legend, and having our morning show talent host an important segment of the Miss Universe competition in 2009.”

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