April 17, 2018
RJRGLEANER GROUP RADIO STATIONS PROVIDING GREATER MUSIC VARIETY ON ALL STATIONS EMPHASISES REGGAE MUSIC ON HITZ 92FM7 min read
Kingston. April 16, 2018: The Board and Management of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group have taken note of media reports of a call by Moses “Beenie Man” Davis and another deejay for the dismissal of our General Manager, Radio Services, Dr. Dennis Howard, claiming that he has maliciously banned the playing of dancehall music on one of our stations, HITZ 92 FM, and that he has been dismissing staff in this process. We have also noted the launching of a social media petition along the same lines.
We consider it incredulous that anyone would reasonably contend that the same Board, Management and Radio Services Manager which preside over the playing of various types of music (including dancehall music) on the five radio stations in our Group, are simply acting maliciously against dancehall music.
Our Group is a model of supporting Jamaican music, including dancehall music over many years, and consistently pays tens of millions of dollars in royalties on a yearly basis to the benefit of the industry, including dancehall deejays. We also give tens of millions of dollars more of promotional support and exposure to all artistes, including dancehall artistes.
On the specific contention about one of our stations, it should be noted that while HITZ 92FM has been branded as the Reggae and Sports Station for over ten years, it has not focused on its core of reggae. This was before the current General Manager, Dr. Howard, took up the position. That he has been responding to our mandate to him to
make each station serve its targeted niche, is commendable and will not be halted. The very strong positive response we are getting from listeners at home and abroad is encouraging and validates the correctness of the steps taken.
This Group has a responsibility to serve a wide cross section of interests and we make decisions on how to do this through market research of people’s and advertisers’ interests and desires, not propaganda.
Note must be taken that within the statements made, there are blatant inaccuracies such as the fact that not one letter of termination has been issued to anyone, so far, by Dr. Howard in connection with his reorganization of the Groups’ radio stations. Rather, there has been a combination of a few persons resigning or walking off the job without the courtesy of a resignation, some persons unprofessionally announcing in social media, and even more unprofessionally, announcing on our stations that they have resigned, before advising the station. This conduct is untenable! We will not accept this nor the spurious campaigns that have been launched.
We hold firm to the principle of our business independence, of protecting the choices of the public, protecting our business, our licences and our right to compete vigorously against those competing against us.
Those questioning our support of dancehall music should bear in mind this is the very same Group that gives dancehall music and artistes exposure and support through features and interviews in the Gleaner, the Star, TVJ, RETV, 94FM, FAME 95FM; bookings to perform on our events and numerous other activities. It is on our stations that there are entertainment reports covering dancehall deejays and their activities and reporting on them in entertainment news.
The petition that has been launched calls for the Minister responsible for culture to intervene. We have no difficulty meeting and discussing this and any other issue with anyone, especially this Minister, with whom we enjoy an excellent working relationship. However, both the Minister and our Group know that it would be unprecedented for one of 30, private, licensed broadcasters in Jamaica, to be directed on what content should be offered to listeners.
We encourage the public to recognise that across the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, our five radio stations are positioned to give them good choices on all media platforms in Jamaica and abroad. In the Group, every radio station has a defined target audience, and under Dr. Howard’s management, the lovers of dancehall music, always have, and will continue to be able to turn to THE RJRGLEANER Group for their musical preferences.