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Goodbye Radio St. Lucia: “Internet, television and cellphones have taken over” – Chastanet

By SNO Staff
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (left) and Information Minister Dominic Fedee.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (left) and Information Minister Dominic Fedee.

Having accumulated over $3 million in losses plus thousands in unpaid taxes, the Government of Saint Lucia believes its annual subvention of just over $400,000 to Radio Saint Lucia is useless in absorbing those losses.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet revealed those details during his budget presentation as he announced the closure of the government-influenced radio station.

Chastanet said the station’s “relevant programmes” will be restructured to take “advantage of new technologies for information dissemination”.

“As of March 31, 2017 the company’s accumulated losses amounted to $3,362,725. The company also reported a loss of $515,497 in 2015. The company also failed to meet its statutory requirement by the way of wage related expenses.

“Radio St. Lucia owes the National Insurance Corporation $543,000 for unpaid employee contributions and owes government $231,000 in unpaid taxes. This is an addition to a significant account payable balance and contingent liabilities.

“Madam speaker, the annual government subvention of $417,000 is unable to meet the significant liabilities that are being accumulated by Radio St. Lucia,” Chastanet told the House.

The prime minister said the media landscaped has changed.

“When Radio St. Lucia was established, there were few avenues for disseminating information to our citizens. The radio was the most widely used tool for mass media and there were few other major stations. Madam speaker, the current climate is far different. The internet, television and cellphones have taken over in terms of communication.

“The airwaves are saturated with radio stations and multiple avenues exist for the government to get its message across to its citizens. We must therefore revisit the question of the role of Radio St. Lucia in this current climate.

“Madam speaker, my government will recognise and reorganize the GIS to more effectively disseminate government information and its programming. The company currently known as Radio St. Lucia will be closed and the relevant programmes will be restructured to take advantage of new technologies for information dissemination,” he further explained.

Meanwhile, Information Minister Dominic Fedee has promised to release a statement on the fate of the radio station’s employees.

Reports are that the authorities are looking into the possibility of placing the station’s employees into the public service and use the station’s building for a film and recording/production house.

(28)(8)
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19 comments

  1. The low self-esteem of St. Lucians ?? are on display in the comments section. Smh. Doorknobs!

    (0)(0)
  2. We are too dumb and our level of education too low to take an interest in the DETAILS of our annual budgets. Knowing this we got an annual circus by both governments with do nothing budgets that just raised taxes to pay for the employment of party supporters, legally and illegally. Thieves in three-piece suits, and wooden muppets making thrown speeches for comic relief in fancy chapeaux.

    (4)(1)
  3. Cuts are made on all entities perceived as being anti-government. This is not isolated. It is a trend with dictatorship qualities and must not be allowed to continue. It could have been transformed to make it viable. SLNT has been picked on. Slowly losing our roots.

    (7)(2)
  4. Well well well well money money money spending.No profit coming in. Why Keep It Open!!!

    (5)(4)
  5. Well well well here we go again lmoney money spending no profit coming in Why keep it open

    (2)(4)
  6. What sense those it make to keep it open if government keeps on losing revenue? In as much as i woyld have like it to remain open those numbers are huge .i cannot see a reason why to disagree with the Pm on this one.We are overloaded with ways of communicating in this present era.

    (6)(4)
  7. Spend the savings on free WI-FI. Then watch education and business blossom. Priceless!

    (15)(2)
  8. i agree. close that shit down it has t much losses. my gosh these numbers are huge

    (9)(3)
  9. Dominic is no communication Minister. When you tell me you closing down RSL. What next. our English finish.shame .we will leave the day to regret such action Mr. PM.

    (7)(10)
  10. Does it make sense?hit like.
    If it doesn't make sense? hit dislike.

    (23)(5)
  11. I enjoy the station and many looshans who live abroad also enjoy the shows. Great Sunday morning praise and worship and other very informative shows. Some great presenters on RSL.

    (14)(2)
    • Choops our country cant be in debt to accomodate no looshan living overaeas....take dat talk else where!

      (10)(6)
  12. Every country of any standing have a public broadcasting service. Europe, USA, Australia, New Zealand all have are is proud of their public Broadcasting service. They exist and compete - though they don't operate on a commercial basis - with other broadcasters and occupying a well defined space in the broadcasting landscape in their respective countries. Take the BBC for example see how it has defined a definite role and place for itself in the midst of a wide range of other broadcasters and new media and technologies. The action of Chastanet is typical of guys like him who only see $£ signs and nothing else. Cancel out the public service and open the sphere to business. Watch how important information will be lost to the popular which will in no way be informative. This man will Finish this country lord! Every thing of containing our patrimony is being destroyed lord please lend a hand before its too late.

    (8)(19)
    • the funny thing is how in awe you are of these foreign broadcasting stations. But are you aware that some of them are running on profits. And while other have funding support outside of government. You talk of BBC which produces some of its material and sells it. How is that comparable to Radio St.Lucia??
      You a special kind of dumb

      (8)(3)
  13. I have been to Radio St. Lucia many times, and I can't tell you what there would warrant that kind of hefty budget and debt. I though that the station should have been absorbed into GIS a long time ago. Constant waste of money in the interest of party politics and payback. I am VERY happy that this place will be closed down, but I would want the current radio programming to be absorbed into a more robust, lean, and well-planned GIS & NTN body. I think there is a lot of wastage happening at GIS and NTN as well.

    (19)(3)
  14. TRUE

    (6)(0)
  15. None of which carry national events like the budget.

    (3)(2)

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