May 2, 2008
Bacchus’ programme pulled

Junior Bacchus will have to find another radio station to have “Country Talk”, because Cross Country Radio has pulled the plug on his popular nighttime interactive programme.{{more}}

In a letter dated April 29th, Station Manager of Cross Country Radio, Richard Beadle, wrote that Bacchus’ programme has been suspended “effective immediately.”

This development comes on the heels of controversy stirred by an interview Bacchus conducted with lawyer Margaret Parsons, of Canada.

Lawyers for Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves claim that Parsons defamed him with false and malicious allegations of her meeting with him some time in January 2003.

The interview was rebroadcast three times on NICE radio and that station was threatened with a lawsuit, while Cross Country Radio issued an apology to the Prime Minister.

Beadle told Bacchus that while several other radio stations “thrive by catering to listeners within the community who enjoy engaging in this type of negative talk-radio and political rhetoric”, Cross Country radio strongly believes that “there are just as many, and maybe even more listeners who appreciate an alternative, positive and encouraging listening experience.”

Beadle further told Bacchus in the letter that while the apology was issued, he has continued to encourage discussions on the subject of Parson’s accusations.

This Beadle says “suggests that your (Bacchus’) personal position is not in alignment with the programming direction of our station.”

“It is our determination and firm resolution to remain unbiased and neutral in the current political impasse and any other that may arise, so we can carry on with the business of pleasing the majority of our listeners,” Beadle said.

Carlos Maloney, owner of Cross Country Radio, had told SEARCHLIGHT when the controversy broke that he was putting things in place to ensure that potentially defamatory statements do not make it on air.