Our Readers' Opinions
May 31, 2016
Do morning radio programmes provide meaningful discussions?

Editor: Morning radio programmes are a part of Vincentian culture, and it serves as an important way to gain information on what’s occurring in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The radio stations that carry these programmes are: National Broadcasting Corporation, BOOM FM, Hot 97.1 FM, Hitz FM, Star FM, and WE FM. Vincentians living abroad look forward to hearing these programmes; why? For information, regardless to if it’s good or bad, and they participate by calling in on these stations.{{more}}

The question some Vincentians are asking is do these radio morning programmes provide meaningful discussions? I think listeners are desiring more structured discussions and they should give the listeners what they desire.

The National Broadcasting Corpo-ration’s (NBC) morning programme is hosted by Desmond Arrindell and he is of a high standard and has high values and that is what Vincentians are looking for from a radio talk show host. This morning programme has potential and is capable of great things. Mr Desmond Arrindell is doing an excellent job and I think his listeners are pleased with his performance. This programme is one filled with purpose and constructive discussions are always present.

BOOM FM’s morning programme is hosted by Mr Bing Joseph; it brings a difficult vibe. It’s shock radio and Vincentians seem to be enjoying it. I think there is a lot of room for improvement. Bing understands that what he is doing is what sells. He is simply going with the tide. While it’s entertaining to the listeners, the question is why aren’t more businesses placing advertisements on BOOM FM? Is it because of Mr Bing’s personality? Many Vincentians complain about his attitude towards both guests and listeners.

Mr Bing Joseph once had Mr Glen Beache, who is the CEO of the Tourism Authority, on his programme. He also had Dr Linton Lewis, who is the chair of the NDP. Both interviews went well, to my knowing, but I’m of the impression that he was a bit harsh after. It appears that he speaks ill of them after they leave his studio and that is extremely disrespectful and unprofessional of him. So, I think that Mr Bing Joseph should be much more careful and he needs to show more respect to both his guests and listeners, because they are the reason the bills are paid.

Hot 97.1 FM’s morning programme is hosted by Chris Jones, aka “2 Kool Chris”. This is one of the more popular radio programmes; it appeals to many young Vincentians. Why? I don’t know. Does “2 Kool” bring anything different? While he is very entertaining, the content of entertainment shown lacks quality and substance. Is his programme based on easing Vincentians’ frustration? Some may say yes, it is. I truly think that he needs to use his programme more wisely, because that programme is listened to by the majority of the young people and I think they are in need of guidance. He has the potential to guide them because he has an influential impact on them. Also I am of the opinion that Mr Alex Barnwell, aka “Kubiyashi,” doesn’t make any sort of difference to the programme and he should be removed.

Hitz FM’s morning radio programme is hosted by Dr Fugitive; he is trying his best, but he has a long way to go. He comes off as a bit anti-government and sometimes Vincentians think that is good; but for someone who is doing such an important job, he needs to understand that being political drives away listeners. Vincentians are looking for an avenue to air their views. I think that he can provide that platform, but he needs to add some value to his entertainment.

Star FM’s morning programme is hosted by Mr Anthony Dennie and Mr Franklyn Springer. Many Vincentians understand that on this station, you have to be singing from the ULP’s song sheet, especially since Mr Julian Francis is in charge. I think he needs to do much more if they want to influence Vincentians who are on the verge of supporting the ULP. All they are concerned about is to unleash their frustration on Mr Eustace and the NDP. This morning programme lacks quality, but it’s coming from the ULP base, so what else should we expect?

The WE FM’s morning radio programme is hosted by Mr Donnie Collins and it is struggling. The management of WE FM needs to think of new ideas if they want to sustain the programme. It lacks purpose; the only interesting time on that programme is 7:50 a.m. when Frank Da Silva calls in. Does he make a difference? While I don’t always agree with Frank, he adds energy to the programme at the time he calls. Mr Donnie Collins is all about himself and he exploits the radio time given to him for his own agenda; he is a waste of time in terms of providing entertainment and quality broadcasting. Vincentians expect so much more from WE FM, but once Donnie Collins is there, they won’t get what they expect. Oh, what a shame! The late Mr Glen Jackson, who pioneered morning programmes on radio would be so disappointed.

Our country is in need of help and this is where some of these talk show hosts can help by informing; but all of a sudden, it’s about pleasing politicians. Drugs, HIV, AIDS, crime, unemployment, teenage pregnancy and homosexuality are some issues that affect our young people, but these hosts don’t want to deal with these issues; it’s all about trivializing and feathering their own nests. Is it because they lack the skills to tackle these issues or simply because they don’t care?

Radio is a very powerful instrument and should be used wisely, but we are not getting that wisdom from morning radio as we deserve.

Many may ask why I haven’t mentioned X-Treme FM. Well, it’s simple, I don’t think that their morning programme is even worth discussing. Simple! Vincentians need more from these morning programmes and the managers of these radio stations need to understand that it’s not all about money through ads; it’s about adding value to the listenership. So, I’m hoping I would see an improvement on these morning programmes.

Kingsley De Freitas