TV regulator blamed for sunset on Daybreak

| 29/01/2017 | 47 Comments

(CNS): Hurley’s Media Ltd has announced that it is dropping its morning TV show, Daybreak, and replacing it with a televised version of its radio phone-in show, Cayman CrossTalk, which airs each morning on Rooster. Hurley’s Media Managing Director Randy Merren said that the first ever show to be broadcast on CITN some 25 years ago is being dropped because of costs and the failure of the regulator to establish Cayman 27 as a “must-carry” station on all local cable TV providers’ networks. The TV boss is urging the public to contact their MLAs about the ongoing inequitable situation surrounding cable provision.

All TV operators are supposed to broadcast  a certain amount of local content to meet their licensing requirements but that rule is not being properly enforced, and while Cayman 27  has been producing Daybreak, its evening news show and other local panel and news and sports related shows to meet its obligations, other cable providers are not obligated to show any of these costly, locally-made programmes. Cayman 27 also claims that not only are they not required to broadcast them, but other TV providers want to charge Hurley’s to air the shows they produce.

In a release about the end of the long-running show, Merren, who bought the station in July 2015, said that in the current challenging market Cayman 27 has to find ways to adapt and thrive, while conforming to the requirements mandated by its broadcast licence.

“Cayman 27 is the Cayman Islands’ only free over-the-air station, producing quality local news and content in line with our broadcast licence,” he said. The licence is issued by the Information Communication and Technology Authority, and in particular the regulatory arm now known as OfReg.

“Under the terms of their licences to operate in the Cayman Islands, all cable operators must carry a local station. At the moment, not all cable providers are compliant with this requirement. In addition, since Cayman 27 is not mandated by the ICTA as a ‘must carry’ station, the cable providers expect us to pay them a subscription fee to distribute our content,” Merren pointed out.

“We urge the public to contact their elected representatives to ask why their cable providers don’t carry Cayman 27, the only Public Broadcast TV station serving the Cayman Islands. They, in turn, can contact the ministry with oversight of OfReg to further resolve this matter,” he added.

Some 18 months after Merren’s company bought Cayman 27, he questioned why the issue over local content provision has not been resolved.

“As long as OfReg does not require that Cayman 27 be carried on all cable providers, this puts an added burden on the station,” he said. “This is what happens when you do not act to save local TV,” Merren warned.

With the end of Daybreak next month, he said, Hurley’s Media will make every effort to re-deploy the staff working on the show to other positions within the company. But cameras will now be placed in the  Crosstalk studios and that programme, hosted by Barrie Quappe and Woody DaCosta, will go out simultaneously live on Rooster 101.9FM and Cayman 27 from 7am to 10am, Monday to Friday.

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Category: Local News

Comments (47)

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  1. #Staynasty says:

    Thank God we will all finally be able to see just what liquid sunshine actually is. Can’t wait!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Do we also get to see the braindead callers who clearly have no understanding or reality. Or do we watch someone listening. Really?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hey I like Barrie but on the radio, she speaks so simply as though she is speaking to kindergarteners.
    Oh, wait that’s .. Never mind.

    And always speaking in patois like a white woman tryna sound like a local. It don’t work and sounds silly coming out of her mouth.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why are we still watching Cheers, Hogans Hero and the like? They were nice back then but so outdated.

  5. A says:

    Woodeth Wooodeth, ya hear meh…!!!?

  6. Cayguy says:

    icta strikes again. Would rather merren have cut the cords with that crosstalk, negative bs and kept daybreak. At least that show was informational and resonated with most people that watched it.

    • Anonymous says:

      “At least that show was informational and resonated with most people that watched it.”

      All 5 people, Yes!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The only thing better than hearing ignorant racism on the radio is watching ignorant racism on the TV.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Now we not only have to listen to Barrie and Woody, we have to also see them. LAwd what a morning! Any way no high blood while I am driving in the mornings.

  9. Anonymous says:

    crosstalk on tv???? …its hard enough to listen to it in the morning….never mind watching that nonsense……

  10. Cut the Cord says:

    Today’s generation and a lot of the old want a ‘A la carte pay television’ based subscription, not Packaged like it’s been for nearly 50 years!

    Cable in its current format is a dying medium, thanks to the Internet. Making laws won’t stop people from getting their entertainment and that’s usually the easiest route, the www. Price and quality matters, but not as much as you think.

    Allow people to pick and choose from a variety of packages that one can mix & match with a fair price (that really starts from the Networks, Cable channels, Movie studios contracts though). But…with a la carte TV subs, I’d bet good money Cayman 27 wouldn’t make the top 50.

    Sorry, Randy. You already know this and laws won’t slow the decline of Cable TV down. Technology is a double-edged sword. Now, I think ‘Rooster Talk Televised’ (something to crow about) might get more viewers. Even for the novelty of it. Have Barry dress up as a musician. A variety show! Gong style. I’ll be watching.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is yet further evidence of unequal application and non enforcement of our laws.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This looks like a bluff designed to extract campaign promises about mandating the channel as ‘must-carry’ which then enable the station to say Daybreak will remain on the air (or lead to the channel being designated as ‘must-carry’ while Daybreak is still axed – maximum savings for Hurleys in this outcome). Unfortunately the comments being made suggest people don’t care about the show and are unlikely to apply the pressure Hurleys are hoping for. For my part I think the show is part of the societal furniture at this point and should be one of the last things to be cut for financial reasons. There is no other way to plug in to the mood of the island on any given morning quite like watching Daybreak; the show is one of the few reasons I have for wanting to be a morning person, not because it deserves an Emmy but because it feels like Cayman; it resonates with viewers in its style, tone, and choice of stories, topics and guests. I will be sad to see it go, and I think replacing it with Cayman Crosstalk is a foolish move bound to fail. A morning show is a morning show, easy does it while people drink their coffee: a bit of culture, a bit of news, a softball topic for an uncontroversial guest, etc. Who is going to watch the Quappes take calls (nice people though they are)? Hurleys are basically cancelling a good show and replacing it with putting a camera on the Quappes while they host a radio show, something they already do in another room at present. It’s cheap and misguided, like so much else that happens around here… Hoping this gets reversed somehow.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Randy is so behind with everything he does! C27 has NEVER seen a profit. What made him think he would be any different than anyone else? Because he has the minister as a major investor?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Randy don’t blame your failure on regulators.

  15. Square-eyes says:

    I could never understand the reason for ‘Daybreak’ in the first place. At that time of day almost everyone is on their way to work or a school; apart from firemen and prisoners who was watching?

  16. MM says:

    They might as well just start a YouTube channel 🙂

  17. Anonymous says:

    No one listens to Crosstalk now, but somehow it’s supposed to rescue the failed content that was Daybreak?! I give it 3-months…tops.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well that is just not true. There are a half dozen regular callers and the political hopefuls. You are only basing this on the instances they do a prize giveaway and no one calls in.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ms. Georgette and Frank McField are the only ppl to call in.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not true ! You have that one from the brac that sounds like your grandfather spouting bigotry but in an oh so comical old person way. You have the Jordanian ( does he still ring in ? ) to be honest ..i stopped listening to it after Kenny was fired . Woodie is a shocking host who fake rants and raves over issues affecting ‘ his caymanians ‘ and then sucks up to the politicians he rants against if they come into the studio. Pathetic.

  18. Anon. says:

    ICTA sounds like they’re slacking. It’s not like there are that many entities in the local TV business to regulate. Come regulator, get tough on some bosses before this situation reaches a breaking point.

  19. Anonymous says:

    tv is a dying format.

  20. Anonymous says:

    excuses…excuses…bottom line is that hurleys are looking to cut costs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing wrong with that either.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hurleys trying to cut costs, or DART?

      Riddle me this, where did Randy get all this money all of a sudden to buy nearly all the other radio stations and the television station, when his other businesses were breaking even at best, and Bryce’s financial trouble had just started, and Randy was supposedly helping him out too?

      Then, all of a sudden, “Hurleys” Media (radio and TV stations) moves to Camana Bay???

      Something’s missing here Batman

      • Anonymous says:

        I know what’s missing….a Conspiracy Theory!! Please form an orderly queue and expect answers ranging from its the Jamaicans, or Expats, or WP Holders, or Iguana’s, or Mac right the way through to Trump trying to take over the Islands. It will never be a Cayman issue.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If you are going to pass regulations mandating local content, then enforce it. More local coverage would make this place a bit better informed, esp. if it were content not funded by local business, aka Dart and Hurley’s.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I wish people would call it by the correct name. DART MEDIA no Hurley’s Media we all know that and we know who is calling the shot, HELLUR

  23. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone even watch cayman 27?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Who cares. Most can’t get local TV anyway any more. Technology has moved beyond reruns of 40 year old TV shows.

  25. Anonymous says:

    oh this should be real nice!

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