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RSL To Be Liquidated

Image of Dominic Fedee

NOTHING, it seems, will change Government’s decision to close down Radio St. Lucia (RSL).

Information Minister, Dominic Fedee, yesterday made it clear that the station will go and that he will by month-end present a more comprehensive story on the radio station, which has served the country for decades.

Image of Information Minister, Dominic Fedee
Information Minister, Dominic Fedee

In April, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said the station was a financial failure and too costly on the country’s coffers and, therefore, unsustainable as a government entity.

Pressed by reporters yesterday for a definitive statement on government’s plans for the station, Fedee said government had decided that the station will have to go into liquidation.

“We’re doing everything possible to ensure that we have a situation at Radio St. Lucia that is in the best interest of everyone. By July 31, the entire process should be over,” Fedee said.

What’s next for employees come next month is unclear as Fedee felt it was not prudent to divulge information to the media before discussing the matter with their labour representatives.

“We have to ensure that we do well by the employees regarding their severance,” he said.

Prior to all of this, part of government’s broader vision for the radio station was to integrate it into the government-owned National Television Network (NTN).

Two months ago, at a meeting held between Fedee and management and staff of the station, several options were laid on the table for discussion, one of which was the merger with NTN or the Government Information Service, of which NTN is part.

Also at the time, a former General Manager of the station, Winston Springer, made a formal plea to the government not to close down the station, saying it would be a “colossal mistake”.

Springer said that certain programmes are necessary for broadcasting to the nation and could only be done by Radio St. Lucia, a national broadcasting service, whether or not it was producing a profit or not.

Meanwhile, the agony of employees at the station continues with late payments of their salaries, something Fedee did not seem to find strange.

“What’s going on at RSL is what that has always been going on. I worked at RSL. For example, to hear that people at RSL are being paid late, that has been a perennial situation and it is quite unfortunate. It should never have been allowed but this is part of what we have been saying — that Radio St. Lucia is not sustainable and it cannot be managed in the way that it has. Which is why our government has made the decision to reconfigure the station into a new arrangement that will be part of a bigger vision for public broadcasting in the country,” Fedee said.

Micah George is an established name in the journalism landscape in St. Lucia. He started his journalism tutelage under the critical eye of the Star Newspaper Publisher and well known journalist, Rick Wayne, as a freelancer. A few months later he moved to the Voice Newspaper under the guidance of the paper’s recognized editor, Guy Ellis in 1988.

Since then he has remained with the Voice Newspaper, progressing from a cub reporter covering court cases and the police to a senior journalist with a focus on parliamentary issues, government and politics. Read full bio...

1 Comment

  1. The only way, under usual company law, to cut the ties with this current loss-making facility is to shut it down. If is taken over by a new company, that company will have to carry some of the financial obligations of the old RSL. There is no simple way out of this. Liquidation looks like silver bullet in comparison to the other available choices.

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