The General Manager of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO), Steve Etienne, has expressed the view that Saint Lucia could see the closure of more radio stations, following the recent announcement of the planned closure of state-owned Radio Saint Lucia.
He said the planned closure has come as no surprise to him.
“It should not be a surprise to anyone because RSL has operated in challenging situations that have been known to the public for some time,” Etienne observed.
However the ECCO official noted that the closure of the station will leave a void in the field of broadcasting because RSL played a unique role, despite its association with the government.
“They provided a lot of information and educational focus in lots of the areas that are not normally seen as attractive to radio,” Etienne stated.
He observed that ECCO has had a long relationship with RSL.
“We will miss that relationship,” Etienne said.
He noted that the station owed ECCO a substantial sum of money which the organisation will be seeking to recover.
Etienne explained that the closure of the station would be a loss to ECCO’s members because RSL provided a lot of air time for local music producers.
He stated that the station had a day set aside for playing local music.
“We will miss that, but I think that the slack will be picked up by other media houses – some have already started to focus on having specific segments for local music,” he remarked.
Etienne expressed the view that what is happening to RSL could befall other broadcasting entities.
“We have far too many radio stations and we haven’t got the finance – our economy cannot sustain or support twenty or so radio stations that we have and if business is done as business ought to be done, then several other radio stations will go the same way as RSL,” the ECCO General Manager said.
He explained that because ECCO is funded by a percentage of advertising revenue, the organisation is aware that lots of radio stations are struggling.
“Or at least they are telling us they are struggling and if that is the truth, then many would follow RSL,” he pointed out.
According to Etienne, Saint Lucia needs a thriving economy.
He declared that having radio stations that are unsustainable will not help the economy.