The CEO of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO), Steve Etienne, has said that the government may have missed a chance to find creative ways to keep state-owned Radio Saint Lucia (RSL) in operation.
Etienne said the closure of the station is sad for a number of reasons.
“You don’t want any media house to go out of business, particularly one that has a very strong historical and development role that it has played over the years,” Etienne stated.
He noted that people turned to RSL to listen to local content, debate and educational programmes.
“It was the station for the people,” the ECCO official observed.
He noted that ECCO had a programme that was aired by RSL and as such had a personal relationship with the station.
However Etienne observed that that there are many more radio stations now operating locally which has created a more competitive environment, putting RSL at a disadvantage.
Nevertheless, he revealed that the revenue to ECCO has not been increasing despite the increase in the number of radio stations locally.
He explained that the way advertising works is that there is a race to the bottom.
The ECCO official said when a new radio station comes on air it wants to compete for advertising, so it offers a cheaper package.
According to him, the result is that the value of advertising goes down.
Etienne disclosed that since ECCO charges a percentage of the revenue, its revenue goes down as well.
Etienne said ECCO prefers a ‘small handful’ of strong radio stations with large revenues so that the organisation’s percentages would be better.