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BCB cutting costs by airing’News Night 13’only in GB

Grand Bahama’s”News Night 13″will no longer be aired on New Providence at its usual 6:30 evening hour, in order for the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas(BCB)to eliminate the associated$72,000 per annum transmission costs, the Minister whose portfolio includes the BCB, Tommy Turnquest, toldThe Nassau Guardianyesterday.

Instead, according to Turnquest, News Night 13 will only be aired on the northerly island, while the national news”The Bahamas Tonight”at 7 p.m. will continue to report on New Providence and the other islands.

He contended that a release issued by the Progressive Liberal Party(PLP)Sunday had erroneous information about what the Free National Movement(FNM)proposed to do with Grand Bahama’s exclusive newscast.

The PLP statement on the issue suggested News Night 13 would be”cancelled”because of high production costs.

“The Government of The Bahamasthrough the management of ZNS has announced the cancellation of the live broadcast of the nightly evening news in Grand Bahama,’News Night 13′, effective come January 1st, 2011 because the production cost per newscast is prohibitive,”the PLP statement read.

“Once returned to office, the PLP is committed to revisiting this bad decision that is clearly not in the public’s interest.”

However, as Turnquest revealed, the news cast will still be produced and aired.

“In terms of looking at the overall structure of the news from Freeport, it will be a local newscast,”he said.

“It won’t be broadcast nationally. From 6:30 to 7:00 you will still be able to watch it in Grand Bahama.

“Their whole idea about the cost of production is incorrect, the$72,000 ZNS will save relates to the cost of transmission.”

According to Turnquest, the government did have plans on the drawing board to completely eliminate the news cast and have the department in Grand Bahama act as a news bureau only. However that plan was scrapped because it was found that the people of Grand Bahama enjoyed the exclusivity of their own newscast.

“They enjoyed having their own news,”he said.

“So despite the costs we decided to keep the ten to 12 people to produce the news.

The BCB underwent massive restructuring last year, when it let go more than 70 employees in an effort to cut millions of dollars from the entity’s yearly budget.

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