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BCB chairman refutes PLP claims

In the wake of the recent restructuring at the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas(BCB), the corporation has begun a wide-ranging operational review aimed at securing a sustainable future for ZNS as a public service broadcaster, BCB chairman Michael Moss said yesterday in a statement.

His release was in response to a press release issued by the Progressive Liberal Party(PLP)on Sunday claiming that the government would be cancelling Grand Bahama’s newscast’News Night 13’because of high production costs.

“The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas(BCB)wishes to once again advise, for the benefit of its viewing and listening audiences and the general public, that contrary to the erroneous news release issued by the Progressive Liberal Party, televised news broadcasts from the Northern Service have not been discontinued,”said Moss.

“Rather, the Northern Service will continue to produce a 30-minute regional television newscast but for a regional audience instead of the newscast being broadcasted nationwide.

“The change in broadcast format is to take effect Monday, December 10, 2011. Other programing changeswill be introduced at the same time.”

Moss also revealed that the board and management of the corporation are developing a”realistic business plan”to move the state broadcaster forward.

ZNS let go more than 70 employees in October in an effort to cut millions of dollars from its budget.The government considered the elimination of the ZNS Northern Service to cut costs. However, that plan was scrapped.

“When the current board began looking at ways to restructure the corporation to meet the government’s financial guidelines and mandate to become a true public service(broadcaster), the recommendation was made to eliminate production of a30-minute Monday to Friday newscast from Grand Bahama in favor of retaining a small team in Freeport to gather news for use in the national newscast,”said Moss.

This recommendation was subsequently modified, Moss added, resulting in$500,000 in increased costs and the preservation of 12 Northern Service jobs.

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