Categorized | Local, News, Regional

Poor economy results in TCI media shakeout

A number of Turks and Caicos news media outlets have apparently fallen by the wayside, with others seen as precariously placed, apparently as a result of the sharp economic decline of recent years.

The weblog TCI Post has disappeared, along with what seemed to be a companion website, the TCI Grapevine.

The TCI Post, which largely favoured the Progressive National Party (PNP) and featured identified writers Royal Robinson and Oliver Mills, was edited by a individual identified only as John Glasgow, which was widely believed to be a fictitious name. The blog was frequently criticised for name calling and possibly defamatory comments.

Also gone is the TCI Free Press. This was a free newspaper, which sources say depended on outside support. Informed sources say it was started by Clive Stanbrook and current finance minister Washington Misick, with Hayden Boyce as its first editor. The paper was later run by Stanbrook’s daughter, then by economist Gilbert Morris and later still by Jay Saunders, son of former PNP chief minister Norman Saunders. The Free Press attracted minimal advertisement and, as subsidies dried up, the paper has disappeared.

Now apparently wavering is the TCI Sun, which recently missed one of its weekly issues and hit the streets late the following week. That paper received, sources say, heavy support from the former Michael Misick government in the form of consultancy fees and official government advertisements. The newspaper is published and edited by Boyce. It seems that advertisers are tunring away from the Sun and Boyce is reported to owe thousands in unpaid contributions to the National Insurance Board. Boyce is married to former PNP minister Lillian Boyce.

Also gone is the radio station known as Blaze Radio owned and run by PNP supporter Devon Williams. Taking its place is a station sponsored by Brian Cox, a local pastor. The station hosts a program by Royal Robinson and is being criticised for adopting a political agenda favouring Robinson’s PNP on a station dedicated to religion.

Weathering the storm is government-sponsored Radio Turks and Caicos and both private cable television stations. WIV shares the largest Provo market with PTV and is the only station available on the capital island of Grand Turk. Sources say PTV is considering moving into the Grand Turk market.

Also surviving is the TCI Weekly News, which is generally regarded as politically neutral. Its publisher, Duncanson Publications Ltd, recently launched a second publication, the “News Express”, which reaches the streets on Tuesdays. The Weekly News, which has been a mainstay of the TCI for 31 years, is published on Fridays and has the lion’s share of private advertisements.

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A number of Turks and Caicos news media outlets have apparently fallen by the wayside, with others seen as precariously placed, apparently as a result of the sharp economic decline of recent years.

The weblog TCI Post has disappeared, along with what seemed to be a companion website, the TCI Grapevine.

The TCI Post, which largely favoured the Progressive National Party (PNP) and featured identified writers Royal Robinson and Oliver Mills, was edited by a individual identified only as John Glasgow, which was widely believed to be a fictitious name. The blog was frequently criticised for name calling and possibly defamatory comments.

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Also gone is the TCI Free Press. This was a free newspaper, which sources say depended on outside support. Informed sources say it was started by Clive Stanbrook and current finance minister Washington Misick, with Hayden Boyce as its first editor. The paper was later run by Stanbrook’s daughter, then by economist Gilbert Morris and later still by Jay Saunders, son of former PNP chief minister Norman Saunders. The Free Press attracted minimal advertisement and, as subsidies dried up, the paper has disappeared.

Now apparently wavering is the TCI Sun, which recently missed one of its weekly issues and hit the streets late the following week. That paper received, sources say, heavy support from the former Michael Misick government in the form of consultancy fees and official government advertisements. The newspaper is published and edited by Boyce. It seems that advertisers are tunring away from the Sun and Boyce is reported to owe thousands in unpaid contributions to the National Insurance Board. Boyce is married to former PNP minister Lillian Boyce.

Also gone is the radio station known as Blaze Radio owned and run by PNP supporter Devon Williams. Taking its place is a station sponsored by Brian Cox, a local pastor. The station hosts a program by Royal Robinson and is being criticised for adopting a political agenda favouring Robinson’s PNP on a station dedicated to religion.

Weathering the storm is government-sponsored Radio Turks and Caicos and both private cable television stations. WIV shares the largest Provo market with PTV and is the only station available on the capital island of Grand Turk. Sources say PTV is considering moving into the Grand Turk market.

Also surviving is the TCI Weekly News, which is generally regarded as politically neutral. Its publisher, Duncanson Publications Ltd, recently launched a second publication, the “News Express”, which reaches the streets on Tuesdays. The Weekly News, which has been a mainstay of the TCI for 31 years, is published on Fridays and has the lion’s share of private advertisements.