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July 08, 2008


Erik J. Russell

Larry -- excellent article. It actually made my heart beat faster at the possibilities. It is not a change of personnel, a change of law or a change of technology that will make the difference. It is a change of heart that is needed first; the rest will follow.

All the best,


larry smith

Yes and no.

Just saying there has been a change of heart is no substitute for the legal transformation that is required. That is just propaganda.

However,a genuine commitment - and political will - is obviously the necessary first step.


Thank you again Larry for the excellent article. We are all very hopeful that the transformation of ZNS is realized. We should congratulate Senator Kay Forbes-Smith for taking on this initiative and proceeding to this point. It is politicians like Senator Smith who have an allegiance to their personal convictions that makes me hopeful about our future as a nation.

Kevin Taylor

Your article was very insightful in regard to switching the BCB into a PBS-style entity.

I think however that one important ingredient is missing in order to make ZNS a station worth watching; CONTENT!

Despite it being part of their mandate, ZNS TV does nothing to entertain us. In fact I am hard pressed to think of any productions that they do at all besides news programming.

Where else in the world does an independent producer have to pay a TV station to air shows that have entertainment, cultural, or social value?

ZNS says they have no money to buy locally produced TV shows, so we are stuck watching propaganda, (some of which I produce) advertiser-driven fare, ancient movies of no value, or programs from the Black Family Channel(?). Separated by commercials of their sales staff pleading for money.

They fail to realize that there is value in putting local programming on TV. The producer produces shows, ZNS buys them, and the sales staff sells them. That way everyone is doing their job!

Every couple years ZNS has made a call for submissions for independent producers to submit proposals. Then an “acting-deputy-assistant-General Manager” or whomever makes decisions will lose interest and we have to watch an old travel show from Barbados.

Although I think JCN-TV’s quality and programming is deplorable and looks like what TV looked like 30 years ago, why does Wendell Jones have to pay tax dollars to ZNS to compete with him?

Broadcasters are all out for a very limited advertising budget. And I can’t get advertisers to sponsor my programming if I have to compete against them for rates either.

ZNS had a golden opportunity when Cable Bahamas came to town. They could have refocused their energies on producing and buying local programming. I know we would have watched them first.

Thanks again for your article, I have to get back to doing Road Traffic ads, “Tourism Today” BTC commercials, COB documentaries, Ministry of Education videos, etc.

Hey, I gotta eat, right?

larry smith

I agree with you.

My experience of your complaint stretches back to the beginning of TV-13 in 1978, when I too was involved in local productions. My company was a broadcast producer until the late 1990s, when it became uneconomical for various reasons.

I plan to explore this theme in a future article, and the zns board will be discussing the issue at some point. The big priority for government is to get more money to fund the station, so they can support the salaries of political hires and avoid cutting staff.

The other big interest from the political class is to have ZNS as the broadcast arm of BIS.

Can we change things? It requires a lot of push back from people like you.

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