The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) will no longer have a general manager. Instead, the top brass of the organisation will consist of a chief executive officer and chief operations officer.
Leader of Government Business Santia Bradshaw outlined those and other changes as she led the debate on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lower House today.
The Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training pointed out though, that the Bill was previously debated in the Senate and the changes explained by Minister Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs Lucille Moe.
Bradshaw said the changes will see a newly-structured organisation, not just in personnel but in technologies as well.
“One of the fundamental changes that would have to be made is that the organisational structure of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation would have to be impacted. We have to realise that we have to ensure that we have the right persons to do the right job. The days of square pegs in round holes, of playing partisan, of putting people in positions just to hold office… those days have come to a sorry end.”
The Minister continued: “It is proposed that the structure of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation be changed to abolish the post of general manager and to create the post of chief executive officer and the post of chief operations officer. We would now be splitting one post into two positions to be able to allow additional support for the chief executive officer.”
Bradshaw said in order for the corporation to be “more commercial and lucrative” in the long-run, changes also had to be made to the services offered.
“We recognise that given the competition that is out there, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation needs to be in a position to enter into the business of digital services and information technology communications either in its own right or through a subsidiary. Times have changed. There are several players in the marketplace who are offering services that are more competitive to our consumers and it is creating significant problems for the corporation.”
Other changes will see the upgrading of CBC’s equipment to facilitate modern-day technologies.
“The third change relates to the definition of broadcasting services and we sought to broaden the definition to include more modern technological services. So the direction we are seeing for the corporation is one that has a structure of leadership. When you compare the current staff complement of other territories, the staff complement is still higher than others even after a retrenchment exercise.”
The Minister lamented the losses incurred by the state-own company and the vast debt it had amassed over the years.
“The corporation has been operating, for a considerable length of time, at a loss of $6 million dollars a year. Back in 2006 the annual debt was around $89 million, in 2007 it was $72million and by 2008 it was $73 million. In 2018 it had accumulated a debt of over $100 million.”
She continued: “A look at the current situation shows that the entity continues to struggle to meet its requirements financially. Last year we came to the House for a supplemental of $9 million to cover money owed to outside suppliers as well as local utility companies,” the St Michael South East MP said.