POWER MOVE - Radio stations relocate studios to downtown Kingston
Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor
After more than a decade at its Bradley Avenue base in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, Independent Radio Company has moved its two stations, Power 106FM and Music 99FM, to The Gleaner Company building on North Street in downtown Kingston.
The recent move has put the stations in a more comfortable setting, but this is only one of the factors that pushed Managing Director Newton James and the management of the stations to make the trek downtown.
"The primary reason is that in this economic climate, we have to seek to make our operations profitable, and with The Gleaner being the parent company and having adequate space, we thought it was a good move," said James.
"In fact, we will be saving a significant amount of money," added James, who has been leading the radio stations for 21 years.
He admitted that there was concern about personal safety on the part of some staff members who have the perception that downtown Kingston is unsafe.
"But that is really not my experience. I travel to Coronation Market to do shopping and it is a pleasurable experience,"declared James, who is determined to make Power 106 an integral member of the downtown Kingston community.
According to James, the radio stations will be fully involved in the day-to-day happenings in the city as well as in the lives of those who live, work, shop, sell, or just visit the commercial centre.
"I want to be part of that process to develop Kingston, and in the process, I want the business community and all the institutions in downtown Kingston to see us as an important partner in developing downtown Kingston," declared James.
He said Independent Radio Company - the operator of Power 106FM and Music 99FM - had already started discussions with the major players in the planned rebirth of downtown, including the Urban Development Corporation, the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, and leaders of commerce in the city.
"All of these players have a vision of downtown Kingston that coincides with the vision of Power 106, and we will be trying to create an awareness of this vision," said James.
He vowed that Power 106, with hosts such as Dervan Malcolm, Althea McKenzie, Maurice Foster, and several others, would be very visible on the streets of downtown Kingston with its presenters, who have become household names over the years.
"We are going to be on the roads and in the communities more often."