Sun | Jul 23, 2017

Jumping off a cliff? Hell, no!

Published:Wednesday | July 16, 2014 | 7:00 AM

Cliff Hughes, Guest Columnist

Let me take this opportunity to dissuade Gordon Robinson, and those of like mind, of the opinion that Nationwide News Network (NNN) may be going over a 'cliff'.

NNN is stronger than it has ever been since its inception almost 10 years ago.

I did not build this bastion of truth to simply abandon it; instead, my vision of NNN has always been to revolutionise the Jamaican media landscape and we are well on our way.

It is for this reason that the NNN team made a series of notable changes in recent months.

These changes included the drafting of a cadre of young, talented broadcasters who are well positioned to be the new generation of news hounds.

The NNN also moved into a larger newly renovated building, which once housed Power 106FM.

Does this sound as though I will be jumping ship anytime soon?

I recognise that the move to the former Power 106FM building on Bradley Avenue and the new show 'Cliff Hughes On-Line', which airs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Thursdays on Power 106FM, have caused some amount of confusion to Nationwide listeners and advertisers.

However, let it be known that I am first and foremost a newsman before I am a CEO. I have dedicated my life to empowering Jamaicans to be better informed and engaged citizens of our democracy.

The opportunity to host a daily talk show puts me in direct contact with my listeners, and so far, I have been relishing the opportunity, and the feedback has been largely positive.

It is important to note that 'Cliff Hughes On-Line' does not compete with any of the programmes on Nationwide 90FM. The shows on Nationwide 90FM and my talk show on Power 106FM were designed to attract different audiences, and this will always be the case. Therefore, there is no conflict of interest. It is straight business!

Quality programmes

I am confident in the talent on Nationwide 90FM between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. They present, qualitatively, different programmes than what I do on Power 106FM. I know for sure they can hold their own against me and all others.

I am not worried that NNN will lose listeners as the quality of the programmes on the station have been fortified to withstand any challenge. This is evident by the strong support of our advertisers who continue to sponsor these products for their inherent value in reaching their customers.

I have strived to instil a culture of excellence as executive producer and CEO at NNN. Everyone, including Gordon Robinson, who has worked under my leadership, can attest to the fact that I strive to be fair and balanced in all my dealings. My decision to take up the offer at Power 106FM, while remaining as CEO of Nationwide 90FM, was accorded the same level of assessment and analysis.

New media consumption habits and delivery systems through the multiplicity of new communication technologies have made obsolete old notions of competition between and among traditional media systems - television, radio and newspapers. CEOs and their staff must innovate or stagnate. This new, crowded and noisy media communications marketplace is demanding new strategies of doing business. It is forcing us to rethink who we employ and how we deploy them.

The 'old' newspaper business is in decline. So, too, 'old radio and television'. Therefore, how we compete and cooperate must change. If we fail to do so, we won't be jumping off a cliff. We will simply wither away.

To insinuate that I am about to jump ship instead of recognising the essence of the business strategy behind these recent developments says a lot about Gordon's understanding of operating a media enterprise in a tough and stagnant Jamaican economy.

To all those who have supported NNN over these difficult years, please continue doing so, as our best is yet to come!

One thing is for certain, whether on Power 106FM or Nationwide 90FM, you will be getting the very best that Jamaican media have to offer. Welcome to a brave new world.

Cliff Hughes is CEO/executive producer of Nationwide 90FM. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.