Real FM Operator Shielding Broadcast Status

NNP activist Andre Donald has been operating a radio station in St. Patrick's for many years without a broadcast licence issued by NTRC

NNP activist Andre Donald has been operating a radio station in St. Patrick’s for many years without a broadcast licence issued by NTRC

Operator of Real FM radio station, Andre Donald is holding tight to his chest the licence status of his small radio station in the north of the island.

The status of the radio station which broadcasts on the assigned frequency of 91.9 came into question following the closure of CHIME  FM of veteran broadcaster, George Grant on suspicion of governmental pressure.

The state-controlled National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) ordered the  radio station closed on the grounds that it was operating without a  licence.

There are reports that several of the radio stations are operating on expired licences, some are owing fees to NTRC and Donald’s Real FM does not even have a broadcast licence.

However, Donald who is a known political activist of the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, has refused to  publicly clarify whether or not Real FM the radio station  is  operating within the confines of the law.

In responding to a caller who was seeking clarification on the matter Donald said he will not get into any conversation in relation to “The station’s business on air.”

“I will not be coerced into jumping in the mud with them,” he told his listenership, adding that there are people who are attempting to get at him.

“I am fully aware of what is happening. I am fully aware of who are the orchestrators, who are the people wanting to do different things,” he said.

According to the radio station operator, it is important to a certain sector of the population to not have Real FM in business.

NTRC Chairman Dr. Linus Spencer Thomas told a local radio station that  Grant Communications Limited (GCL) had paid up all outstanding fees after applying in 2013 for a renewal of the licence.

Dr. Thomas said the commission facilitated the renewal of the broadcast licence and submitted it to the line Minister, Public Utilities Minister, Gregory Bowen.

The NTRC Chairman disclosed that while the licences was in the hands of the Minister, Grant started broadcasting, and Minister Bowen pointed out to the regulatory body that CHIME FM was on air while he had a licence application in front of him.

“We indicated to the Minister we had facilitated the process, but he (Bowen) said, no that is not correct because the application is before me and the guy (Grant) is broadcasting,” Dr Thomas was quoted as saying.
CHIME FM was the only radio station ordered closed while awaiting the renewal licence.

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