Deal off the ground for Style

Cayman radio station Style 96.5 FM is on its way to becoming the newest member of the dms Broadcasting media family.

The Information & Communication Technology Authority board has approved publication of a notice in the government gazette that Style has commenced proceedings to assign its license to dms.

Style 96.5, launched in July, 2004, was Cayman’s 9th radio station and operated by Panorama Productions.

Dave Martins, Panorama Productions president will not comment on the reason for the transfer until it is finalized.

In the Cayman Islands, regulations allow for a broadcast license to be transferred to a new licensee. However, the transfer of a license must be first approved by the ICTA.

‘On one hand, we need to make sure that what may have been agreed to in a non-binding letter of intent is actually included in the documentation of the sale,’ says Greg van Koughnet of the ICTA.

‘As well, in the interest of the Cayman Islands public, it’s our job to make sure the new licensee or owner meets the same standards as the original licensee.’

Approval of a license reassignment by the ICTA requires the proposed transfer to be posted in the government gazette for a minimum of 14 days for public comment. The board will consider all comments received and the board has granted a right of reply to the applicant to any comments.

The license transfer means that the station’s format may also change. Broadcasting licences are not granted based on format restrictions, although stations must submit programming plans to the ICTA every six months for review.

In an earlier statement Shannon Wilcox, VP Marketing for dms Organization, says that for now, listeners should expect the station to feature the same music, shows and on-air personalities that have made it such a success with listeners to date.

“The original vision of dms Broadcasting was to build a cluster of radio stations that excelled in appealing to the distinct music tastes of Cayman’s diverse population,’ she said.

Cayman radio licenses are also structured in such a way that they will be subject to any new broadcast regulations or laws introduced in the future.

While the license transfer means that Style’s staff will have a new employer, dms is doing what it can to make the transition as painless as possible.

“dms Broadcasting will make its very best effort to retain Style 96.5 FM’s employees. We have already made offers of employment to a number of Style’s employees, some of which have been accepted,” says Ms Wilcox.

‘After only one year of operation, dms Broadcasting is extremely proud to have exceeded its goals for providing rewarding employment opportunities for Caymanians. We currently employ significantly more Caymanians that what has been mandated by our ICTA license agreement.’

Ms Wilcox also pointed out that another dms station, HOT 104.1 FM, broadcasts the only three-person, all-Caymanian morning show on Cayman’s airwaves.

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