No representatives from dms Broadcasting were invited to the meeting of radio broadcasters and the Cayman Musicians and Entertainers Association held last week in attempt to resolve the ongoing dispute over the airplay of songs produced by local artists.
Don Seymour, owner of dms Broadcasting, made it clear that his company had no choice in attending the meeting.
‘dms was not invited to the meeting, and we were not aware that the meeting took place until reading (about it in the newspaper),’ he said. ‘We assume that the meeting was held to address the unique needs of the small broadcasters.’
CMEA president Clive Rosteing said he was asked to attend the meeting but was not involved in calling it.
‘I wasn’t aware of who would be at the meeting, or even what it was going to be about,’ he said.
Randy Merren, managing director of Hurley’s Entertainment Corporation, said he did not set the list of attendees, and that the meeting came about after a series of emails between broadcasters and the CMEA.
‘I said ‘why don’t we just meet with (CMEA)’,’ he said.
Mr. Seymour said dms applauded and supported the other broadcasters’ willingness to support local music and would assist in any way it could.
‘It is valuable for the small stations to work together to address their issues in sufficiently supporting local musicians and to help them develop solutions suited to their own radio format,’ he said. ‘It is important to recognize that a one-size solution to fit all 14 radio stations is probably unrealistic.’
Mr. Seymour said dms was continuing to keep lines of communication open with CMEA, and that they completely supported its objectives.
‘As our listeners know, dms already plays more local music than any other broadcaster,’ he said. ‘From the launch of our radio stations, dms has consistently supported local music before this was ever an issue.’
However, Mr. Seymour restated that dms does not agree with being forced to play local music.
‘dms does not support any musicians, local or international, who attempt to dictate the terms on which their music is played on our stations,’ he said. ‘To support this would be unfairly biased and dms would be failing to provide the world-class broadcasting services that our community deserves.’
Mr. Merren said he wanted to see something worked out with CMEA.
‘The airways are public domain,’ he said. ‘We’re licensed by the government. That’s the thing people forget.’