On 9 September 2012, Cayman 27 marked 20 years of broadcasting in the Cayman Islands. Founded by Colin and Joan Wilson, the television station launched in 1992, on Joan’s birthday.
“I became very popular as being the first television owner on the island. It’s come a long way, beautifully developed,” said Joan in an interview with Cayman27 recently.
Although much has changed over the last 20 years, including the name of the channel, Cayman 27 is still covering the Cayman Islands and keeping the inhabitants of the Cayman Islands informed about what is going on in their country.
Now CITN, Cayman 27 has grown to provide not just Cayman 27 News at 6 and Daybreak, but 27 Tonight (weeknights from 6.30pm to 7pm), and talk shows including Let’s Talk to the Experts, The Panel, and Let’s Talk Sports. CITN has also contributed to the community in many ways over the years, from the NCVO Telethon, Cayman 27’s Christmas for Kids, Cayman 27’s Parade of Lights, Cayman 27’s Heart Smart Health Week and the Veteran’s Association to name just a few.
Anita Smith, programming director and production supervisor, has been with the company since the very beginning.
“The most amazing thing I have seen is the transformation of a young company, and people with little or no television experience, into a thriving broadcast station where they became the teachers and others have become the students. Mike Martin, Rick Alpert, Clive Rosteing and I guess myself included taught people the basics of television. Everyone was learning something new every day,” she said.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of that process. The only way to describe it, it’s like watching your family grow and expand.”
Some of the familiar faces on the local television screens started working behind the scenes. Donna Bush and Sheena Hurlstone started in master control and worked their way up the ranks to news anchor and Daybreak host and producer respectively. Others have worked their way up to become integral members of the team as well.
“Vinton Reece, Leighton Pitterson and Carlton Wright also started in master control, from there moved up to photographers and now Vinton and Leighton are News and Daybreak directors/photographers and Carlton is an engineer. It has taken time, patience and perseverance all around,” said Anita.
In recent times Cayman 27 has gone through major changes, moving from analogue to digital transmission and also moving to a high definition format.
The change-over to digital brought about big changes on the technical side, with most of the equipment being replaced in order to accommodate the new technology.