Cayman 27 News Director April Cummings has been promoted to the position of broadcast general manager at WestStar TV.
Ms Cummings’ new role officially began Wednesday, 31 October, although she will be spending the next couple of months working closely with her mentor Mike Martin, the outgoing broadcast general manager who has retired after decades in the industry.
It will be a challenging position for the mother of four, who began her broadcast television career in Grand Cayman before moving to the United States where she gained experience in major television markets in Texas, Tennessee and California.
She returned home in 2007 bringing that knowledge with her to become the teacher, which is clearly in her roots. Her family founded the International College of the Cayman Islands in 1972 and with it, a teaching radio station – ICCI-FM. It was in the booth at ICCI-FM that Ms Cummings got her first taste of broadcasting, hosting a children’s radio show at age 6.
The self-proclaimed, life-long learner earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College in 1988. She wrote and anchored the Islands’ first newscast in 1991 while working for CITV. In 1992, Ms Cummings joined CITN as a reporter, producer and on-air host.
“We were such a small team doing so much, everyone had to wear many hats,” she said. “During that time, I also worked as assistant news director and even assisted with training, when I was kind of a rookie myself.”
As CITN News Director, Ms Cummings has overseen a total rebuild of the broadcast infrastructure from analogue to digital high-definition. She has also developed a training environment in the Cayman 27 newsroom, hosting the most summer interns to date over the last several months.
“So many young Caymanians still don’t know all that broadcast media has to offer; we want this field to be on their radar when they are thinking about University and offering internships is a great way to spark interest,” she said.
Ms Cummings has also been a driving force behind creating more local programming, including Cayman 27 talk shows “Let’s Talk to the Experts”, “The Panel” and “Let’s Talk Sports”. She is passionate about making the most of the powerful television medium.
“There is so much happening in our community and we owe it to the people of Cayman to explore the things impacting our lives, and highlight the people and positive stories that may have otherwise gone unnoticed,” she said.
As broadcast general manager, Ms Cummings will lead the entire division including television sales, news and commercial production.
“I am taking on my biggest career challenge to date, but I wanted to be able to have a bigger impact on the organisation,” she said.
Mr. Martin said, “It is rewarding to see April, who started out in television broadcasting fresh out of university, now take the helm of the broadcasting division.”