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Reflections on the Past, Questions of the Future--Public Service Broadcasting: A Case Study of The Bahamas Broadcasting System,
Unformatted Document Text:  13 to convert ZNS radio into a commercial operation. 31 The debates centered on issues of leasing or selling the station to private interests versus continuing to operate it as a government-owned entity. In 1948, Broadcast Relay Service Limited of London and Northern Broadcasting Company (NBC) owned by Roy Thomson, a media baron of the time with holdings in newspapers and radio stations in the British colonies and the United States, were interested in purchasing the station. Thomson was interested in buying the station and one of the two local dailies, the Nassau Guardian. There was considerable protest from the public to the sale or lease of the radio station to foreign investors. In May 1949, the select committee appointed to investigate the problem reported that the government would not sell or lease the station to a private operator. By the time the committee reported its findings, Thomson had lost interest in the Bahamian media and withdrew his offer to take-over both the station and the Nassau Guardian. 32 Broadcast Relay Service had withdrawn its offer earlier because the British Government was against commercial radio. 33 Thus the country was left alone to face the economic cost of upgrading the station. The 1948 N.A.R.B.A. conference was postponed until August 1949. Thus, in 1949 the Legislature was still faced with the impending loss of the frequency if it did not improve its operations. To bring the station up to acceptable international standards, the government was faced with spending £10,000 to £20,000 per year. This led to heated debate from the public with some commenting on whether the quality of the station merited such expense. ZNS’ perilous position was ultimately solved when the Development Board provided £2,900 so that the station could finish the year 1949 on a nine-hour-per-day schedule and thus keep the 1540 frequency. ZNS increased its five-hour-per-day schedule by expanding each of its daily transmissions. The new schedule went into effect on August 16, 1949, and began with the morning transmission

Authors: Storr, Juliette.
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13
to convert ZNS radio into a commercial operation.
31
The debates centered on issues of leasing or
selling the station to private interests versus continuing to operate it as a government-owned
entity.
In 1948, Broadcast Relay Service Limited of London and Northern Broadcasting
Company (NBC) owned by Roy Thomson, a media baron of the time with holdings in
newspapers and radio stations in the British colonies and the United States, were interested in
purchasing the station. Thomson was interested in buying the station and one of the two local
dailies, the Nassau Guardian. There was considerable protest from the public to the sale or lease
of the radio station to foreign investors. In May 1949, the select committee appointed to
investigate the problem reported that the government would not sell or lease the station to a
private operator. By the time the committee reported its findings, Thomson had lost interest in
the Bahamian media and withdrew his offer to take-over both the station and the Nassau
Guardian.
32
Broadcast Relay Service had withdrawn its offer earlier because the British
Government was against commercial radio.
33
Thus the country was left alone to face the
economic cost of upgrading the station.
The 1948 N.A.R.B.A. conference was postponed until August 1949. Thus, in 1949 the
Legislature was still faced with the impending loss of the frequency if it did not improve its
operations. To bring the station up to acceptable international standards, the government was
faced with spending £10,000 to £20,000 per year. This led to heated debate from the public with
some commenting on whether the quality of the station merited such expense. ZNS’ perilous
position was ultimately solved when the Development Board provided £2,900 so that the station
could finish the year 1949 on a nine-hour-per-day schedule and thus keep the 1540 frequency.
ZNS increased its five-hour-per-day schedule by expanding each of its daily transmissions. The
new schedule went into effect on August 16, 1949, and began with the morning transmission


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