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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:  24 1980s Bahamian cultural tastes had shifted from British to American and the local audience demanded more U.S. television programs. Another program expansion took place in 1988 with the start of ZNS FM. The new station went on the air in New Providence on July 10 with a contemporary music format. At the same time, ZNS 2 changed its format to Religious and Educational programming. In 1992, ZNS 1 radio reached ninety-nine percent of the 273,000 population, which is scattered over 100,000 square miles. The signal extended fifty miles east of Palm Beach, Florida, southeastward to within fifty miles of Haiti and Cuba. The station’s range was extended even further in 1993 when ZNS-1 (1540 AM) increased its transmission to 50 kilowatts. The new transmitter cost $546,000 and is responsible for the sharper, clearer radio sound. 54 In 1993, some listeners claimed ZNS-1 Radio could be heard as far north as Atlanta, Georgia and as far south as Barbados. In April 1992 ZNS TV also expanded its hours of operation, beginning its weekday transmissions at 1 p.m. instead of 5 p.m., to compete with U.S. networks and satellite programs. In the new poly-channel media environment this programming change was not successful for several reasons. First, the television programs on TV 13 were outdated (particularly the U.S. soap operas). Second, access to the current U.S. programs was very easy. Therefore, Bahamians preferred to watch the current versions of the U.S. programs. At the end of 1993, the corporation had over 200 employees and spent over $5,000,000 a year. More than 50 % of the BCB employees in 1993 were women. Revenue was obtained chiefly through commercials and annual government grants; most of the money was used for salaries and the transmission of radio and television signals across the nation. In the 1990s Bahamians also experienced economic and social hardships. U.S. drug intervention programs were operated in conjunction with The Bahamas government, and drug trafficking activities were policed more heavily. Also, the world recession, which began in 1989,

Authors: Storr, Juliette.
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24
1980s Bahamian cultural tastes had shifted from British to American and the local audience
demanded more U.S. television programs.
Another program expansion took place in 1988 with the start of ZNS FM. The new
station went on the air in New Providence on July 10 with a contemporary music format. At the
same time, ZNS 2 changed its format to Religious and Educational programming. In 1992, ZNS 1
radio reached ninety-nine percent of the 273,000 population, which is scattered over 100,000
square miles. The signal extended fifty miles east of Palm Beach, Florida, southeastward to
within fifty miles of Haiti and Cuba. The station’s range was extended even further in 1993 when
ZNS-1 (1540 AM) increased its transmission to 50 kilowatts. The new transmitter cost $546,000
and is responsible for the sharper, clearer radio sound.
54
In 1993, some listeners claimed ZNS-1
Radio could be heard as far north as Atlanta, Georgia and as far south as Barbados. In April 1992
ZNS TV also expanded its hours of operation, beginning its weekday transmissions at 1 p.m.
instead of 5 p.m., to compete with U.S. networks and satellite programs. In the new poly-channel
media environment this programming change was not successful for several reasons. First, the
television programs on TV 13 were outdated (particularly the U.S. soap operas). Second, access
to the current U.S. programs was very easy. Therefore, Bahamians preferred to watch the current
versions of the U.S. programs.
At the end of 1993, the corporation had over 200 employees and spent over $5,000,000 a
year. More than 50 % of the BCB employees in 1993 were women. Revenue was obtained
chiefly through commercials and annual government grants; most of the money was used for
salaries and the transmission of radio and television signals across the nation.
In the 1990s Bahamians also experienced economic and social hardships. U.S. drug
intervention programs were operated in conjunction with The Bahamas government, and drug
trafficking activities were policed more heavily. Also, the world recession, which began in 1989,


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