BBC Caribbean final programmes in March
BBC Caribbean Service is to end its broadcasts on March 25.
This follows a decision by BBC World Service as part of cuts which will amount to over 600 jobs.
Other services being closed are the Albanian, Macedonian, Serbian, and Portuguese for Africa broadcasts.
A BBC press release said the closures were part of its response to a cut to its Grant-in-Aid funding from the UK's Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).
The final week of broadcasting by the Caribbean Service will include a regional call-in and discussion programme looking at the future of pan-Caribbean news and current affairs.
The last editions of the morning and evening drivetime editions of BBC Caribbean Report and BBC Caribbean Magazine will be aired on March 25.
Other cuts are being made in remaining World Service departments as part of the budget exercise.
The cuts are part of a BBC World Service restructure in order to meet a 16% savings target announced in the Government's Spending Review of 20 October last year.
BBC Global News Director Peter Horrocks said: "These closures are not a reflection on the performance of individual services or programmes. They are all extremely important to their audiences and to the BBC.
"It is simply that there is a need to make savings due to the scale of the cuts to the World Service's Grant-in-Aid funding from the UK's Foreign & Commonwealth Office and we need to focus our efforts in the languages where there is the greatest need and where we have the strongest impact."
Controller, Languages at BBC World Service, Liliane Landor described BBC Caribbean as: "The Caribbean Service, one of the oldest and most distinguished services that the BBC has provided in English."
The Caribbean Service transmissions are used on 48 partner stations across the English, Spanish, and Dutch Caribbean and as part of the Caribbean stream on four FM relays in Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, and Antigua-Barbuda.
Its flagship programmes are BBC Caribbean Report - morning and evening drivetime editions.
The cultural programme BBC Caribbean Magazine has reflected the human side of the news as well as reporting on the region's music and literature.
And BBC Sports Caribbean is provided by World Service for the Caribbean programme stream.
The website www.bbccaribbean.com receives its biggest page impressions from the Caribbean diaspora in the US, Canada, and the UK.
The early roots of the Caribbean Service began in 1939. The programme Calling the West Indies featured West Indian troops on active service during World War Two to read letters on air to their families back home.
From 1943 to 1958, the programme became Caribbean Voices which highlighted West Indian writers.
During this period, new writers, including VS Naipaul, George Lamming, Andrew Salkey and Samuel Selvon worked and produced their first works.
In 1949, the segment We see Britain was introduced as part of the programming for the Caribbean under the management of cricketer-turned-producer Ken Ablack.
The Service went on for the next three decades nurturing the talents of producers and presenters such as Louise Bennett, Jones P Madeira, and Trevor MacDonald.
The Service was closed in the mid 1970s with Caribbean Magazine remaining on air, produced by a separate BBC department.
It was re-opened in 1988 as a news and current affairs department, later taking over Caribbean Magazine as part of the Caribbean stream of programming for the Caribbean.
Its opening presentation team were Hugh Crosskill, Jerry Timmins, and Pat Whitehorne.
Debbie Ransome, Head of BBC Caribbean Service said: "After one of our best years ever editorially, this has been a great blow for the team here."
"Given what we know BBC Caribbean means for providing pan-Caribbean coverage for a strong radio audience, plus the online links it provides between the Caribbean and its diaspora, and the amount of goodwill it brought for the BBC from a loyal audience, clearly a void will be left."
The decision to discontinue the BBC Caribbean Service is incredibly sad, short-sighted, and misguided. The service was incredibly
popular and filled a great need for the Caribbean audience to have a view of the world not provided by local radio stations.
As David Rudder says just one more bit of evidence that the world doesn't seem to need islands any more!
I will miss our Caribbean BBC.
Hearing your voice on the phone last year re the interview was like hearing from an old family friend - which you are, to
the many people who listen to your programmes. To not hear it any more, well, I am truly sorry.
I will miss our Caribbean BBC.
I'd like to add my name to those offering "sympathy and support" and wish you all the best for the future.
The BBC World Service is one of the most reputable radio services in the World and the Caribbean service in particular is
incredibly popular in that region.
We're all very saddened to hear that BBC Caribbean has been cut. Here at ARCHIVE, we have time and again turned to BBC Caribbean
for the latest news not least for our work in Haiti. The cuts in the Caribbean service will be strongly felt, and you will
be sorely missed.
Some things have no monetary value but I am sure that I am not the only person the BBC’s service has impacted, so I implore
those in charge to reconsider.
Please allow your listeners to have at least one broadcast to thank you guys for the great work that has been done over the
years. May God bless all of you.
I am writing asking to please keep BBC Caribbean. We own a house in Grenada and must get current news, both while we are in
the US and in the West Indies. This is our best source of news that covers the Carribean. I was shocked when I read about
the proposed cut!
I know BBC Caribbean Report will be sorely missed here in the US Virgin Islands where, to this day, we still don't have a
strong television network for general consumption. Either you get broadcast, if your signal will allow it where you live,
or your get cable (if you're financially able), or you get the one public tv channel we have (which does not have a daily
news report). And given the number of folks living here who hail from parts of the Eastern Caribbean, bbc is very well regarded.
I am profoundly saddened at the news that the BBC Caribbean Service
This is sad. BBC Caribbean is the biggest thing around. People make it a point of duty to listen to BBC Caribbean especially
the evening edition. BBC should have done a survey or allow radio stations to raise the issues on their talk show to see if
that would change the heart of those in charge. Right now we people have to return to VOA. I still do not quite understand
It came as a shock to me last evening when I heard on the Caribbean Report that the BBC Caribbean Service will be closing
As a Caribbean born person living in the UK I really depend on BBC Caribbean to stay in touch with what is going on in that
part of the world. I hope the BBC reconsiders closing this very good service as it benefits both the Caribbean and latin America.
The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) is saddened by the announcement by the British Broadcasting Corporation that
its popular Caribbean Service is to be closed.
I have just heard the news of the cuts to the BBC World Service and am terribly upset to hear that the BBC Caribbean Service
is to be cut. Here in Barbados we have ONE television channel with an incredibly poor news service, and unless people can
afford to pay for the American influenced cable tv they have NO access to international news or programmes.
It's sad when the Caribbean is about to go through a rough period in its history
I value every aspect of the world service, and have done since moving to Singapore 13 years ago. Why doesn't the BBC ask overseas
listeners to pay a fee for certain services to help support the services effected by these cuts. The news services should
be continued to be enjoyed around the world. After all when I'm in the UK I would pay the license fee - I wouldn't hesitate
in paying a fee to continue access. It seems illogical to cut before even asking the question - can you support?
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