The Day STARCOM Kicked Christians In The Hiney

Vic Fernandes - CEO Starcom

The Christian right (also known as the religious right and the evangelical bloc) is a term used predominantly in the United States of America to describe a spectrum of right-wing Christian political and social movements and organizations characterized by their strong support of conservative…

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The Christian Right in the United States is known for its strong lobby to support public policies it views as being social conservative. Remember the name Jerry Falwell? There is also a strong Christian lobby in Australia and recognition of a growing Christian Right in Canada. One cannot help to envy the ease which people organize in those countries to promote common interest.

Last week in Barbados a raging debate was stoked by the controversial Anglican Reverend Charles Morris who asserted that no where does the bible address the issue of pre-marital sex. The hailstorm of opinions and analyses but moreso condemnation by Christians which followed his comment signalled to many that Barbados is indeed a Christian society, or regards itself to be. The normally taciturn Right Reverend Bishop John Holder was provoked to deliver a rebuke from the pulpit to Reverend Charles. We should expect that Reverend Charles will remain a priest who is unassigned a Church to pastor for a little while longer.

BU has observed the hypocrisy which we know exist in our society as a result of the Morris Pre-Marital Sex Debate. We have observed the disconnect between the Church and society if we judge by the action of many and reconcile their mouthings. There is one telling observation which the Charles Morris ‘outburst’ has brought to the fore, there is no cohesion within the Christian Community on what its role should be in Barbados. All talk!

Recently the management of STARCOM, the media house with the widest reach in Barbados made a decision to convert its lone religious station (FM97.5) to a Super Station spanning 7 countries with its base in T&T.  Obviously STARCOM is in the business to make money and who are we to tell them what decisions to make to create wealth for their shareholders. In response to the dissapointment shown by its FM97.5 religious constituency CEO Vic Fernandes explained STARCOM would merge, “… the programming on its Gospel Station 97.5 FM with that of Voice of Barbados on 92.9.”

BU does not have the benefit of scientific information to support the marketshare penetration which FM97.5 had before it was cannibalized,  anecdotally we believe it had a reasonably sized and loyal listenership. The children/religious programs which were strategically scheduled to meet children arriving home from school, now scheduled on FM92.9 in the night, has been the cause of heavy disappointment for children and parents alike. In a world where secularity rules the wholesome programming which FM97.5 offered was like a fresh breeze for someone living down wind from Mount Stinkeroo.  The management despite many complaints has stoutly defended its position; after all the advertising dollar rules. Not for one minute does BU believe that the birth of the Super Station has anything to do with the exit of BBC Caribbean.

Here is what we don’t understand. Why is it if Barbados is the Christian society it professes to be its membership would not organize and lobby against the STARCOM decision? Why would it not come together and fund its own station? Why would Christians who are in decision making positions not withhold advertising spend by the companies they have influence? If Christians are so strong in their belief why not demonstrate it by showing some backbone?

Go figure!

46 thoughts on “The Day STARCOM Kicked Christians In The Hiney


  1. What good would it do if the christian society loby against Starcom. Starcom revenue is what pay the bills. If the christian society had any monetary power in revenue deriving benefits to starcom we wont be having this discussion.
    I read in one of the local papers that some members of the christian society had applied for a broadcasting license.
    the reason why they have no backbone is because their bark is worse than they biteand nobody takes them seriously .


  2. There was and still is a religious station other than Gospel 97.5 FM. How many Christians do you think will turn to that station?
    I am willing to bet that after the next survey, Starcom will still be boasting that they have the number one religious station.

    Placing demands on service providers is not the Bajan way of doing things. We get what they decide to give us, when they decide to give us and we are eternally grateful for their kind consideration.


  3. Is there not another gospel station, 102FM? what is so “gospellish” about one radio station over another?


  4. @Raw Bake

    You struck the nail on the head, they have the power but don’t know how to exercise it, is why starcom can do what it did with impunity, With respect to Faith 102.1, programming and brand counts for something here no?


  5. Frankly

    The reason why it is believed that we are a Christian community is because they are the group that makes the most noise, and what is it that is said about people who make that most noise? Unfortunately VOB has been transformed into a virtual Christian station, thanks to the likes of dah fella wid de English accent! Starcom’s Christian station only started out as a result of the innitiave by Faith 102.1, so they were only playing copy cat anyway.

    In my humble opinion, other than for those stations which purport to target specific religious groups, comments that are designed to proselytize should be banned from our airways, particularly from the stations that are propped up with tax payers money.


  6. @ David

    Can’t you find a picture of the “new” Vic Fernandes, the one you put up is before the makeover?

  7. Pingback: The Day STARCOM Kicked Christians In The Hiney | Barbados news


  8. One has to careful these days with the nomenclature “Christian”. There are all brands of persons and organisations of dubious persuasion, deceptively functioning with the label “christian”.

    Gospel 975 similar to the Experience Calyso Tent, started with good Christian intentions of propagating the Gospel, but laced with leaven, soon degenerated into an unholy bowl of soup.

    Anyone with a modecum of discernment could see what would eventually be the fruit. What with the Station being presided over, and guided by the secular and mightily saucy mind of “The Market Vendor,” and not to mention the sometimes shocking input of lower-down-the-hierachy “Christian” Ronnie Clarke, what really was it that faithful Christians were expecting from Gospel 975?

    After I challenged him towards better behaviour, Clarke had the temerity to say to me, that his position at that station was akin to “Daniel in Babylon” !!

    How could he possibly be like Prophet Daniel? The real Daniel never sucumbed to the unholiness of Babylon.. As a man of God, Daniel became the change …… he wasn’t influenced in any degree by the taint of Babylon, and risked his very life, based on his absolute faith in God to secure him.

    Instead, we saw Clarke, Gospel 975’s head “Christian”, proudly standing outside Starcom Headquarters with microphone in hand, loudly proclaiming a couple of years ago to the crowd on the streets of River Road : “AND THE WINNER IS ……… TIMMYYYYYYYYY,……. WITH HIS SUPER HIT ….. RIDE DE BUMPER!”

    Can you envisage a true follower of Jesus Christ formulating and producing in his mind, such a presentation as ‘The People’s Choice” secular calypso competition, thereafter revelling with imagined impunity, in even all the lascivious and carnal aspects of that same production? This competition, solely and completely the brainchild of Clarke “the christian” continues annually.

    I would like to ask Clarke if he believes that this activity of his glorifies God? NO! And I have worn out my knees praying for Clarke’s genuine conversion and salvation.

    Add to Clarke’s unholy diet, such offerings like the Saturday whole day madness with Graham Vaughn, characterised by the unintelligible junk of Jamaican ‘christian” dub, devillish American “christian ” Hip Hop and Rap, and you knew that inspite of whatever considerations (financial or otherwise) the leaders of Gospel 975 had in mind, God would not let it last.


    • To be fair 97.5 carried some good programming, discussions etc and Maurice Norville was very good.

      The reggae gospel, if you criticise the playing of Jamaican artistes then you have to do same for gospelfest.


  9. I agree with you wholeheartedly Eagle Eye.Ronnie clarke sometimes sounds very carnal and that waste of time graham vaughan who plays jamaican ‘so called’ dub gospel music every time all the time.When you turn on that and hear that rubbish,you might as well turn in to any of the secular stations.

    The only good thing about that station was the children’s input during the children’s hour.


  10. When one applies for a radio license, does one state what type of programming one will be providing?

    If so, was Starcom’s decision in keeping with any rules and regulations?

    Can one apply for a gospel license, and then make a switch to another form of programming?

    Just asking.

    Starcom switched the purpose of the station (97.5), and then applied for another license to be the new gospel station.


  11. @David
    With respect to Faith 102.1, programming and brand counts for something here no?
    ********************************************************
    Yes, but if the Christian community is so desperate for the programming offered by Starcom, what prevents them from approaching management of Faith 102.1 with offers to sponsor these programs.

    Do you believe that management at 102.1 would deliberately ignore the demographic that is currently clamouring for the return of 97.5, even if sponsorship was offered?

    Do they not serve the same God?


  12. “Starcom switched the purpose of the station (97.5), and then applied for another license to be the new gospel station.”

    Actually, they applied for the new license for the super station and when it wasn’t awarded 97.5 was used.


  13. “Today is a funny night” We live in the information age, yet there are those who now govern by deliberately and maliciously withholding important information, (don’t mind their misleading promises to be transparent) and by devising backroom schemes for the personal benefit of their supporters, constantly waiting for a piece of “the fatted calf.”

    The people are often left to read between the lines, in order to achieve some semblance of what is really going on.

    Why, for example, as it is reported by some …… that Starcom did not receive the the new radio license they applied for? And then one speaks of FM102.1

    Are we conscious of the fact that FM102.1 is owned by that DLP GORRILAPHANT and PROPAGANDIST BRYAN, down at the Grand Old Lady? Is a platform being set up for BRYAN , as a political favour, to hog the Gospel stage, and make some money?


  14. I don’t know if Bryan could ever have been fairly described as ‘pro-BLP’, but the organism that he has currently morphed into, as the outright mouthpiece of a poorly performing government, represents by far, a most vulgar and blatant prostitution of journalism in Barbados.


  15. Before the 2008 General Election David Bryan and The Barbados Advocate used to curse the DLP and curse the DLP supporters and write only pro BLP Editorials.

    All that is happening now is the Piper has changed and he who pays the piper calls the tune.

    Owen Arthur and the BLP loved it and said not a word when the Advocate was their mouth piece.

    Do so don’t like so.


  16. This note is for our good friend Dennis Johnson who has dared to walk where his colleagues fear to thread and you get the respect of BU for it. Here is a clarification in response to your comment today which we sense was directed at BU. Imagine BU as a rum shop in the village, you sometimes enter a debate, one or two will allow tempers to flare but by and large it is accommodated in the setting if by and large there is a need fulfilled.

    Then they are those people who never enter rum shops but prefer the sedate setting of a Bubbas or place of similar ambience.


  17. I do not know why Starcom was refused an additional licence but to suggest that it was as a result of a conspiracy to assist 102.1 FM is rather far fetched.

    Even though they are both considered to be Christian oriented station, spreading the word, the target audience is definitely not the same for both, so we are unlikely to see any 97.5 FM style programming on Faith 102.
    Mr. Bryan therefore will not be making any extra trips to the bank as a result of the Starcom decision.

    Starcom knows this and that is probably why the decision was taken to amalgamate the gospel station with its most successful one. Of course it was a difficult decision, but at the end of the day business is business and every frequency must be used to fetch the highest economic value possible.

    OCM say so, or something to that effect.


  18. eyes wide open
    be carful how ya tawk bout ma famblee Graham Vaughn. Yes, he’s ma famblee fa tru. (ya suprise dat i sa bad n he sa good nah) He’s such a pleasant young man. offa he fa ma. he won’t buse ya but I would. wah wrong wid J’can gospel reggae? I like um too doan mind sumtimes I is gotta listen good ta hear whetha um is gospel or secular. I is wukkup ta all, no matter. LOL


  19. @ Eagle Eye………..You are so right .Today is a funny night. In one post while wrapped in the cloth of piety you rained damnation down on Ronnie Clarke for he has shown himself to be not one fit for anointment in the blood of the lamb, then later when that cloth is replaced with a RED SHIRT, Mr. Sanctimonious is able to enlighten us as to the origin FM102. Your knees by your own admission are worn out ,and I must tell you that such comes as no surprise, for just like those of my friend THE SCOUT,hypocrisy dwells in yours. Show me a true christian and i’ll show you a liar.


  20. Congrats to VoB for grabbing the opportunity to put the head of the CLICO Policyholders Group on air today. His input has taken the CLICO conversation to a next level. It exposes the political hopscotch which has been taking place in Barbados.

    Special mention to Mia Mottley who has been telling policyholders in Barbados to get together from the start of then mess.

    Of note is the point made that in all the jurisdictions CLICO operated the statutory reserve funds were in deficit. What does this say to those political?


  21. I am still wondering what kind of Christian is Evil, oops, sorry Eagle Eye. He doan have anthing good to say about anybody? Christian my foot!


  22. You are a very nice man Jack Spratt.
    Now tell me what of christian would be speaking on a Radio Gospel Channel, pontificating about the Word of God, and then soon after on another channel, revelling with shameless and wanton gusto and excitement, in fact LEADING a crowd in cheering over a sexually suggestive calypso?


    • If we don’t hold our priest and officers of the Church to account based on bible doctrines how are we to do same to Radio DJ and announcers?


  23. @ EAGLE EYE ………..I CHOSE BOLD PRINT TO GET YOUR ATTENTION. This is only my belief, but I am willing to bet my last dollar that you are just another O D C. Your sabbath ,what ever day you have chosen , is your day of practice. A One Day Christian screaming fron the mountain top,firmly in the belief that yours is the path to the promised land. As you proceed please carry Jippy D with you. Live ya religion every day,den we may tek ya serious, ya old O D C !


  24. You may think what you like about me Hamilton, but you are sadly mistaken with that opinion of yours. We are all, each one of us, sinners saved by grace. I don’t consider myself better than anyone else. I am just concerned that persons who publicly proclaim their christianity, and then live in the opposite direction from godly standards ought to be censored. I try everday to live my life as guided by the Word of God. I have no desire to get into a shouting match with you, and I won’t.

    @David. Those holding responsibility in the church for shepherding their flock in the church, and fail to function to the standard of their “calling” (because some of them are not called) will be doubly accountable to God. He is the final arbiter. I believe the Church has it’s own biblically prescribed methods for employing church discipline, so I don’t agree with your comment about failure to hold church leaders to account.

    True, there are ocassions when it doesn’t seem to work the way it should, but that is no excuse for these “christian” DJ’s and announcers to behave the way they do sometimes.


  25. @ EAGLE EYE

    I applaud your stand on the issues given the age of MORAL RELATIVISM* in which we live – a world which says that there are no MORAL ABSOLUTES*!!!

    Thank you for showing a tempered “SPIRIT” of restraint in not fanning the pyromania which exist because there are some who are simply intent on lighting matches in a canefield…


  26. Yes Terence.
    Just be sure to take a look at the lead thread headed:
    “Protecting Our Youth From Adults” Posted on May 27, 2011
    by David.”

    Reading that should give every concerned citizen, an idea of the high level of incongruence in our society. As someone remarked the other day, a break down in one discipline affects the other.

    Those people who throw garbage out of their car windows, and out of the mini-bus windows, are most likely those same people who go home and allow their children to view adult movies, and they most likely used profanity non-stop around the children.

    Kind of just like BONNY PEPPA on this blog, who regularly receives kudos from some fellow bloggers for her vile behaviour!

    What I am also saying is that whenever one censors, and seeks accountability from certain people like those recalcitrant personalities on our Radio Stations ……… apologists who only think superficially, rush in with their ad hominem attacks, but always fail to deal with the issues.


    • Please tell Stetson Babb that bullying has been happening from time in immemorial so should today’s society not focus effort to eradicate it?

      It seems when we identify problems in society Stetson and people of his mind dismiss it as a fire fire position.


  27. Although I dislike the brand of politics practiced by Anthony Bryan, I still preferr to listen to some things on Faith FM, though I like VOB. My advice to all Christians, forget VOB 97.5 and listen to 102.1. What difference does it make, aint all two stations purporting to proclaim the gospel?

    Right now I know that a lot of people have signed off VOB especially their early morning programing with the cock-a-doodle thing. A friend of mine who works at the Nation told me that in a staff meeting when one of the bosses asked for a show of hands of who listens to VOB, not one hand went up. He was so shocked, he said he has to let the top bosses know that not even their staff is listening to VOB and wondered who is conducting these surveys.

    VOB to me has lost its moorings and does not know if it is fish or fowl. The new moderator who came on for Phoney Marshall is another DLP plant. I dont know why VOB tends to only find DLP leaning moderators. I dont care whether the moderator is BLP or DLP, just be fair and give each side a fair hearing. This new moderator was overheard by a caller telling someone she called during a commercial break”tell her to call in”. Next thing the PM’s Press Secretary was on the line.

    Another beef I have with VOB this week was when they contacted David Durant and Lucille Baird to comment on the American pastor whose prediction about the end of the world was wrong. Why would VOB think that anyone would believe anything David Durant say.

    He was the man who said that two PMs died in office and a third one will not die under his watch. He also said that the king would be back at his desk. He demanded GOD in that service at the gym that GOD heal David Thompson. He knew that you cannot demand anything from GOD and he knew that the demands would never come true since he knew his great friend the king could not survive pancreatic cancer.

    Why would VOB think he was credible??? Goes to show the mindset down by the riverside.


  28. “Please tell Stetson Babb that bullying has been happening from time in immemorial so should today’s society not focus effort to eradicate it?”

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Bullying has been happening for ages now, it might be worse now because we have removed a lot of discipline from the schools, but nothing new.

    It happens at all schools in Barbados primary especially, and secondary.


  29. @David: “The problem with bullying like most things in Barbados nowadays it has gone to the extreme, children are dying because of it.

    I’m interested…

    Could you please provide two examples where children have died because of bullying here in Bim?


  30. @David: “Do you live in Barbados?

    Yes.

    Do you?

    The link you provided results in a “Page not found” message.

    And please do note I asked for ***TWO*** examples.

    Your second would be?


    • @Chris

      Not all cases are publicised like this one. Here is the copy for the link you had issues:

      REVENGE belongs to God.

      Rector of St Martin’s Anglican Church Reverend Canon Seibert Small reminded the hundreds of family, friends and loved ones who paid their last respects to 11-year-old Ian Gibson of that fact yesterday.

      “Don’t think of revenge. That belongs to God and God alone. Pray for Ian and yourselves,” he encouraged the mourners.

      While acknowledging that Gibson was injured while trying to escape “evil”, Small told the congregation in the packed church that they must always be on their guard, seek to do good, and flee from, or avoid evil.

      Small noted that news of untimely deaths and people being tested was being heard every day, and one had to take stock of what was happening in society and the homes, and what was being taught.

      “We must teach children that they must love God first, and love others as themselves,” Small urged.

      He encouraged the congregation, which spilled out of the church, to think about the consequences before they acted and pray first.

      “Do everything to preserve and enhance life . . . not to take it or cause pain,” Small added.

      There were some light moments to the sad occasion when Gibson’s former principal at Jones Private School Victorine Darlington, paid tribute to him.

      She remembered Gibson as one who loved sports and one who was “always ready to play and enjoyed his games [and] lessons to the fullest”.

      Darlington said Gibson was a curious child and used his pockets as “treasure chests”.

      “Sometimes, when one searched Ian’s bulging pockets you would find a neatly folded gents handkerchief, a ball, a reel of thread, marbles, paper clips, cord, magnets, screws and several cards collected from various snacks. These items were not all junk, but were part of Ian’s business plan. You see, Ian was a young entrepreneur,” she said as the congregation chuckled.

      Those chuckles soon ceased as the reality set in at the graveside.

      The heart-wrenching screams, tear-stained faces, and sniffles as Gibson’s body was lowered to its final resting place brought the tragic way in which Gibson met his untimely death back to the fore.

      The former student of Princess Margaret Secondary is believed to have been fatally injured in an accident near his school on September 18 as he was trying to escape from bullies. He succumbed to his injuries two days later. (yvettebest@nationnews.com)


    • You win Chris, as you know we have little time for pedantics. BU was mistaken, nobody dies from bullying.


  31. @BU.David: My question still stands…

    (BTW, I find this immensely funny (and immensely sad, at the same time); somehow we find ourselves fighting…)

    Who, exactly, is the second child who died because of bullying?


  32. NEWSFLASH……… The church has slowly become a business venture ran by many who view their calling as nothing more than an ocupation.The cold hard facts are there for all to see. Commerce has replaced CHRIST in CHRISTMAS and the courts are called upon to settle squabbles between so called christians. Weed out from amongst you the False Prophets, (or given their cravings for cash it should spell PROFITS) the many wolves in sheep’s clothing or better put,the tons of pedophiles that wear a collar and cassock instead of shackles and leg-irons.Wasted is the match that any pyromaniac takes to a canefield for as it stands today the church may well reap more benefit from such actions. Again ,show me a true christian, and i’ll show you a liar.


  33. the problem with the anglican church is that it no longer stands for anything.it is neither fish nor fowl a priests see the ministry as a profession rather than a vocation. some of them do not even wear their collars.the anlican church leadership should hang their heds in shame as they preside over dwindling and less responsive membership and an emasculation of the acceptable and traditional forms/order of worship through the introduction of halfbaked changes which have diluted the worship rather than enhance it. measures of the

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