When we recently wrote about the closure of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado due to economic pressure, we really did not think we would have to address the issue of the closure of any media entity in Trinidad & Tobago so soon afterward.
Well it seems Gayelle's newsroom is the first to fall victim to the vagaries of the world economic system. They have now entered a "strategic alliance" with CNC 3, so while they have shut down their newsroom and sent home 16 persons, they will now be showing the CNC 3 newscast during the 7pm time slot.
On Wednesday evening, Samuel McKnight reported on the meeting that changed the fortunes of the company...we saw shots of CNC 3's well-dressed managers including Rosemarie Sant, Brandon Khan, Grenfell Kissoon and Cintra Achong meeting with Gayelle's man in charge Errol Fabien, who was wearing (what we Trinis would say) a 'ramphle up' baggy green t-shirt and washed out blue jeans. Steups! Come on Errol! These people come to pull you out of a hole and that's how you meet them? We know media people like to keep things casual, but you went a bit too far. If we had shown up for that meeting with you looking like that we would have told you to reschedule for when you could borrow a nice shirt and pants. Steups!
And with all that meeting and 'ole talking, no one saw it fit to add a few lines on your website informing your loyal viewers or curious visitors about the closure of the newsroom, or to remove the news page from your website touting "Live updates every hour Tonight at 7:00" with a photo of the former news team headed by Paolo Kernahan; that photo will now probably be replaced with a composite photo of the CNC 3 news team.
In the end it's sad that a community station which is (we hear) doing the great work that Gayelle is doing had to lose a significant number of staff members in such turbulent times. Will they really be absorbed into the newsroom of CNC 3? Have the skills of the junior reporters/cameramen/newsroom staff been elevated to such a stage that they will be able to easily find gainful employment not only at CNC 3, but at any media house in the country?
Where was the business community and the community at large when the news first broke that this was going to happen?
Only time will tell, but feel free to share your comments on the closure of the Gayelle newsroom: write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org