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New urban radio station hits airwaves in SVG

New urban radio station hits airwaves in SVG

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From today, Friday, January 16, a new urban radio station ‘Xtreme’ 104.3 FM (formerly Cross Country radio) is providing persons with a new source of music.

The newest addition to the local listening line-up is the brainchild of businessmen Marc Richardson and Davon Catoand is expected to provide{{more}} listeners and would-be advertisers with a one of a kind outlet.

On Tuesday, Marc Richardson said that initially, 104.3 FM belonged to Cross Country radio, but the owner, Carlos Maloney, made a decision that he did not want to continue the station.

“So the possibility came up to get the licence, so me and my business partner Davon Cato investigated and thought it was a good opportunity. Considering the radio format in St Vincent and the Grenadines, we thought that there was room for another urban radio station to give listeners and advertisers another alternative,” explained Richardson.

He said that they did some research around August and September last year, “and we got a lot of positive responses, so we decided to go ahead and take the plunge.”

Richardson said that seeing that Cross Country was already an on air station, there is already a distribution network, so the goal was to begin broadcasting as soon as possible.

He said that from today (Friday, January 16), they will begin playing music, while they will do final tests tomorrow Saturday, January 17 and have announcers on air by Monday, January 19.

The station is already fully staffed with 14 persons, including announcers, DJs and administrative staff.

Most of the announcers at the new entity are already popular personalities and are not new to the listening public, having made a name for themselves at the two other urban stations or on the party scene here.

Staff members include ‘DJ Donovan’, ‘DJ Taurus’, ‘Galaniare’ and ‘Shanubi,’ among others and Richardson said that there are still a number of surprises to come.

“I am not disclosing some members, because they have not come across as yet, so we don’t really want to create a stir with that. A lot of them are already on board and we have a few more persons that would be a surprise, let’s put it that way,” said Richardson when further questioned about his cast.

Richardson said that in an effort to win over and keep the listening public and advertisers, Xtreme will take on a format not seen in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

He said that he has been in the music business for a while, as he owns a company that supplies sound equipment and he has noticed a number of shortcomings in the urban radio industry here.

“….one of the things, we need to get back into the communities and this is something that I don’t see being done. One of the first things that we have planned is a grassroots campaign, where we get out into the villages (do live broadcasts),” said Richardson, who added that they will not only be doing this initially, but on a long-term basis.

He said that they have already discussed the concept with three large advertisers who are very interested in going out into the various villages and doing promotions, like five-a-side soccer and cricket tournaments, where the station gives coverage to the event.

“Instead of they coming to us and saying how much will it cost to promote this, we will say no, we will partner with you to do this event. We will get out there, supply sound reinforcement and do live broadcasts from the locations. We will drive these social events in the villages,” said Richardson.

“We will do it and the point is, we will balance it with our music. We not saying that we will broadcast entire matches, but we will give highlights and giveaways and it is doing things like that that will set us aside.”

He said that there is a need for stations to re-connect to their audience and, “that is not something that is not being done.”

Richardson acknowledges, “It is going to be tight with four urban stations and a limited market, but at the end of the day, it is the concept that matters. If persons like what you play and the personalities you have on air, they are going to gravitate to your station and once people gravitate, so will advertisers. We have to be cognizant of what the advertisers want.”

Richardson said that the station has a wide coverage area with a few dropout points, but new antennas have already been purchased to boost the set-up as, “we aim to have largest coverage.”

As it relates to format and local music, Xtreme is going to have a specific programme in their weekly line-up, which will open the door for local artistes and producers to share their story and music with the public.

Persons will be allowed to call in and ask questions and interact with artistes and producers during these sessions.

However, Richardson noted, “we cannot guarantee that all local songs will play, because they are some songs, like anywhere in the world, which do not meet the standard for radio play, but we are going to be balanced about how we support the artistes and how we play the artistes,” said Richardson.

Meanwhile, on Monday, persons can expect to be entertained by Kellon ‘Top Notch Swift’ Belgraves and Jason ‘Galanaire Avalanche’ Bess, among others.

Online listeners can go to www.x104fm.com.

The new station is located on the Fountain stretch of the Vigie Highway.

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