Caribbean Media Enterprise debuts on Air America Radio

Official release/Lloyd Brathwaite

Note: Air America went dark in 2010.

New York, N.Y.: The newly launched Caribbean Media Enterprise (CME) has made its on-air debut on Air America Radio WLIB in New York City. A number of correspondents from the group appeared on the two-hour magazine program “From Home and Abroad” which consisted of news, sports, politics, culture and business.

The projected series of weekly shows has been billed by CME as an initiative highlighting the return of daytime progressive Caribbean Talk to WLIB New York, now designated the flagship station in Air America’s growing radio network. The entire Caribbean region and audiences worldwide had access to the program through the station’s Internet stream at The inaugural program aired from 1pm to 3pm on Sunday, January 8 2006, and it was targeted to the migrant Caribbean community in New York City and contiguous locations. “From Home and Abroad” was anchored by Allan Martindale and Angela Massiah with assistance from Claud Leandro and this writer.

Pictured: Joslyn O. Small, Angela Massiah, Allan Martindale, and Claud Leandro preside over the airwaves Sundays from 1-3pm (EST), on the air and on the net on the acclaimed “Air America” network

The new program included special segments in which Antigua & Barbuda’s top New York diplomat, McChesney Emanuel, was interviewed on some aspects of the crime situation and its effect on tourism in the Caribbean region. During the final segment of the broadcast, Jamaica’s New York Consul General, Dr. Basil Bryan, responded to listeners who called the show to express concerns about the increasing deportation of Caribbean nationals from the USA. The Jamaican diplomat also addressed the indirect relationship between the influx of deportees and the incidence of violent crime in the island.

Another feature on the program was the raging controversy in the Caribbean community that stemmed from the insulting remarks hurled at Transit Workers’ Union president, Trinidad-born Roger Toussaint by Hot 97 radio announcer, Tasha Jones (linked to: commentary). In the aftermath of the recent transit strike, the feisty morning show host reportedly called Toussaint a “dumb coconut” and suggested that he did not have a green card and should be deported from the USA. Jones also assailed the predominantly African American membership of the union as “uneducated and overpaid losers who made the wrong choices in high school.”

Brooklyn-based New York State Senator, John Sampson and Mr. Rickford Burke, president of the Caribbean and Guyana Institute for Democracy were telephone guests on the program and both condemned the remarks attributed to Miss Jones and demanded that the station’s management, Emmis Communications, take the strongest possible disciplinary action against her. So far, there has been no response to the demands by the public officials.

Other topics on the series “From Home and Abroad” include the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that was officially launched in the region at the beginning of 2006. CARICOM Secretary General, Edwin Carrington, led the panel of on-line guests that discussed the latest development in Caribbean regional integration.

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