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WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR JAMAICA’S IRIE FM?

After our first year of operations, we were recognized as the leading new business organization in Jamaica, and we quickly moved to become number 1 in listenership islandwide. In 1995 I resigned from the board of directors of IRIE FM for personal reasons, and several years later I sold my shares to the chairman Karl Young. I have continued to be a cheer-leader for IRIE FM ever since, despite my view that it has failed to live up to one of its main objectives “to advance the development of the Jamaican and international reggae music industry”.

IrieFM:logo

I have decided to go public with this article at this time because of information that has come to my attention from a very reliable source. I recently received a telephone call from someone very close to the station since its inception. The first question from the caller was “Mr. Stanbury, what do you think about what is happening at IRIE?” I indicated that I had no idea what the caller was talking about. The caller then said “the coup, the takeover of the station”, and went on to explain that since the unfortunate passing of board chairman and main shareholder Karl Young in 2010, and the death of his son Chad in 2014, there has been a “hostile takeover” of the station’s board of directors and management by a group consisting of Young family members and another individual, none of whom have had any working relationship with the station in its almost 30 years of operation.

Chad Young, former CEO of Irie FM

Chad Young, former CEO of Irie FM

After listening carefully, I concluded that the persons who have legally or illegally manoeuvred themselves into a position of control of the Young estate and the station are motivated by nothing but greed, as demonstrated by their efforts to cash in on the hard work of Karl Young, Chad Young, and the other persons who toiled for years to build the world famous brand now known as IRIE FM. As an attorney with some knowledge of the laws related to estates and succession in Jamaica, I do respect the rights and legitimate claims of surviving family members. The information I received in my telephone conversation, and the knowledge I have about the establishment and running of Grove Broadcasting Corporation and IRIE FM, leaves me no choice but to publicly express my concern for the future of reggae radio in Jamaica.

I sincerely hope that other persons like myself who have committed time and effort to place IRIE FM on the world map will step forward and come together in an effort not just to save IRIE, but to ensure that it meets its initial objectives.

One Love,

Lloyd

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