BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, January 15, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — Government-owned ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), commonly referred to simply as ZIZ, will soon celebrate its 60th anniversary and the first to publicly congratulate the organisation was Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris on Thursday January 14 at his first press conference of Year 2021.
“In March, ZIZ will be celebrating sixty years of broadcasting,” announced Prime Minister Harris at the press conference held at NEMA’s conference room in Lime Kiln, West Basseterre. “ZIZ is really, the people’s radio station. It has delivered yeoman’s service to our country and I want to commend its leadership over the years for their work.”
According to the Honourable Prime Minister, ZIZ has undergone significant changes in technology, administration and other areas over the last five years and he commended the chairman, Mr Lester Hanley, for his leadership so far.
“Recent upgrades at ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation include infrastructure upgrade to the television station and production studio including complete remodelling and retrofitting of the production studio with repairs to the roof, the installation of new air conditioning unit and transmission spaces,” noted Dr Harris.
He added: “Partial upgrade to the radio station and television station, IT network will better facilitate increased bandwidth needed through both stations. Upgrades to its cameras, outside broadcasting equipment and production computers and in-studio lighting have all taken place.”
With the upgrade done in most of its television production capability, Prime Minister Harris observed that ZIZ Television experienced immediate improvements in its ability to produce content for local consumption on television, and several online and social media platforms. The upgrade has made it unnecessary for the government-owned station to carry wholesale news packages from other stations as pillars to its newscast.
Dr Harris who is a regular visitor at ZIZ studios in Springfield, Basseterre, where he hosts the overly popular ‘Leadership Matters’ noted that the station has returned to live production of its news, and in-studio production. He noted he had been advised that ZIZ reaches listeners in 113 countries worldwide across its multiple platforms. It has four million Facebook views, YouTube one million views; ZIZ Online has 1.2 million hits; ZIZ TV Online website has 1.1 million hits; and ZIZ Radio online website tune-in has two million hits.
“ZIZ is the predominant broadcasting station in St. Kitts and Nevis, popular with and loved by all citizens and residents at home and abroad,” said Prime Minister Harris. “The country’s oldest and best radio station, best known radio station will shortly release its programme of activities to commemorate this historic 60th year milestone.”
The Prime Minister added that ZIZ is in many respects the nation’s most reliable source for popular programming, and authoritative issues such as NEOC Covid-19 Briefings, Working for You, and Leadership Matters.
Leadership Matters, which is hosted by the Prime Minister, started in 2020 on ZIZ Radio and Television and social media platforms and attracted a social media viewership of 410,334 in over 30 editions, for an average of 13,677 views across Facebook, YouTube among others.
“Of course in addition to online platforms thousands more tune in to Leadership Matters on radio and TV,” observed Dr Harris. “The programme will resume in the first week of February, 2021. I want to thank the royal fans of the programme and well-wishers for the amazing support for Leadership Matters specifically, and ZIZ more generally.”
Representing ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation at the press conference was journalist/news anchor Ms Karla Berridge who before she asked her questions said: “Prime Minister, as representative of ZIZ here today, I just want to say thank you for the commendation to the corporation on its 60th anniversary.”
Supporting the Prime Minister at the head table were Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Shawn Richards, Minister of Health, ICT, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship and Talent Development the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett, Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports the Hon Lindsay Grant, Minister of Human Settlement, National Health Insurance et al the Hon Eugene Hamilton, and Minister of Environment and Cooperatives the Hon Eric Evelyn.
Also present at the press conference, which was moderated by Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of National Security Ms Jacqueline Bryan, included Deputy Speaker Senator the Hon Dr Bernicia Nisbett, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon Mark Brantley, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources the Hon Alexis Jeffers, Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs the Hon Vincent Byron Jr., and Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Labour the Hon Wendy Phipps.
Others included Permanent Secretaries Mr Osmond Petty of National Security, and Mrs Elreter Simpson-Browne of Sustainable Development, Commander of the St. Kitts Nevis Defence Force Lt Colonel J. Anthony Comrie, Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis Permanent Representative to the United Nations designate His Excellency Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd, and Ambassador His Excellency Michael Powell among other senior government officials.