JLP pulls ads from KLAS
Monday, September 16, 2002
Omar Anderson, Staff Reporter
THE JAMAICA Labour Party (JLP) has withdrawn all its campaign advertisements from KLAS FM 89, following the management's decision to suspend radio disc jockey Barry Gordon after he interviewed Opposition Leader Edward Seaga.
Mr. Gordon's suspension took effect on Friday, two days after the interview on his programme, "Night Flight".
But the station's chairman, Alton Stewart, told The Gleaner yesterday that although pulling the advertisements might mean the station would lose revenue, it would not undermine his attempt to run the radio station with set principles.
"Mr. Gordon violated our programme arrangements and the appropriate action was taken," he said. "So if the JLP wants to pull its ads, that's its choice."
Yesterday, the JLP's Deputy Leader, Olivia "Babsy" Grange, said the party wrote to Mr. Stewart last Friday telling him that the JLP would be immediately pulling its advertisements until the matter between Mr. Gordon and himself has been resolved.
"We took a position pending further information as to what exactly was the problem," she said. But, Mr. Stewart also said yesterday that he was unable to react to the JLP letter.
In a press release on Friday, the KLAS management said Mr. Gordon's suspension was due to his violation of policy and programme format at the radio station. The release added that on June 10, this year, Mr. Stewart wrote to Mr. Gordon expressing disapproval about his decision to air an outside broadcast without management's approval.
Last Friday, Mr. Gordon went public with his side of story, hinting that he felt victimised by Mr. Stewart who is close to the governing People's National Party (PNP), and is also head of the National Solid Waste Management Authority.
According to Mr. Gordon, last Wednesday night he invited Mr. Seaga on his programme, "Night Flight", to discuss the performance of the headboy of Tivoli Gardens High School who had done well in his CXC exams. He said that having failed to reach the student or Tivoli High School's principal, he decided to interview Mr. Seaga, who is the Member of Parliament for West Kingston in which the school is located.
But yesterday, Mr. Stewart sought to dismiss suggestions that Mr. Gordon's suspension was politically motivated. He said Mr. Seaga was also booked to appear this morning (Monday) on the station's current affairs programme 'First Edition', to discuss the latest opinion polls.