BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – WITH the recent brouhaha concerning Von Radio not playing calypsonian Nutsy’s ‘Political Melee’, General Manager Evered ‘Webbo’ Herbert said the decision taken by one of his employees was in keeping with the radio station’s Editorial Policy.
Speaking with SKNVibes, Herbert said that Von Radio does not and has never banned any song, be it by a local or foreign artiste.
Herbert said the matter was dealt with by one of his employees, Dellison Roper, who did not play Nutsy’s song because it did not meet the radio station’s broadcast standard.
“Mr. Roper dealt with it already. My information is that Mr. Roper said someone had called in with reference to the song and he told the person that it did not reach our broadcast standard.”
In a press release from his manager, Nutsy, born Bernett Thompson and resides in Brown Hill, Nevis, said he was disappointed that the station “chose to ban ‘Political Melee’, one of his songs for the 2012 Culturama festival”.
The release stated that Roper called Nutsy on July 25 and told him that the radio station would not be playing ‘Political Melee’ because it did not meet VON Radio’s broadcast standards.
“Mr. Roper was asked to explain what particular aspect(s) of the song did not meet VON Radio’s ‘broadcast standards’ but he could not give any specific detail,” the release said.
When asked if he could explain what the broadcast standards were, Herbert initially said “no” but quickly followed up by saying that in terms of the content, as one would have certain standards and if some of the information or items do not reach that standard then it would not be aired.
“We don’t ban songs. There are hundreds of songs we wouldn’t play because they wouldn’t meet our broadcast standards…and there are a lot of songs that are out there that we don’t play,” he added.
SKNVibes also inquired about the specifics of the song and why it did not meet the broadcast standard, but Herbert claims that he has never heard the song.
“If we have certain material and will listen to it and it didn’t meet our broadcast standards, it will not be aired. If you send something here and we look at it and we read it, and base on the content we think it does not reach the standard for airing to the public, then we wouldn’t air it,” he said.
According to the release, an email was also sent to Herbert explaining Nutsy and his management’s disappointment with the decision to ban the song, which stated that ‘Political Melee’ is being played on other radio stations in the Federation, other Caribbean islands, the United States and the United Kingdom.
“It has gotten rave reviews for its superb word craft and musical arrangement from many calypso pundits and also politicians in both CCM and NRP. We implored Mr. Herbert to rethink the decision to ban the song and allow the voice of the people to be heard.
“However, we have not received a response from Mr. Herbert at the time of the issuance of this press release. The banning of Political Melee may be perceived as an attack against freedom of expression and must be condemned by all.”
When told of the contents of the press release, Herbert was adamant that his employee had made the correct decision and reiterated that the decision was in keeping with Von Radio’s Editorial Policy.