In Jamaica, there is no shortage of radio stations.
With a population of less than three million, ROOTS, FAME, KOOL, HITZ, LOVE, Power, FYAH, ZIP, Mello, KLAS, Stylz, Mega Jam, Gospel JA and many more, inevitably there is always an outlet catering to the aural needs of its citizens.
As a matter of fact one is named IRIE.
Kingston alone boasts more than 16 radio stations offering talk, sports, gospel, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, while rural parishes seem to program as many varieties targeted to particular local audiences.
Bess FM broadcasts from St. Elizabeth, while Ocho Rios programs the world’s first 24-hour all reggae music at frequencies IRIE FM listeners can access from five separate 107 locations on the dial, leaving little space for dead-air anywhere.
However, in the land of plenty, the Caribbean Global Network (CGN) Group is ready to launch another — The Bridge at 99 FM.
Promising a unique format committed to bridge the divide between Jamaica and listeners of IRIE Jam radio in New York, the allure will feature simulcasts from the sister station at WVIP 93.5 FM connecting Diasporans to the targeted local Jamaican audience.
“We are excited to introduce The Bridge to Jamaica and global audiences this month. By taking advantage of the vast listenership that IRIE Jam has in the tristate area, we have created the perfect conduit for information sharing between Jamaica and its extensive Diaspora of over two million people in the tristate area.
The Diaspora has always been an invaluable source of support for Jamaicans at home, we are simply seeking to amplify that relationship to help build communities and the economy,” Robert “Bobby” Clarke, founder of IRIE Jam Media Group and director of the CGN Group said.
Clarke’s reputation for blazing trails in media is grounded in his successful launch of IRIE JAM Radio 28 years ago which filled a void when Inner City Broadcasting Corporation stopped programming Caribbean oriented news and entertainment from the popular WLIB-AM.
Despite its limited reach from New Rochelle in Westchester County and brokered licensing arrangement, IRIE JAM built a solid listenership with reggae fans in urban NYC who thirsted for news and entertainment from the island.
Clarke bolstered the need by hosting Irie Jamboree, an annual mega-concert headlined by popular reggae acts.
Initiated to provide alternative revelry to Jamaicans who might not have had an affinity to the calypso-dominated Labor Day weekend carnival, the Jamboree attracted multitudes to its Jamaica, Queens location.
It was evident a void needed to be bridged.
The IRIE logo also promoted crowd-pleasing soccer matches which pitted top reggae names against celebrity personalities and acclaimed athletes.
Vendors flocked to each event attracting Jamaicans who yearned for everything IRIE.
The enterprising business executive also experimented with IRIE-TV which covered the Grammy Awards, the Bob Marley star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and featured interviews with celebrity rhythm & blues names including George Clinton and Ronnie Isley of the Isley Brothers.
Insiders claim, The Bridge will replicate the same insatiable need for extensive community interaction, news, information, entertainment, and lifestyle media coverage.
Reportedly, this latest acquisition will “deliver content that closes the divide between home and abroad by sharing news, culture, and creating opportunities beyond the border thanks to a limitless flow of information.”
According to Clarke, the station’s HD video format will stream globally establishing it among few in the Caribbean region with the broadcast capacity.
In addition, the station will target Jamaicans aged 25 to 75, regardless of socio-economic status particularly those in the global Diaspora of Jamaican heritage who want to maintain a strong link to the island.
CGN maintains that the new station will successfully connect people and all “things Jamaican” in a fresh, new, and exciting format to entice Jamaicans around the world.
Catch You On The Inside!