One Caribbean Media Limited was born in January 2006 from the merger of two of the region’s most distinguished and long-standing media enterprises, the Caribbean Communications Network Limited (Trinidad and Tobago) and the Nation Corporation (Barbados).
The CCN Group
Caribbean Communications Network Limited (CCN) comprises of the Express newspaper, CCNTV6, and the Grenada Broadcasting Network Limited.
The Trinidad Express was first published on Tuesday June 6, 1967. The first Board of Directors comprised Dindial Maharaj, David Law, Neil Lau, Vernon Charles, Carlton Mack, Tajmool Hosein, Rodney Webb, Phillip Habib, and Hamilton Holder. Tommy Gatcliffe and Sidney Know joined the board subsequently. Ken Gordon assumed the position of Managing Director of the Express in February 1969. Under Ken Gordon as managing director and Owen Baptiste as editor, the Express became an institution in the Trinidad and Tobago landscape, known for its fearless journalism and support for freedom of the press.
Twenty-four years after the Express Newspapers printed its first issue, the company went public. The Express became the Caribbean Communications Network Limited (CCN). On August 31st 1991 CCN television, channels 6 and 18, became the first independently operated television station in the English-speaking Caribbean, broadcasting to over 80% of the population of Trinidad and Tobago.
The Nation Group
The Nation Corporation is the parent company of Nation Publishing, which publishes the Nation newspaper and Starcom Network Incorporated, which operates four (4) radio stations.
The Nation was established in 1973. While the Nation newspaper was given birth by many hands, it is acknowledged that the two men who were most influential in its birth and survival against the odds were Fred Gollop and Harold Hoyte. The former was for most of the early years the chairman and business leader of the Nation Publishing while Harold Hoyte became its editor-in-chief and is now director and ‘editor emeritus’. Like the Express, which had assisted it in its formative years, the Nation quickly became known in Barbados for a powerful journalism, supportive of Barbadian identity and progress.
The Nation is the most widely read newspaper in Barbados with an average daily and Sunday circulation of 35,000 and 50,000, respectively. The first issue of the paper, then a weekly, was published on November 23, 1973. The Nation started printing bi-weekly in 1977, introduced the Sunday Edition in 1979, and launched into daily printing in 1981. The publications of the Nation now include Daily Nation, Weekend Nation, Saturday Sun, Sunday Sun, Barbados Business Authority and the Friends and Better Health, magazines.
Starcom Network comprises four radio stations – Voice of Barbados, Love 104.1FM, Hott 95.3FM and Gospel 97.5FM. This company was originally part of the Rediffusion network and was acquired by the Nation Group in 1979. It received a wireless licence in 1981 and commenced broadcasting as Voice of Barbados at 790 in the AM band. The FM stations were added in 1988, 1997 and 2000, with Gospel moving to the FM band in 2007.
Grenada Broadcasting Network
Grenada Broadcasting Network was formed in 1998 when CCN acquired 60% interest in the then government-owned Grenada Broadcasting Corporation. GBN provides television and radio services.
The histories of the Express and Nation are fully recorded in the following publications:
- Harry Mayers, Against the Odds: The Story of the Nation Organisation, Nation Corporation, 1998
- Raoul Pantin, The Trinidad Express Story, Express, n.d. (circa 1998)
- Ken Gordon, Getting it Write: Winning Caribbean Press Freedom, Ian Randle, 1999