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 the Nation Publishing Company Limited and Starcom Network Incorporated, the leading print and broadcast media houses in Barbados as well as Innogen Technologies a brand leader in alternative energy solutions.
Nation Publishing is one of the largest media houses in the Caribbean and has been in operation for over 45 years. In addition to publishing the Nation Newspaper – the leading newspaper in Barbados, Nation Publishing also produces several popular publications including: Fine Cuisine, The Barbados Business Authority, Better Health Magazine, Crop-Over Souvenir Magazine and The Primary School Yearbook.
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 Sir Fred Gollop and Mr. Harold Hoyte. The former was for most of the early years the chairman and business leader of the Nation Publishing while Mr. Harold Hoyte became its Editor-in-Chief and is now ‘editor emeritus’. Like the Trinidad Express, which assisted the company in its formative years, the Nation quickly became known in Barbados for powerful journalism, supportive of Barbadian identity and progress.
The Nation has an average daily readership of just over 100 000 and a Sunday readership of approximately 150 000. 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. Today, through its growing fleet of digital and print products and platforms, the company has a wide and varied audience in Barbados, as well as in select Caribbean destinations, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Starcom Network operates the leading FM radio stations in Barbados; namely Voice of Barbados (VOB) 92.9 FM, Hott 95.3 FM, The Beat 104.1 FM and Life 97.5 FM. Operating from its home base on River Road in Bridgetown, Starcom has been a centre of broadcasting excellence for over 75 years. The 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 the Gospel station moving to the FM band in 2007.
Through its family of powerhouse stations, Starcom Network reaches every demographic of listener in Barbados. Each station has a clearly defined identity and audience and holds the top position in their category of listenership. The stations of Starcom are known for consistently delivering unique, compelling and entertaining content and feature some of the best radio personalities in the business. As a result, they continue to retain and attract large audiences both here in Barbados and among the diaspora around the world.
Innogen Technologies, is a 100% Caribbean owned company providing alternative energy solutions. Based in Barbados, Innogen has facilitated the installation of 60% of all grid-tied solar systems in the country and is currently expanding into Guyana, St. Lucia and Grenada.
Innogen was founded on the pillars of social responsibility, innovation and entrepreneurship and its corporate mission is to assist both the average household and small and large businesses in minimizing their carbon footprint; reducing operation/living expenses and contributing to saving foreign exchange at a macro level.
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