PHOTO: Owner and Chief Executive Officer of FreedomFM (106.5), Juni ‘Big JL’ Liburd (Spokesman Snap)
By: Precious Mills
BASSETERRE, St.Kitts– Fans of Freedom FM (106.5) who enjoy getting an occasional look at the DJs and other presenters who choose to offer live video streaming via social media (Facebook) during their segments, will have something relatedly grand to look forward to shortly as the company celebrates seven years in operation.
On Wednesday 30th August, this media house had a sit-down interview with the owner and Chief Executive Officer of that station, well-known media personality Juni ‘Big JL’ Liburd, on the 7th anniversary occasion whereby he exclusively talked about plans in the making among other topics.
“One of the things that I want to share with you is that we intend to look at video component. We are looking at getting a channel on the Cable or Digicel (Nevis) and we already have the channel in Nevis so it’s just a matter now of putting the programming together from a video point of view to enhance that, to support that.”
Liburd highlighted that the company looked at the regional scene to see how such mechanism is handled in a radio station environment.
“They have audio and video programming and this is something that I think is our next step to put that video component together so that when people here us they can also see, bring programming live, audio and video and this is something that is futuristic for us that we will get involved in very shortly.”
That morning of the interview, this reporter made her to the studio, located upstairs the Cable building on Cayon Street, going about the flight of stairs lined with balloons.
After being greeted by the receptionist who seemed busy yet welcoming, Liburd, who was seen inside of his office wearing his white outfit including an anniversary t-shirt with complementing socks peeping beneath his white pants, extended greetings in warmly asking this reporter, “You’re ready?!”
During the interview, upon reflection of the station’s anniversary milestone, Liburd spoke delightfully, giving thanks and praise to God.
“First of all I would like to express thanks and praise to Almighty God for bringing us through safely another year, another milestone. It was seven years ago when we first made the decisive and critical step to put broadcasting on an entirely different plateau here in the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis and throughout the Caribbean. God has been very good to us over the years. One of the things that I recognise that is that in spite of whatever comes our way, whatever adversity, whatever lawsuit comes our way, God has really tested us but it was to bring us through to our shining moments such as this.”
He added: “The prayers of the people in particular is what has kept us going. When they meet us, they tell us that they are praying for us…the entire staff has the same perspective in that they go out and they interact with the public; they are here working and the phone lines are lighting up- people are expressing sincere appreciation to what is going on here at Freedom FM and we want to give God thanks for all of that.”
Liburd touched on the vision that inspired the birth of the station saying: “Broadcasting in the Federation has been going some challenges over the past couple of years and when we decided to operationalize Freedom FM, put it on stream , it was like the fulfillment and the coming together of a dream to make sure that we take broadcasting to a different standard; over the years, it has been stagnant and stagnating and we felt that we had a mandate from Almighty God to move it further; to move the parameters as it were to a different level and so this is what we attempted to do and this is what we succeeded in doing.”
As gathered, with its global outreach, listenership includes countries like Russia, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, Taiwan and China.
In talking about his staff, affectionately called the Freedom Family, Liburd commented: “I have been blessed to have, practically the same staff for the past seven years and so I think that stability and that sense of pride, achievement and unity is what has catapulted us into a different level.”
He also spoke about the variety of programming offered which includes Gospel music and secular music with a blend of talk shows- Youth Beat, Mind, Body and Soul as well as Issues and From A Man’s Point Of View.
The station’s on-radio family includes Brother Bernel, Sugar Bowl, EK, Sweet Sister Sensia along with two of Liburd’s sons DJ Right Hand and Avery Liburd as well as DJ Flames, DJ Rinch, Markysa O’Loughlin and Julie Charles.
“We keep focused and this is what has kept us going over the years,” Liburd said.
Hearty words of gratitude were also expressed to the business sector, both the longstanding and newcomer firms and other partners who have added to the radio station’s success over the years.
That day, the station conducted its annual rededication service. Included on the program was a segment for the distribution of certificates of appreciation to various business partners.
Congratulations to Freedom FM (106.5) on its 7th anniversary!