By Michelle Sutherland
The heads of five of Belize’s major broadcast media entities met this week to form a media owners association.
The chief executives and managing directors for Kremandala, Shamax Productions (PLUS TV), LOVE FM and LOVE Television, Tropical Vision Limited (Channel 7), and Great Belize Production (Channel 5) held their first meeting at the Great Belize Productions’ office in Belize City.
The representatives informed The Reporter that, for now, they would not comment publicly on the focus of their discussions, having collectively agreed to withhold any comments for the time being. Instead, they all directed us to a short press release that stated that the group “discussed the state of the industry and pressing industry concerns.”
While we were not able to get any further comments from the representatives, Channel 7's owner and CEO Jules Vasquez, has repeatedly expressed the need for media owners to advance their rights in intellectual property. Vasquez on several occasions, including his own TV show as well as at a meeting with the Belize Broadcasting Authority, expressed the need for the relevant TV stations to be compensated for their signals.
For context, this is not the first time that attempts have been made to form a media association. On several occasions, contentions among the varying characters involved have served to derail the process.
There was even a suggestion that the formation of two separate media associations would be necessary: one for the owners and the other for workers. As several media personalities had pointed out at the time, an association of media owners would only look after their best interest, while one for workers would look after workers’ rights and benefits.