Gloria Lannaman got rid of me from the JBC

They refused to pay Lindy Delapenha for co-hosting the first live morning programme...

Sunday, September 30, 2012    

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ON a freelance basis, I continued some of the programmes I had been doing, and then six months after I left JBC I was free to appear on RJR also. I did television work, commercials, the odd part in a film abroad, and some teaching.

I taught at the Caribbean Institute of Mass Communications (CARIMAC), the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI), and did a lot of Festival work with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC). For many years I was their principal adjudicator in theatre and speech, travelling around the island, seeing everything. Eventually they separated theatre and speech, and I stayed with speech.

For a few months, beginning in November 1984, Lindy Delapenha and I co-hosted JBC TV's first live morning programme. We were promised features on Jamaica for Morning Time — we expected a team to be travelling around the country talking to interesting people. Instead, we had to live with constant repeats; I got to know many of the Health Watch programmes by heart. Also the equipment was shabby - cameras would break down, microphones and the air conditioning would break down.

Because Lindy was on staff, they wouldn't pay him anything extra for doing the early morning programmes day after day; and eventually he said he wouldn't do it anymore. I was doing the show by myself for a while and I said: 'Look, if I'm going to do the programme alone you'll have to pay me a little more.'

In hosting the programme for JBC, I was giving up potential income from RJR and commercials, and I hoped that Morning Time could arrange something to compensate, maybe more freelance work for JBC. There was no meaningful response. Then I had a bad attack of sinusitis because a new studio was being built and the place was full of dust. The doctor gave me antibiotics but explained that they would make my face puffy. I wasn't willing to be seen on television with my jaw swollen and my eyes looking bleary. As my telephone wasn't working properly, I sent JBC a telegram to explain that I needed to be on sick leave for a week.

When I was ready to return, Gloria Lannaman — the latest in the passing parade of general managers — said that JBC had made other arrangements. That was the end of that.

Tomorrow in the Autobiography of Leonie Forbes: I have seen evidence of obeah



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