TTT: What’s in a name

According to CNMG chairman Lisa Agard, the board of directors were supposed to meet on Friday last week to discuss the details of the relaunch of TTT, a new version of the television station that enjoyed a monopoly in the market for decades after independence.

From August 1962 to January 2005, the first local television station had a spotty existence, at once notable for its robust efforts at creating local programming which made stars of two generations of local broadcasters and personalities while earning an equally questionable reputation for its troublingly close relationship with the ruling party in power for much of that time, the PNM. But all parties assuming power wanted a hold on the system in all of its incarnations, running away with the belief that their appearances on air would save them from the ire of a dissatisfied electorate. So, there is some irony in the bold plans that were offered by the PNM itself when the latest broadcasting entity to replace it, CNMG, was declared unsalvageable and a return to the “superior” branding of TTT commanded by the political directorate.

For those who remember the best moments of TTT, there was the hope that a renewed commitment to developing local programming that would be relevant to modern TT and saleable in the fluid global markets for content would be the foundation of the change. Changes to the new station will now be gradual, despite the existence of the Drayton report on the state’s broadcast assets for more than two years and the passage of a full year since the brand change was announced.googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1530739344582-8′); });


It now seems that the first order of business for the new station is a change of logo and an unnecessary launch event, not a clear plan to create a broadcast television station that stands a chance of success against established competitors and fulfills the need to create a relevant role for itself in the aggressive and fast-changing markets of 21st century television.

That’s disappointing, because the creative sector in this country anticipated the possibilities in a station that would anchor its profile in a modern version of the TTT of old, which placed a significant emphasis on local programming, backed by local talent, which developed a notable profile of local expertise in television production. Apart from its signature news programme, Panorama, TTT developed more than 25 original series, including memorable and long running shows like Rikki Tikki, 12 and Under and Scouting for Talent, a record that has never been matched locally since then.

Agard has been chairman for less than two months, but it’s been a year since the return of TTT was announced, and it’s to be hoped that she has been able to bring to fruition a year’s worth of planning for an impressive new mandate for TTT’s development.

What TTT needs is a creative bang for its new incarnation, not the prolonged whimper of good intentions that was CNMG. Indeed, its board is about to find out what’s in a name.

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Source: Newsday