Top PNMite set to control massive media empire
Lee Sing takes over at NCCTV
i95.5 boss: I have only been advising them how to get it going
DIEHARD People's National Movement (PNM) member Louis Lee Sing is now said to be firmly in control of the State-owned National Carnival Commission Television station (NCCTV), which now airs on Channel 4.
This development, despite earlier strong denials that Lee Sing, the bossman at the controversial i95.5 FM radio station, was set to take over after the shutting down of the National Broadcasting Network (NBN) on January 14.
"Lee Sing held a meeting with us recently," one NCCTV worker confirmed to TnT Mirror.
"He clearly told us that he was now in charge of us.
"He also told us that we have been given a six months extension to operate.
"But he also sounded cocksure when he stated that as far as he was concerned, the station will be on the air forever."
The worker added: "Based on what Lee Sing told us and the way he moved, we are convinced that he is our new boss.
"The former head of the management team, Burk Hinkson, is just there, but Lee Sing seems to be the man."
The worker continued: "We also understand that Wendell Constantine will be returning as programme manager.
"You remember Wendell was programme manager at NBN (TTT, 100FM, 98.9 FM, etc.), but was removed from the post by the United National Congress (UNC) when they came into power, so that they could put their own people."
However, when contacted, Lee Sing told TnT Mirror: I have only been advising them (NCCTV) how to get going."
He insisted: "It is a short- term thing."
Lee Sing, who recently berated his head of news at i95.5, Dale Enoch, on air, for not presenting the news in a balanced manner, added: "The station started off with a three-month contract and now they have a six-month extension
"I think it is by and large to facilitate the lottery draw."
Lee Sing is also chairman of the National Lotteries Board.
Prior to the shutting down of NBN, Lee Sing had handed over the Lottery Draw to TV6, in what was considered then as a questionable move.
However, despite initially agreeing to also give to TV6 the lucrative contract to host the on-line lottery games -- Play Whe, Cash Pot and Lotto -- live, the contract was finally given to NCCTV.
Lee Sing also told Mirror: "I couldn't say if Channel 4 will remain as a separate entity when the Caribbean News Media Group (the new name for NBN) gets going at Maraval Road.
"But I am looking forward to the lottery draws going back to Channels 2 and 13, in any event."
It will be recalled that NCCTV was hastily put together in January, to ensure coverage of events over the Carnival season, after TTT was closed down.
But it has stayed on air since then, even though some workers have been sent home, from time to time, giving credence to rumours that it was shutting down.
NCCTV was initially given a three-month survival period.
Two months ago, 11 workers, who all formerly worked at NBN, were sacked from NCCTV, even though some of them were later called back.
It initially operated out of the former NBN offices at 11B Maraval Road, Port of Spain, but it was recently moved to The Information Channel (TIC) offices at Lady Young Road.
The Maraval Road offices are said to be now under renovation to prepare for the eventual re-opening of NBN (Caribbean News Media Group).
At present, TIC, NCCTV and what is left of NBN are all operating out of Lady Young Road.
However, Information Division personnel, whose home base is at Lady Young Road, said they were confused about developments.
"Based on what we are seeing, we are wondering if the move up here by NCCTV and NBN is really temporary," said a spokesman.
Former NBN workers also told Mirror that even though Public Administration Minister Lenny Saith said at a post-Cabinet meeting that the move is to bring the radio arms back on stream first, the priority seems to be to put TTT back on air.
And some ex-workers have also expressed outrage that despite promises made to them, only selected workers are quietly being called for interviews, for when the new entity is ready to hit the airways.
"We refuse to believe that Lee Sing is the person behind the scenes deciding who must be blanked and who must be called for interviews," said a spokesman.
"Of course, we already heard that he will be taking over fully when TTT, 100 FM, 98.9 FM and the other stations go back on air, but we really hope that he is not allowing petty stupidness to get in the way of his choices of employees."
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