DeFontes Broadcasting staff told: Your jobs are safe
The all-Bermudian staff of DeFontes Broadcasting have been assured that their jobs are safe, following a change of management at the company.
Spencer Conway, a 31-year-old Bermudian entrepreneur, has taken over as interim CEO from longtime boss Kenny DeFontes, who will stay on in an advisory role.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Conway, who is the CEO of Kalista Global, a re/insurance and financial advisory company, said he'd been impressed by the staff.
“This company has been going for more than 30 years and many of the staff have been putting out the news for all that time on very limited resources,” he said. “These people are legends in Bermuda. The talent, skill and dedication of people like Bryan Darby, Nick Comber, Mike Sharpe and Charles Webbe is the foundation of VSB.
“We want to keep doing what the company has been doing for the past 30 years — but we also want to head in a new direction.”
DeFontes broadcasts the VSB TV-11 television channel, as well as several radio stations, including Mix 106FM and 1450AM Gold.
Mr Conway said he was not at liberty to discuss more about the future ownership structure of the company but that all would become clear soon.
However, he had felt it important to ensure the staff of 40 people, including sub-contractors, knew their jobs were safe, that investment in new technology was in the pipeline.
Lynn Jefferson, operations manager at VSB, said: “Morale was getting low, because the revenues were not what they used to be in better times. So we sought out Spencer, because we needed someone to partner with us with expertise on the technology side, because new technology will not only make life easier for everyone, but also make people more productive.
“While Kenny DeFontes would have gone to the very end before making anyone redundant, there comes a point when the well runs dry.”
She said the stations and its staff regarded themselves as being strongly community focused and were keen that should continue.
“We have a atmosphere of mutual respect here and we have some major advertisers who appreciate that and who have stuck with us,” Ms Jefferson said.
Mr Conway said he respected the community nature of the company and wanted to maintain that. He said he hoped to open opportunities for young Bermudians keen to go into broadcasting and to branch out into creative productions.