(CMR) Hurley's TV Ltd., the parent company of Cayman 27 will be ceasing operations as of Friday, August 30, 2019.
CMR had received information on this earlier and it was confirmed this afternoon by Cayman 27 themselves. Cayman 27 is the island's only local free-to-air (FTA) television station.
Cayman 27 has around since 1992 and will air it's last show at 6:00 pm on Friday. It was originally part of WestStart TV Ltd. and was then taken over by Logic Communications. Hurley's TV Ltd. purchased it in 2015 and shortly moved into Camana Bay.
Unfortunately, the release confirms what we have known for some time – the organization continued to struggle and was simply not seen as economically viable. As a result, is that the entity will now cease operating. They stated that:
For the better part of the decade, the economic viability of the TV station struggled â€“ a similar situation other community TV stations globally have found themselves â€“ and the financial situation of Hurleyâ€™s TV Ltd./Cayman 27 was made known to the regulator
They further explained that they Cayman 27 has never been profitable and was always subsidized by its parent company. They attempted a subscription-based model that was not acceptable to OfReg, the government regulatory entity. Earlier in the year, they received notice of several years worth of unpaid fees. However, OfReg would not approve the concept of paid service and in July they received an enforcement notice.
Following the enforcement notice and non-payment of those fees, a suspension notice was issued in early August. Randy Merren, Managing Director of Hurley's TV Ltd. shared:
In the absence of support from successive administrations and a lack of a level playing field set by the regulator, we find ourselves in the regrettable position of no longer being able to continue daily operations. We have no choice but to shut down Cayman 27 and Hurleyâ€™s TV
He explained that his vision was to keep the 27-year-old company around because of the value to the Caymanian community:
I acquired Cayman 27 because, as a Caymanian, it was important to keep the countryâ€™s only FTA independent television station in local hands and to continue providing invaluable service to the public.
CMR understand that 13 persons will now be unemployed including 11 Caymanians, 1 permanent residency holder, 1 work permit holder. Recently several staff members left the company including popular newsmen Joe Avery, Seaford Russell and Andrel Harris.