SunCity Radio, based in Portmore (Sun City) St, Catherine, is expanding and will soon begin broadcasting in the parish of Trelawny.
The 104.9 FM currently broadcasts to the south of the island, in the parishes of St. Catherine, St. Thomas, St. Andrew and Clarendon. This new thrust will broaden their reach to the entire county of Cornwall. This includes Trelawny, St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth.
From The Jamaica Observer
WHEN Steve Billings started broadcasting from his bedroom five years ago, he had no idea that SunCity Radio would have become a household brand.
“At that time, we lived in Braeton. There were times when we were broadcasting and you could hear the honking of horns over the radio as vehicles passed along the streets,” said Billings, between laughter.
The 35-year-old said he was forced to relocate after the authorities ordered him to close the station.
“At the time, it seemed as a setback but looking at the big picture, it was one of the best things as we moved to a bigger office and expand the station,” he said.
Today SunCity Radio is available in St Catherine, St Andrew, St Thomas and Clarendon. However, the 104.9FM will be expanding its coverage and will begin broadcasting in St James, St Elizabeth, Hanover, Westmoreland and Trelawny during the second week of May.
According to the CEO, such an expansion will not only benefit the SunCity brand, but will come with job creation and social marketing initiviatives.
“A lot of persons, including business owners and event promoters, will benefit from the expansion. We aim at building relationships with everyone while broadcasting to them. We have been waiting for this for a while and looking back to where we are coming from, I can readily say this movement is one of our major successes,” Billings told the Jamaica Observer.
He said currently, the radio station has an international following.
“We have a Whatsapp line which is always very active. We have listeners in Fiji, Egypt, and even Poland listening to the station. The thing about us is that we are always live. We do not do pre-recordings, so the listeners feels a sense of closeness when tuning in to us,” he said.
In order to have the ears of all age groups, Billings said he has a theme for every day of the week.
“From ‘Supreme Sundays’ to ‘Scorching Saturdays’ we have it all. We have programmes where aspiring entertainers can get their chance to highlight their music. When we just started, my mother had a problem with us just playing a particular type of music, so we went back to the drawing board and saw it best to have theme days,” he said.
With its headquarters in Portmore Pines Plaza in St Catherine, SunCity Radio is owned and operated by Mother in Crisis — a non-governmental organisation founded by the CEO’s mother, Doreen, in 2003. At the time, she was hosting a programme on
Roots FM that provided counselling for mothers with troubled children. After obtaining a broadcasting license, she handed over the organisation to her son and that marked the beginning of SunCity Radio.
— Simone Morgan