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SLBS changes to SLBC 1 April 2010

SLBS changes to SLBC 1 April 2010

Freetown – The Transitional Management Team of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) has announced that effective 1 April 2010 the state broadcaster, SLBS, will change management and become an independent public service broadcaster to be known as the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation. The local United Nations Radio will cease to operate and will be a part of the new outfit which will be officially launched by President Ernest Bai Koroma on the country’s 49th independence anniversary on 27 April,2010.

Addressing SLBS staff at their New England office in Freetown today, the Chairman of the TMT, Abdul Tejan-Jalloh said tenured Civil Servants at the station would be redeployed to other Government Ministries and Departments as necessary, while 149 contract staff would be paid a severance package, with plans at an advanced stage to train the skills of those who would not be absorbed into the new system. Funds for this will come from the UN peace-building fund.

There will be a core transitional staff made up of 172 workers recruited from both SLBS and the UN Radio who will run the SLBC from 1 April – 30 June 2010 while recruitment will be done by the Board of Trustees for a new Director General who will in turn preside over the recruitment of the staff. All staff, former or current, as well as other members of the public will be eligible for recruitment on a more permanent basis based on the fulfilment of qualifications that will be set out.

The TMT has drawn up harmonised programming for the new station which takes into consideration existing programmes at both radio stations. All frequencies presently being used by the two stations will be retained for the next three months but broadcasting simultaneously.

While Parliament has approved the Chairman of the SLBC Board of Trustees, a list of representatives from the eight trustee institutions is with the House for ratification when they return from recess in April.

Meanwhile state-of-the-art equipment provided by the Government of Sierra Leone has been provided to the SLBC television while repair work is ongoing at the New England headquarters of the corporation. Absorbed UN Radio staff who will be working from their current offices will join their colleagues at the headquarters in May.

The TMT was set up in October 2009 comprising representatives from the National Commission for Privatisation, the Ministry of Information and Communication, the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Civil Society and the United Nations. Representatives from the Labour Commission and the Human Resources Management Office were later incorporated.

Edward Kwame Yankson, Senior Assistant Secretary/Personal Assistant to the Minister, Ministry of Information and Communication, Freetown.

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