Prominent Jamaica media personalities sent home in RJR cuts

KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 26, 2009 – Jamaica’s largest broadcast media house, RJR Communications Group, yesterday followed through on an earlier caution that it would have to send home staff, making 32 workers redundant.

Among them are senior managers including financial controller, Rupert Hartley, as well as prominent on-air personalities such as television news anchor, Michael Sharpe and head of sports, Simon Crosskill.

“The separation involved a combination of early retirement, voluntary redundancy and mandatory separation,” explained a statement from the company.

RJR, which operates television, radio, cable and multi-media services, had warned that it would have to cut costs because of recorded losses and last month indicated that its Board had authorised a restructuring plan which modifies staffing and business processes in the group.

In addition to the lay-offs, there will also be further cost cutting measures.

The company said that phase two of the restructuring plan would see some re-engineering of business processes, including enhanced automation of some services, as well as the change in some technology uses that will further modernise the operations and reduce expenses even further.

RJR said that it is “moving the group to a model of greater out-sourcing of services aimed at reducing the size of its permanent structure as well as its recurring expenses”.