RJR Gleaner Communications Group annual general meeting dated on September 18, 2017
The meeting began as Chairman, Mr. Lester Spaulding, greeted the audience and presented apologies for sitting due to a recent back surgery. He began the meeting with prayers and the reading of the audit report by the PWC auditors, after which Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Gary Allen, began his presentation on the group’s results. Mr. Allen began his presentation by stating that the company is in a better position this year as a group than by acting as separate entities (Gleaner and RJR Communications). He then stated that transitioning to digital television has been the worldwide norm and that companies have now been moving to the digital format. Mr. Allen also pointed out that the number of radio stations have now increased significantly due to increase in digital radio. According to the CEO, “this means that there is increased number of radio stations generating revenue from the same revenue pie leading to a decline in revenues for the group, as market share is being shared between the new entrants in the market.” The increase in online marketing has also lead to a decline in revenue generated from marketing and advertising. The presence of free online papers has tremendously affected the use of local newspapers.
With the authorization given for most telecommunications companies to advertise on their own platform, there has been a reduction in spending on advertising from these entities. Government spending has also declined as they have reduced spending on promotional and educational programs to fund more issues that are facing the country.
Mr Allen has however stated that, “based on what international markets are showing, there may be a correction in the market place as to how advertising is done,” and urged that after research is done on the effectiveness of the digital media landscape, many companies may return to the traditional advertising space such as television and newspaper. According to Mr. Allen, “the team has taken a proactive approach by refocusing and consulting with managers and directors to place itself in a position to keep up with the transitioning of media and media platforms.” He stated that the company has set a target of “achieving a return on equity of greater than 15% in the next five years” and also a target to obtain up to “40% of revenue from overseas”. The company plans on making Radio profitable while improving its TV and News Paper segment. The company is also looking at expanding its business to feature in industries that may prove beneficial through synergetic relationships.
Mr. Allen then handed over to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mr. Christopher Barnes who gave us some of the company’s current and future activities which include:
- Staff reorganization after amalgamation such as HR reorganization.
- LOGO change for the RJR Gleaner Communications Group (no change in name of individual revenue generating product lines).
- Integrated events to promote group brand.
- Payroll, Legal and IT are used as shared services operations. These shared services operations are fairly new and have taken some time to integrate.
- Integration of Power 106 and Music 99 FM acquired from the Gleaner Company into the group with RJR, Hits and Fame. Studio and Payroll operations will be moved to Lyndhurst Road shortly to obtain one central radio hub.
- Cross Advertising of Group products.
- Maximizing on economies of scale with service contracts such as insurance and security.
- Upgrade of radio platform (Zetta Programming). This helps in improving efficiency of work flow.
- Switch over to High Definition (HD) television. TVJ RETV and JNN will be outputting a HD signal via cable by the end of the month and also on One Spot Media. This will allow viewers to view content in High Definition. Majority of the available cash brought over by the Gleaner company was invested in this project.
- Upgrade of transmitters in rural areas of Jamaica to improve television signals.
- Continued improvement on utilizing group synergies available, such as accounting and IT department.
- New integrated technology at the Gleaner to improve efficiency and enable a smoother transition from print to online.
- Use of solar panels to reduce electricity cost.
“These events along with other acquisitions that may become available will help revenue generation and will enable the company to meet the targets set.”