GBC workers demand total cancellation of plans to reduce TV channels

The unionized staff of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) has called for the complete cancellation of any plans seeking to reduce the number of channels GBC operates on the National Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform.

President, Akufo-Addo recently ordered the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful to suspend her directive for the state broadcaster to reduce its number of channels from six to three.

Following the President’s directive, the staff say although they are happy with the order, they hope it is cancelled entirely.

Chairman of the union, Sam Nat Kevor addressed the media today, July 24, 2020 over the issue.

“The staff will also want to state that, the directive is also illegal, so we will appreciate if it is cancelled and not suspended. The rank and file of the staff are feeling that the suspension means the directive can be reissued. So there is a mixed reaction to that statement. We, therefore, want to say we accept that directive from the President as a cancellation. GBC has what it takes to run the DTT.”

Akufo-Addo says putting the move on hold has become necessary “pending further consultation with stakeholders”.

Earlier, the National Media Commission (NMC) prevented the Ministry of Communications from limiting the channels of GBC and Crystal TV on the DTT platform.

This was after it received a petition from GBC on the matter.

In a statement, the NMC said the directive usurps its mandate, hence cannot be approved.

DTT platform must be managed by public entity – NMC Chair

The Chairman of the National Media Commission, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, has advocated for the public management of the DTT platform.

Mr. Boadu-Ayeboafoh suggested that the managers of the platform be selected by the NMC.

The DTT platform is currently managed by KNET, a private firm which has been under contract since 2015.

“This DTT platform must be managed by a public body which is constituted by the National Media Commission and whose Chief Executive shall be appointed by the National Media Commission in the same way because it is dealing with media.”

He argued that this suggestion was in line with the mandate of the NMC.

“For as long as it is media and it is funded by public funds, our position is that it is the National Media Commission that must appoint the Chief Executive and the Board of Directors to manage the DTT platform.”

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