A brief history on Jamaican radio stations
[Jump to the Click Here for the List of stations]
Radio broadcasting began here in 1939. The first station, VP5PZ, was made possible through the use of the equipment of a local 'ham' operator named John Grinan.
John Grinan, who, in compliance with wartime regulations, handed his equipment over to the Government. He succeeded in convincing the Government to use his equipment to operate a public broadcasting station; and the amateur equipment was adapted to the demands of broadcasting, and regular scheduled broadcasts began on November 17, 1939, using Mr. Grinads call-sign, VP5PZ.
Initially, there was one broadcast per week, lasting one hour from Mr. Grinan's home at 2 Seaview Avenue, St Andrew; but after May 1, 1940, a small staff was employed and daily broadcasts began on June 3, 1940.
Under the weight of public criticism at the high cost of running the station, decision was taken by the Government to issue a license to a private company to provide broadcasting services. A license was granted in 1949 to the Jamaica Broadcasting Company, a subsidiary of the Re-diffusion Group, London.
This license gave the company the right to operate regular broadcasting and rediffusion services, and the Jamaica Broadcasting Company took over the operations of ZQI on May 1,
1950. Commercial broadcasting began on July 9, 1950, using the callsign,"Radio Jamaica and the Re-diffusion Network", and the well-known RJR was born!
Since then RJR has undergone significant changes while making some strategic acquisitions, including television broadcasting.
Today, Jamaica boasts a host of local radio stations, quite a few of which are now streaming online!
Here is the list of what I consider the top Jamaican Radio Stations:
The Jamaica Amateur Radio Association
Radio Station World
The Jamaica Information Service
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