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Friday, May 05, 2006

Focus On Caribbean-American Radio Personalities: Tampa’s Ron Bobb-Semple

Ron Bobb-Semple
Ron Bobb-Semple

By Haliyma Barrow
Special To HBN

Hardbeatnews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. May 5, 2006: Having more than 30 years of experience in the field of broadcasting and in search of a venue to launch one of his projects, Guyanese-born actor, Ron Bobb-Semple, had to look no further when he met, Haitian national, Joel Lespinasse, CEO of Radius Advertising.

“I was introduced to Mr. Lespinasse by an associate of mine and [while] talking about a project that I was interested in,” Bobb-Semple recalled. “We got to talking and talking about broadcasting and… it so happened that he was pulling the company together [at that time]… and he offered me the position as news director and he talked about my [chances of] hosting a strong-format [radio] show.”

While holding the position as news director of the new Tampa-based radio station Mango Radio 88.5 FM SCA, a division of Mango Network, which falls under the faction of Radius Advertising, Bobb-Semple said he was able to follow through on Lespinasse’s proposed radio program when he assumed the post as the host of “Caribbean Forum,” which he originally produced on WNYE-TV in New York City.

Taking the radio station’s goal of incorporating the entire Caribbean-American community in Central Florida into account, Lespinasse teamed up with a group of delegates to “brainstorm for one word that would link the Caribbean overall, while still individually maintaining their identity, [and] since mangoes are produced in the Caribbean, [where] each country has their own special type [the name Mango Radio was nailed],” Sania Grandchamp, Lespinasse’s assistant explained.

Having met the criteria of Lespinasse’s radio content proposal, Bobb-Semple decided to retain the name for the radio program. As the host of “Caribbean Forum,” which airs Monday thru Friday from 6-8 p.m., Bobb-Semple is able to bring his English, French, Creole and Spanish-speaking Caribbean listenership in Central Florida up to date on “issues affecting Caribbean nationals both at home and abroad [in addition to] broadcasting news both nationally and internationally [from which] thought-provoking discussions [emerge].”

Bobb-Semple also keeps it entertaining with segments like “Caribbean Theater of Mind” and “History of the Stars” which recounts biographies of Caribbean recording artistes.

But since Mango Radio, 88.5 FM SCA, is a sub-carrier to WMNF; listeners a special radio to listen to the broadcast because this frequency was owned by another entity. “So we are now building our listenership with that issue and some other ideas,” explained Bobb-Semple.

Although the station is making headway, Grandchamp commented about the difficulties of preparing the terrain for a Caribbean-American radio station that epitomizes the multicultural flavor of the Caribbean.

“There are regular challenges in any business endeavor,” Grandchamp said. “But of course putting together a radio that truly represents the niche, that is a true representation of all the Caribbean, and then off course making sure that the community embraces it; those are all things that take a certain amount of time in planning and access.”

And she added, “I think those were some of the challenges that we found in the community…embracing it because it is already part of our culture to listen to each other’s music and the thoughts that we share. So I guess the most difficult part was the logistics of it, and then of course your regular day to day business issues.”

Listeners can also tune in via the web to for the 24-hour programming comprised of musical mixes of reggae, soca, kompa, reggaeton, salsa, merengue as well as a blend of topical news and issues featuring some of the Caribbean American communities most eloquent and dynamic community advocates and academians. –

Link Posted by jebratt :: Friday, May 05, 2006 :: 0 comments

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