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Radio Stations Getting a New Owner


April 29, 2005 – Family Broadcasting Inc. has been part of the James family for decades. The company operates two stations – WSTX 97.5 AM and 100.3 FM. Attorney Gerard Luz A. James Sr. has been at the helm since 1990. Family Broadcasting has agreed to sell the stations to Caledonia Communications Corp, a company solely owned by local attorney Kevin Rames. Until the sale becomes final, Caledonia will be responsible for the station’s programming and will make capital improvements.
In the last several years the station, under the ownership of James, has experienced financial difficulties. In 2001 the FCC threatened to take the station off the air citing that Family Broadcasting failed to operate the transmitters for both stations at authorized levels, failed to secure the sites of the transmitters, failed to maintain inspection files and had no emergency alert system. (See "FCC Cites Family Broadcasting for Violations").
Rames, 50, is a Virgin Islander born in New York City. He is quick to emphasize his Virgin Islands roots. "I have five generations of ancestors in the Frederiksted cemetery," he said. Rames' mother, Arieline Brady Rames, moved from St. Croix to New York in the 1950s seeking better financial and educational opportunities. She later married, raised a family and moved back to St. Croix in the early 1970s. Rames graduated from St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School, and went on to Brown University and George Washington University where he obtained his law degree. Rames was employed with the law firm of Hodge, Sheen and Finch and, 17 years ago opened his own office where he specializes in corporate law.
Rames has high hopes for the future of the stations. The FM station is already broadcasting in a new format, he said – all reggae all the time. "We've gotten a lot of positive feed back on the music, a lot of people are listening," he said.
As for the AM station, Rames said he would take a bit more time to reformat the programming. "The information the AM station provides to the public is vital," he said. "But we are fully accountable for the content of the broadcast. Caledonia cannot allow a host or caller to slander or make unfounded accusations against people in this community."
Rames said that along with community news and political commentary he is looking forward to adding other informational shows to discuss subjects like medical health, relationships, building equity and wealth and other subjects. "We are looking for experts who want to share their knowledge with the community," Rames said.
Caledonia is making capital improvements to the stations that will allow the broadcasts to meet FCC regulations, resulting in a high quality signal that will be heard throughout the Eastern Caribbean, Rames said.
Family Broadcasting retains the licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission and Barbara James-Petersen, daughter of G. Luz A. James, continues her management of the stations.
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