Tempo CEO Frederick Morton: “St Maarten has all the right ingredients”

POSTED: 10/19/12 11:50 AM

St. Maarten / By Milton G Pieters- After making their presence felt in several countries in the Caribbean, Tempo will be celebrating their seventh birthday on a 37 square mile island from November 25 to December 1, with a series of events that will be broadcasted in 26 Caribbean islands, the US Tristate and Latin America to approximately five million viewers.
The big question on the minds of some is, why St Maarten? On hand to provide the right answers was Fredrick A. Morton Jr Esq, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Tempo. “It was an accumulation of several things. This 37 square miles island has over 100 nationalities, it represents the things this channel stands for in the Caribbean, St Maarten has the right ingredients,” Morton started out by saying.
Considering that this island has 37 beaches, friendly faces and an array of cuisine makes it one of the top destinations in the Caribbean and the presence of Tempo, the gateway to all things Caribbean will not only serve to put the island in the spotlight. It will also pave the way for young entertainers to showcase their talents that will be viewed by many.
According to Morton, it was the desire of leaders of the government to be progressive and move forward with the Caribbean tourism product and by extension that of St Maarten.
Over the past six years, Tempo has been able to make waves on several Caribbean islands like St. Thomas, Jamaica, Barbados, US Virgin Islands, St. Croix, the Bahamas and St. Kitts & Nevis. The station celebrated its sixth birthday in the United States in the Tri State Area.
“We were well received on that trip. First of all there is a significant Caribbean population in the United States, especially in the New York, New Jersey, Tri State area. This area happens to be the number one source market for the Caribbean in terms of tourism and because our tourism product is what it is. There are 40 million people around the world that understand to some extent what it is about and to have a channel dedicated to the Caribbean is as natural as the Caribbean sun itself,” Morton said.
Tempo has also been very accommodating and flexible over the years reaching out to French, Dutch and English speaking territories. “We are about to reach the Spanish speaking Caribbean shortly, Our plan is to continue to extend until we do touch every Caribbean country and take the brand to the world.”
Morton said that Tempo is growing fast and is of the opinion that channels like MTV, BET and CNN were not in the same position after seven years of operation as Tempo is now. “The brand has been moving very fast, Tempo is a household name,” he added.
Morton also sees the celebrations here as a spring board for local entertainers. “There is not one island we have visited where home grown artistes have not had the desire to be on stage. Right now my phone is ringing left and right because local entertainers that want to shine and be a part of the celebrations. That is one of our main objectives – to give them the necessary exposure.”
In their continuous efforts to promote growth and create employment opportunities, Tempo will also use home grown talent in a major way. “I will limit the number of people that I would normally bring from headquarters. Already the Cross Caribbean Countdown production is being done by a local host and a local producer. For the first time, about 70 percent of the production management will be done from the ground,” he pointed out.
Among the events planned for the week of activities is a church service ‘Rise & Shine Day’ where several pastors will be invited to bless the event at a special ceremony that will take place in the Festival Village. Day two will feature the ever popular Tempo Kids product for young children and Badness Outta Style for teenagers. A special party for VIP’s at a place yet to be announced, concerts featuring local and regional artistes.
Tempo has also set aside specially for the senior citizens and they will be paying a tribute to several during a special ceremony. The activities will take on a twist with a Soca explosion on Friday night featuring some international artistes; this will be followed by a grand breakfast party on Saturday morning. To bring down the curtain on the events, there will be a second international show where local artistes will also get a chance to grace the stage on Saturday evening. However, the possibility of a beach party on Sunday should not be ruled out.
Tempo who has recently established itself in Costa Rica, Germany and Suriname will soon be heading for Panama. The alliance between Tempo and County St Maarten is good and already the partnership is receiving $2.5 million in advertising throughout the United States.
In closing, Morton said that the comments by the detractors are valued and he will try to make the necessary changes to make Tempo stronger. “But the vision, mission and objective are clear and that is the elevation of the Caribbean and Country St Maarten as part of the Caribbean brand.”
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