Rooster axes Walling’s afternoon chat

| 13/01/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman local news, radio talk show(CNS): After less than two months on the air, the afternoon version of the radio phone-in show, Crosstalk, has been axed. Hosted by former DER director and political candidate Walling Whittaker, the show had promised solutions and not just complaints. However, the programme had little time to solve anything and radio officials confirmed the cutting of the show for commercial reasons. Austin Harris, the host of the morning’s version of the show, told CNS that the advertising revenue was not measuring up.

“Rooster 101.9FM operates to make a profit from the services and programmes it provides, and often in business when a profit is not immediately achievable we seek to recover, at minimum, the costs of providing such services,” Harris said.

Rooster did not say whether existing revenue had declined or whether the show had simply been given a very short window of opportunity to increase revenue. Harris said, however, that the advertising revenue from Crosstalk PM simply did not meet the criteria of covering costs or making a profit and was no longer economically feasible, despite having only aired for around eight weeks.

“In this recession, businesses have to be creative and seek to maximize its revenue from all available resources,” Harris added. “Our decision to present an afternoon talk show, built on the success of our morning program, was largely a speculative venture on behalf of Hurley’s Entertainment.  We believe it may still work again in the future. However, in this economy it did not.  The decision therefore to cancel the Crosstalk PM talk segment was simply a business decision, in the best interest ofRooster 101.9FM.”

Although Harris said it was a speculative venture, at the time of its announcement the radio station appeared to have considerable expectations for the show. Randy Merren, owner of Hurleys Entertainment, said whatever lack of experience Whittaker had as a broadcaster he made up for with his knowledge of government, politics and business in Cayman.

Whittaker had said his afternoon show would be different, as he would be focusing on resolving problems.  "I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to expand social commentary and explore contemporary issues from a different perspective," said Whittaker at the time of the announcement. "Crosstalk PM will not only examine current issues but more importantly we will also try to look for solutions to problems." 

The show was broadcast in the slot previously taken by the Big Kahuna but Hurley’s did not comment on whether the local comedian would return to the airwaves.

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  1. macancheez says:

    Elio was at least bright enough to translate a radio spot into a seat in the Legislature.  Wally, on the other hand, isn’t  bright enough to understand that people won’t be fooled twice.  More importantly, Wally couldn’t even figure out the natural order of things.  In Elio’s example:  1.  act like a decent, common guy  2.  strutt around like a puffed-out peacock once you get elected…  In Wally’s case:  1.  strutt around like you’re God’s gift to humanity before getting elected just doesn’t jive with most people… 

  2. Amazed says:

    Hi really am amazed!! And I have also come to the conclusion that this "blog" is populated by those out of work Caymanians, with nothing to do and all day to blame the World for it or those lucky enough to have a job, but have yet to appreciate its value when they spend all of the work day spreading hatred & contempt in the various remarks.

    Croostalk PM sucked! I mean Duff??!!…….really?? Is this what we should expect from a former senior Civil Servant and one who has the academic background of an Engineer? No, what we want and expect, is the stimulating, thought provoking and somewhat provocative discussion we get in the mornings.

    So many people say they "hate the show, hate the Host" but I promise you, they still find the time to listen.  Good for them, even if they are not bold enough to admit, deep down, they are addicted to it, just like I am!!

    As for the Host; in a country where it blames the government, the wealthy and the foreigner for all its problems, there has not been ANYONE with the guts to call it as they see it and say so publically as Austin & Ellio, now Gilbert have done. We should be happy about this.  They have all been afterall Caymanians! And look at how this has transformed the country as we know it today. 

    We are finally talking about our issues, and though sometimes painfully, we are finding the silver lining in our otherwise dark clouds.

    All I read on this blog is more of the same hatred, xenophobia, and personal nonense, that you say the "talk shows" are guilty of and less about the issues.

    The talk shows have changed the way we look at ourselves and caused us to finally start to speak up in order to build the country we all want to live in.  And like it or not, our Leaders are listening and contributing on them.

    P.S. CNS editors; this blog creates and stirs up the same negative emotions that most of your contributors say they are sick of on the radio. Just an observation.



  3. Anonymous says:

    I gather from all the negative posts here that Wally is not very popular with the man in the street. Not good for an aspiring politician who needs the public support in order to win a seat in an election.

    Therefore my friend Wally,  I would suggest that you spend your time doing what appears to be your best appreciated services, that is preparing young Pilots for future employment with the National Airline, or returning to the civil service where you seemed to do very well when you ran the Mount Trashmore complex.

    All is not lost because of discontinuation of your Radio show. You still have many more valuable years left in you where you can be appreciated rather than ridiculed.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, fri @ 10:33! We do NOT want him back in the civil service. He was a disaster as almost all the poor people who worked "under" him will tell you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Instead of these radio shows being about the callers views, Ellio and Austin placed their views above those who disagreed with them and would cut off any opposing views as they control the mike.

    Now you get these long monologues by Austin who seems to be placing himself in the position to run for the LA by the next election to join his buddy Ellio.

    Ezzard seems to be the darling of Rooster and Austin’s political mentor who is on every week from the smallest district in the country.

    • noname says:

      15;59 Northside might be the smallest district in the ountry, and so is your mind. 

      About Rooster axing Wallie’s & Lorna Bush talk show. What do you think their intentions are? us the talk show just to promote their campaign for the next election.

      Many evenings I just cut them off, they made a lot of people sick,  because if Wallie was so interested in Cayman and the people having secured jobs why did he not do a better job when he was in the position instead of now bashing Lonny Tibbetts, when this caios all happened on his watch. But the joking part about it, it was only when he wanted to get elected that he let the small Cayman contractors knew that he was there. Where was he when McAlpine, Arch & Godfrey and the likes were getting all the big jobs? where was he when all the work permits were being granted? where was he when the many hotel workers cried in his office in regards to their treatment  on the job? Wallie needed to get off the air, because he is part of the issues that we face today with over labour force, where its to a point where there is 10 foreigner to 1 cayman on the job.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yeah I do not know where Wally X was going with his Cayman Agenda it was soldout 20 "yars" ago star. We need to embrace or foreign caretakers after all its our interestthey are looking out for (wink wink) Keep loosers like Mcfield off air.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A notha Loco bites the dust the Cayman dream is a myth ya feel me Wally & Lorna

  7. Yes!!! says:

    Dey shoulda AXED im to leave long time ago… 

  8. Annoymous says:

    I agree with some of the posters that Austin is the most lopsided man when it comes to attempting to be fair and impartial.  He just can’t do it!!  His nuts are in a vice grip if he speaks ill of the UDP, because Elio will bust in the studio and bust him up!!! But should when he mentions the PPM there is nothing but negativity, and ridiculous unwarranted comments, suggestions or downright thrashing of the worse of the worse to say about them. 

    The only other person who cut people off more than Lorna isAustin especially the women callers, poor Sandra Catron she gets cut off when she has a point that is more important than Austin’s or if she is contradicting something he raised or goes against the UDP.  Personally, I think that Gilbert should simply retire and go fishing and enjoy his outrageous Govt. pensions (his Govt back then put into place) instead of boring the hell out of everyone listening to the point of switching channels when he opens his mouth. 

    I can assure you that a foreigner will be replacing these two (Wally/Lorna) all in good time just as fast as Immigration cuts our throats again and approves a work permit for the replacement.  Like there aren’t enough good people resident in this country that can do that job and do it better.  Wait and see.

    I believe the real reason behind the show’s plug being pulled is because Wally commented about the $7.00 Tourist, XXXXXXX.  Nothing about revenue, if the show was given time more people would have advertised, as I recall hearing some ads being aired.  We should all remember when Barry Quape was on in the begginning there was very little ads being aired, but it grew as the months went on.  If no advertising was happening then it could also be due to poor selling on behalf of the stations sales team. 

    Sometimes you just how to wonder about all the tactics these people use. But when you sum it up in a nutshell, it’s all POLITRICKS!!! Are you surprised??


  9. Anonymous says:

    Lorna and Walling should co-host the Talk Today show on Radio Cayman. Duane is too soft spoken and is not well versed on issues. Lorna on the other hand needs to stop being so quick to cut others off the air, just to pick up another call and most times the person has already hung up.  Too much Steve McField views and too little research on Cayman History. Maybe  Austin needs to alternate his role with Lorna or Walling, as Austin is much too UDP opinionated and it gets too boring.  I am so glad when the oppositions come on the air and corrects him on his false information.  I am no PPM or UDP, but Austin views are definitely not neutral.  Perhaps another former Government member can co host the morning crosstalk with boring Gilbert.  Keep the Country Music segment with Big Kahuna in the evenings, though.  Ms. Janalee could be used for some Cayman History perhaps between 7pm and 9pm, she was very informative.  Maybe add another older knowledgable Caymanian to present a Cayman History session at the same time.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is too funny! Here you are Cayman wanting all of us expats out of your country after you allowed Austin and Elio to turn you against Education reform. Now you want your expat bashing shows off the air! God help this country if you all had to run it.

    • frank rizzo says:

      What’s really funny is that both were candidates for the LA. One could be won over by a plate of food and the other still firmy believes the boogey man is real and ready to strike.

  11. Lobsta Hunta says:

    Wonder who’s gonna try-out next??

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess Austin felt threatened by Wallys PM Crosstalk as it was by better than listening to Austin talking to himself. I began to feel so sorry for poor Gilbert as he couldn’t get a word in edgeways, but the lady co-host on Wallys didn’t help his ratings though.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is bad decision by Randy Merren. He should have cut the morning host Harris instead, but we know it was a PERSONAL decision rather than a BUSINESS decision! to keep Harris is a PERSONAL decision, but whereas Whittaker was not partial to anyone but himself, Harris makes no bones about the fact that he is very partial towards Solomon first & foremost, & then towards the UDP! He is very biased! He is very aggressive & nasty towards any caller who opposes the UDP, while being very sweet & accepting of anyone who criticizes the PPM. He is not as popular as he thinks, & Rooster should get rid of him (but we know Randy will not do that, for PERSONAL reasons). PITY! 

    • Skilly Pot says:

      Who’s gonna try-out next??

      Answer: Number One (#1 Noland Hunter) from Cayman Brac – that’s who!


      • Anonymous says:

        One of the things that bugs me about Crosstalk A.M. is all of the personal stuff aired on the radio.  Not only hearing from #1 every day but this morning there was a lady that called in to thank Austin for visiting her in the hospital…it was very awkward.   Several times I have heard callers call in on the programme just so that they can pass a message to Austin to call them after the show is over.   Totally unprofessional!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          and quite often we have to hear from Austin Harris that he has a son, he actually has a son! Why? Why does he continually emphasize that he has a son? We tune in to listen to the issues, & hear what callers have to say. We do not hear Gilbert Mclean constantly telling us he has sons because he does not feel he has a point to prove. Therefore my advice to Austin Harris is to be a professional host & let the callers talk, & do not bore us with the side issues. Also, MY GOSH, Austin can ramble on & on with nonsense, what a bore. Please Mr. Gilbert, speak more often so we do not have to listen to Austin Harris’ long rambling talks! Alternatively, I can simply turn the radio off!

          • Anonymous says:

            Well said Anonymous, people like him who constantly does that about his son feels they have to prove something (fake people do that) – we all know that Harris can talk the talk when it comes to his son ….but what people don’t ask if he really does walk the walk!

      • Anonymous says:

        And while we are talking about Rooster and Austin (the music is great so no complaints about that) what is up with the news???   Most of the time it is at least one day old and sometimes over the weekends and holidays they have broadcast news that was four days old.  I can’t believe that the owners don’t do something to fix this obvious embarassment.  Sometimes the weather is broadcast, sometimes not.  What happenedto the CNN International News?  That is how I used to get up to speed on what was happening in the world (yes there is more to the world than just Cayman).  

      • Peter Longbottom says:

        I think Denny Warren Jr. should take it over.

        • Anonymous says:

          Please not Denny.  If we have to wait for him to finish a sentence, the talk show will last 8 hours!  Besides, he so into the PPM it would not be fair!

          • Anonymous says:

            He’s so into PPM? One could not be more into UDP than Austin. Denny would make for more informed, intelligent discussion.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Good riddance!  Walling Whittaker was as effective on this show as he was as director of employment relations.  Believe me!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Austin would not be so bad if he was educated…he just needs to go and finish high school…he has the gift of gap. Just stupid.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you and speaking of Talk Today, they need to find someone else to host that show, Dwayne mumbles to much and I have a hard time understanding him, that’s why I stop listening to Talk Today, plus he same to be leaning to one Political Party also, rather than being in the center like a true talk show host suppose to be. I miss val and Jay Earnhart, those two was really good on Talk Today and I always enjoyed listening to them, but now I can’t even last 30 good minutes because all I can hear is mumbling. Time for a change at Talk Today just as much as Rooster need for their Crosstalk.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too much rambling on and not understandable is Dwayne’s m.o.  I also do not like that woman he has now on the show who simply laughs at everything without producing any intelligent analysis on anything.  I even complained to the news director their but they are obviously not listening.  I used to listen every day and now as soon as I here those voice I just want to turn off the radio.  Please bring back Jay or Val anybody else.  At least we might be able to understand them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please don’t be too hard on Dwayne: he is an intelligent man, but unfortunately he does not have a "radio voice" (not all of us do).His delivery is alternately mumbling, then staccato. He is also a bit heavy on the religion, but that is not my point. Perhaps if Radio Cayman would send him to elocution lessons, he could get out of-you know- the habit of interjecting-you know- certain words in the middle-you know-of his narrative. That would, you know, help. But he has much to offer.

        The lady he occasionally has on the program is, in my opinion, very good and I am sorry she has been criticised.

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree that Dwayne does not have a radio voice, but he does have a sense of humor & loves chocolate! Doesn’t that count for anything?

        • Anonymous says:

          Speaking of ‘"radio voice"; honestly how many of these morons that we have working on radio stations in the Cayman Islands.  Cayman is the only place that just take anyone and put them one radio.  I think those persons who are trained and qualified as radio announcers must he very embarrassed by the garbages on our airwaves.

          I agree Dwayne is an intelligent young man; but when it comes to talk show, my all time favorite was Joel Francis – he knew the issues that were facing these islands.

          • Anonymous says:

            Anon 17:17: You are Joel, are you not? Only he or someone close to him could write what you write. He was biased, illinformed, xenophobic (just to emphasise his pro Cayman stance although he is an ex pat) and did not have a good radio voice.

            • Anonymous says:

              Joel was pretty good. He knew the issues and spoke just fine. Please off off thexenophobic nonsense. Everyone is called for xenophobic for anything or nothing and it has ceased to have any meaning in Cayman. This is what happens why you cry wolf all the time.

          • Anonymous says:

            You are joking right?  Joel Francis was about as bad as Dwayne.  By the way, why does the previous poster think the government should pay for Dwayne to get elocution training.  Should he not have had that training before he was given the job?

  15. Mozzie Fodder says:

    The ‘Austin Show’ definitely needs an overhaul. The man loves the sound of his own voice and his long winded personal viewpoints are getting boring.

    Shame about the PM talk show but they had more callers than Dwayne Ebanks on Talk Today who regularly rambles to himself about nothing waiting for anyone to call.

    • Pound Sterling says:

      Oh come on, be nice. Dwene earns every penny of his 70K+ a year. Go on, send in the FOI request.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I really enhoyed the show. I will miss it.  Can the country music and lets talk about our country.  Yes Walling is quite opiniated but they were a good balance.  Rooster made a bad choice.   We need more talk radio in Cayman to solve our very deep issues.

  17. Criminal use of government materials says:

    Bring back The Big Kahuna! He was great.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Bring the Kahuna back…I miss the comedy in the afternoon..

  19. Whatever! says:

    Yeah, dah wha wrong with unna now, unna couldn’t deal with Lorna and Walling’s straight forward views on certain subjects dat was p***ing some people off! I know one ting, any time I am faced wit deh opportunity to speak out about some ting dats happening on my island, I gah do it. I want see who gah tell me come off deh air. And by the way, I am not an illiterate Caymanian because I chose to type in this manner. Just thought I would get the whiners going for today. Cheers!


  20. anonymous says:

    Rooster needs less negativity and divisiveness, more love and music.  I used to listen, but the viewpoints inevitably turn it into a hate forum towards non-Caymanians with little or no positive moderation by hosts.  Hard to beleive there are that many angry drunk dialers at 7am. 

  21. Anonymous says:

    Best thing they could have done. The show was a complete disaster.

    Now they need to take a serious look at the morning Crosstalk show as well and tidy that up. It is much too long, and seems to have lost focus. Austin himself needs to be taken down a peg or two. He must realise that he is a talk show host and nothing more. His rantings are becoming unbearable at times.

    • Anonymous says:

      I Agree with you 100% I hope they cancel that morning crosstalk show forever and axe Austin as well, I hate that show.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree also. I used to listen to it, and then it has gotten to a point where it was all about Austin’s views. It is a constant ranting in regards to everything that is broke, and one would assume that most of the listeners were already aware of all the issues the Island is facing. Having it hammered into your head at 7:00 a.m. over and over again got just too frustrating and by the time I got to work I was all negative and fed up. Since I stopped listening, I find myself having a much better attitude again.

      • Anonymous says:

        I know, I know,worse than a Nagging wife in the morning,and who want’s to listen to that? early morning radio show’s should alway’s be up beat for obvious reasons.


  22. Anonymous says:

    Thank God they finally got Walling and Lorna off the air.  That was the worst talk show that Cayman has ever had. They had a terrible personality for the show.

    I don’t understand why they had to stop Rooster with Kahuna they played nice music.

    Thank you


  23. Anonymous says:

    I agree, great to see the show cancelled, couldn’t handle listening to him and his co host anymore.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to hear the show was cut, it was very entertaining and brought a lot of Caymanian history to the listening audience. I totally understand the Rooster show being a privately owned business and needing to make a profit but the history lessons my family learnt from listening can’t be measured in dollars. 

    Maybe the government owned "Radio Cayman" will see the need to educate the younger generation on Caymanian history and offer a similar show. Nothing beets sitting in your backyard in the evening listening to stories from Steve McField, Ms. Jen and others. 

    It will be missed. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Please, NOOOOOO, not Steve Mcfield!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not so sure that you should rely too much on any history lessons taight by Steve McField.

      How come all of a sudden he has become a historian? How come he is now a constitutional expert? Is is because everything thing else he ever tried has failed? Was he not even de-barred some time ago?


      • Anon2 says:

        Steve originally studied Political Science in Canada. His involvement with constitutional issues spans decades. He has personal knowledge of Cayman’s political history from 1960s onwards and he is an excellent raconteur. I have a great deal of time for Steve. Lay off.   

  25. Anonymous says:

    That’s wonderful news, I stopped listening to Rooster in the evenings, because of that show taking up all the time that I could have spent listening to some great country music and at the same time killing the advertising time, i could’nt agreed more with the decision to axe that show. Plus Whittaker is a terrible talk show host, I can say that because listen to some of it when it first came on air. Thumbs Up Rooster, Good Decision….

  26. Bobby Anon says:

    About Time.  Who really listened to it ? Just what you need to listen to after a hard day at work.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Thank God for this sensible decision. This show was horrible!! I guess every want to be politician will be following in the steps of Ellio Solomon now? It was a fluke in his case and won’t work again.

    Rooster would have been better advised to tap into someone with radio hosting experience or some talent behind them.

    Lesson learned hopefully.

  28. Sentinel says:

    An empty show that won’t be missed. I am sure the cancellation of the show will gain more publicity than the acutal show itself. Just another litany of failure ……

  29. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Rooster. People want to listen to music on the drive home after a long day at work, not people complaining.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Bring back the Big Kahuna!  He made my life much more positive than Crosstalk PM everdid.   All I heard on Crosstalk PM was moaning from the same people day after day about how life is so hard and all the foreign workers are to blame.   Your life is nothing compared to the lives of the Haitians even without the tragic earthquake.  If you continue to drive off the hand that feeds you (ex-pats and foreign workers), you will certainly be in for a surprise.

  31. xXx says:

    I too want to say thanks to Rooster for cutting this show, The last thing your listeners want to hear after a hard days work is to listen to XXX Walling Whittaker. I guess he better find a SOLUTION for that!!!!

  32. Anonymous says:

    good news.. less steve mcfield

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, thank GOD less Steve Mcfield!

      • Sally Vation says:

        Yes, why can’t the rest of the world see what Steve sees, that a genetic memory in respect of the mastery of catboats is a vital quality in the modern financial services market.

  33. No shock says:

    Walling’s xenophobic rants made the morning show sound balanced and well informed.

  34. THANK YOU says:

    On a day of sad news out of Haiti, it is great to see something positive.  Thank you Rooster for cutting this show!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree!  I really love country music but with talk shows morning and evening it was difficult to find any time to listen to music.