TV personality ditched in cost cutting measure

| 17/05/2011

(CNS): One of the Cayman Islands best known faces has been dropped from the local television station in what appears to be a cost cutting exercise. Sheena Hurlstone, the host of Cayman Islands Television Network’s morning magazine show, had been with the station for over 17 years. Having worked in numerous roles at the station, both in front of and behind the camera, she has most recently been the face of Daybreak, covering a variety of local stories on location and via interviews with guests in the studio. The Caymanian mother of one, who was informed of the decision on Friday, said that although disappointed and certainly concerned given the economic climate, she hoped it could present an opportunity for her to do something new.

“It is surprising and disappointing that a decision was taken by the station to make me redundant after 17 years as a devoted and loyal employee,” Hurlstone told CNS. “It is indeed not the most opportune time for a dedicated Caymanian to be made redundant in this very difficult economic climate. However, I do wish the station well and I intend to use this as an opportunity to open a new chapter in my life.

“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the many viewers, supporters, and clients who have been instrumental in the growth and popularity of the show, which I have hosted and produced for so many years. I look forward to exploring what options may be available and to moving forward with the supportof my family and, most importantly, my son.”

CNS contacted CITN management for comment on the decision and a spokesperson, speaking on behalf of General Manager Michael Martin, noted that they could not comment directly on personnel issues but confirmed that Hurlstone had left the station. “Sheena Hurlstone is no longer with CITN. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours,” the representative stated. 

It is understood that Hurlstone has been targeted for redundancy as a result of her being one of the highest paying staff members at the station, which is understood to be looking to cut costs. The TV firm has not yet revealed who will host Daybreak or what the future plans are for the show. CITN is believed to be undergoing another review of news programming, including the format of the morning show, before the end of the year.

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Comments (59)

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  1. Anon says:

    So here we go again, another company cutting and chopping employees under the guise of "cost cutting".  I'm fairly sure that the persons who made Ms Hursltone redundant are higher than she is.  Why don't the cut themselves?  CITN seem devoid of ideas when it comes to cost cutting and has obviously taken the low road to acheive this.  What about all the faulty cable boxes they have in the field that they keep recycling to unsuspoecting customers?  Remove those from service and reduce the number of "truck-rolls" to service customer complaints. 

    Ms Hurlstone is the face of CITN, much more recognisable and "short-of-breath" John Foster or some of the other jokers who can even read the news from a teleprompter.  Is this station serious about local programming?  Obviously not.  My tv will not be tuned to CITN monopoly in the morning anymore.  Utterly ridiculous!! Tired of this crap!!



  2. the Duke says:

    Who owns CITN?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Shena, don't worry when one done closes another will open – maybe you could anchor the Govt. TV Channel that was announced recently.   Just a thought – go get it girl friend.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Such a shame that Ms. Sheena had to be let go after so many years on Cayman 27. I enjoyed seeing her on Daybreak and the job almost seemed to be made for her. She was practically the life of that show.

    How dare CITN get rid of her using that that ludricrous excuse "cost cuttting!

    I dont think Daybreak or Cayman 27 will ever be the same again.


  5. Anonymous says:

    wonder when the "cost cutting" at Hurley's is going to start??? Tired of all the political and anti government ranting every morning..

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am very disturbed at the circumstances surrounding this. Sheena has been a breath of fresh air and a pleasure to watch in the morning. CITN should search their money grubbing conscience and ensure that this young lady is given (at the very least) a healthy severance package……But I bet they don't…….Advertisers, if you are listening, this is one household that will not be watching channel 27.

    Also, why did I pay all of that money for premium channels and they have monkeyed around with them so, that all that is left is junk? 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Now that all 40 people who have ever seen the show have said their piece, can we just drop it?


  8. The Crown says:

    Good luck finding someone to fill those shoes buddy,Sheena (Ms. Hurlstone) is practically the entire life of Cayman 27.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Are you kidding me? They launch a new show called, "Lighten Up" that is appalling, humourless and vapid with a host (Catherine Tyson) who is virtually unwatchable as she is so annoying, cloying and UNFUNNY…the people on the panel are ghastly – who writes this stuff? The one redeeming aspect of the show is a short segment featuring local musical performers; who are actually talented. This peice of dreck they have funds for  – but not for Sheena's salary?? – something is fishy at the TV Centre …but that's nothing new!

    CNS note:  "Lighten Up" is paid for by the producers of the show and not CITN. 

    • Jamie says:

      You sure do know alot about a show that is so virtually unwatchable!! You are a hater; plain and simple.  She is hilarious and you know it because clearly you tune in every Tuesday night to know how cloying, unfunny and ghastly it is.  Your note pad filled with notes is quite full isn't it.  Thank God that the musicians keep you tuned in and thank Godyou don't write the stuff and hopefully you will be her next joke on the show because both you and I and most of Cayman will be tuned in to laugh our butts off at you and your ridculous self!!  Catherine and Sheena are two talented, beautiful Caymanian women who have had to fight to get where they are.  Hats off to both, they should team up now and take Cayman by storm!  Sorry hater!!  Pitting them against each other is ridiculous!  You should try doing something with your life instead of hating on another person.    That show is awesome and kudos to her for doing it finally and Cayman can have something of it's caliber.  And by the way CITN does not pay for that show or had you not noticed the rest of the shows and how uncreative they are!  CITN bah humbug……….you, double bah humbug, Scrooge!! And as Catherine would say you need to just "Lighten Up"!!


      • Vikki D. says:

        You misspelt ridiculous/ I agree with the previous comment. The Conversation also needs to dropped.

        We `re not having a arguement over this or debate.


        • Theo Saurus says:

          You misspelt "argument", and the "a" before argument needed to be an "an", since "argument" starts with a vowel. 

          You also managed to get a grave accent inserted into the "We're" in place of an apostrophe, and you added an extra space.  You also misused a slash and erred in capitalizing "Conversation". 

          The word "also" following "Conversation" [sic] is out of place, as there is no antecedent statement about the "Conversation" to conjoin the "needs to [be] dropped" with (noting the missing "be"); an example of proper use would be "Your writing is so bad it needs to be taken out behind the barn and flogged, and probably also shot".  I hope that helps.

          PS – one word sentences such as "Done." should be avoided.

          Dick, where were you man?


          • Anonymous says:

            Don't be a XXXX. In your attempt to point out every error possible you have misunderstood a substantive issue in the post and therefore pointed out "errors" that are not errors.

            "The Conversation" is a separate TV show, so capitalising the title is appropriate. Use of "also" was following on the suggestion that "Lighten Up" be dropped, so it is also appropriate.

            I bet you were giggling while writing that and think you're so smart and better than people who post here. However, in reality it's really childish and not adding to the debate at all so please stop.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Shame.  I really enjoyed seeing Shena in the morning.  Shena has a warm natural manner which is very comfortable to watch and invite into your living room.  In contrast, I find the shallow and nasal 'valley doll' manner of the host of 'The Converstion' really irritating and immediately switch that program to anything else that's on.

    • Anonymous says:

      ummm it's valley girl  or valley OF THE dolls.  Plus, it's a good show.

  11. Chet Ebanks says:

    CITN What a joke Westar cable is so awfull its pirated, which ligat cable company has messages showing up when ur watching cable saying please pay ur bill or u will be disconnected. Yet they have been ripping us consumers off for years. It a joke, but they do have some loyal customer service staff, pitty the don't appreicate them. Once again a company only interested in profit. 

  12. Another Single Caymanian Mother... says:

    I am not surprised here's another single Caymanian mother made redundant now "jobless", all the best to you Sheena. It is not a good feeling…I have been down this path too.

    How can they justify making her redudant when you have all the other broadcasters on "work permits" I forgot when it comes to us Caymanians don't have anyone to stand up for us when it comes on immigration matters.



    • Anon says:

      Sad. If she is redundant that must mean the end of the Daybreak Show. That is was redundancy is – the job no longer exists, so lets not talk about who is replacing her.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why is this news?

  14. Anonymous says:

    What a shame. Such a vibrant and engaging personality. Can't quite understand it personally.

    • Anonymous says:

      How many other Caymanians have they let go in the past couple of years and kept on foreignors or those with weak Caymanian ties?

      This is why we need labour unions my people. The capitalists don't like them but they are required as a society gets more and more sophisticated to protect the rights of workers. The only one around now is the Civil Service Association, when is that going to get some teeth?

  15. Anonymous says:

    I liked Sheena and CITN will per the immigration law have to justify permit renewals and redundancy. Hopefully it was a logical business decision.

    • Anonymous says:

      I gotta say people are sure quick to jump in da boat, before they even know where the boat is a goin.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't really understand how your analogy applies to my initial comment which merely alluding to there being rules in place which protect a Caymanian against unfair dismissal.  I do not know the circumstances of Sheena's leaving and it may be a valid necessity within immigration regulations. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    We don't know all the circumstances… can't and shouldn't judge on partial knowledge. However i don't think it is very kind for the Cayman News Service to use the words " Ditched" in the headline. Horrible conotation that will follow her around. Wouldn't "let go/leaving/ ended" have been a better choice?

  17. noname says:

    1. Austin should have been the first one to go.

    2. Sterling's advertised circa $80,000 per year would help Mac pay for a little of travels.

    3. I do hope John Foster replaces her.

    4. Who gives a crap?

  18. Anonymous says:

    It is a disgrace that a dedicagted young Caymanian woman and single mother has been made redundant by the TV station, when they have several foreign employees apparently still with their jobs.

    When are our useless Government officials going to do something about this injustice as honest and hard working Caymanians are suffering.

    Disgrace!! Shame on you CITN.  That isn't cost cutting that is quality cutting.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sheena Good luck! I wish you would be hired by Rooster 101.9 and replave Austin, who should run for politics with the PPM.  Austin are you listening? 

    • Anonymous says:

      forget the PPM run, just replave the guy.  I don't like the sound of his voice.


  20. Anonymous says:

    Maybe they'll fire the others too and replace them with presenters that can read autocue, remember simple sentences and speak clearly in English.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. It's so hard to watch the local news with the reporters constantly fumbling over their words. Although i must say that the new young blood reporters are much more professional than the ones reading the news at 6.

  21. Anonymous says:

    With all the expats employeed in areas similar to what she worked in ie, reporting, couldn't they have dumped one of the expats and offered her a scaled down position?

    Something is fishy? Department of Employee Relations can you smell it too?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Em.. who cares? Doubt she will struggle one bit.

  23. Anonymous says:

    There is much more going on than this.  Look at who else has been pushed out recently.  How many work permits do they have?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Out in the COLD!!

    It is sad to see how CITN treated Sheena in their "cost cutting" exercise. I am sure other measures could have been taken to save the job of this single mother. Other options could have been explored such as a cut in salary (as done with the civil servants), job reshuffle or maybe increase in responsibilites to offset the cost. Anything before throwing her out in the cold.
    Nevertheless Sheena, as the strong, committed, dedicated and God fearing Caymanian I know you to be, this is just a stepping stone in your life. This too shall pass and greater will come. All the best!!

    • Anonymous says:

      if greater is coming, let's not be exploring 'other options'. Do you want her to move on to better things, or be held at a lesser job? why so sad about it?

  25. Anonymous says:

    I would hope and also assume that there are further Issues involved in this matter. It is not easy at times when a Company has to face Lay-offs to survive. XXXX

  26. Anonymous says:

    CITN have been cutting costs for years now. They got rid of Chalo and Cynthia Arie as part of "costs cutting" measures as well.

    What they really need to do is improve customer service, or at least improve their product.

    Any other company with such poor customer service would look at getting rid of their customer service manager, XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      AMEN!!!! Cost cutting should be done first and foremost in the Customer Service Dept. or should I say, lack thereof!!  It amazes me how these reps speak to customers on the phone as if their salaries aren't dependent on satisfied customers.  

  27. Anonymous says:

    Cost Cutting!!!

    If you know and are properly advice in restructuration, there are many ways to do it without taking a drastic decision on somebody that had dedicated so many years of service for a company.

    Very hard to find loyal people dedicated for so many years to a company.

    Sheena god luck! I am pretty sure many doors will open with better opportunities to be offer.

    • What the Hell says:

      Well I can say that I personnally wont be watching Cayman 27 anymore and infact I will be stopping my subscription for CITN and now will get DISH, as a person who has given 17 years of 1st class presentation and truly made Daybreak, and to be cut because of a flimsy excuseas "cost cutting", I will also be cutting because of "cost cutting".

      Sheena was the face of CITN and did her job to a high standard and I know the only losers will be CITN!

      Good luck Sheena and I know you wont be short of opportunities.

  28. Anonymous says:

    i would have thought sterling dwayne ebanks would have been the first to go….then again he is pretty soft on the premeir….

    • Anonymous says:

      What does that have to do with Sheena? She was at CITN not Radio Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        true…just a pity radio cayman is not run like the private sector…..

        • Anonymous says:

          Radio Cayman is consumed by unproductive people but then again that's 90% of Government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong company, bobo

      • Anonymous says:

        due to the soft news reports..always thought citn was like radio cayman and part of government…..

  29. Of Course says:

    Of Course there are probably other issues that CITN will not reveal but that is how it goes here in Cayman, no one speaks up for the Caymanians and the assumption will be that she was the problem. Im sure they could have found some other way to cut cost, i.e. reducing her salary! but in the long run, that is how it goes in Cayman! We get trampled and walked on and the Big Dogs get away with everything. Things soon change though!



    • Island Girl says:

      Oh yes, things are going to change…like it or not…!!  soon and very soon.

      Sheena, Daybreak will never be the same without you.  So move on with pride and hold your head high.  17 years of televsion under your belt…you can go places!

      Good Luck!

  30. Anonymous says:

    May God bless you and give you and may this lemon be used for lemonaid!

  31. Anonymous says:

    There must be other issues that we don't know. The morning show does need an overhaul but Sheena is an Icon on local TV. I'll miss her as will many I'm sure. Good Luck Sheena.