Nevisian media and marketing guru, Mr Mervin Hanley, knows too well that accountants are hard financial players but when he sold his ‘fresh’ idea to the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis they believed in his product and he ended up being a recipient of the Fresh Start Programme loans for small businesses.
Targeting the new generation that wants to update itself on the go and especially in the advent of the smartphone where everybody is online, he decided to offer something fresh not only for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, but the Caribbean on a whole: Online television.
“I wanted to be different,” declared Mr Hanley during a recent interview. According to the media and marketing guru, who is a former Press Secretary to the Premier of Nevis in the Nevis Island Administration, the idea came about to him after realising that everyone seeking topical information goes for the print media, or online to read from the various websites.
“So I decided that okay, maybe online television is the way to go,” said Mr Hanley. “I started to put the idea in place, me and Cory Tyson as my president we toyed with the idea back and forth then we decided to have news, so instead of people going online to read the news, you log to the internet on our website on social media and we will have the news three times a day, where someone is actually reading the news to you, so everything you see on television with the news you see it online.”
That is how THG (The Hanley Group) Network was born, but such great ideas need dynamic support and partnership because they are expensive to implement, and this led Mr Mervin Hanley to the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis and sold his ideas.
“The bank was very receptive when I approached them with my ideas,” said Mr Hanley. “The first person I spoke at the bank’s Nevis branch was Ms Avelyn Browne at the time. She was the one who took the application and they were very receptive. I also talked to the General Manager Mr Lenworth Harris.
“They took the opportunity and they took the chance and said, you know what, this will work and they believed in the product. That is very important. So they believed in the product and already Development Bank they have been doing business with THG Network as well, so we are just hoping to continue the great relationship.”
THG Network opened on February 15 this year and they are housed in Suite 103, Phoenix Building on the mountain end of the Prince William Street in Charlestown. Mr Hanley says that an experienced team is behind the phenomenal success that has so far been chalked-up by the online TV station.
“We have the online TV news three times daily, ‘THG This Morning’, ‘THG at 12’, and ‘THG Tonight’, and we have a superb and experienced team such as Steve Manners, Jaedee Caines and we have some new anchors in the mix,” observed Mr Hanley. “So we have a very well rounded team as far as the news is concerned.”
The team is made up of Mr Mervin Hanley as the Founder and CEO, Mr Cory Tyson the President, Ms Jaedee Caines the Vice President of Operations, and Mr Stevenson Manners as the Director of News. Others include Ms Kyla Morton and Ms Tanica Thom-Fernandes as sales and marketing, Ms Irveeka Nisbett as the executive assistant, and Mr Jamal Jean-Jacque in production.
There are those who come on part time basis to read news and host shows. They include Mr Maurice ‘EK’ Flanders who hosts ‘The Real Right Unleashed’, Ms Shevanée Nisbett who hosts ‘Out and About’ and Mr Patterson Flemming with “Island Eatin'”, which is very popular.
“We have now expanded, and we are going to be on Cable TV,” observed Mr Hanley. “Digicel was very impressed with what we are doing and they have offered us a channel, so we are on Channel 94 in Nevis, which will be launched next month (September).”
He added that the offer has been extended to all the Caribbean islands where Digicel operates, as far as cable is concerned, and in a few months THG Network will be in Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, Dominica, Anguilla, and they are working on St. Kitts. He noted that beginning of January 2017 Digicel will be adding five more Caribbean countries, and THG Network will be in those Caribbean countries as well.
“So we have been expanding thanks to Development Bank.” said Mr Hanley. “We are trying to take it in baby steps and it has been working thus far, thanks to the Fresh Start (Programme) of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis.”