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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesMOORHEAD SLAMS WHITE MEDIA; LITTLE NEW ON PACT

MOORHEAD SLAMS WHITE MEDIA; LITTLE NEW ON PACT

Sen. Adelbert Bryan's Friday press conference to disclose what he had earlier called the "whole story" on the hiring of St. Croix radio personality Mario Moorhead revealed much about Moorhead's racial views and little about the nuts and bolts of the contract.
Moorhead used none of his time at the podium to detail his upcoming programming, and instead castigated "good-for-nothing, lily-white St. Thomas journalists." He announced to the journalists seated before him that "Apartheid is right here."
Waving his finger dramatically at his audience, Moorhead said, "I am ashamed to answer to a bunch of white people in my Virgin Islands home. You'd get run out of St. Croix."
For his part, Bryan held up the eight-page contract and outlined its provisions for Moorhead to cover committee meetings of Bryan and Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen. With Bryan, Hansen hired Moorhead at $30,000 a year for two years, to be paid with public funds from the two senators' allotments.
However, it was never made clear how WAXJ-103.5 FM/WRRA-AM are to be paid. The contract is for Moorhead, not the radio station, and reads: "Contractor will operate and manage a radio station broadcasting in the Virgin Islands under the call letters WAXJ-103.5 FM, which will focus on community affairs-oriented programs."
Moorhead said the least expensive air time that can be bought on any radio station in the territory is $300 an hour; he said the $30,000 he is paid is a "cost-effective" measure.
At the $300 an hour rate, he said, the $30,000 could be gone in one month.
Asked how Moorhead was going to spend the $30,000 to cover one year of radio time, Bryan said, "I don't tell Mr. Moorhead how to spend his money."
The contract also states: "Contractor shall broadcast live and provide full, unabridged coverage of all sessions of the legislature, all meetings of the Committee on Economic Development, Agriculture and consumer Protection, the Committee on Finance and all legislative hearings and other public meetings conducted by Sen. Bryan and Hansen."
Bryan was sharply critical of station WIUJ-FM, owned by Leo Moron, which has carried all Legislature activity since the 19th Legislature. Though Moron didn't charge the Legislature for the broadcasts at first, Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd made an appropriation in the 21st Legislature for the upkeep and upgrade of station equipment. Since then, the Senate has allotted money from its operating budget to the nonprofit radio station to air Senate proceedings. According to documents produced by Bryan, the station was paid $47,450 from January 1999 to January 2001.
Contacted Friday afternoon, Moron said, "I'd been doing this for free for years, which was OK with me. It wasn't until Sen. Berry in the 22nd Legislature that I got any pay."
Moron said of the $20,000 allotment from the General Fund in 1999, which Liburd arranged, "I'm not allowed to touch that, personally. It's earmarked strictly to enhance and increase the power of the station."
Moron said at the moment he is working for free, while he and Liburd complete current contract negotiations. He also said he couldn't understand why Bryan had said the station couldn't be heard in St. Croix. "On a good day it can be heard in Anguilla and St. Martin," he said. Moron said Bryan once had complimented him on the increased power of the station.
Bryan also recited a litany of contracts entered into by the 22nd and 23rd Legislatures that he said should be investigated by the Attorney General's Fraud and Corruption Task Force. There are at least 242 questionable contracts, he said. He detailed many of them, accusing a broad section of territory government personnel of possible wrongdoing, and payroll padding. His contract with Moorhead, on the other hand, "has nothing to hide."
Though he was thoroughly critical of WIUJ's operation, Bryan refused to answer questions as to whether he found the station's broadcasting "abridged." He said Moorhead's reporting and commentary will be "unabridged."
Bryan echoed some of Moorhead's sentiments, saying that if radio personalities Frank Jordan, Iris Kern or Sam Topp had been hired by him, it never would have been questioned.
Moorhead was more blunt. Addressing the assembled media, he said, "You're all an abomination."

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Sen. Adelbert Bryan's Friday press conference to disclose what he had earlier called the "whole story" on the hiring of St. Croix radio personality Mario Moorhead revealed much about Moorhead's racial views and little about the nuts and bolts of the contract.
Moorhead used none of his time at the podium to detail his upcoming programming, and instead castigated "good-for-nothing, lily-white St. Thomas journalists." He announced to the journalists seated before him that "Apartheid is right here."
Waving his finger dramatically at his audience, Moorhead said, "I am ashamed to answer to a bunch of white people in my Virgin Islands home. You'd get run out of St. Croix."
For his part, Bryan held up the eight-page contract and outlined its provisions for Moorhead to cover committee meetings of Bryan and Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen. With Bryan, Hansen hired Moorhead at $30,000 a year for two years, to be paid with public funds from the two senators' allotments.
However, it was never made clear how WAXJ-103.5 FM/WRRA-AM are to be paid. The contract is for Moorhead, not the radio station, and reads: "Contractor will operate and manage a radio station broadcasting in the Virgin Islands under the call letters WAXJ-103.5 FM, which will focus on community affairs-oriented programs."
Moorhead said the least expensive air time that can be bought on any radio station in the territory is $300 an hour; he said the $30,000 he is paid is a "cost-effective" measure.
At the $300 an hour rate, he said, the $30,000 could be gone in one month.
Asked how Moorhead was going to spend the $30,000 to cover one year of radio time, Bryan said, "I don't tell Mr. Moorhead how to spend his money."
The contract also states: "Contractor shall broadcast live and provide full, unabridged coverage of all sessions of the legislature, all meetings of the Committee on Economic Development, Agriculture and consumer Protection, the Committee on Finance and all legislative hearings and other public meetings conducted by Sen. Bryan and Hansen."
Bryan was sharply critical of station WIUJ-FM, owned by Leo Moron, which has carried all Legislature activity since the 19th Legislature. Though Moron didn't charge the Legislature for the broadcasts at first, Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd made an appropriation in the 21st Legislature for the upkeep and upgrade of station equipment. Since then, the Senate has allotted money from its operating budget to the nonprofit radio station to air Senate proceedings. According to documents produced by Bryan, the station was paid $47,450 from January 1999 to January 2001.
Contacted Friday afternoon, Moron said, "I'd been doing this for free for years, which was OK with me. It wasn't until Sen. Berry in the 22nd Legislature that I got any pay."
Moron said of the $20,000 allotment from the General Fund in 1999, which Liburd arranged, "I'm not allowed to touch that, personally. It's earmarked strictly to enhance and increase the power of the station."
Moron said at the moment he is working for free, while he and Liburd complete current contract negotiations. He also said he couldn't understand why Bryan had said the station couldn't be heard in St. Croix. "On a good day it can be heard in Anguilla and St. Martin," he said. Moron said Bryan once had complimented him on the increased power of the station.
Bryan also recited a litany of contracts entered into by the 22nd and 23rd Legislatures that he said should be investigated by the Attorney General's Fraud and Corruption Task Force. There are at least 242 questionable contracts, he said. He detailed many of them, accusing a broad section of territory government personnel of possible wrongdoing, and payroll padding. His contract with Moorhead, on the other hand, "has nothing to hide."
Though he was thoroughly critical of WIUJ's operation, Bryan refused to answer questions as to whether he found the station's broadcasting "abridged." He said Moorhead's reporting and commentary will be "unabridged."
Bryan echoed some of Moorhead's sentiments, saying that if radio personalities Frank Jordan, Iris Kern or Sam Topp had been hired by him, it never would have been questioned.
Moorhead was more blunt. Addressing the assembled media, he said, "You're all an abomination."