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Veteran broadcast journalist Julian Rogers has been appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Broadcasting in the Queen’s birthday honours list. News of the honour was released yesterday.
Barbados-born Rogers, who has more than 45 years’ experience working in television, radio and print across the region, said he had known of the honour for a few weeks but the reality only hit yesterday when people from all over the world flooded his phone, email and Facebook pages with special salutes. He said he spent most of the day “savouring the congratulations from family, friends and professional colleagues”.
Rogers was based in T&T from 1993 to 1998, first as general manager of the now defunct Prime Radio 106, a subsidiary of Caribbean Communications Network (CCN), then as an anchor on TV6. He pioneered breakfast television in T&T, launching this country’s first live morning television talk show, the Morning Edition, with producer Natalie Williams. Rogers was also part of the original team appointed to rebrand Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT) into CNMG.
However, in 1998 he found himself at the centre of a controversy when then prime minister Basdeo Panday refused to renew his work permit. This led to widespread protests by many who felt the move was motivated by the fact that many guests on the Morning Edition had been critical of the government.
Rogers moved on to another job outside T&T, hosting the very successful Talking Caribbean (1998–2000), a television talk show featuring hour-long interviews which was the Caribbean Broadcasting Union’s first attempt at live interactive television.
In recent years, Rogers has won accolades for his live broadcasts, including his 2007 coverage of general elections in T&T, the inaugural ceremony of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which took place here in April 2005 and his commentary at the November 2010 state funeral of Barbadian Prime Minister David Thompson.
Now based in based in Antigua & Barbuda, Rogers served there as a consultant in the setting up of Observer Radio and general manager of the Observer Media Group comprising two radio stations—Observer Radio and Hitz FM—as well as the Daily Observer newspaper