"A breath of fresh air."
That is how programming consultant Jessie-May Ventour described Sky 99.5 FM, Guardian Media Limited's (GML) newest radio station and the latest to join the FM bandwidth.
The station took over from 730 AM, whose radio transmitter was switched off at midnight on March 31. The station retained the services of some personalities such as Eddison Carr, Eugene Manuel, Corey Joseph and Ronald De La Rosa.
The station was born out of the love, hard work and commitment that sustained Radio 730 AM for close to 70 years, Ventour said.
Bringing the total number of radio stations in T&T to 33, the soundwaves of SKY 99.5 FM will be dominated by gospel music "but with a twist," said programme director Marcus Romero, who promised a mixture of "good news and hard news."
Listeners can look forward to reports, updates and analysis on news stories unfolding in real-time, in some cases directly from the journalists working on those stories.
Romero said the station's repertoire of music would surprise audiences, as it includes gospel offerings which were new to the market, jazz, contemporary, and a heavy injection of local music, which would entice listeners.
The programming targets people on the go, between the ages of 25 to 54. Ventour and Romero agreed that this demographic kept changing daily as "more and more people, some younger and some older, were continuing to tune in." Ventour said no expense was spared to ensure that they reached the widest possible audience, both locally and internationally.
Ventour said the gospel programming was just the thing that was needed to "get the day started right," as it would inform, inspire and empower listeners.
The station will also feature morning shows on weekends.
"Sky 99.5FM will introduce a seven-day morning show, a first in the T&T market," said Guardian Media Group's head of radio Steve Dipnarine.
"We'll have the Breakfast Roundtable Weekday and The Weekend Round Table hosted by the industry's most respected media professionals, and industry experts from various fields."
Dipnarine described Sky as a cutting-edge offering, providing more than a radio service.
"We will be converging terrestrial and online with video and audio HD technology to meet listeners on their terms–where they want to enjoy content, and how they want to enjoy content."