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Roy Henriques Brown is a Jamaican-born international broadcast journalist, TV host, executive producer and public speaker with an illustrious career of firsts, spanning more than 35 years. The Vietnam-era veteran was discharged honorably from the U.S. military in 1975. Continuing studies at Pace University, he became the Voice newspaper's assistant news editor although it was the quasi-government apprenticeship training program at the Community Film Workshop Council—School of Television News Journalism the small New York City cable TV outlet, which prepared him for extensive television story telling.
With sights set to return later to New York City as a seasoned reporter, Brown wanted to begin his career in a small market. Hence landed his first TV news job in 1978 with the NBC affiliate station WVIR-TV, channel 29 as News Reporter/Videographer in Charlottesville, Virginia. He covered newsmakers such as, The Dalai Lama and the late civil rights leader and NAACP chair, Julian Bond. Brown's readiness for more challenging stories and bigger markets excelled him to the medium-size television market of Huntsville, Alabama in 1979 another NBC affiliate station, WAFF-TV. That is the home to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. During that period, he interviewed President Jimmy Carter's press secretary, Hodding Carter, and reported on underwater training, astronauts use to prepare for outer space travel his first story that fed nationally.
Unexpectedly, his broadcast career took a transformational turn to include a prophetic purpose. While immigrating to the U.S. in July 1966 as a 13 year-old boy enroute from Jamaica to New York City, his seatmate, a Chicago businessman and his wife "charged" him learn all you can from America, and make it priority to return to your homeland and help develop your country. He was purposely awakened one morning by a resounding voice directing him to “Go to Jamaica” to which he acquiesced. That was 1981, when the then JBC-TV summoned him for a position. Returning to New York City was derailed.
Providentially interpreted, the spirit of change often times is inevitable and unavoidable, but distinguishable. For what awaited Roy Brown was the challenge to put to use his 5 years of broadcast journalism experience, clear hurdles and bring to the masses programming that would brand him change-agent. In 1982, he reported on President Ronald Reagan's visit to Jamaica. He created the International News Highlights, the first news program in color and his nightly report on the Falkland Islands crisis, about Britain's determination the territory generated a keen following.
But it was Brown's pursuit of excellence that inspired him to move the country forward, in spite of its political dichotomy. He created hosted, exec-produced and launched in July 1983 seventeen years to the month the celebrated TRAILS the first television magazine independent production, which in 2005 distinguished itself as the 7th most important work since independence. It was sponsored solely by the National Commercial Bank, and was critically acclaimed as the most watched and best local production, garnering 34 of a possible 42 percent Sunday night prime time viewing audience.
Prophetically, seventeen years later (1985) the government of Jamaica awarded Brown the prestigious Order of Distinction. Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Edward Seaga recommended to Governor General Florizel Glasspole, that the 33 year-old broadcast journalist be recognized for his contribution to nation building. Unprecedentedly, it distinguished him, two months after the program ended, as the first in television to receive the coveted national award. The Press Association of Jamaica also awarded him the Prize for Best Human Interest TV production. The program returned in the fall of 1987 for a short stint.
In 1992, Brown took up another challenge to foster the development of the Caribbean and helped launch in Miami, the groundbreaking Caribbean Satellite Network, (CSN) the first U.S. based Caribbean cable network viewed throughout the entire western hemisphere. As news director and anchorman of the CSN Evening News and host of On the Pulse he embraced the opportunity to chase international newsmakers and cover stories affecting the region. As a global network, he covered Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration in Washington D.C. (1993) the Caribbean Heads of Government Conference at the White House with Bill Clinton (1994), and Pope John Paul's visit to Jamaica.
Mr. Brown later joined the staff of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) at member station WGCU-TV as host/producer of the current affairs talk discussion program, In Focus On the Environment. Simultaneously he also produced daily reports for National Public Radio (NPR) WGCU-FM in Fort Myers, Florida. Brown took a long sabbatical from broadcasting in 2003, becoming a caregiver for his aunt and mother for 13 years. His aunt passed 2005 and his mother 2013, a centenarian.
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