Big Cuba Communications Contract Awarded

Jeff Kline. Photo: The Good Samaritan Inc.
Jeff Kline. Photo: The Good Samaritan Inc.

By Tracey Eaton  (alongthemalecon.blogspot.com)

HAVANA TIMES — The U.S. government has awarded a no-bid $1.4 million contract to a company that will produce “TV and radio programs designed specifically for audiences in Cuba.”

The contract went to Canyon Communications, founded by Jeff Kline. The Office of Cuba Broadcasting said it awarded the contract without a competitive bid because Canyon Communications was uniquely qualified for the job.

Based on the needs of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), Canyon Communications is the only known source with the demonstrated ability to produce programming specifically designed for a Cuban audience.

In the opinion and to the knowledge of the government evaluator, the contractor is uniquely qualified to deliver this programming due to their extensive experience in this area, including successful performance under a previous OCB contract last year, which was awarded based on the contractor’s unsolicited proposal.

Kline is a longtime government contractor who has worked for the Health and Human Services Department, the Labor Department and other agencies. Lately, he’s been doing projects for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, or BBG, which oversees the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, including Radio & TV Martí in Miami.

Jeff Kline
Jeff Kline

In October, I wrote about a radio programming contest that Kline ran in Cuba without telling participants that it was funded by the U.S. government. The contest was aborted and no one was awarded any prizes after Cuban authorities arrested development worker Alan Gross in December 2009. (See “Taxpayer Contest Aborted”).

Earlier, in May 2014, I wrote that that Kline had traveled to Cuba to test cell phones and other wireless devices for a State Department contractor. (See “The Other Alan Gross”).

In February 2014, I wrote about his contract to produce self-help videos in Cuba. (See “The incredible disappearing $450,000 contract”).

Kline’s company, Canyon Communications, signed the $1,450,063 BBG contract on Sept. 30, 2014. His company has won a total of $1,799,503 in BBG contracts since 2013. That makes him the BBG’s 56th winningest vendor since 1999.

(Another one of his companies, the Pinyon Foundation, won an additional $450,000 in 2013 – see record. Canyon Communications appears to have carried out that contract, documents show. That would bring the company’s total contracts to $2,249,503, which would boost Kline’s rank on the top 100 list to 44. See Top 100 here).

The BBG had announced its interest in finding a contractor for Cuba programming on April 14, 2014. Its announcement stated:

The BBG is seeking to ascertain if there are firms available who are capable of developing and producing specialized Spanish language multimedia programming specifically designed for broadcast to Cuba. The BBG is most interested in firms that have produced programming for broadcast to Cuba focusing on entrepreneurship (i.e., how to start a business, examples of successful small businesses that have been created through personal initiative, etc.), and profiles of well-known artistic persons or groups living in Cuba.

Canyon Communications' corporate address is in Los Angeles.
Canyon Communications’ corporate address is in Los Angeles.

Canyon Communications, which lists a corporate address of 1180 South Beverly Drive, Suite 500, Los Angeles, and one other company responded to the BBG’s request for proposals, sending in statements explaining why they would be suited for the job.

The BBG stated:

After a technical evaluation of the two statements, it was determined that while the Canyon Communications capabilities statement clearly demonstrated that the company had extensive experience and unique ability in developing and producing programming for Cuban audiences. The proposal from the other company did not demonstrate having any capability or demonstrated experience providing programming for this requirement. In addition to the RFI responses, OCB is not aware of any other production company that has this experience and capability.

The BBG explained why Canyon Communications was qualified:

As a result of an unsolicited proposal submitted in FY 2013, Canyon Communications, LLC was awarded a contract by the BBG to provide the same type of programming for OCB. Under this contract, Canyon produced a number of radio and television programs. The video and audio programs maintain an essential component which is a unique and often very “up close” production style that captures a grass roots approach.

The continued use of the overall format of the productions including talent used, unique video and audio production techniques and core content message is essential for the success and the overall continuity of OCB’s and Radio and TV Marti’s branding and mission.

Although Canyon assigned the copyright to all programming to the BBG, only Canyon can realistically produce a continuation of these programs, making the programming highly unique and available only from this source. Canyon also assigned all trademarks, including show titles, to the BBG.

It is in OCB’s interest to continue to use the same crew and performers, as well as the same style of graphics and show opens and closes as were used under the previous contract in order to have the programming look and feel the same to our audience.



8 thoughts on “Big Cuba Communications Contract Awarded

  • Doing the same and expecting a different outcome is more than insanity is stupidity.

    Fifty years the US government placed it hopes in creating an uprising in Cuba by doing the following:

    WGBY the United States Armed Forces Radio Station on GITMO, became bi-lingual and sent out covertly and overtly messages, inviting Cubans to flee to freedom, by getting to GITMO

    Reply
    • While I agree with you that some of the tactics employed by the anti-Castro folks have been extreme and only marginally effective, I wholeheartedly support the intent. Would you agree that Cuba needs to be more democratic and free to choose their own destiny or do you really support the Castro dictatorship?

      Reply
      • Dear Moses, for your information, I agree, support and respect whatever Cubans in Cuba decide is best for their country. I visit there more often than you do, but I refrain from giving ideas, suggesting or telling my daughters and grandson, what they should or should not do. I simply try to help them and others to survive.

        How would you or any American feel, if Blacks in Cuba would begin broadcasting to people in Ferguson, sending advisers, offering lessons in urban warfare to those defending themselves against armored vehicles, shield, pepper spray, helicopters and M-16 in the hands of racist police, ready to kill?

        You know, that at age close to 90, no one in this world can give a more rousing, heartfelt, full of facts speech than Fidel Castro, still has he or no one in the government of Cuba, has said a word about this American Tragedy?

        Is it the Bible that makes Americans believes they are the most righteous people on earth, ready to denounce everyone, while nobody can point out their failures?

        Let’s join forces, admit our faults and search for answers before it is too late.

        Reply
        • If Cuban Blacks had overcome a similar form of oppression, I would welcome their advice. To be sure, Americans are famous for taking advantage of the experience of others. To our shame, we have even worked with former Nazis to advance our nuclear program. We worked with defectors from our Cold-War nemesis Russia to jumpstart our early space program. Dr. King was inspired by Gandhi’s anti-violence tactics. So you see, as a country, Americans would welcome such lessons if we believed they would serve our purpose. I wish more Americans sought biblical guidance. However, I think “American exceptionalism” is instead driven by the reactions of our allies and friends. Whenever there is a crisis or injustice in the world, the question is asked “What is the US going to do to help?” Our leadership in the world is undeniable. This burden has led Americans to believe that we have a greater responsibility than most to reach beyond our borders to do more to keep the world free and safe. There is no country more than the US more ready to admit their faults and self-reflect. Indeed, if the Castros would simply do that or permit other Cubans to do it for them, Cuba would be far better off.

          Reply
          • you just nailed!

        • But that’s just it Chuck, Cubans in Cuba are unable to decide their own fate. Cuba, as you know, is run by a family/ oligarchy. The inevitable result of which is a powerless society that is completely detached and disinterested in political participation. Not that it would matter

          Reply
  • Radio SWAM, Radio Netherlands, the Voice of America and others bombarded the country 24/7 with divisive, frightening news, such as invasions landing in Bayamo. 50 kilometers from the closest sea shore, deaths of government leaders, upcoming laws, loosing your children etc.

    Radio and TV Marti using baloons, satelite and blimps have been used against Cuba for decades. Distributing thousands of computers, Fax, Flash Memories, Short Wave Radio, violent, degrading and stupidity inducing films, soap opera and creating fake Independent Journalists, Physicians, Farmers, Librarians, Educators and other Associations.

    Create Black and Mestizo groups to promote racial divisions. Organize Women in White marching and throwing away gladiolos every Sunday, which most mothers wish the equivalent to feed their children.

    Zunzuneo, Alan Gross and now this, speaks volumes of those interested only, in ripping off US-AID endless financial resources.

    Reply
  • As a resident in the United Kingdom I am FREE to watch via satellite state controlled Cuban and Venezuela Television, mainly anti American and anti Spanish propaganda and no one will arrest me and take me to court as is the case with Cubans who dare to watch TV Marti and listen to Radio stations critical of the Communist in Cuba.

    Reply

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