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    Big Cuba Communications Contract Awarded

    Big Cuba Communications Contract Awarded
    November 27, 2014
    By Tracey Eaton (

    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.

    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, 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.

    Source: Big Cuba Communications Contract Awarded – Havana –